Genre: Fiction, YA, Dystopia, Fantasy, Adventure
Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.
The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.
When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
I read this book years ago and absolutely loved it. After a few years though I felt it was definitely time for a reread.
Most people have read this series or watched the films. Usually you find that the book is better than the film however in this case I think they’re evenly matched!
We follow Katniss Everdeen as she fights for survival in the hunger games – a yearly “game” where two tributes from each district are chosen at random to fight to their deaths with only one survivor.
I absolutely loved this book, I think everything is described in such detail you can feel the hunger of the citizens of district 12. You understand how they will do anything to survive and how desperate they are for food. We learn about Prim – Katniss’ sister who is sweet and innocent – it is her first year in the running to be chosen so of course she get’s chosen but Katniss is not prepared to watch her sister die and volunteers instead.
From there we learn of the extravagant lifestyle of the Capitol – food is available at the push of a button and people have nothing better to do than bet on who will survive the games this year. It clearly shows the distinction between the wealthy Capitol and the starving districts.
Then Katniss enters the games and has to fight for survival using all of her previous knowledge. All the way through this book there is a ridiculous amount of tension – death is literally around the corner at any moment, one stupid mistake can easily get you killed. I really enjoyed the tension throughout the book, it made everything seem so real as food was not regularly available, there was no mystical fairy that brought food – you found it yourself or you die of starvation. I liked how this occurred so that we could see how real the games are and the darker subjects of starvation or murder aren’t overlooked making this a very dark but very real issue.
Overall I have to say this is one of my favourite series of all time, even when you know what happens the tension is still present throughout the entire book. For fans of dystopian thrillers this is definitely the book for you. Although there are some dark moments where the threat of starvation is present it really adds to the story because of course if you were thrown into the wilderness and left to fend for yourself lack of food is obviously going to be an issue at some point. Definitely recommend this book and may the odds be ever in your favour.
Summing up: The odds are never in your favour