Imagine a world where boys and girls have to fight to survive in an annual competition run by the country. In the competition, there are no survivors. It is a fight to the death. What if you were chosen to participate? What if someone in your family was chosen?
In “The Hunger Games,” the first novel in Suzanne Collins’ trilogy, the main character faces that very dilemma. Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year old girl who lives in District 12, is forced to make a life changing decision at the Reaping, an event that takes place each year to choose the contenders in the Hunger Games. Here’s how it works: Everyone’s name between the ages of twelve and eighteen in the country of Panem is entered in the Reaping. The older you are, the more times your name is entered, and the more chances you have to be selected. A boy and a girl are selected from each district to compete in the Hunger Games. Originally, the country had thirteen districts until they revolted against the Capitol. District 13 was destroyed, and the Capitol created the Hunger Games to show their power and control over the other districts. In this post-apocalyptic country that was once North America, the children from all of the districts fight against each other in the Games until only one tribute is left standing.
On the day of the Reaping, Katniss is hoping that she doesn’t get picked. To her surprise, her younger sister, Prim, is selected. Katniss is shocked because this is Prim’s first year in the Reaping. To protect her sister, Katniss volunteers to take her place and participate in the Hunger Games.
Here’s where things start to get interesting. The Hunger Games is somewhat like the Goblet of Fire in “Harry Potter.” The players must rely on their skills and strategy in order to stay alive and win. In the arena, you never know who is a friend and who is a foe. To complicate things even more, Peeta, the boy who is chosen from District 12, gave Katniss food when she was starving and has always had a crush on her. Should she return the favour and help Peeta during the competition, or should she forget about him and protect herself?
The book has the perfect combination of suspense, romance, and science fiction that is sure to please all types of readers. You will be drawn into a fictional world that can be dark and twisted, but it also has a magical element. Katniss also deals with the idea of love and emotions because she is confused about her feelings toward a boy back home and Peeta during the games.
“The Hunger Games” is a huge trend in the United States that is spreading to the United Kingdom and France. The book has been turned into a film that will be released in 2012. There is a lot of buzz in the air about this movie and many people think it will become the next big thing, like a new “Twilight.” The movie comes out in spring so you have enough time to get caught up on the series and get lost in the world of The Hunger Games. Let the games begin!
Have you read or seen The Hunger Games yet? What did you think?