The dytopian novel follows Katniss Everdeen in the nation of Panem - an area that was once called North America. Kat finds herself volunteering as tribute for the Hunger Games, an annual battle where 24 children between the ages of twelve and eighteen fight to the death until one victor is left. While I felt the start of the novel was a bit slow, I became very interested in the novel once the battle began. I was enthralled with the details of Kat's survival tactics and strategies; I wanted to see her succeed. Collins does a fantastic job roping the reader in to this disturbing and violent world. (I should also mention she had me thinking about my own lack of survival skills/general outdoorsy-ness and the fact that I would never survive in the Hunger Games. I can't even watch the Outdoor Channel without wanting to cry.) Throughout the continuous action of the latter half of the novel I was really rooting for Kat. I did, however, have one gripe with the last 50 pages of the book. I felt like Collins did such a good job creating this dystopian world where struggling to survive is the utmost priority, and suddenly a love story is thrown into the mix. It seemed like Collins felt she had to incorporate a romantic angle and I could have done without it.
With that being said, I did have a lot of fun with this one and I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a little escapism in a novel they won't want to put down. I'm interested to find out what develops in the second novel and I'm really looking forward to the movie.
Publisher: Scholastic, 2008