458 pages, Paperback
Personal Copy kindly donated by a fellow book enthusiast
Young Adult, action, thriller
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
Summary from Scholastic
Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
A huge shout out to my fellow book enthusiast, who unless she gives permission for her name to be given out I'm leaving anonymous. The Hunger Games was on my wishlist, and this lovely person felt that I ought to read it and sent me her copy. Thank you! It is as amazing as everyone says it is.
Katniss is a really strong character. She does all she can to protect her family. Even putting her own life at risk to save her younger sister. In the midst of the Games, she still cares about people - even the other competitors. Although Kat doesn't have all the extra training (which technically isn't allowed before game selection) which other competitors have, I believe she is the best candidate for the games. Day in, day out she struggles for her family's survival. She's proficient at a bow and arrow. She's a quick learner when she receives official training. Her high spirit keeps her going through the tough times (arrow through a pig's head was really funny). Because she's sure she will die, she takes greater risks within the games. The end was completely unexpected, and most welcome. I was on tenderhooks for the entire book - okay so I know she survived, thus taking away part of the edge-of-the-seat reading.
The concept of the games is awesome. Fighting for survival is a theme that is persistent throughout human history. Pitting 24 people against each other is cruel. Kat lives in a cruel world. A world where rules can change at any time. Where even after victory, more subtle fights have to be waged.
Every character in here stuck in my head: Kat's sweet sister and mother, the younger competitor who reminded Kat of her sister, Kat's fellow District 12 competitor Peeta (whose true motives aren't easy to discern straight away). The stylists and all those involved in the games are obsessed with it, but in their own way they do care for Kat, and try hard to improve her chances of winning. The more people like her at the opening events, the more sponsors she will get. Sponsors can provide competitors with gifts at vital moments. There is everything to play for in The Hunger Games.
There are some blood thirsty competitors trying to survive in the harsh environment manufactured for the games. I thought that was bad enough - having to survive when others need to kill you to win. But add in lethal elements chosen to provide entertainment for the spectators, and you get an idea of how cruel the rulers of Kat's world are. Evil in every sense of the word. I liked watching Kat's small but monumental demonstrations of rebellion throughout the games.
I'm definitely going to get the second book, in preparation for the third which is released later on in the year.
Suggested reading: Gone by Michael Grant