By Danielle Gittleman
Imagine living in a time in which rebellions break out constantly, with annual punishments broadcast in the form of a game that results in the death of all but one of its players. The United States is gone and what was once North America is now split into 12 different “districts” in a country called Panem.
The government punishes the people in its country year after year in a competition known as the “Hunger Games.” This death match is supposed to make the people of Panem regret rebelling, and deter them from ever doing it again. This story of action, adventure, death and love is told in the book, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
This action-packed novel is the first of a trilogy by Collins. The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, tells the story of her time competing in the Hunger Games. Everdeen and 23 other tributes from 12 districts, including her fellow district 12 tribute Peeta Mellark, are placed in an arena and are forced to fight to the death until one tribute is left standing. The entire fight is recorded and broadcast on live TV for everyone in all of the districts to watch, in hopes that one of their tributes survives.
People sponsor these usually involuntary players, and some tributes even bet on whether or not they will make it to the end. He or she will become the ultimate victor and will be famous for many years to come in the country of Panem for being the single survivor of that year’s Hunger Games.
Collins perfectly describes every single moment in the arena, right down to the sounds of brush crunching under the feet of the fit career tributes — people who train their whole lives for the Games — and the freezing cold nights that Everdeen tries to sleep through. Collins also makes the reader feel Everdeen’s fear, pain and adrenaline in each battle she fights and every element she is forced to face.
Everything is thrown at her, from extreme weather, to fire, to mutant bees that can kill with just a few stings. Collins also illustrates some of the deaths of Everdeen’s fellow tributes and paints a perfect picture of what it is like to live in the arena day after day. Because of her detailed descriptions, the reader is able to put themself in Everdeen’s shoes — it is an incredible story of fighting for one’s life.
The Hunger Games is a very action-packed story filled with plenty of fighting and death, yet also contains a blossoming love story within its pages. Two boys are after Everdeen’s heart, yet it is not a love triangle quite like that of the Twilight saga. Instead, Everdeen wisely decides to focus on getting out alive rather than falling in love.
The first book in the series has already been adapted into a feature-length film that is set for release on March 23. Fans of the book will also be excited to find that tickets for midnight premieres of the movie went on sale starting Feb. 22 for select theaters.
To find out what happens to the victor once the Hunger Games are over, read Catching Fire and Mockingjay, the second and third installments in the trilogy. These books can be found anywhere, so happy reading, and “may the odds be ever in your favor.”