Friday, April 6, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Book: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: 2008
Reviewer: Jacob (12)
Rating: 5 Cheeseburgers

My dad hates this book, but I honestly think he has no idea what he's talking about.

I first heard about this book in my Church group, where, honestly, it would ALWAYS be brought up in every conversation. Not wanting to be left out, I FINALLY read the book and loved it.

It's about a girl, Katniss, living in what used to be the United States, but it is clearly not America, after being ravaged by a nuclear war and a failed revolution years after.

She lives in one of the twelve districts, District 12, which is pretty much the poorest. She has to kill animals with a bow (and we're talking squirrels and rabbits here) to feed her family and to deal to buyers who are also hungry. The leaders, who are stationed at what is known as the Capitol, demand one boy and girl between 12 and 18 years old from each district to compete in an annual televised gladiatorial battle called (you guessed it) the Hunger Games. After her sister is selected, she volunteers in place of her sister.

After being displayed, interviewed, and trained (also told by the tribute, Peeta Mellark, that he's in love with her ON CAMERA), she is put in the arena, which is different every year. This time it's a thick, piney, forested area. The 24 tributes (what the kids in the Games are called) are released to get weapons and begin. The arena is littered with supplies, food, water, weapons, whatever tributes might need, but the problem is that lots of tributes lay ambushes near lucrative piles of supplies. Katniss survives by getting a bow and arrow and hiding in the trees. She survives a fire and homicidal tributes, when a twelve year old girl named Rue saves her life from genetically modified wasps that can kill a person in four stings. They form an alliance and find a larger group of allied tributes' camp. Rue distracts them by making a noise while Katniss tries to destroy the food stores, which is really just a big heap of food. She learns that it's not just booby trapped as she expected, but mined. She detonates a mine, setting off a chain reaction that destroys the food and nearly Katniss in the process.

SPOILER ALERT! Select the text in the following paragraph to reveal it, if you already know the end.

Rue is sadly killed by one of the tributes, who is in turn slain by Katniss with an arrow through him. She finds Peeta, somehow still alive but seriously injured, and nurses him back to health, and in the process falling in love with him. Turns out that the whole lover thing caught on camera earlier is so popular with the audience that a rule for this year's Games is that if two tributes from the same District survive till the end, they both win. When all the other tributes are dead, the amendment is dropped. Just before Katniss commits suicide with poison berries, they are both declared winners.

In conclusion, I loved this book and I think it's a great read (though too intense for younger readers), and if you've read Pure (mentioned earlier), you're definitely ready for this one. I give it a full 5 Cheeseburgers.

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