I have purposely avoided seeing the movie version of The Hunger Games. Not for anything, really, it's just that for a change, I would like to read the book first before seeing its film adaptation on the silver screen. And as I have already finished the book, maybe I could go now and see the movie, although I'm not sure if it's still showing in theaters. hehehe. Briefly now, here is my account of The Hunger Games, a novel by Suzanne Collins.
Katniss Everdeen, the 16-year old female protagonist, volunteered to join the year's Hunger Games, taking the place of her younger sister, Prim. The Games, which are held annually, require the 12 districts of Panem to send their representatives to compete in the contest that would test the skill, strength and resilience of the players. Each district chooses its representatives (2 for each district, a girl and a boy aged 12 to 18) by way of lottery. The Hunger Games serve as a yearly reminder of the Dark Days, a period in time when Panem's districts revolted against their Capitol, and that this should never be repeated. The contestants from all the 12 districts, or tributes as they are called, are brought to an outdoor arena and are left there for several weeks to fend for themselves. There will be no decent homes nor dwellings, no food served on a silver platter, and the only clothing they would expect to have are the very same garments they had on on the first day of the games. The tributes fight it out with each other to survive. And the last tribute standing is proclaimed the winner. Victory means a better life for the winner and his/her family; an opportunity to escape the hard life brought about by all the natural and man-made disasters that were inflicted on Panem (North America, before all these devastations happened). Losing, on the other hand, means only one thing - death. The Hunger Games is televised all over Panem, and the terrifying reality show is eagerly anticipated and viewed by everyone as a festivity, even if it means that losing is tantamount to dying. Katniss adores her little sister so much that she just could not allow the 12-year old Prim to participate in the battle in the arena. And so, when Prim's name was drawn from the lot, Katniss frantically offered herself to be District 12's female representative instead.
With Katniss as District 12's representative is Peeta, a baker's son who has had a crush on her since they were small. Katniss would often dismiss Peeta's apparent affections for her and would always conclude that since The Games was televised as a reality show, Peeta was just trying to get the viewers' interest. In her mind, she and Peeta are actually enemies in the game, and that means either one of them would have to kill the other eventually in order to win. But a sudden twist in the Hunger Games' rules changes Katniss' mind and (probably) heart...
The book is engaging and full of suspense. The events in the arena are well described, graphic and clear. I would gladly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good read. Anyone except if you are under 17. Now, That is the problem. Because The Hunger Games is a novel written for young adults, suitable for ages 12 to 17. The killings in the arena are so brutal that I get goosebumps and feel the hair stand up on the back of my neck everytime I come across the killing of a particular contestant. And I get that feeling even when I am way past 17. tsk tsk. That being said, I still think that The Hunger Games is superb and a must! Oh well, perhaps 17 is the new 25, and 12 the new... 20? hehe... But I'm pretty sure you're over 17 anyway so go and get your copy! :D