The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a compelling thrill ride. From the very beginning of the book your attention is captured by the mention of illegal activities, activities that we would consider are right. Katniss is a girl of 16 that is carrying the world on her shoulders. She lives in a world that is totally and completely controlled by the government. Every year each of the 12 districts in her world must offer up one boy and one girl to participate in the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a brutal contest of wit, strength, and power, where the winner is the last person still alive. The winner’s district would be gifted with food and suplies, while all the other districts struggled to stay alive, slowly starving to death. When her 12 year old sister is chosen as the tribute for the Hunger Games, Katniss quickly volunteers to take her place and save her sister, knowing that she is effectively sentencing herself to death. She is swept of that same day, with her male counterpart Peeta, to the Capitol. They meet the tributes from other districts and start to train and prepare for the start of the games. They are beautified for their televised interviews that directly precede the start of the games, the games that everyone in every district will see. When Peeta confesses his secret love for her, Katniss is shocked. She plays along though, thinking the love and emotion to be an act, an act to win over the public and gain sponsors that would be able to send various things to help them during the games. the competitors are let loose, many are killed within the first day. Now Katniss must kill or be killed, hunt or be hunted. It is all about survival, or is it?
This book is compelling from the start. It is a look into the psyche of the human mind, violence, politics and romance. You will not want to put it down. It really makes you think about the question, “What would I be willing to do to survive? How far would I go? Would I lose myself to survive? Would I lie and give up everything that makes me human, just to survive?”