The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, introduces us to 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen and the world where she lives that used to be North America called Panem. The country is controlled by the Capitol, which is flanked by 12 Districts. Katniss lives the farthest away in District 12, which is known as one of the poorer Districts who mine coal for the Capitol.
As a means of keeping the Districts in line, and to keep them from rebelling, the Capitol forces the Districts to participate in The Hunger Games every year. Each District offers up a boy and a girl as Tribute, between the ages of 12 and 18, who will be taken to the Capitol and will enter an arena where they will fight to the death until only one Tribute remains and is crowned the victor of The Hunger Games.
After volunteering for her sister, Prim, Katniss makes an everlasting impression on the Capitol and Districts with her fellow Tribute from District 12, Peeta Mellark. Early on, Katniss is seen as a threat to the fellow Tributes. Unlike most of the Tributes, Katniss has a lot of practice protecting herself as she hunts at home to keep her family from starving.
By the encouragement of her adviser, previous Hunger Games victor Haymitch Abernathy, Katniss and Peeta seem to be a team to the Tributes and to the audience. This is encouraged later on when Peeta makes it clear that the pair are star crossed lovers, and Peeta’s been in love with Katniss since they were children.
The Gamemakers throw Katniss and Peeta a bone when they amend the rule that there can only be one Victor, and if there are both Tributes left from one District than they have the chance to win. Though, they do attempt to change the rule back in an attempt to have a fight they there’s never been before in the seventy four Hunger Games before this.
But, Katniss outmaneuvers the Gamemakers and offers up a double suicide in the means of the pair eating a berry called nightlock.
In the end, the boy with the bread and the girl on fire make it out of the Arena alive. But, there are more dangerous and deadly enemies waiting for the pair outside of the arena walls and they have a lot more to lose if they make the wrong step.
The Hunger Games is an amazing take on our dependance on reality television, and a scary reality on where we could expect society to go. The book really makes the reader take a step back and look at where we could be going when it not only comes to television, but the means in which people in power will go to stay in power.
Katniss is a refreshing heroine, in that she takes care of herself and isn’t the typical damsel in distress. She is brave, and above all else, she’s just a normal girl who loves her family dearly and is dealing with the life she’s been dealt.