The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games, Book #1

By Suzanne Collins

ISBN# 9780439023481

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi

Katniss Everdeen lives in one of the poorest districts of Panem, a futuristic North America.  In this world, the Capitol rules.  The other districts banded together one time and tried to overtake the Capitol but failed.  District 13 was destroyed and shortly after the Capitol created the Hunger Games.  The Hunger Games is a brutal display made for the Capitol’s enjoyment that the rest of Panem is forced to watch.  Every district must have two children from the ages of 12-18 to participate, one boy and one girl, chosen by random draw unless someone volunteers.  Then, the 24 kids must fight to the death and whoever is the last one standing is the victor.

Katniss is the sole provider for her family since her father was killed in the coal mines.  Her mother hasn’t been the same since the accident.  And, her little sister, Prim, is so small and fragile.  Katniss spends most of her days in the forest, which is illegal, with her friend Gale hunting.  They take what they kill to their families or barter them for other things they may need.  The survival of her family rests solely on Katniss’s shoulders.

The dreaded day of reaping has come again.  The day the players in the Hunger Games are selected.  Katniss’s heart falls to her feet when she hears her sister’s name called.  So, she does the only thing she can and volunteers to go in Prim’s place.  Katniss knows it for the death sentence it is, but she can’t sit back and watch her sister be brutally murdered live for a televised audience.

The boy selected from her district once showed her a kindness nobody else ever has.  And, worse he’s playing an angle for all those watching that he’s in love with Katniss!  As the games progress she starts to wonder if it’s a ploy for sympathy from the audience or if he may truly have feelings for her!

I know about everyone in the free world has read this book (and watched the movie) and I’m definitely late to the game.  I decided to read it since everyone else seems to love it so much, but honestly I don’t see what the big draw is.  The book wasn’t bad by any means, but I didn’t think it was good either.  I felt it was mediocre, at best.  And, honestly the ending didn’t feel like an ending at all.  It just felt like the book was incomplete.

I didn’t like this forced romance between Katniss and Peeta.  I found Peeta to be a pretty week character honestly.  Even his own mother didn’t think he’d survive!  If there was going to be a romance, I’d have much preferred it to have been with Gale, who seems more Katniss’s speed, even though she didn’t really see him that way.  I do wonder how Gale will feel about what he saw on television though.

This was an okay read, but nothing about this novel makes me want to read the next one.