The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
(Scholastic, 2009, 374 pages)
This is the final book for the fall semester’s Between the Covers book club. Just in time for the release of the second film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire! I read it when it initially came out but wanted to reread it before Wednesday’s discussion. I forgot how quickly it sucks you in. I read it over the Thanksgiving break and it only took a couple days.
Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12 in Panem (the new name for what used to be North America) – it’s a rough life where getting enough to eat is a struggle. Each year the 12 districts of Panem pull tributes, one boy and one girl, to participate in the annual Hunger Games hosted by The Capitol. The Hunger Games is aired as reality tv and the 24 “chosen” youths are pitted against one another, the last one alive is the victor and their district is showered with attention and food. Needless to say, despite The Capitol presenting this as entertainment and an honor, this isn’t something most people look forward to participating in (with the exception of those districts who have the money, food, and resources to train their children). When Katniss hears her younger sister’s name called as tribute she immediately volunteers to take her place. The male tribute called is someone from Katniss’s past whose previous kindness she has to try and forget. After all, there can only be one winner and Katniss will do whatever it takes to survive…
This was a quick read that keeps your attention throughout. If you’ve only seen the film I definitely recommend reading the books. While aimed at young adults it definitely also appeals to adult readers.