ImageTitle : The Hunger Games

Author : Suzanne Collins

ISBN-10 : 0439023528

ISBN-13 : 978-0439023528

Paperback : 384 pages

The Plot :

The Hunger Games is the first book in The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It is a work of fiction told from the perspective of the protagonist a 16 year old girl called Katniss Everdeen. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world in the nation of Panem.

The entire nation is divided into 12 districts and is ruled by a wealthy capitol. Each district has a particular business that they are in and district 12, where Katniss hails from is the coal producing district. These districts are very poor (sometimes not even having a piece of bread to eat) and are mistreated and taken advantage of by the Capitol. The punishment for rebelling against the rule of the Capitol was total annihilation as was demonstrated to the previously existing district 13.

To keep the power of the Capitol in people’s memory, they organize a yearly even known as The Hunger Games. It is a televised game where one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 are chosen from every district to fight to the death, in an open arena controlled by the Capitol, until only one victor remains. The participants, known as “Tributes” are chosen at random in an annual lottery system known as “The Reaping”.

The book starts with the reaping coming up and everyone in district terrified by it. In the reaping, Katniss’s 12 year old sister is selected. Terrified for her life, Katniss volunteers to represent district 12 in the upcoming Hunger Games. The boy selected for the same is Peeta Mellark, whom Katniss recognises but is not able to exactly place him. They are immediately swept away to the Capitol where they are introduced to the audience.

They are provided with stylists to make them look attractive to the audience, who dress in the most garish styles themselves, and provided with lavish food beyond their imagination. Soon the training sessions begin for all the tributes and they size up their competition. Being the underdogs amongst the other tributes, Katniss and Peeta try and hone their skills in the short training sessions available. They are also provided with a mentor, the drunken Haymitch, who was a victor of the Hunger Games from their district, many years ago.

Using all the available tools at their disposal, mainly being wit and their personalities, Katniss and Peeta spin up a story of being start crossed lovers and try to gain the sympathy of the viewers and the sponsors who would provide them with important survival items like medicines and weapons when they are in the arena. Katniss and Peeta pretend to be lovers throughout the games and we see Peeta actually falling for her. The book follows the tributes in the arena and reaches a nail biting finale.

All in all I enjoyed the book and surprisingly the movie was pretty good too. I loved the descriptions of a world that is so different from ours yet so believable that we are headed in that direction. The books talks about basic human emotions and fear of death. It also deals with issues like war, poverty and oppression and are dealt with very well. In my opinion it is an amazing read. Looking forward to reading the next one in the series.


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