Last night, I finished reading Suzanne Collins's 1st book of The Hunger Games trilogy. This first book, The Hunger Games, was released in September 2008, followed the next year by Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games), and later, of course, by Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3). These were best-sellers in the Young Adult (ages 12 to adult) fiction category...the same category as other best-sellers like The Twilight Saga and The Vampire Diaries , which have also been dramatized on-screen.
It was really hard to put the book down to take a break once I got past the part where Katniss "volunteered" to be tribute right after her scared 12-year old sister's name got drawn from the lottery. (And that was early on in the story!!!) You start to feel the emotional pressure and struggle building from there on when Katniss describes her disbelief and shock upon hearing her sister's name get called.
Out of thousands of names, she explains, how could her sister's one and only "entry" get picked from the lottery? And when you figure that Katniss had voluntarily added her name in multiple times in exchange for tesserae (which allows her to get more food for her family) you would think that Katniss had more chances to have been picked. And so goes the story...
Katniss enters the Hunger Games in place of her sister and has to battle 23 other "tributes", some of whom are called "Career tributes" or simply "Careers" because they train their whole lives to become tributes and have mastered many fighting and survival skills to be able to win the games. They come from the wealthier districts which consider it an honor to become a tribute. But is it an honor to be placed in an arena with 23 other tributes, only to be allowed to have one emerge as winner - after having to hunt down and kill each other in front of cameras that broadcast the yearly event to the villagers of their districts?
The entire novel is written in an easy to follow prose and is written from Katniss's point of view. It details her emotions and her thoughts as she goes through the events. There are some flashbacks described in the story but all are written without the choppiness that I find very difficult to follow in many flashback style books.
I enjoyed reading this book a lot and look forward to seeing how these characters are portrayed in the upcoming movie starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, although I'm already pretty sure the book will be superior to the movie. That's they way it always is. Anyway, I'd also like to see what happens next in the story. The ending of the first book concludes the 74th Hunger Games but it also lets you know that there's more in store for our heroine in the future. And that - I've got to see!!!
The cast of the March 2012 movie, The Hunger Games.