The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games
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The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

First in the ground-breaking Hunger Games trilogy. Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.


I already think The Hunger Games might the best young adult book I read in 2009 (a big call, I know!) The whole time I was reading this book I kept thinking to myself: what would I do? Would I run and hide up a tree, or would I go on the attack? The story takes place in North America of the future, where the nation Panem is divided into twelve districts. Each year a boy and girl from each district is picked by lottery to enter the Hunger Games - a reality TV fight to the death. Once the 24 contestants are in the games arena, anything goes. Fires, plagues, floods, scrambles for weapons and food, specially engineered predators…The entire nation watches and listens as the teenagers fight it out with every skill, weapon and trick they can summon.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss volunteers to be a contestant when her little sister Primrose is picked in the lottery. She travels to the Capital with Peeta, the male entrant from her district, and begins the training, makeover and creation of her onscreen persona. The Hunger Games should be an even contest but it isn’t. The teens from the richer districts have had access to better training, nutrition, and can pull in the big sponsors for equipment and medicine. While the lead-up to the competition is fascinating, what happens in the stadium is so gripping I stayed up all night reading! There’s action, fighting and scheming galore, but what really made this book for me was the ethical questions that were raised, and the internal dilemmas Katniss faced. Who should she trust? What is the honourable way to fight in such an inhumane situation?

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