“The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins” – Excerpt from The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, the first book of The Hunger Games trilogy, is the story of Kateniss Everdeen, a young girl competing in a Big Brother meets Gladiator kind of contest.
In the country of Panem, every year, the capitol which rules over the other 12 district, selects, by means of a lucky draw, two teenagers from each district to participate in the annual hunger games. These games are televised live and the winner needs to kill the other participants to win. Kateniss, volunteers to participate in place of her younger sister, Primrose. Peeta, the other participant from Kateniss’s district, adds an interesting angle to the story by declaring that he is in love with Kateniss. Like any other realty show, here the chances of survival are much more if you are able to entertain the audience – and what can be more entertaining that a couple in love trying to survive in an arena where everyone else is trying to kill everyone else.
This is one of those books which you just cannot leave in between – it is what I call as the “Cover to Cover” ones. The premise is interesting and fairly original, the setting is surreal yet believable and the lead characters are very real. The highlights of the books is the way the characters, be it Kateniss or Peeta, unfold and respond to the situation the game keepers create for them. Collins has created a very convincing post apocalyptic world, sometimes going into quite sadistic and creepy details. If you can read between the lines, it has some very hard hitting satire on our society. Overall it is a brilliant book and a must read.
I am also looking forward to reading Catching Fire and Mocking Jay – the second and third parts of the trilogy.