Hunger Games - by Suzanne Collins
Hunger Games

"I groaned, giggled uncontrollably, squeaked in fear, and sighed blissfully."

Be careful with your words in Panem, the futuristic North America. Say anything against the capital, and well, let’s just say there’s no more District 13 for a reason. In order to remind the people of Panem that the capital can, and will, do whatever it pleases, it holds the Hunger Games every year. During the reaping each district must provide a girl and boy tribute. When the name of her younger sister is called, Katniss Everdeen steps in her place. Leaving her mother, sister and her best friend and hunting partner, Gale, she travels with Peeta, District 12’s other tribute, to the Games. However, there can only be one winner, as it is a televised fight to the death.

In The Hunger Games, Collins creates three-dimensional young characters who deal with adult issues, such as killing people to survive, figuring out how to die as oneself, keeping a family alive, knowing when a government is wrong and being in love. As a girl who’s grown up feeding her family and trying to keep them safe from the government, Katniss can handle a bow and arrow with ease. Still, she can’t quite pinpoint love, though it’s not as if guys aren’t standing in a line clear as day. During the Hunger Games, she finds herself stuck between Gale, who’s been with her through the worst of times, and Peeta, who’s stood off at a distance for most of her life, watching, waiting for an opening. When she begins opening her heart, is it just for the audience, an act of survival? The Hunger Games turns even the most important issues into a game.

A bit of advice: do not read this book when you have five hours of homework waiting for you. Before you register what you’re doing, your eyes fly from the end of one chapter to the start of the next. Collins perfectly balances bloody battles and logic with emotion and relationships between the twenty-four tributes so you are never bored. Collins also slips in humor seamlessly. As I read I groaned in frustration, giggled uncontrollably, squeaked in fear, and sighed blissfully. When I reached the last page, I craved more. Lucky me; it’s a trilogy.

    - Haley P.