Tuesday, April 26, 2011
The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins
What is the reaping? The reaping is when every one in the district gathers and two names are drawn to see who is chosen to represent their district in the "Hunger Games." What are the Hunger Games? you might ask. The Hunger Games are when the people whose names are drawn must be put into an arena (a HUGE arena) that has trees and vegetation growing in it, so it's kind of like another world in a way (a much smaller world) ;). There are also animals in it. Most of the animals are mutated by the people who run the Hunger Games, making them even more dangerous than they were originally. Now here's the sad part. To win the games, the chosen kids have to be the last person alive in the arena, whether the others die of starvation or someone kills them or an animal attacks them, everyone but one must die.
It's the night of the reaping. But Katniss Everdeen is not worried about getting chosen. The chances of being chosen are one in a million, right? Fortunately, as expected, Katniss is not chosen. Unfortunately, Katniss's sister, Prim, is. Katniss is upset and immediately volunteers to take her sister's place.
Before she is put into the arena, Katniss must go through training. She gets angry at the training judges and shoots an arrow at them. Fortunately for her, they like her energy and give her the highest mark in training. Katniss is popular with everyone watching the show. She is very pretty, and her designated designer makes her look just perfect. Katniss gets many sponsors and she is a favourite with her mentor, though he won't admit it.
When thrown into the arena, Katniss must watch people die before her eyes. She has to experience hunger and sickness. She must learn who to trust. She experiences near death. She runs from mutated animals trying to eat her (wait! Does that sound right?). And then Kantiss learns that one of the people in the Hunger Games is in love with her. Is she in love with him? And how can she kill him now that she knows the truth?
Katniss has a terrible time in the arena. She halluncinates ants eating at her body because of a severe illness. And she has to kill people. Katniss's consience tells her no, but she just has to win. She promised her sister, whose place she took, that she would try her hardest.
Then she meets Rue. Rue reminds Katniss of her little sister, so she befriends the small twelve-year-old girl and they work together. Rue is too small to attack anyone, so she helps Katniss destroy the enemies food supply of the enemy, limiting them a great deal. Katniss throws a nest full of mutated wasps at them, injuring several people severely, and killing others. Together the two are a team. They both like each other and work together - until someone puts a spear through Rue. She lives for only a few minutes after that before she fades away. But her last moments are happy. Katniss sits by her side and sings for her. Because Katniss does this, it later saves her life.
I really enjoyed this book.
There are some problems with it, however. For example, to win the Hunger Games you have to be the last alive. Which means that you have to kill other people. Katniss drops a wasp nest full of mutated wasps on a group of people, and there are some serious injuries and a couple deaths. She also kills two people with a bow and arrow. The first one she shoots because he killed her friend, Rue. The second one she kills because she had to put him out of his misery, as he was bitten by some animals.
Also, as I said above, a boy, Peeta, does fall in love with Katniss, and she has to pretend that she loves him because there are cameras trained on them, and she doesn't want the people watching to get bored. In the end she stops faking and does it for real, but she still isn't sure if she really and truly likes him.
Ages: Thirteen and up
9 out of ten stars