I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book since I read a review of it on Jen Robinson’s site and others over the summer. I somehow managed to block out that they were reviewing it from an ARC. I desperately wanted to read it before school started as I knew it could take potentially much longer than I wanted to finish it once the year started.
I finally got it from an inner-library loan and could hardly wait to read it, until… I read the front flap. Then I wasn’t so sure it was a book for me after all. The idea of a fight to the death on live TV seemed pretty horrifying and reminded me of a similar premise for a movie,The Condemned which a high school friend of mine made that I was unable to go see , ( I am very anti-violence in media-sorry Scott).
Jen Robinson should take it as a bigvote of confidence that I was willing to go ahead and keep this book at the top of my stack based on her review. There were alot of things that could have easily moved it to the bottom for years:
1-I don’t love science fiction.
2-The similarities I imagined to a yucky movie.
3-the inside jacket flap
Despite all the above mentioned things, I opened the book, and once I started reading, I could not stop. I tried taking the book with me everywhere so that I could try to squeeze in extra minutes reading. That didn’t work-besides the obvious reasons, I also found myself wanting to read and savor the book in quiet, without constant interruption. I started finding reasons to go to bed early so I could keep reading!
The main character, Katniss, is a wonderfully strong female protagonist. I was instantly pulled into her personality-the protective, yet loving nature as you see her with her younger sister beginning with the first paragraph; the proud, protector who has kept her family alive all these years. You soon find out that the book is set in a future that is a result of terrible disasters such as war and famine. Panem was the resulting “winner”, and an uprising in the surrounding thirteen districts, resulted in “The Dark Days” and “The Treaty of Treason”. Peace is kept by reminding citizens annually with The Hunger Games of their disobedience and what becomes of those who rebel.
Annually, citizens names are put into a drawing for the district within which they live. There is a system based on how starving your family is that determines how many times your name is added to the draft for the televised fight to the death. One boy and one girl from each district are “reaped” and then prepared in the capital for the “games”. Katniss volunteers to replace her sister, whose name was drawn against many odds.
The boy Peeta is also a very sympathetic character. Years ago, he took a beating for giving food to a starving Katniss. An act of kindness that was uncharacteristic of region 12, their home district.
I could go on and on about this book, but due to the constraints of time, and my desire to read Hate That Cat, I strongly encourage you to read this book! Young adults and adults alike will have a hard time putting this one down. It would also be a great book for those searching for something after the Twilight series.