Published on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 by Stephani Whisenant
“May the odds be ever in your favor.”
These may just be words to some people, but to dedicated Hunger Games fans, these words are the start to a new chapter of teen reading.
If you haven’t heard of the ever popular series written by Suzanne Collins, you must have been hiding under a rock for the past few months, because it seems like you run into something about The Hunger Games everywhere, whether you’re on Pinterest, Facebook, or any other media site.
The story is set in a post apocalyptic North America, now known as the country of Panem. It tells the story of the seemingly normal life of a 16-year-old girl named Katniss Everdeen, who lives with her mother and sister, Prim, in District 12.
A boy and a girl from each of the twelve districts of Panem are chosen at a “reaping” once a year to participate in what is known as the Hunger Games. Prim is chosen to be the female tribute, the girl who will represent District 12 in the Hunger Games, but Katniss has sworn to protect her and volunteers to take her place.
The tributes from each district are taken from their homes and sent to the Capitol where the Game is held. There, they are trained in skills that will help them in the arena and then sent on to the Games where they will have to kill each other off one-by-one until there is a soul survivor who will be named the champion.
I was skeptical of reading this book because of how “mainstream” it was, but after hearing so many good reviews, I finally borrowed it from a friend to see what it was all about.
After the first chapter, I was hooked. Collins develops the characters well, forcing you to grow emotionally attached to each one. As the story progresses, you are introduced to one of the greatest fictional characters you will ever read about, Katniss’ companion throughout the novel, and future love interest, Peeta Mellark.
Peeta is the male tribute chosen from District 12. From the start, you get a sense that there’s something more complex to Peeta than just being “the boy with the bread”, a nickname give to him by Katniss due to his talent in baking.
From the interviews each tribute goes through at the beginning of the Games, to his time in thel arena, Peeta becomes vital to Katniss’ survival, and his passion for her leaves the readers wanting more from him because he seems like the perfect guy. His dedication to “the girl on fire” melts the reader’s hearts and his kind-natured soul speaks to the softer side of every character. Collins uses Peeta as a moral guide throughout the books, making him the backbone for all that Katniss is.
While Peeta may be a great secondary character, Katniss is a superb main character. I loved that Collins made the main character a strong female, who can take care of herself. The message Katniss sends out to girls, that they can do whatever they want by their own work, is great. In a world where books are filled with male head liners, such as Edward Cullen and Harry Potter, it’s nice to see a female-centered book.
It was really good having something to read that wasn’t about vampires or “Manhattan’s Upper East Siders”. I read the Hunger Games incredibly quickly because of its plot and the fact that every chapter ended on a cliffhanger.
If you’re looking for a good read with unexpected twists and turns, death, adventure, and love, then The Hunger Games needs to be on your list to read. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed and will be buying the second book, Catching Fire, within the hour.