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Book Review: The Hunger Games


Nicole Tracy | Literary Columnist

The novel The Hunger Games is a young adult novel written by Suzanne Collins. The summary on the book states: “In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts.
The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before – and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.”
The story revolves around an event, called “The Hunger Games,” where 24 children (a boy and a girl from each of the Twelve Districts of Panem called “Tributes”) ranging from the ages of 12 to 18 fight to the death until there is only one tribute remaining.
This tribute is the winner of the Hunger Games and lives the remainder of his/her life in eternal glory. Aside from the whole kids fighting to the death part of it all, it is almost reminiscent of some television shows.
The main characters include Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old from District 12, an adventurous girl who hunts in the woods in order to feed her family.
These skills prove to be immensely valuable to her during the Hunger Games.
Peeta Mellark, an 18-yearold boy representing District 12 as well, is the humble son of two bakers. His abnormal strength allows him to be a fierce competitor in the Games.
Haymitch, a former winner of the Hunger Games representing District 12, started off the story as a drunken foil to Katniss, and ended up proving himself to be a valuable asset to both Katniss and Peeta as a coach.
The characters are amazingly well written, and one can’t help but identify with the feelings Katniss has about the whole chain of events unfolding in front of her.
From the never ending ferocity, suspense, and romance, this book truly keeps one on the edge of their seat.
In addition, Author Collins’s descriptive language will have you feeling as if you are actually in the Games, which honestly, is not a place anyone would really want to be.
With that being said, a word of warning about the story. It is violent.
The plot revolves around kids killing kids in this dystopian story. Parental guidance is highly suggested if the person reading the story is at least under 13 years of age.
Under that age level, this story is not suggested. Aside from that warning, and despite the horrific plot that is in the story, it is a stirring story that strangely enough, leaves you with wanting to know what happens to the characters.
The Hunger Games has also been made into a major motion picture, along with its follow up sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
The Hunger Games is available at the Howard County Public Library.
Copies are limited, so if it is unavailable, ask at the front desk to be put on the waiting list for it.