Reading Level: YA
Source: my own, dusty copy
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
I can finally say that I have left my rock and joined the “in-crowd.” I finally read The Hunger Games. It’s true that these books have been sitting on my shelves gathering dust for at least a year, maybe longer. I have no excuse to offer for why I haven’t read these books until now. I knew they were great (I’ve heard it constantly). I’ve been threatened by my friends to read the books “or else”—but they always seems to forgive me. =) But, alas, I can finally say I have read them… and boy am I glad I did!
While I was talking with one my friends yesterday, I asked if she had read this series. She said no, but she had the books in her classroom. I snickered. (out loud) I told her I finally read these books and she needed to do it pronto. Then I explained why…
First, the characters. I loved how different Peeta and Katniss were. You truly get the sense that Peeta is a genuine “nice guy” that you can’t help but like. He doesn’t seem weak or annoying. In fact, he warms my heart and made me smile. Katniss, on the other hand, is a little rough around the edges. She’s not unlikeable by any means. I really liked her. I am a sucker for books with strong female characters! (Not the typical whiny, boy crazy, hormonal nightmares that you normally read about.) The relationship between Prim and Katniss captivated me. For someone to volunteer for such horror to protect another… wow. Oh, and then there was Haymitch. Heh. He was grouchy, ornery, and an absolute riot. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to like him as much as I did, but I couldn’t help it.
I don’t think there is much to say about this book since just about everyone I know has read it already. I can only offer my insights into the book that has been given so much hype. I was fascinated by the games. Since there are three books, I already knew how the games would eventually end. That wasn’t a surprise, which I think took away from my experience. Somehow knowing that the two main characters survive took part of the thrill away. Of course, there were a few surprising twists to keep it interesting until the end.
I think it’s safe to say I am pleased that I finally read this book. Did it get a 5 star rating from me? No, and that’s probably because I knew too much about the book going in. This is a solid 4 (maybe a 4.5?), however. I devoured it in a day and instantly started on the second book. I can’t wait to see the movie now and see how the unique characters and settings are brought to life.