In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, the shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh 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 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 weigh survival against humanity and life against love
Pages: 374 (paperback)
Rating: 9 out of 10
Source: Borrowed from my sister-in-law
I had been hearing about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins for quite awhile, but did not really have much interest in the books. With the movie out, the number of recommendations for the book increased. The Partners and Professors book club selected the first book for the May meeting. I was excited for a chance to see what the fuss was about and was also happy that I could borrow a copy instead of adding my name to the already long wait list at the library.
My sister-in-law predicted that I would finish the book in a few days. I was skeptical given that I am with my daughter all day and during her naps I fill my time with fun things like eating, getting dressed, and napping. I was surprised and excited to discover that all of those things fell to the side. I grew completely absorbed with the Games and wondering what would happen next. Thanks to extra helpings of caffeine and a daughter who slept relatively well during those days, I finished the book in two days.
The premise of the book is incredibly sad and fucked up-- kids fighting to the death in Games that are meant to entertain the masses. In the first few pages, I was not sure if I was going to enjoy the book. However, another, more powerful and positive , story emerged. I LOVE Katniss Everdeen. She is smart, brave, and just. I appreciate that the story is about how she questions authority, works to figure out how to navigate this unfair circumstances to have a just outcome. While there is romance, I appreciate she is not a damsel in distress. She uses her brains to survive. She is conflicted about her feelings for the two important men in her life, but that uncertainty is not the only piece of her personality that we get to know.
I have already borrowed the other two books in the series. In addition to the book club discussion, I am counting the Hunger Games for the following challenge:
2012 Global Reading Challenge: I am using it to fulfill the category of Seventh Continent.