The novel is narrated by a 16-year-old girl named Katniss. Although she is only 16, Katniss is mature beyond her years. This maturity is a result of her father’s death and her mother’s inability to cope with the loss of her husband. Katniss, therefore, has no choice but to take on the motherly role in the household and take care of her mother, her younger sister Prim, and herself. Due to this role, Katniss becomes very protective of her sister, even so much so that Prim does not get the chance to mature as much as maybe she should in this distopian world. The children need to be prepared for the possibility of their name being drawn once every year, in which they begin the journey of the Hunger Games. The Games were created by the powerful Capitol as a reminder not to create an uprising and to just follow orders from the Capitol. In the Games, there is only one survivor out of 24 kids aged 11-18! Turns out that Prim is chosen this year, but Katniss (holy crap!) steps in as her replacement. The reader is then taken through the terrifying journey of Katniss to and inside the Games.
Yes, that’s right. I give it five out of five stars, or jelly beans, or whatever the numbers are meant to stand for when rating such things. I decided to read The Hunger Games for obvious reasons…because everyone else was doing it, of course! I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but to my surprise I fell in love. I love love love this book. Yes, it’s a young adult book and, yes, I am an adult. But I don’t care! The novel is written maturely and in a way which any reader of any age can (and will) enjoy it. Although Collins clearly intended the book for young adult/teenage audiences, it is very enjoyable for any age and any gender. My fiancé (male) loved it, my mother (late 50s) loved it, my sister (mid-30s) loved it, and I loved it!
The novel is very creative and takes the reader on a journey through many emotions, including fear, depression, anxiety, happiness, hope, and anger.
I very much enjoyed the characters throughout the story. Katniss…oh, how I adore you! I admire this 16-year-old character for so many reasons. She is very courageous and so strong throughout all the horrible things she must go through in her journey. Peeta, of course, is endearing. Peeta is a 16-year-old boy who has also had his name drawn to compete in the Hunger Games this year. We discover that this boy is going to be challenging for Katniss to bring herself to eventually kill (if she is to survive) because he pretty much saved her life when they were younger. And Gale (an 18-year-old boy who is best friends with Katniss) is Katniss’s rock, and how can you not love a rock? The love triangle, however, is a bit cliché for my liking.
I still have reservations about the fact that 13-year-old kids are reading this book in school. Kids reading about kids killing kids…strange…
Another element that I found interesting and pretty dead-on was Collins’s underlying comments (or, at least, what I think she was commenting) on today’s society. In today’s popular culture, so many of us are enveloped in watching reality television shows of all different types and genres. So, if there was really a hunger games in real life, would people watch it and cheer for and sponsor certain tributes while others are dying? I think Collins is saying that we would, or at least that it’s a possibility.
Enough babbling about this fantastic book. I recommend that anyone and everyone should READ THIS BOOK! I promise, you will not want to put it down once you pick it up! It is so wonderfully intense.
Thanks for reading 🙂