The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Reviewed by Tanya, age 14, Alabama
The Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, is a young adult science fiction novel, the first in the Hunger Games trilogy. The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, a fiercely independent 16 year old, lives in a post-apocalyptic country named Panem, where North America supposedly was. There are 13 districts ruled by a very powerful government which exercises power to the extremes, and whose headquarters lies in the central city called the Capitol.
When District 13 rebels against the dictatorship, they are eliminated from the face of the earth, and to remind the rest of the Districts of the rebellion they force two tributes, one boy and one girl, from each District every year to participate in the Hunger Games. The Capitol throws the tributes, ages 12 to 18, into an arena where the weirdest and most deadly events occur, designed to wipe out the tributes. Everything is televised nationally. In the arena there is only one rule, only one ultimatum - STAY ALIVE. Katniss's will to survive is tested throughout the novel and she must overcome her enemies and become the 74th annual Hunger Games champion, for the only other option is death.
About the Protagonist
When my friend told me to read The Hunger Games early in the school year, I put it off until the last week of school. After reading the first chapter, I realized what a dork I'd been. This book has everything a reader could want. It includes thrills, suspense, romance, and the power to suck the reader in. Katniss Everdeen is the ultimate heroine of all those who love to read. She portrays the independence of Queen Elizabeth I, the motivation of Susan B. Anthony, and the courage of Amelia Earhart.
Katniss is very supportive of her family and she is willing to do anything for them. Originally Katniss's sister was selected to participate in the Games, but Katniss makes the ultimate sacrifice and volunteers in her sister's place. When Katniss's father dies, she takes his place as the family's supporter, hunting and selling game illegally to keep her family alive. Katniss is headstrong and isn't willing to compromise her values for anything, and that's what brings out the best in her. Katniss definitely is beloved by thousands of readers around the world through her charm and passion. Other than Katniss's character, all other aspects of the book are just as detailed and thoroughly refined and there is a twist at the end of almost every chapter.
Jennifer Lawrence, who will play Katniss in the movie version of The Hunger Games.
About the Author
Suzanne Collins has written great books such as The Underland Chronicles and also the second and third books in The Hunger Games series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. She says inspiration for the nation for Panem and the Capitol comes from the Greek myth Theseus, when the people of Crete are forced to send kids to the Minotaur to be eaten. "Crete was sending a very clear message: 'Mess with us and we'll do something worse than kill you. We'll kill your children.'" Ms. Collins loves kittens and lives in Connecticut with her family.
Out of 5 stars, I would give The Hunger Games 5 complete stars just for the great writing and character placement.
Also, for those of you who read this book and can't wait to see it on screen, The Hunger Games will be in theaters about March 2012.