I finally got around to reading The Hunger Games when we were on vacation in March. I immediately followed it up with book 2 in the series, Catching Fire. I’m taking a little break from the intensity before I tackle book 3, MockingJay.
You’ve probably heard a lot about this series, even if you haven’t read it or seen the movies. I’ve heard (and even agree) with those who say they have no desire to read or watch them. The subject matter is too disturbing (children killing children). It’s almost prophetic, given our propensity for reality television programming and the fact that the Hunger Games are broadcast live to the entire population of Panem, a new country forged on the North American continent.
I think Collins has done a magnificent job capturing what life would be like under a totalitarian government, given our technology. Not to mention human nature.
Katniss Everdeen is her family’s provider of food in District 12, the area encompassing present day Appalachia. Life is hard. Her father died in a coal mine explosion. Her mother nearly died from grief and depression. Katniss hasn’t forgiven her mother for all but abandoning Katniss and her sister, Prim.
Panem has instituted an annual ritual called the Hunger Games. Each of the twelve districts must send one boy and one girl, called Tributes, to the Capitol for the Games. It is a televised battle to the death with one winner. It is designed to remind the populace that the Capitol is all-powerful and what will happen to all children if any of the districts get restless and decide to revolt.
On Reaping Day, the unthinkable happens: Prim’s name is called. Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place. The boy tribute is Peeta, a young man Katniss has never spoken to but they share a connection.
Just in case you haven’t gotten around to either reading the books or seeing the movie, I won’t go on and spoil it for you.
I will say that Katniss is an incredible young woman and an excellent role model for teenagers in this day and time. She sacrifices herself for her sister. She has to obey the government but she refuses to allow them to own her. She remains her own person throughout both books.
There’s a love triangle between Katniss, Peeta, and another young man, Gale, from District 12. I’m at a loss to who will win the showdown coming up in Mockingjay. And I can’t wait to read all about it.