Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.
The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.
When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
Egads! Am I late to the party or what? Technically, no! I saw the movie when it was first released in the cinema, and went straight to the bookstore after seeing the movie to buy the book. Two years later I eventually get around to reading it, having to wipe the dust off it before proceeding! I had full intention of reading the book straight away after buying it, but the movie was too fresh in my mind, and I think that is what caused the delay in reading it. Also, I decided then that I wasn’t going to see any of the other movies in the series until I read all the books, because we all know the books are 9/10 better than their movie.
Suzanne Collins wrote this brilliantly, and I have to say, it was unusual to see this book written in the present tense. I’m so used to reading books that are mostly in past tense and have only recently seen the present tense used in self-published books, until now! It was great, I have to admit, and I thought that the fact it was written that way would put me off it, but I guess reading Charles Yallowitz’s Legends of Windemere series and currently reading My GRL by John Howell (to be reviewed next week) changed by opinion on that. The use of present tense really speeds up the narrative in the story, which is great in this case, because the Hunger Games is very much a fast paced book! And even though I had seen the movie, upon reading it, its as if I forgot that the movie even existed. Okay, in my mind I saw the characters as their respective actors, but at the same time, my mind was warping them and making them new as if I had never seen the actors and this was my mind creating the characters for the very first time!
Having now read the Hunger Games, I am very much looking forward to reading the next book! I love the relationship between Katniss and Peeta, and am very interested to see what her pal back in Panem makes of the whole situation. I found that once they won the Hunger Games (spoiler alert, maybe, I dunno?) that it cut short all of a sudden and we didn’t really get to see what Katniss and Peeta’s family thought of this and their reaction, but I’m sure that will be covered in the next book. I hope.
I recommend this book for lovers of a fast paced thriller, with blood and guts and passion and instinct and everything else–its like a thriller with a romance thrown in for good measure with just a hint of comedy to lighten the mood where necessary.
I give the Hunger Games 4/5 stars!
Make sure to check in on Sunday for the weekly goal post, and next Thursday, as mentioned above, I shall be reviewing John Howell’s My GRL in the WBW Book Corner! 🙂