I read this book back in November, thought I had posted my entry, and realized I hadn’t when I finished book two and started book three today. So, I’m remedying this issue right now.
I started to read this book because a student of mine asked me to. She was right. It’s brilliantly done. Granted, the copy I got had a few typos (and typos drive me bonkers when I read them in non-professional writing, my own included, but even more so in something that was supposedly professionally edited). However, the story and the characters are memorable. The voice of the main character, who narrates the story as well, is practical, ironic, and smart. She rings true to me and I love her character. She is a girl forced to choose.
Katniss Everdeen is a girl caught in a world she can’t escape. She lives in a post-apocalyptic world where the Capitol, a city of excess and cruelty, runs everything. She grows up in District 12, the coal mining district, where she breaks the law by hunting for food to feed her family with her best friend Gale. The Hunger Games are somewhat like the bloodiest Olympics-meets-gladiators you can come up with. They are an annual event used to remind the twelve remaining districts of their former rebellion by forcing each district to have a lottery to elect one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to go into an arena and fight to the death until there is only one victor left alive. The Victor receives supplies for their district for a year, keeping people from starvation, a new house, and many gifts from individuals and sponsors.
When her sister’s name is called during the Reaping, Katniss chooses to volunteer herself to go instead. She ends up going to the Capitol with a boy named Peeta. They are prepped and primped to within an inch of their lives and their prep teams and stylists offer some lightness to the story and well as some gorgeous images. They are the humanity within the Capitol, the people who make you hate President Snow and the Gamemakers, but not everyone who lives in the city. They go through parades, give interviews, and go through training. Peeta and Katniss choose to play the romantic duo and go into the arena with the support of people who see them as star-crossed lovers.
While in the arena, Peeta chooses to go with the Careers in order to protect Katniss and she chooses to team up with Rue in order to both protect and learn from the small girl. In the end, Peeta and Katniss must choose whether to live as a team or die as a team.