I first heard about The Hunger Games series on Twitter, of all things. Some girls in the Twilight fandom were tweeting about these new books, which had characters with some pretty funny names, Katniss and Peeta, just to name two. Intrigued, I picked up the first book and I was surprised to find myself hooked after page one.
The series tells the story of sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen who lives in a post-apocalyptic future somewhere in North America, the territory of which has been divided into 12 different districts by a totalitarian government called The Capitol. After a disastrous rebellion, The Capitol decided to squelch any lingering rebellious impulses by holding an annual event in which one boy and one girl from each district are randomly selected and then pitted against each other in a televised “game” called The Hunger Games. The competitors, called “tributes,” must either kill or be killed, and the game ends when only one tribute remains. The reward for the victor is riches beyond imagination and comfort for life … or so The Capitol leads them to believe. Its premise is a lot like the popular reality TV show “Survivor,” only much more sadistic!
In book 1 (The Hunger Games), Katniss volunteers for the games when her younger sister Primrose is selected. Katniss knows that to volunteer for The Hunger Games is virtual suicide, but she cannot imagine losing her sister, plus she knows she stands a better chance at winning — and surviving — than her younger, meeker sister. Also selected from their district is Peeta Mellark, a boy who Katniss knows from school. Their pasts are connected in mysterious ways, and they are forced to pair up in an unlikely alliance during the games which is ultimately tested by the game’s ruthless demands.
I can’t say too much about book 2, because that would give away the ending to book 1, but I will say this — as soon as you finish The Hunger Games, you’ll be dying to read Catching Fire. Book 2 picks up where The Hunger Games left off, with The Capitol celebrating the end of the game and getting ready for the next year’s event. Only this time, the games hold a surprising twist — the tributes will be selected from the pool of victors, including the previous year’s games. Meanwhile outside of the games, people in the various districts are growing tired of living under The Capitol’s control, and the fires of rebellion are being stoked once more.
While it is a captivating series, I feel that book 2, Catching Fire, is not as strong as its predecessor. Book 1 has a more fluid plot and stronger character development than book 2, which sometimes drags in the plot department. Despite this, it’s still a strong series overall, and I can’t wait for the third and final installment in the series, Mockingjay, to be released this summer. My final verdict?
If you’ve read the series, I’d love to hear from you! Tell me your thoughts in the comments. Below I’ve posted the trailer for book 1 in The Hunger Games series. Enjoy and happy reading! 🙂