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Released: September 14, 2008
Series: The Hunger Games #1
This book is set in the future where a series of natural disasters have reduced the world to a small population living in South America. They are set up in Districts which all answer to the Capitol. The Hunger Games are the ultimately twisted Big Brother, with viewers watching as children between the ages of 12-18 years of age, a male and female chosen from each District (but not the Capitol) try to kill each other, the winner being the last one standing. And it really is as barbaric as it sounds. This is all orchestrated by the Capitol to demonstrate its power over the other Districts and as a warning for a past rebellion from the now decimated and destroyed District 13.
The heroine of this story is Katniss from the impoverished District 12, she volunteers for the games to protect someone she loves, and is thrown into the games with Peeta the baker’s son with whom she has a silent connection with from an act of kindness from the past.
This book is told from 1st person POV and in present tense, something that normally I dislike, but in this case just adds to the tension and emotion in the books as you see everything as soon as it happens through Katniss’ eyes. You feel everything she feels, and at times this book can be gruesome, heartbreaking and tender, it really takes you through a whirl of emotions. Katniss is a wonderful character, she is a strong heroine, and although she is young you can feel all the hardship she has been through and when she makes hard decisions (a lot involving Peeta) you are with her all the away because as well as the book just telling you her reasons behind it, you could also feel it too. As for Peeta, although he doesn’t have quite the presence in the book that Katniss does I also found myself rooting for him, I didn’t want him to die as much as I didn’t want Katniss to die. He reflects perhaps the more normal teenager as he isn’t a survivor like Katniss and has had an easier upbringing, as much as someone can living in District 12.
As well as being alive with emotions, the underlying idea behind the Hunger Games was so completely bone chilling. But what made this worse was the way that other reacted to it, for most the Hunger Games weren’t something to dread, but rather a holiday. They enjoyed watching them, watching these young children trying their best to kill each other and survive the harsh environment that the games were staged in. Very few seemed to see how very wrong it was, which for me just made it more horrific.
There are so many good bits in this book, so many poignant moments as well nail biting action, that I just can’t recommend it enough. But the ending, oh my god the ending, it has ensured me going out tomorrow to get the next book, Suzanne Collins has totally sucked me in.
Would recommend for EVERYONE no matter what you like this book is worth at least a try and I defy anyone not to love it!
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