The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, is a fast-paced novel about a young teenager named Katniss Everdeen. She lives in a country called Panem, which is the result of a rebellion that wrecked havoc on the United States. Panem is separated into 12 Districts. Katniss lives in District 12, the coal mining district. But they don’t get to keep the coal for themselves. They must give all of their earnings to the Capitol. The Capitol is essentially the government, except for the fact that they like to show their superiority and wealth by dressing in wild, vibrant clothing and getting surgery to look younger.
But since the Capitol won against a rebellion, they feel that they need to display their superiority. And they do that by forcing the youth of the Districts to take part in a tournament called The Hunger Games. Every child from every district has their name put in a glass bowl every year from the day they turn 12 to when they turn 18. Two names are selected each year in a “reaping” for the Hunger Games. Some children may also take a Tesserae, which means that their name is entered twice that year in exchange for enough grain and oil for one person to last a year. Katniss Everdeen has taken tesserae for each of the 3 members of her family (herself, her mother, and Primrose “Prim” Everdeen, her sister) every year since she turned 12. This has given her three extra entries in the reaping per year, with a total of 20 by the time of the reaping for the 74th Hunger Games, at age 16. At the same reaping, Katniss’ friend, Gale Hawthorne, age 18, has a total of 42 tesserae entries.
At the reaping, Katniss’s worst fear is that Prim’s name will be chosen. But the chances are very slim, seeing as she has just turned 12 and she hasn’t taken the tesserae due to her sister’s request, so they are very lucky. But luck is not on their side. Prim’s name is called, and Katniss runs to the stage in anger. “I volunteer as tribute!” she cries. She takes Prim’s place, and receives the silent, three-finger salute of District 12. Peeta Mellark, a boy who saved her life once before has been chosen as the other tribute. She must now fight to the death against a boy who let her live. But can she do it?
This book was one that I had been putting off for a long time. I had read the Divergent series (my second favorite books) and was told that “Divergent is a rip off of The Hunger Games.” That enraged me, as it was mostly people who had only seen the movies that were telling me this. But the truth is, the two are NOTHING ALIKE!!! If you asked me to pick a favorite, I would die before I couldn’t give you an answer. Both books had brilliant and creative plot details that made them both entertaining and page turning. I read The Hunger Games in two nights!!! Overall, I HIGHLY recommend this book. Even if you are a male and think this book is “feminine,” pick it up and read a few chapters. Because I cross my heart, you’ll love it.