Publisher - Scholastic Publication Date - 5th January 2009 Paperback - 464 pages Genre - YA Dystopian
Rating - 5 out of 5: It was amazing!
Book Info - In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before - and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
My Thoughts - What really stood out for me in this book was the realistic world that is created by the author. From the descriptions that are used I got completely lost in the story and at times whilst reading this book I even had dreams about being a resident of Panem (and some of the dreams were pretty scary!). I fell so in love with the characters and their tragic story that I couldn't put the book down.
Katniss is an amazing main character. Her ability to survive no matter what is thrown at her is inspirational but at times she does take it too far and I felt that the way she treated Peeta in the arena was very unfair. I really liked Peeta. He seems loyal, down-to-earth, strong and the type of person everybody likes and respects. I couldn't really get a feel for Gale. I didn't feel as though I learnt enough about him to feel much either way.
The only problem I had with The Hunger Games was that, even though I had tried to avoid reading spoilers about the series, I was still able to guess some parts of the ending because I knew that there were more books in the series. This, of course, was no fault of the author - it was just because I was coming to the series when all the books had already been released. Although this didn't stop me from loving the book, it did make the ending less of a surprise.
Summary - The Hunger Games is an amazing start to a series, with realistic world building, characters that are easy to love and even a hint of romance. It is a story about courage, hope and survival. I really can't recommend this series enough and if you haven't started this series yet, what are you waiting for?