I recently finished reading The Hunger Games; a 373-page fiction novel by Suzanne Collins author of the famous series called Hunger Games. This is the first book in the series out of 3 books. This famous series has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide. This is not surprising because The Hunger Games makes anyone who loves survival, drama, fantasy worlds, and science fiction, heart race with excitement. The genre of this book is like all of these genres combined within one story. I read this book before, and even saw the movie, but wanted to read it again because it is one of my favorites. I have read and watched the movie at various ages with my family, and each time I enjoy it more because I learn something new that I missed before. No matter how many times I read the book or see the movie, one important theme always stands out to me, which is survival.
Katniss Everdeen is the main character in the Hunger Games. Although other characters are fighting for their lives, it is Katniss whose will to survive always leaves a lasting impression on me. I wonder if I could be as brave as she is. Katniss is a 16-year-old girl who is fighting literally for her life. The story is about a fantasy world where geographical areas are divided in twelve districts. A corrupt government type of organization called the Capital runs the districts. People living in, and running the capital are rich and have plenty of gourmet food to eat while the people in the districts are starving to death, and live in slums with terrible, depressing conditions. To make matters worse, the poor, starving people in the districts are randomly chosen by the Capital to participate in a reality TV show called The Hunger Games. They pick one girl and one boy from each district to compete against the other districts. The Capital creates controlled fake worlds where all kinds of terrible things happen to the contestants and they have to try and survive. They have to fight against both the elements and each other to remain alive. The winners get to live and win lots of money while all the others die in the process. The sickest part is that since this is a reality TV show, all of the people at home are actually enjoying watching the show while regular, innocent, people just like them are being killed or killing each other for their entertainment.
As I mentioned, the theme of survival always stands out to me when I read The Hunger Games. The main character Katniss is especially gifted at surviving. I was surprised that Katniss did not run away and try to escape before the Hunger Games actually began. After she, and the other contestants found out that were chosen to compete in the Hunger Games they had about 12 hours before they had to leave home. As I was reading the book for the first time I immediately thought that if this were me, I would run away as fast and far as I could. This time I noticed why the author did not have her run away. She was trying to show the readers that Katiness was a survivor right from the start. If she ran before the Hunger Games began she would have been killed by the Capital. The passage on page 147 illustrates this first act of survival. “ I lift my chin and stand as straight as I can. The cylinder begins to rise. For maybe fifteen seconds, I’m in darkness and then I feel the metal plate pushing me out of the cylinder, into the open air. For a moment, my eyes are dazzled by the bright sunlight and I’m conscious only of a strong wind with the hopeful smell of pine trees.” I loved this passage because it shows how brave and strong Katniss is and that she will do what it takes to survive. It also helps set the stage and tells the reader that she going to fight to survive throughout the story. Most people would have been shaking and crying. Katniss did neither.
I won’t give away the rest of the book, but let’s just say that Katniss has many encounters with death and there are other very interesting characters to learn about. I highly recommend this book for people of all ages. I give it a 10 and recommend the entire series, which includes two other books called Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Aside from the strong survival theme you will be fascinated by the make believe worlds the author creates, and all of the interesting characters aside from Katniss. Also, Beware; you may encounter Jabber Jays, Mocking Jays and Tracker Jackers along the way.
Happy reading, sincerly,