Jul 20, 2010
First, I'll send a thank you out to Rachel C., who recommended that I read this series. It's technically a young-adult series, but don't let that label fool you. This book is extremely entertaining...and quite graphic at times, I must say. On with the review...
Katniss Everdeen is a sixteen-year old girl who lives in District 12 (part of the ruins of North America, and governed along with 11 other districts by The Capitol.) She's a tough girl who takes care of her mother and little sister, Prim, and has been since her father died in a mine explosion. Long ago, District 13 attempted to rise up and rebel against The Capitol, and in that attempt, was destroyed.
The Hunger Games are not only for entertainment, but to serve as a reminder for the other districts what happened to District 13. Every year, each district must give up one boy and one girl to fight in the televised Hunger Games. Here's where the shady part comes in - the districts are poor...very poor, while the people in The Capitol have more than enough. The children in the districts can get extra food by entering their name another time in the drawing for the Hunger Games. Every child of a certain age must enter their name in the drawing each year anyway.
Poor Kat's name was in there quite a bit, but at least she had the peace of mind knowing that her little sister, Prim's name was only in there once. As luck would have it, Prim's name is called and Katniss volunteers to go in her stead. Also called is a baker's son, Peeta, who harbors a secret crush on Kat. Let the Hunger Games begin...
Peeta wins favor with the audience by revealing his little crush, and Peeta and Kat's mentor quickly realizes that the audience is eating up the story of the star-crossed lovers. The games have 26 contestants, and only one is allowed to live. Sponsors can donate to the teams, so that the mentor can send in things that are needed at any particular moment.
***SPOILER ALERT*** - Scroll over the following parts to read:
Kat deals with injuries, the death of a good friend, and so much more along her journey, but always keeps in mind that she has promised Prim that she'd come home. Will she make it out alive, returning home to the wonderful life Hunger Game winners are entitled to, or will she simply give up?
One of my favorite parts is the end, when Kat and Peeta outsmart The Capitol. They change the rules halfway through the game, telling the contestants that there can be 2 winners this year. This fuels Kat's resolve that she and Peeta can make it out alive. When they're the only 2 contestants left - guess what - The Capitol changes the rule again. So, Kat and Peeta "resolve" to eat poisonous berries, continuing their roles as star-crossed lovers. The Capitol is forced to intervene and save the 2 of them, sparing themselves from the wrath of the audience. Now that Kat gets to go home, will she return to the quiet, faithful Gale, or will she have to keep up with her 'romance' with Peeta to please The Capitol?
This book was absolutely fabulous. I really enjoyed it and couldn't stop reading until I had devoured the entire thing. It's one of the most well-written books I've read in a long time. The writing is crisp, imaginative, and descriptive. In fact, the very moment I finished with it, I had to rush out and get the 2nd in the series, which I'll also be reviewing soon. I am in serious pain about waiting until late August to get my hands on the 3rd book, but it's a bittersweet pain.
I highly recommend this book if you like adventures, a bit of romance, and if you admire tough heroines.