Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This novel is the first in a series, and I gave it a rating of five out of five. The setting is in the future, in a country called Panem, which was once known as North America. There had been a rebellion by the twelve districts a long time back, and the Capitol is now in charge. Hunger Games are held each year to remind the districts who's in charge. Each district selects a male and female to the games, and the twenty-four tribunes fight to the death until only one of them survives. Katniss is chosen as the female from her district this year, and the male is a boy named Peeta, who has had a ten-year crush on her. The competitors fight each other with weapons they've either found or created, and the Capitol adds its own twists to encourage fighting and the use of survival skills. Katniss' main weapon is the bow and arrow, and Peeta's is strength. If you think about it, with only one winner, boys and girls from the same district are now enemies. Competitors are never sure who to trust. Peeta loves Katniss, but what will happen as they compete against each other?

I don't really like the idea of a plot where the goal is for kids to kill each other, but I enjoyed this story. There wasn't a great deal of description to the killings, especially by Katniss and Peeta, but the reader is informed as competitors are eliminated. I thought the author did a wonderful job of making the conflict worse by throwing in new obstacles and complications. Illness, poison, and treachery come into play. The plot built to a clear climax, but the author threw in a couple of twists before that was resolved too. I think readers who enjoyed the Ranger's Apprentice series will also like this book. I was feeling like the book was starting to drag on a little after a hundred pages or so, but the action quickly picks up once the Hunger Games begin.

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