Saturday, August 3, 2013

Teen Review: The Hunger Games (yes, again!)

The Hunger Games is a sci-fi dystopic novel by Suzanne Collins. It was written in 2008 and is the first in the world-famous trilogy. The Hunger Games takes place in the future in Panem, a nation where North America once existed. It’s told from 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen’s point of view. The 374-page book really takes off in District 12, where the tributes are being chosen to participate in the 74th annual Hunger Games, a “game” in which one boy and one girl from each district between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen to compete in a gruesome battle to the death against more than 20 other kids. At first, Katniss's 12-year-old sister, Primrose, "wins" the lottery and is chosen to compete, but Katniss volunteers, taking her sister's place. A boy in Katniss's grade, Peeta Mellark, is chosen as the boy tribute. The two are then sent off to the Capitol, where they are mentored, interviewed, and then thrown into the arena with 22 other kids around their age. In previous years, only one victor per game has come out alive, but could this year be the exception if love is involved? The “star-crossed lovers,” Peeta and Katniss, test this, but not for the reasons you’d think.

I am in 9th grade and I would put this at a 6th-12th grade reading level despite the violence that happens in the arena.

I enjoyed the book because of its originality, if that makes sense. I was just fascinated that someone could come up with an idea like this, where the government actually punishes its people for rebelling by enclosing 24 teenagers in a controlled environment until only one is left standing.

I also enjoyed how constant the action was. I guess the fact that it was a battle to the death helped play a role in this, but honestly, I couldn’t put the book down. Each chapter gave me a reason to stay up all night and finish the book (which I did).

I’d definitely give this book a 5/5. The Hunger Games is the total package because of the drama, violence, love triangle, concept, plot, writing, and so much more. I could go on, but I think you’re only reading this to see if The Hunger Games is actually worth the trip to the library or bookstore. So to answer your question, yes, this book this one of my favorites and I highly recommend that you read it.

Reviewed by Anonymous, 9th grade

Editor's note: We have multiple copies available at each library branch of this book plus the two sequels, due to just such enthusiasm for this series! We also have the audio book, the DVD, a CD of "songs from District 12," the official Hunger Games movie companion, and the unofficial cookbook! We're all about the Hunger Games here in District Burbank.

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