Release Date: October 1, 2008
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age group: Science Fiction/ Young Adult/ Adventure
Buy this book: Amazon
Synopsis (from Goodreads): In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
I cannot say enough how much I loved this book. It was thrilling, exciting, new, gripping, horrifying and I could go on and on. The storys’ main character is sixteen-year old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in the post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem where North America once stood. This is where a powerful government working in a central city called the Capitol holds power. The hunger games is used by the Capitol as a punishment for a previous rebellion. It is a televised event where one boy and one girl is chosen from all 12 surrounding districts to compete to the death until only one remains. The last one standing is declared the winner.
I found the novel to be well paced and exciting all the way through. I never got stuck in a chapter nor was it ever slow. Believe me there are no slow dragging parts in The Hunger Games which is one of the many things I loved about the book. The novel is a perfect mix of adventure and excitement with a little romance thrown in. The story itself, I found to be fresh and fast paced, but it also deals with universal themes of love, loss, independence, and fear.
Violence is something that we see televised everyday and this novel made me think about that in a whole new way. I don’t mean that what occurs in the story is evident in our daily lives, which is a terrifying notion. But, that there is a blurring of entertainment and reality present in the fictional world and our own. There can be a disconnect that occurs, like that in Panem, and similarly in our own lives when we see the human condition televised in the comfort of our homes but we are removed and separated from that experience. Through seeing what the people of Panem have become I realize that although we are not there as a society can we get there someday. Very thought provoking. This is the main reason why I loved The Hunger Games. It is categorized as a YA (young adult) novel but really anyone of any age can read this book and enjoy it. I guarantee it.