The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
No, this is not a book report, it's a review (as so wisely stated in the title). The difference being my teacher isn't breathing down my neck, and I don't have to spend ten minutes on an introduction or completely useless thesis statement, and can say whatever I want without worrying about failing English and getting grounded and not being able to go to the dance...
This book is a romance, I'll be honest. A romance where lots of people die. Except for the people actually involved in the romance, because that would just lead to unnecessary whining and going on and generally being annoying on the heroine's part (see New Moon, chapters 1-12). I'm really getting annoyed by the fact that the only really good action books have guys as the main character, so I was really excited for this one. The heroine, Katniss Everdeen (it's futuristic, people, you can't make fun of the names) is super resourceful and independent, and even though one of her best friends is a guy, you can tell that she definitely is no damsel in distress, thank goodness. Her coolness factor is definitely increased by the fact that she's amazing with a bow and arrow, climbs trees, and risks death for her starving family. That sounds really cliche when
I say it, but its really original, how its written.
The basic premise of the book is very original, too, and if you're one of those people who say there are "no new stories, only new ways to tell them" will be blown away (figuratively). So anyway, the setting is a futuristic north America, with a wealthy capital and twelve districts with decreasing wealth. District twelve is the poorest, and manufactures coal. Enter Katniss Everdeen, father dead in a mining accident, starving mother and younger sister. Her only option is to hop the 20 foot high fence and illegally poach animals from the surrounding forest with her equally starved friend, Gale. Enter Effie Trinket, eccentric representative from the capital, and Haymitch, drunk survivor of the hunger games.
Every year, each district must send two tributes, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18, to the capital, to the arena, to fight to the death in the hunger games. Each year there is one survivor, each year the arena is different, each year every family in every district must watch the games on their small tv. (they're starving, but they have tv?) Each tribute's name is pulled from a ball, and is written on a small slip of paper. When Primrose, Katniss's younger sister is called, her older sister volunteers to take her place.
So basically, you've got these kids fighting to the death, right? why? Because before Katniss was born, the districts rebelled against the capital, and so the capital instilled the hunger games, to remind them who's boss. And let me tell you, its not pretty how these kids die. Actually, its very descriptive. So if you have kids, you should probably read this before them.
I give this book five stars, which I don't usually do, but this book is absolutely amazing. The sequel (its a trilogy) is just as good, and I can't wait for the last one to come out. I would say this is a teen book, but it was recommended to me by the librarian at my school, who is not a teen. I currently own both books, and I've read them at least three times. I'm definately glad I bought them.