Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Enjoyed the story. Very interesting, albeit disturbing.

A hint of the plot

It’s basically a dystopian novel. The setting is Panem, formerly North America. The Capitol is where the country’s seat of power lie. It is a highly advanced and affluent metropolis. It is surrounded by smaller cities called “districts”. In contrast, the districts are poverty-stricken. The main protagonist is Katniss Everdeen, a young girl who lives in District 12.

Once a year, there is an event called “The Hunger Games,” and it is preceded by “The Reaping.” The Hunger Games is a horrifying competition which requires the contestants to kill each other. The participants are called “The Tributes”. Two kids (one boy and one girl) are chosen from each district by means of the Reaping, which is a lottery.

Katniss’s best friend is Gale, a young boy who is, like her, a hunter. They hunt in order to provide food for themselves and their families. Katniss has a younger sister, Prim, and they live with their mother.

Prim is chosen for The Hunger Games, but Katniss cannot allow this to happen, so she volunteers in her sister’s place. The other Tribute is a boy named Peeta, who is Katniss’s school mate.

Katniss and Peeta are then sent to the Capitol to fight for their lives. We then learn that The Hunger Games is a huge TV event in Panem. It is broadcasted all over the country as a source of entertainment. Therein lies the horror. The Capitol is wealthy and advanced, yet it relishes in seeing a reality show that requires kids to murder each other, and live! The Tributes are first treated as celebrities. They get trained, clothed in fine clothes or costumes, and are fed with the best foods. Then, they are sent to the Arena, a piece of land somewhere in the country that has a forest, lakes, and rivers. Cameras are set up all over the place so that each action is witnessed by the audience. It is absolutely horrifying!

I won’t disclose what happens next.

Thoughts

Panem is obviously a very sick society. The Hunger Games is the Capitol’s way of punishing and controlling the population. Once upon a time, a thirteenth district rebelled against the powers-that-be. The rebellion was quashed and the district obliterated. The Games are the Capitol’s way of showing the rest of the country that they can’t mess around with the status quo, and that they can do whatever they like with the children of those who rebelled.

It is a very dark novel. I admire Katniss’s courage and skill. I wonder what will happen next in Catching Fire. Will she lead another insurgency?

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.
Date Read: April 9-15, 2012

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