The Hunger Games


     How terrible! I just thought when I started reading this book The Hunger Games, a young adult science fiction novel written by Suzanne Collins in 2008. Actually, it’s the first in a three-volume series: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.

     In spite of its appalling plot, I couldn’t close the book. In spite of lots of horrible deaths, I couldn’t give up hope in the story…

     The story is set North America after many catastrophes in the near future. Many people died because of disasters, droughts, storms, fires, and much of the land was swallowed up by the sea level rising. The result was a dictatorship ruled by President Snow and his Capitol, and other 13 districts to support Capitol. The country name is Panem.

     Actually, District 13 doesn’t exist anymore. There was a coup détat launched by the district 74 years ago. The uprising spread throughout Panem, but was crushed by Capitol’s troops, and District 13, the mastermind of the civil war, was obliterated by nuclear arms.


     After the abortive rebellion, Capitol has started “the Hunger Games”: In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.” The Hunger Games is a reality TV show and the scenes that children kill each other are broadcast live and people are forced to see the program… 


     Tributes are chosen by lot, and a little sister of Katnis, the heroine of the story, is selected as the female tribute of District 12. Katnis, however, takes her sister place. And the male tribute is Peeta, who has saved lives of Katnis and her family before…


     Katnis’s father died from the mine explosion about five years ago, when she was 11 years old. Her mother was depressed by the loss and gave up living and raising her children. Katnis sold old clothes and small things, or scavenge through garbage to feed her little sister, her meltdown mother and herself. But one night, she didn’t have anything to sell, and couldn’t find anything to eat. She was driven away by the baker’s wife when she was scavenging the bakery’s garbage box. She gave up everything and slumped into the dark corner of the backyard…

     “There was a clatter in the bakery and I heard the woman screaming again and the sound of a blow, and I vaguely wondered what was going on. Feet sloshed towards me through the mud and I thought, It’s her. She’s coming to drive me away with a stick. But it wasn’t her. It was the boy. In his arms, he carried two large loaves of bread that must have fallen into the fire because the crusts were scorched black.”

     Katnis knew the boy was hit by his mother because he burned the bread. He threw the bread in her direction and dashed off, and she understood that he burned the bread purposely to help her. Yes, the boy is Peeta. Of course, she wants to survive, but she doesn’t want to kill him by herself…Only one person can come through the Game…

     The Hunger Games Trilogy is filled with death, betrayal, hosing, and disbelief, and curiously to say, with love as well. Are you getting interested in the story? I assure that it’ll be hard for you to close the book once you open it. But I don’t recommend this book if you have a weak heart…

The Hunger Games  
Catching Fire


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