It was just brought to my attention that I never posted anything after I read The Hunger Games… Rest assured, I did read and love it — I just must have been in the middle of a bunch of books and that review slipped my mind. So, on to the review:
In this post-apocalyptic world, the United States of America does not exist anymore. Instead, there is a group of 12 districts called Panem. Actually, there are 13 districts, but the 13th was pretty much nuked during the uprisings and doesn’t “count” anymore. Ruling over Panem, of course, is the Capitol. Every year, to remind the districts of the great suffering during the time of the uprisings, and as a display of the Capitol’s power, the Capitol sponsors The Hunger Games. These games are widely televised and treated almost like the popular “reality” TV shows of our time — only they are much more real. Every district has to send two tributes to the games, one male and one female, for a total of 24 tributes in the games. Once they are selected, these tributes are prepared for an elaborate opening ceremony like that of the Olympics and go on to a few days of training. After training is complete, the tributes are sent to an arena full of cameras… to fight to the death! Only one person is allowed to leave the arena, and the Gamemakers will stop at nothing to make sure the tributes play along. So when 16-year-old Katniss hears her younger sister Prim’s name announced during District 12’s selection process, she quickly steps forward to take her place. Not sure whether she will ever see her family or friends again, but more concerned with protecting Prim, Katniss leaves District 12 to prepare for the fight of her life…
This story reminded me quite a bit of the Japanese movie “Battle Royale,” but I found it so much more intriguing. Maybe it was because the story started off showing the lives of Katniss and her family before the selection process began and I found myself attached to her before the games began. Maybe it was because they gave more background about why the games existed in the first place. Maybe, it’s just that having already seen “Battle Royale,” I was more prepared to watch something like this unfold. Regardless of the reason, I found this book nearly impossible to put down when “real life” beckoned. And, when I found out that this was the beginning of a trilogy, I was so excited I think I gave out a little “squeeeee!” Look for the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire, on September 1st .