Picture this: over a hundred years into the future. Your country, Panem, has a long and difficult history. It currently holds a wealthy, ruling Capitol surrounded by twelve poorer districts. Each year, in punishment from previous rebellion of the Districts against the Capitol, two boys and two girls between the ages of twelve and eighteen from each district are forced to participate in a cruel and graphic televised event called the Hunger Games, hosted by the cold-hearted Capitol. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games, she sees it as a death sentence - but in truth, Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
The history of Panem isn't all that complex, but yet serves as a unique background and undertone for the book. North America ravened by natural disasters, then what rose out of the ashes was Panem. Then came the fateful rebellion. The Capitol's punishment, or rather a deadly reminder that the Dark Days should never be repeated, was the Hunger Games. Katniss goes on a lot about her feelings about things and this is one of the subjects you'll be excited to here her express as narrator.
The book was very well-written, very well expressed, crushingly suspenseful, with short, sharp sentences when describing things, but with very clear and interesting statements when it comes from Katniss' thoughts. When it comes to the action, it's nothing short of brilliant. Suzanne Collins gives you the feeling it's not over yet; it's never over.
What can I say? Although the first few chapters of the book were rather slow, the reading was superb, and I can find no other way to express myself. Sure, you may find in the first few chapters that the book is going nowhere, and Katniss' droning is a bit annoying, but you won't be disappointed when the truth really kicks in. Described emotions were sharp to my thoughts and the action was tense and riveting. Although the idea of the story may seem very graphic, the actual graphicness in the book keeps it short. In fact, there actually isn't much graphicness at all. It's hard to determine what age group The Hunger Games is for. Depending on your level of maturity, I would say 11-14. A very well-deserved 4.5.
Book Reviewed by Kingjay
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