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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Reviewed by Christina

Hunger Games

As punishment for the failed rebellion led by former District 13, every year, each district

must send two young tributes (a boy and a girl) to the ruthless Capitol to participate in

the annual Hunger Games, where 24 tributes must battle to the death until only one

tribute remain.

In a twist of fate, Prim, Katniss’ 12-year-old sister was selected as the girl tribute for

District 12 to participate in the 74th Hunger Games. In her horror, Katniss volunteered

immediately to take Prim’s place just as Peeta Mellark, the boy tribute was selected.

District 12 had never seen a winner in decades, and more likely than not, they’ll come

back as corpses...

The Cornucopia sounded its sinister horn, as 24 tributes forged their own path to

survival. In little less than a minute, ten tributes had drowned in pools of blood...

Let the Games begin.

It’s interesting how the Capitol devised the Hunger Games to intimidate the enslaved

districts. If they just wanted to intimidate the districts, why not just round up 24 people

and execute them all at once? The answer was hope, the only thing stronger than fear. A

little hope is effective, it sparks a fire, as long as it’s contained.

I’ve always been curious about The Hunger Games , but I never got the chance to read it

until recently. The main draw of the game was presenting suffering as entertainment.

Gamemakers devised the Games to show tributes battling to the death instead of dying

too quickly, they highlight Katniss and Peeta’s romance as star-crossed lovers, fated to

be doomed to increase drama. TV cameras centered around the arena depict tributes as

objects whose values are determined by how much entertainment they provide. This

entertainment means more than vanity. For the better they appear, the more gifts and

resources the tributes can gain from sponsors which could mean life and death in the

arena. The novel suggests reality television as a form of objectification, as people were

subject to the entertainment of those rich and wealthy.

There were people of all sorts in the arena--sly Foxface, murderous Cato, innocent Rue…

each fighting desperately to stay alive. Most were selected to participate unwillingly, but

some had trained for the Games for their entire lives and will do everything they could

to vie for glory. It reminded me of the Roman times, when people were placed in

stadiums to fight animals and other humans.

With all the hype surrounding this book, I was certainly not disappointed. I would rate

The Hunger Games a 10/10. The adventures were thrilling, and each twist of the plot

was heart-wrenching. It made me wonder if I can survive if I was in the Games. It made

me think about my strategy--makes allies, camp out, scavenge for targets, etc. It can’t

imagine myself killing another human being, but would I do so in self-defense? I began

to question the nature of my being ever since I read this book. Would I weigh humanity

above survival and love above life? What would I do? What would you do?

Check out The Hunger Games at the Newport Beach Public Library.

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