In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Ah, where to begin with this book? Let’s start with Panem. Taken from satirist Juvenal, the original was panem et circensus, or bread and circuses. Basically, a society governed by diversions and pleasures, not by the upright conduct of a leader. This describes the Capitol in Collins’s creation to a T. So how is the populace of the Capitol entertained? By the same activities people have been entertained by for centuries: think gladiators, public executions, pure spectacle. Suzanne Collins’s world is starkly drawn and sometimes horrifying, but she has a good grasp on human nature in that respect. Collins’s world building was very well done
And now the characters. Katniss is a believable, complex character. Her personality bugs me sometimes, but her reasoning and motivations are believable to the character Collins draws. Peeta is also well drawn. I think his character is probably the most admirable. I wasn’t sure about his obsession with Katniss for years, but it didn’t really bother me that much. In District 12 it seems as if most kids the same age knew each other at least superficially so it wasn’t as far-fetched as some. *coughTwilightcough* And Katniss’s reaction to it (mostly confusion) was also believable. I have to give a shout-out to Rue. Poor little Rue *sniff* that scene was so sad.
If I was in the Hunger Games… pretty sure I’d be the first to go.
What did you think of the first book? Did you have a favorite character besides Katniss and Peeta? I actually thought Foxface was kinda cool… What are you looking forward to about the movie?