Set in an undetermined time in the future, North America as we know it has been destroyed. In its wake rose the nation of Panem, consisting of a wealthy Capitol and thirteen supporting districts. Eventually, the citizens of Panem grew discontent with the rulers and thus came a war – leading to the termination of the 13th district and the yearly ritual of the Hunger Games. In the Hunger Games each district must provide the Capitol with a boy and a girl, chosen through a lottery system, to fight to the death in an arena – ultimately leaving a single victor. Not only is the nation required to watch the Hunger Games, but they are also required to celebrate it – reminding them constantly of the Capitol’s harsh grip on their citizens.
Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen is sent to the Hunger Games representing District 12 in honor of her younger sister. The catch (and there always is one!) is that Katniss is sent with none other than Peeta Mellark – who holds a childhood crush on Katniss. This, paired with 22 other tributes ready to kill her, makes for the ultimate uphill struggle forcing Katniss to decide where her loyalties lie and how she will react to Panem’s cruel games.
The Hunger Games is not a book that starts and ends within the realms of the page numbers. In fact, it is a book that will stay at the forefront of your mind for many days to come. After finishing the novel I questioned my views on many of the issues Panem faced – and ultimately drew many parallels to history & our world today. Additionally, they have made a film adaption of the novel to hit theaters in March of 2012 (filmed in North Carolina!)—so it would be wise to check out the book before going to see the movie!
Overall, The Hunger Games is a nice, quick read if you don’t have a lot of time- but also a compelling novel that will ultimately leave the reader excited for more (and no worries, there is more- with 2 sequels in the trilogy!) So, don’t waste anytime—go check out the book—I promise you will not regret it!!
Frances Cayton ’14