The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

‘The Hunger Games’ tells the story of Katniss Everdeen born and raised in District 12, formerly a coal-mining area of the Appalachians, North America is now known as Panem following several devastating disasters, and there are now 12 districts under the control of the Capitol, all of the districts are poor and all children aged between 12 and 18 are forced to participate in The Hunger Games, punishment for the uprising of the districts in the past, there are no excuses, if you are chosen, you must participate in The Hunger Games.

The story begins with Katniss hunting illegally outside of the fences of the Seam, part of District 12 where Katniss lives with her widowed mother and younger sister, Prim (short for Primrose) with her friend, Gale, both Gale and Katniss’s families depend on them, to survive they must hunt, they must make deals, they do what they can, because of her responsibilities, Katniss is a mature 16 year old. It’s the day of the reaping, the day when one boy and one girl are chosen for The Hunger Games, to Katniss’s horror, Prim is chosen to participate, ironically the first year she is part of the reaping, Katniss steps up and requests to go into Prim’s place, the rules allow this, and now Katniss and Peeta (the son of the local baker) are going to the Hunger Games, where they have to fight to the death, their survival is for population’s entertainment and Katniss’s ultimate goal is to win and her and family to live on the benefits.

If you enjoy the dystopia genre (like I do), you will enjoy ‘The Hunger Games’, the premise is not original (it will remind you of ‘Battle Royale’) but the story is brilliantly written, two strong characters who are fighting to survive whilst at the same time retaining their humanity. I enjoyed how the story explored everything about the games, games which have children kill each other to win an endless supply of food and how the games were used for entertainment value, a reality television with a brutality, no one is voted out of the Hunger Games.

There was also a sinister edge to ‘The Hunter Games’ especially about the Capitol, the creators of the games which as the story progresses, Katniss and Peeta are more than aware of, they play the game but they don’t like it.

A young adult book for adults, an excellent read and I am looking forward to the second book of the trilogy.

Reviewed by Paula Mc (Weave) ~ formerly Gyre

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