First sentence:When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.
Some time in the future, the nation of Panem stands in what once was North America – twelve industrial districts feeding the affluent Capitol. Each year, the Capitol reminds the people of the districts who is in charge by selecting one boy and one girl from each district to compete in the Hunger Games – a survival game televised to the whole nation from which there can only be one winner.
Katniss Everdeen is a young girl from District Twelve, forced to illegally hunt to support her mother and little sister. When Katniss’ sister is selected to be the tribute for the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to go in her place and face the unknown trials that await in the Arena.
I have to say I was really surprised by the “Young Adult” classification on this book. Considering the subject matter in that a sixteen-year-old is taken away from her family and forced to fight other children to the death for entertainment, it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. I spent most of the book being horrified and terrified for Katniss and the other characters’ safety. The changing nature of the tests in the Arena made it feel quite nightmarish at times. Certainly not one for very young readers.
That said, the story was written so well, I had a lot of trouble putting it down. Each chapter finishes with a cliff-hanger and I found myself reading far longer than I anticipated since I had to keep going to find out what happens next. The story not only deals with relationships, sacrifice and the fight for survival, but also the tyranny of Capitol. This is really not a world I would like ours to become.
The Hunger Games has been made into a movie and is due to be released in March 2012. You can see the trailer here, and it looks like it’s going to be completely amazing. Make sure you read the books first!
I probably won’t review the other two books in the series for fear of spoiling the first one, but the three of them make up a dark, but compelling and brilliant story which shouldn’t be missed.
The Hunger Games trilogy:
1. The Hunger Games
2. Catching Fire