Book review by Melinda Houttuin
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is very well-written, the scenes are sharp and crisp, the world is believable and detailed. The characters become real as you read. You reach the end and are left hungry for more, which is what you will get as this is book one in a trilogy. In this book, 24 young people are forced to enter the game zone but only one winner survives.
The 74th Annual Hunger Games are soon to begin. The Hunger Games are a fight to the death. In the new country of Panem, in the ruins of North America, each year as punishment for a rebellion and as a control mechanism, the Capitol forces each of the 12 provinces to draw names of a male and female tribute. The tributes are drawn from all people between the ages of 12 and 18. They receive training, are assessed by the game masters and then the betting begins. The games will be televised and are required viewing for the whole nation.
The draws are not exactly even, though. You can choose to enter your name extra times, for yourself and for family members to receive a terse (a grain and oil supplement from the government). Thus enters heroine Katniss Everdeen. She is entered this year 20 times as she is 16 and taken the terse every year, for herself, her sister and her mother. Her close friend Gale has his name in 42 times, but this is the last year he is eligible. Then Katniss has the worst fear hit – her younger sister Prim (short for Primrose) is drawn with her 1st and only ballot. Katniss then does the unthinkable; she volunteers to take Prim’s place.
Katniss Everdeen knows that she has at least some chance of survival in the games. She has been secretly hunting in the woods and feeding her family since her father died years earlier. She hunts and gathers what she can with her friend and hunting partner Gale, in the woods beyond the fenced border of District 12. Yet even so, most believe she has just given up her life for her sister’s.
Katniss and Peeta Mellark are the tributes from District 12 for the 74th annual Hunger Games. As they travel to the Capitol, they have two mentors – Haymitch Abernathy, the only surviving Hunger Games winner from the district, and Effie Trinket, the Capitol’s representative in the district. They will each in their own way try to help them to survive both the Capitol, to win favor with the citizens who can sponsor them in the games, and then the games themselves.
The book is very well-written with great details. However, the movie that was recently released leaves a bit more to be desired. Several scenes are cut out or made shorter to save time and the romance between Peeta and Katniss leaves you confused and wanting more. In my opinion, save your money and buy the book.