The story revolves around 16-year old Katniss Everdeen who lives in District 12 in Panem. When her sister, Primrose, is selected for the hunger games, in which children between 12-18 have to fight each other to the death, Katniss volunteers to go in her place. In this effort to save her sister from this horrible fate, Katniss places herself in a very difficult position that could even prove to be fatal. ( After a failed rebellion by the districts, the Capitol created the Hunger Games to remind everyone in the districts who was in charge and what happens if you disobey the Capitol)
I really liked how the book just grabs you by the hair and just pulls you straight in. Once you start reading this story there is just no stopping, you HAVE to finish it. Katniss isn’t a perfect girl, she doesn’t always do everything right, she doesn’t always know what to do but she’s quick on her feet. I found her to be a very interesting character with a lot of depth. There’s so much more to her than one would expect at first glance. I love how there are so many layers to her,how difficult it is to guess what she’ll do next, in short it’s amazing how human she is (more than one writer has badly developed characters).
Some really important issues are being raised in this book. It’s about keeping your own in the face of danger and suppression. It’s all about making the decisions that fall in that grey area, in between right and wrong. Is it okay to kill others to save your own life? And what sort of impact will this decision have on the rest of your life? Another theme at hand is the whole big-brother situation. During the Hunger Games everything is televised. There are camera’s everywhere, to capture everyone’s every move. This adds another burden on the shoulders of the tributes (those who have been selected to participate in the Hunger Games). They can’t just do whatever they like and have no repercussions of their actions in the arena. Everyone in the country can see what they are doing. If they go crazy and chop others up, everyone will know and judge you for it. If you just hide and run away, same deal. That makes everything that much more difficult. Plus, all your actions can lead to the audience loving or hating you. But you’ll need the audience’s cash to receive donations, which could really help someone in the arena.
What was also really pleasing ( at least I found it so) was that the love stuff was present, yet it was not the main story that was being told. I don’t mind romance, not at all. I can enjoy a Nicolas Sparks book occasionally (at the poolside preferably). It’s just that there is a big difference between a romance novel with some action mixed in there (e.g. Twilight series) or an adventure novel in which there happens to be some love present (e.g. Harry Potter series). I actually prefer the second type of books, though in the right mindset I can enjoy the first type as well. I guess it’s all about what you’re expecting to find. It was just really nice to get what I expected in this case and that the adventure and the danger of the book was not weighed down by all the love happening.
This book is rated a young adult novel, which I guess is about right.However, I would not recommend this book to children that are too young though, because after all lots of people do die (and not always in the most peaceful of ways). And I believe that most themes will be missed by the younger readers. There are some really heavy themes present in the book, so masterfully combined in one story that it would be sad if they were missed, because they are what make this story so right. But the writing style is very fluid, with easy to read sentences, so the younger readers could read it easily as well.
This book really was all it was amped up to be.