The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press,
Reprint edition (July 3, 2010)
By Milto Ungashe, Courier Staff Writer
Imagine a world in which every year, 24 teenagers fight to the death, with only one victor remaining. This is the world which Suzanne Collins has created in her post apocalyptic novel, The Hunger Games, the first novel of a trilogy.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen lives in the nation of Panem—formerly North America—a country divided into twelve districts. Each year, the members of Panem’s city Capitol hold an annual televised event in which one boy and one girl from each district are chosen to fight to the death in an arena. These games are a part of the Capitol’s large plot to demonstrate the extent of its power of its citizens, and to prove that even the nation’s children cannot escape its control.
Collins’ novel is the first of a trilogy and echoes such novels as George Orwell’s 1984 and Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 452, in which the government seeks complete dominance. The barbaric nature of the games and the heartlessness of the people, who mindlessly watch them on their televisions, make it an infuriating experience to read about. And if that’s not enough, all of the twists and turns and unpredictable moments that Collins creates makes reading it incredibly brutal on the mind yet somehow so worth it. Collins has created a world with characters for which readers truly sympathize, and by the end readers will be glad they stayed with the characters for the whole journey. With raving reviews from authors like Stephen King, fans of science-fiction or fast-paced dystopian novels won’t be bored by this extremely engaging story-line.