My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Hunger Games takes place in Panem, a futuristic, dystopian version of the United States. Panem is ruled by The Capital and is surrounded by districts that are poor and, basically, survive to supply The Capital with all of their needs for their lavish lifestyle. In the recent past the districts rose up against in revolution against the Capital but did not succeed. To remind the districts of their failure they created “The Hunger Games.” Each person between the ages of (I think) 15 and 18 must put their names into a lottery. Then, each year a boy and a girl from each district is chosen to participate in these games. The games are very popular in the Capital and great care is taken to create a lavish setting. The basic idea is that the last remaining survivor is the winner of the games. And, yes, part of that survival means killing your opponents.The districts are forced to watch the games.
So Katniss, the character of this story ends up participating in the Hunger Games when she decides to take the place of her sister who was chosen in the lottery. Peeta, the The baker’s son, is the boy chosen for district 12. Things get complicated when Peeta reveals that he has feelings for Katniss. Katniss decides to play this card because the audience loves good drama (they like to send gifts to their favorite players) but then realizes that she might have feelings for him, as well. So what does she do? Does she kill him so that she can win? Or does she let herself die so Peeta can have a chance of being the winner?
I absolutely loved this book. Collins can write a fantastic, compelling story. And the characters were well drawn, to boot. I loved Katniss. She is strong and can take care of herself. I like that. I couldn’t recommend this book enough. It’s a fun read and you won’t want to put the book down until it is finished.
I will post my thoughts on the follow-up Catching Fire later, since this post is kind of long as it is.