Twenty-four are forced to enter. Only the winner survives.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Each year, the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the Hunger Games, a brutal and terrifying fight to the death – televised for all of Panem to see.
Survival is second nature for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who struggles to feed her mother and younger sister by secretly hunting and gathering beyond the fences of District 12. When Katniss steps in to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, she knows it may be her death sentence. If she is to survive, she must weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Intrigued? A little?
This is the back cover copy for The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic Press, 2008). I probably never would have heard of this book or picked it up at a bookstore had it not been for the urging of my Barnes and Noble insider. So I selected this book for the first project for my newly formed book club.
I think everyone in the book club finished this in a few days. I would have read it straight through if I didn’t have responsibilities like work, eating, cleaning house, etc… This book consumed my thoughts and left me dreaming about it and pondering it every moment of the day.
While geared toward a teen crowd, this book reads better than most books for adults and tackles issues I myself find difficult to comprehend. War, turmoil, starvation, rebellion, sacrifice, tyranny and love all play a powerful role, though the author works it all in so subtly.
From page one you are placed in the head of the heroine, Katniss, and though elements are futuristic and almost barbaric, every scene is believable and heart-wrenching.
I don’t want to give much away or over-hype the novel. The writing is superb with touches of humor and glib remarks that made me laugh out loud, drawing strange glances from my husband.
Be warned, the end will leave you crying out for more. Luckily, the second book is available. However, if anything, book two, Catching Fire is even more addicting and thought-consuming. But that is an entirely separate blog.
I mustn’t say any more. Go to the library, get the book. Order it from Amazon or race to a nearby bookstore and block out a few days of your calendar. Happy reading!