By: Suzanne Collins
If you do any reading of YA books and you haven’t heard about this book, chances are that you need to climb out from under the rock you’ve been hibernating under. After hearing lots and lots of good reviews and buzz about this series of books, I figured it was worth picking up the first and giving it a read.
The basics of the plot are of a post-apocalyptic North America where there are now 13 “districts” that surround a central capital district. The districts, with the exception of the 13th district which was destroyed in a war, all are ruled by the capital district. As part of that, the capital holds the reaping each year to select two competitors, one boy and one girl, for the hunger games. The hunger games are a last man standing competition of survival.
The main character, Katniss Everdeen, volunteers to replace her sister who is selected in the reaping. We follow along on her journey into the capital and through the obviously emotional situation she finds herself in. The entire story is told from her perspective, so we really get a deep insight into the things that she’s thinking and feeling. Collins did a really good job of that. Using the “Gamemakers”, the controlling body of the hunger games, to push the plot along was seamless and a wonderful way of giving the plot new life when it seemed as if it was about to bog down in the mundane.
I really enjoyed this book. Like most YA books, it was easy to read and understand. Sometimes you just need a book that is that way so that you don’t have to think about it too much. The one big downside that I found was that the plot was very similar to The Running Man, by Stephen King. Most of the intended readers will likely not have read that before, so it’s not going to be evident to them, but it immediately popped out to me. Intentional or not, it was there. However, whether it was an influence or not, there are an abundance of things within The Hunger Games to differentiate it from The Running Man and make it it’s own entity.
If you’re into YA, and want a good read, I recommend The Hunger Games.