Author: Suzanne Collins
Age Group: Young Adult
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
This book is extremely hard to put down, it was a perfect choice for a read-a-thon book because it was so engaging and addictive. The action packed writing style kept the pages turning, with just enough description to really suck the reader in but not enough to make the violent scenes into a crazy, sadistic bloodbath.
Not only are the main characters likable and well written but also the secondary characters which is a welcome change. I have not read many books that have made me feel so connected to the feelings and reactions of the minor characters, it really made the story all the more intriguing.
The relationships of the characters were realistic and at times heartbreaking as friendships and alliances are forged only to inevitably be broken as the games progress. Trust, loyalty and friendship are major themes.
Be warned though, this book is not for younger readers or the faint of heart, the whole concept of teenagers murdering each other (forced or not) is not going to be everyone cup of tea. It is a violent book, but it is not gory.
Suspenseful and intense, this book leaves you hungry for the next one in the series.