nine, ten, eleven: the hunger games

the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
 (the Hunger Games 2008, Catching Fire 2009 and Mockingjay 2010)

the Treaty of Treason gave us the new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games. The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.”

Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year old girl who volunteers to be the female tribute from District 12 instead of her little sister, Prim. District 12 is a relatively poor district, but the Peacekeepers turn a blind eye to the mild lawbreaking done by its inhabitants. Katniss and her best friend, Gale, have kept their families and others healthy with their illegal hunting, and Katniss is superb with a bow and arrows which gives her an advance in the Games. The other participant from District 12 is a boy, Peeta who claims to be in love with Katniss. And their crazy drunk mentor, Haymitch, tells them to play the love card for the audience. But only one of them can survive the Games.

Set somewhere in the future, USA has broken into 12 districts, governed from the Capitol under the name Panem. The people in the districts are poor and working their arses off so the Capitol may prosper. And the Hunger Games is the one event that brings all the people together in front of their tvs.
Three days and nights with little sleep, or at least little sleep where not the Hunger Games was present, and I finished the trilogy. And what’s the verdict? It’s bloody good!

I was worried that the killings would be too much, but this is a book for young adults, so it’s never violent and it’s more about surviving than killing. Although the Hunger Games was interesting, I really liked reading about the everyday life in the districts and Capitol. I really enjoyed the second book until the second Hunger Games, and I also liked the third book because of the lack of the Games. And oh yes, my tears were running at the end.

The film is out in a month or so, and it is going to be interesting to see the books played out on the big screen.

This trilogy reminded me how much I need to reread Nineteen-Eighty-Four.

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