At work, The Hunger Games has been extremely popular for the last while. I've seen it and the other two books in the trilogy go by countless times. And I've always kind of wondered why exactly everyone was in love with it. A couple of friends also recommended it to me. I heard rumours of a movie being made (which wasn't surprising; the book's been so popular at work and everywhere that why wouldn't Hollywood jump on it now?) Then my mom bought it on her Kindle and read it in an extremely short period of time while I was reading The Help. So as soon as I finished The Help, I borrowed my mom's Kindle and started reading.
Needless to say, I finished it in one day. I wasn't honestly planning on doing so, but I wasn't able to sleep and the book was so good that I didn't want to put it down!
The Hunger Games follows Katniss Everdean. She lives in what used to be North America. In the recent past (less than a century ago), the outlying districts of her nation rose up against the Capitol and lost. As part of the result, every year each district has to send a boy and a girl as tribute to fight each other to the death in the Hunger Games as sport for the Capitol's people. The winner is showered in riches for the year until the next Hunger Games.
Katniss is an illegal hunter, working with her partner Gale to keep their families alive. Coupled with a yearly "tesserae" (I guess it means portion or allowance) of grain and oil, they trade their kills and finds (they get wild plants as well) for other necessities to survive. But that yearly tesserae isn't free; for each person-worth of oil and grain you need, you have to enter your name an extra time in for the Hunger Games. And those entries stay with you until you're ineligible as an adult.
In an effort to protect her sister Prim, Katniss refuses to let the girl take the tesserae, preferring to put her own name in however multiple times are necessary. But despite Prim only having a single entry, the unthinkable happens: Prim's name is chosen! Katniss doesn't hesitate a moment but jumps forward and volunteers in Prim's stead. And so begins her adventures having to fight for her life in the Hunger Games!
Prim finds herself heading to the Games with Peeta, a baker's boy who helped her once when she was younger. The two of them are being helped by the last man who won the Games from their district and a team of stylists. After a week of ceremonies, interviews and training, they are brought to the arena and pitted against one another; there can be only one winner.
After reading it, I finally get why everyone's loving The Hunger Games. It is an extremely well-written book, fast paced and entertaining. The end wasn't exactly the greatest, but it leads right into the second book, Catching Fire. But I'm willing to forgive that because I'm going to start the second book right away!
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