“Then came the Dark Days, the uprising of the districts against the Capitol. Twelve were defeated, the thirteenth obliterated. The Treaty of Treason gave us new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games.”
In Suzanne Collins’ novel about the dystopian society called Panem, two children (a boy and girl) are selected from each of the twelve districts for a fight to the death. The purpose for this is to remind the districts that The Hunger Games is a small scale example of what will happen if they rebel, and also to entertain those who live in the Capitol.
I don’t normally read young adult fiction because I can’t help but compare it to other, more refined fiction that I’ve read. So, I’m offering a disclaimer here. I have pretty strict rules for my rating system, which includes the level and depth of prose, and complexity of themes.
The story is a good one. It’s exciting and keeps you up late wanting to know what will happen next. There are several themes here, including freedom, humanity, value of life, love and courage. Obviously there’s a political message as well: is it worth it to give up freedom in the name of peace?
I found it entertaining, but it’s written for a much younger crowd, so I found myself unconsciously picking it apart. The Hunger Games is very visual, and so I am looking forward to seeing the movie (the very reason I chose to read the book in the first place). You put together a love story (albeit with conflict), suspense, war games, and a science fiction setting where ANYTHING can happen, it’s no wonder The Hunger Games grossed over $200 million on its first weekend.
3 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2008