Losing means certain death.
The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.
When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
Review: ok so i liked this novel so much more than I thought I was going to. people have been telling me to get stuck into this one for absolutely ages and I don't know why I left it so long. I enjoyed this one so much that I immediately downloaded the next book in the trilogy and it is my next read!
I'm not always a massive fan of things which are set in another world or have that dystopian or fantasy element to them but this one felt like it was true to real life as well as being set in a world where there are different districts and each has their own responsibility. I have to admit that initially, the idea of The Hunger Games and young people killing each other really out me off but once i got going with the book, the excitement overtook everything else and I was shouting at it 'push him off, throw him down!' etc etc!
I really liked the character of Katniss and I expected her to be a contender in the games right from the start. She is a real person and relatable as a character. She knows what she want and stands up for what she believes in and I always love that in a character. The other characters in the games, the games makers and the mentors were all pretty cool people as well but this one main character really stuck out for me and she will be my lasting memory of this book.
Ok so this book is intended for younger readers and definitely appeals to them. I am reading this with a group of 11 year olds at school at the moment and they are loving it. Because it is for that younger audience, the storyline is somewhat predictable, as much as a book about young people trying to kill each other to win can be and some of the events can seem a little contrived but honestly, I lost sight of that when I because wrapped up in the games themselves and of Katniss's fight for survival, or not!
Its really hard to review this book without spoilers so I'll end here just by saying, I really enjoyed this book showing that, even if you're not into dystopian fiction or stories set in fantastical worlds, you can get into this one. There area few moments that aren't for the squeamish but you can definitely gloss over those and really get yourself into this trilogy too!