“The Hunger Games” Leaving Me Hungry for More


Since I closed the green and yellow hardcover of the last Harry Potter novel in 2007, I’ve been looking for my new favorite set of novels. I’ve tried the Twilight Series, the Sookie Stackhouse Series, The Pretty Little Liars series, and countless others that just aren’t memorable enough to mention. I’ve heard mention of The Hunger Games from other Harry Potter fans and finally thought I’d give it a try.

I literally couldn’t put it down.

The author, Suzanne Collins, pulls you right in to the distopian setting of “district twelve” where Katniss Everdeen lives with her younger sister Prim and her frequently depressed, healer, and widowed mother. Katniss is a rule breaking sixteen year old who spends most of her days sneaking under electric fences to hunt for food to feed the starving coal families of district twelve, with her best friend Gale. She is a strong willed young woman who loves her sister more than anything and will do anything to keep her safe, whether it’s from hunger or The Capitol’s rules and games, specifically The Hunger Games.

Once a year, every child in each of the twelve districts between the ages of 12-18 have their names put in a box to be possible competitors in The Hunger Games, which gives this novel the ominous feel that Shirley Jackson’s short story The Lottery left me with. It’s possible for someone to only have their name put in the “reaping” once per year, but if you are a struggling family like the Everdeen’s, a child can volunteer to put their name in the “reaping” more than once in exchange for a Tesserae that will give their family a year’s supply for grain and oil for one person. Katniss has taken Tesserae out three times a year (one for herself, sister, and mother) giving her three extra chances to get picked for the games for every year since she was twelve.

A shock comes when it is not Katniss’s name that is picked from The Reaping, but her twelve year old sister Prim’s name. Katniss immediately volunteers to take her place and The Hunger Games really begin. Katniss is able to quickly say goodbye to her best friend Gale and her family before being shipped off to the Capitol with the male contestant, Peeta.

Peeta and Katniss spend time being molded into contestants that The Capitol will love by their personal stylists and mentors, one being Haymitch Abernathy, the only other living victor from The Hunger Games that hails from district twelve. Katniss is waxed and beautified, they both train for games, and go through a strenuous interview process to earn support from the rich occupants of The Capitol, in hopes that they will get help while in the arena of the games.

The Hunger Games have a simple concept, take twenty-four children from the remaining twelve districts and make them fight to the death in the arena. Everything is live and broadcast across the country that used to be North America. The Hunger Games are a way for The Capitol to remind the other districts what happens when the districts try to rise up and take over the capitol, which happened seventy-four years before the setting of this novel and seems to have wiped out district thirteen.

Once the games get under way, Katniss must decide who her allies are, knowing good and well that if she is going to survive she will eventually have to kill them or be killed.

I could not put this novel down and spent all of my Friday night completely engrossed in Katniss’ story. I found myself rooting for the characters like I haven’t done since falling in love with Harry Potter. The story is heart breaking, heart pounding, and heart stopping. Collin’s knows exactly how to keep her readers on the edge of their seat.

I strongly suggest this novel for anyone that enjoys a good read.

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  1. I can’t wait to read this book! I sent it to my kindle for the no tv days. I totally thought of The Lottery too. That was a freaky story. Also there’s an Angel episode that’s kinda like this.

    But if it gives you the same emotions HP did, I’m super excited to read!

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