03 June 2012

Willow Reads: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Warning- this one contains a bit more spoiling than previous posts. Beware. :)

Title: The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #01)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Page Count: 374
Book Website:  http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/ 
Published: October 31, 2008
Source: Friends. Sisters. Obsessed fans. xD

Ok, so you're under a rock if you don't know about the Hunger Games series' quite recent rise to fame. The books have been around since 2008, and they literally were the series on fire (haha I'm just so lame). They've not even been out 5 years yet and there's already an extremely popular movie out there, which was one of the only page-to-screen adaptations I've ever seen that has followed the original material so closely. I give those people some really good thumbs up, it takes a lot to do that and please so many fans. 

Before you freak, YES! I did read this before the movie came out. It was about a month beforehand. I do try to read a book before its movie comes out and I go to see it. I read the entire series in a week, which admittedly is a little slow for me but I've just finished my first year of college a month ago. So I've been more focused on studies than reading for pleasure. 

I'm pulling this one back out so soon afterward reading the books for the first time because I am hosting a book club thing over on the website I get on, so I figured I'd refresh my memory. 

The entire Hunger Games series is good. This first book was my favorite of the entire series, not because it started it all.. But for a lot of other reasons that I won't mention here, on a review of the first book.

Pretty much Katniss Everdeen, our main character, saves her sister from having to participate in this post-apocalyptic version of Survivor. It's even televised! Except, in this version, the people (called tributes) who  participate in this game are 12-18 years of age. They're selected by what's called a reaping* and then sent to an arena to fight to the death. It's called the Hunger Games. 

Reaping*- There are twelve districts* and a capitol in the post-apocalyptic version of the United States. Tributes to the Hunger games are selected from the twelve districts, two from each, in an assembly called the reaping. It's pretty much random who gets selected, because they pull from a big bowl of names. Each year from the year you turn 12, you get an additional ticket. So 12=1 ticket, 13=2, and so on. You can also get tesserae for additional tickets put into the reaping. Tesserae is food that should last that person a year, though it's not very good. All the districts are very poor. The capitol, on the other hand, is full of wealth and riches. To the whole capitol, Hunger Games thing is just that- a game for them, it's all very entertaining.Their children aren't put into the reapings the other districts face. So why does a reaping exist? It's because humans rebelled against the government 74 years before the book starts, and it's pretty much reminding the civilians not to rebel again. 

Twelve districts*- As mentioned earlier, there are twelve districts and a capitol to Panem. Each district is meant to do something specific. According to Wiki Answers, (WATCH OUT- SPOILERS THERE) the districts are:

District 1- Luxury
District 2- Masonry (not said officially in books, but later revealed.)
District 3- Electronics
District 4- Fishing
District 5- Power (not said officially in books, but later revealed.)
District 6- Transportation (not said officially in books, but later revealed.)
District 7- Lumber
District 8- Textiles
District 9- Grain (not said officially in books, but later revealed.)
District 10- Livestock
District 11- Agriculture
District 12- Coal Mining 

I'm pretty sure they're right, but I can't remember exactly. That Wiki Answers page also refers to a thirteenth district. It used to exist, but was shut down because they rebelled against the capitol. President Snow, the ruler of Panem, uses that place as an example to other districts to remind them not to rebel. 

So pretty much, that's how the book is set up. Just be prepared to fall in love with characters that may not exist in the other two books- I mean, this is a series based on kids killing each other so they can survive. It's definitely fear and desperation to survive at its highest. So just read the book if you haven't already, tell me what you think in the comments, and stick around for the next review. :) 


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