This is my The Hunger Games book series review. It is written by Suzanne Collins and it’s consisted of three books: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
After a lot of disasters, droughts, floods, fires and the eventual war for whatever remained, Panem was built in this post-apocalyptic world. A country with a capital, the Capitol, and 13 districts around it.
Things weren’t so good at the districts and after a while, there was a revolution. Unfortunately, they were defeated by the Capitol. One of the districts – District 13 – was even obliterated. Not that the rest of them haven’t paid for the uprising. Come to think of it, people in the districts are still paying for it. New laws were applied, way stricter than before. And not only that…
After their defeat, the Hunger Games began. Every year, a girl and a boy between 12 and 18 are picked from each district. 24 persons fighting to the death in an enormous arena made to take them to their limits as a punishment and a reminder for the uprising. And even worse, everything is televised and everyone watches what happens during the Hunger Games. From the reaping day – when the tributes are chosen – until the end of the games.
Today is the reaping day. At two o’ clock everyone will have to be at the central square and two names will be chosen from two big glass bowls. One for the girls and one for the boys.
Every child has their name put once when they reach 12, then twice when at 13 and so on…
But, there’s something unfair about this. You see, poor families can have their children’s names put more times in return for a little food. So rich and poor people don’t have the same chances to get picked. But that’s the way it is and when you starve, you don’t have a lot of options…
That’s what Katniss did too…
Katniss lost her dad when she was eleven and her sister, Prim, was seven. Their mother was overwhelmed by his death; that’s why Katniss was the one who had to take care of them. For a while, they were at a very bad, very very bad situation. And that’s when someone helped her and make her see hope. With her determination back up, she found ways to help her family.
She started to hunt outside the district – even though it’s illegal, but when you starve… – traded in the market and got everything necessary for their survival: food, clothes, medicine. But that wasn’t enough, so when she became twelve, she started to put her name more times to get the extra food.
While hunting, she met Gale, a boy 2 years older. He’s the older child in his family and the one who takes care of his family after his father’s death, like Katniss. They started to hunt together and gain more. Plus, they had each other’s back. Gale’s family is poor, too; that’s why Gale has put his name more than once. And the entries are cumulative…
So, this year, Katniss has 20 entries and Gale has 42.
At two, everyone is gathered in the central square to see whose names will get drawn. Which families will mourn tonight. Not that they have much of a choice. Soldiers come into their houses to make sure everyone will be at the square and will watch the event live.
Effie, the one responsible for the reaping in their district today gets the paper with the female tribute’s name from the bowl. Stressed, Katniss waits to hear the name. Let’s not be hers. Or Gale’s.
And it’s not hers. It’s not Gale’s.
The name is Primrose Everdeen.
Her sister. Her 12-year-old sister whose name is there only once.
No… The odds are not in her favor.
While her sister makes her way to the stage, terrified, Katniss runs and volunteers to take her place. No one has volunteered in a lot of years in her district but the protocol is intact. She has the right to do it.
Then, the male tribute gets chosen. Peeta Mellark… She doesn’t know him well. Or at all, actually.
But one day, years ago, he saved her life…
After the reaping, they have to get ready fast, say goodbye to their families in a few minutes and leave for the Capitol where the Games will take place.
In the train, their mentor, Haymitch, is there. Well, almost. He’s drunk. Very drunk. As usual. But he’s the one who will coach them. And, even worse, he’s the only one who can. They can’t ask for a replacement. Katniss and Peeta get angry with his attitude and they almost attack him. To their surprise, Haymitch gets impressed by them and realises that they could actually win, so he agrees to help them.
Meanwhile, in the Capitol, they celebrate the Hunger Games. People bet on whom they think they will win and they sponsor them in the Arena with gifts. Maybe for the tributes, the Hunger Games are life or death situation but for the Capitol is a show. A well-known, well-advertised show.
The interviews come and go and so does the training, and then…
“Let the Seventy-fourth Hunger Games begin!”
- My favourite is Katniss. She is so young and even though she has a bunch of problems, she takes care of her family well.
- She is also the first heroine I see that I can justify that she’s in a kind of a love triangle. First, she’s 16, has to care for her whole family and her life is on the line. Who could think about love if they were on her shoes? Second, she doesn’t make a move to anyone. She’s crystal clear with both of them. Most of the struggle is in her mind.
Why I love this book
- A lot of adventure going on. A lot of strategic planning, too. We see mainly Katniss’s side, but while she interacts with others we see how everything unfolds.
- We see the political aspect of the Games, too. At the end of the first book and mostly, at the second and the third one, we see what happens behind closed doors. The political games behind the show. The things people do to gain what they want. And what they are capable to do to win. How far they are willing to go…
- A friend of mine suggested it to me knowing I’ll probably I’ll like it. Even though I forgot about it, someday, I saw, by chance, the second movie. Then I started to read the books.
- If you think Haymitch’s initial behaviour is wrong, you’d be right. But, mostly, it’s the fact that he has to train the tributes every year, try to help them, teach them everything he can and then watching them die. Pretty disturbing… And he’s the only mentor in his district. Most of the others have a bunch of them.
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If you ‘ve already read this, I ‘d like to know how you liked it. If you haven’t and you have questions, ask me and I’ll answer.
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