March 23rd has been a day feverishly awaited by teens across the U.S. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutchinson, and Liam Hemsworth will make their debuts as Katniss, Peeta, and Gale, the main characters of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games. Before you run out to see the movie, though, make sure you read the book that started it all.
It’s completely understandable why this novel has become such a sensation over the last few years. Newcomer Suzanne Collins has enthralled readers with the fast-paced and action-packed dystopian world of The Hunger Games. Whether you like to read about alternate worlds, young loves, or fight scenes (who doesn’t enjoy a lil blood and gore with a love triangle?); this book definitely has something for everyone.
The Hunger Games takes place in a country known as Panem. In this country there are twelve districts, each with a specific job (one produces electronics, the other coal, and so on). The Capitol, the ruling government, has complete control over the other districts and reminds all citizens of their power by hosting the annual Hunger Games. The games are played by a boy and girl, ages 12-17, chosen from each district. These children are sent to an arena to fight to the death until there is only one survivor.
Katniss is a girl from district twelve, one of the most impoverished and malnourished districts in Panem. She takes care of her family by hunting, which saves them from starvation. Katniss and her family don’t have a great life, but they are getting by (you know, not starving to death). Once Katniss is entered into the Hunger Games, though, everything changes.
For such a new author, Collins is a master of suspenseful story telling. Multiple plot lines outlining numerous characters are woven together to create a tale of horror, love, and survival; all presented in a perfect balance. These various themes are presented in such a realistic, relatable way that even with the extreme setting, readers can connect on some level to this book.
Collins’ presentation of the world through Katniss’ thoughts allows the reader to have an in-depth understanding of her various plights, causing readers to be invested in her life. While Katniss certainly offers her own thoughts on the characters, Collins allows readers the freedom to form their own opinions as well. One of the most interesting aspects of The Hunger Games is discovering the unexpected kindness in the most seemingly terrible characters, as well as the hidden dark side of those who originally appeared to be moral.
This book is so universally loved because unlike so many novels today, it does not focus on the romantic story lines. Rather, its focus is on the willingness of all the characters to risk their lives in order to overthrow a corrupt government.
It is obvious that everyone and their mothers will be seeing this movie, so why not read the book?
The Redeyed Reader