The Hunger Games
Reviewed by Sam, age 19, Massachusetts
Sweet Designs Staff Intern
Sweet Designs Featured Writer
In a future dystopian world, the United States is broken into the Capital, a lavish, futuristic city with flying cars and instant plastic surgery, and the twelve districts surrounding it. Every year, one boy and one girl from each district are selected by lottery to participate in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are an annual punishment the districts must endure for trying to rebel against the Capital in the past. As a result, the twelve children selected, called "tributes", are forced to kill each other off one by one until the last one standing is declared the winner of the Games.
Katniss, a sixteen-year-old girl living in District 12, volunteers to participate in the Hunger Games after her younger sister's name is pulled from the lottery. She and Peeta, a baker's son her own age, travel to the Capital to be pampered, trained, and prepared to face off against twenty two other competitors. Katniss must face an oppressive government, cutthroat contestants, the emotions that come with taking a life, and millions of people watching her every move. But falling in love on television is difficult, especially when you're expected to kill off (or be killed by) your love interest at any moment.
Overall, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a very entertaining book. A fast paced, action novel, I was speeding through pages to find out what happens next. While the subject matter is rather disturbing (children being forced to kill each other), the world Collins creates makes The Hunger Games acceptable. Also, the allusions to violence, love, and reality television send an intimidating message about our society.
I did have some qualms with the book, but they were more a matter of preference. The writing is not up to par with many other best selling novels, but it does fit a young adult audience. The romance in the book, while sometimes overdone, does fit with the complexity of the story. Katniss' voice is well defined, the pacing is fast, and futuristic world is very believable. I would definitely recommend The Hunger Games to an adolescent reader looking for something exciting to read.
I give The Hunger Games 3.5 out of 5 stars.
The sequel, Catching Fire, was released in September 2009, and the third book, Mockingjay, is slated for release on August 24, 2010.