The Hunger Games
Reviewed date: 2012 Mar 31
Now here's a good book. A post-apocalyptic world, with twelve districts ruled by a cruel Capitol district. Each year, two children are selected from each district to participate in the Hunger Games. The 24 children are set loose in an arena. The last one alive wins.
When Katniss Everdeen's younger sister Prim is selected for the Games, Katniss volunteers in her place. Of course, because Katniss is the hero, we know she will survive the Hunger Games. But how will she survive while not turning into a cold-blooded killer? Author Suzanne Collins manages it pretty well. Katniss spends most of her time during the Hunger Games just trying to gather food and water. When she does kill, it is indirectly--by dropping a nest of tracker jacker bees onto a group who has cornered her up a tree--or in righteous defense of another human being--Katniss shoots an arrow at a boy in an attempt to stop the murder of Prue. At the end, Katniss uses her bow to hasten one boy's death, as an act of mercy. But mostly, Katniss just hangs back in the woods and lets everyone else kill each other. Collins manages to paint a lot of the other children as pretty evil--they've trained for the Games and are essentially bloodthirsty.
It's a pretty good book. I enjoyed it.