Holy Crap: Hunger Games
I don’t read a ton of young adult books – I never read Twilight or even the Harry Potter series. After hearing about Hunger Games I thought the futuristic book seemed a little Handmaid’s Tale-ish. And then when a friend from work said she’d read it in just a few days, couldn’t put it down, and would bring me in her copy, I figured I would give it a shot.
Once I got the copy, I didn’t put it down for 2 days. Honestly, this book is really really good. It has charismatic characters, revolves around a crazy plot, and takes you on a whirlwind ride where you’re never quite sure what’s going to happen next.
Suzanne Collins sets Hunger Games in a future United States, which is now called Panem. Apparently there was an uprising some years ago, so now the Capitol keeps the 12 Districts in line by forcing them to participate in the Hunger Games. Once a year, every child age 12 to 18 gathers in the town square of their district to see which two of them will be chosen to head to the Capitol to fight against the other 22 teenagers chosen from the other districts. But its not just a “Family Double Dare” kind of fight. These Hunger Games are fought to the death.
When the 24 “tributes” land in the “arena,” all rules vanish. The tributes use whatever skills they have to survive and kill the other tributes. The arena can be anything from a vast wasteland, to a jungle, to the Arctic. The Capitol controls the environment in the arena, can change the weather, add different animals, and orchestrate times when the tributes are forced to come into contact to battle one another. The entire Games are televised nationwide and all citizens are required to watch. The last standing tribute in the arena is the winner and is then forced to go on a nation-wide victory tour, meeting the families of the kids they killed from each district. How effed up is that?
So in Hunger Games we meet Katniss from District 12. It is her 12 year old sister Prim who is actually the chosen tribute in the “reaping” but Katniss steps up to take her place. Katniss goes off to the Capitol, where she meets her team of stylists and managers who will prep and coach her for the Games. Living in District 12, which is the coal miners district, Katniss has learned to hunt in order to help feed her family. The other tribute from District 12 is Peeta, the baker’s son.
I won’t give any more details on the Games and what goes down in that arena, but man is it nuts. There are bloodbaths, carefully laid out plans, alliances, accidents, and luck. It is a whirlwind of a ride, for both Katniss and the reader.
Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy so, you guessed it, I’ve already started the second book, Catching Fire. Stay tuned!