The Hunger Games

By: Suzanne Collins

This book is really for the young adult crowd, but since when has that ever stopped me?

The premise of the book is fascinating: in a post-apocalyptic U.S., the country is now divided into the Capitol and 12 other districts, each of which is not only impoverished, but the people who live there are assigned a particular task, such as hunting, coal mining, fishing, etc.

The highlight of their lives is the live broadcast of a competition called "The Hunger Games." Two young people from each region are draw by lottery, and then sent into the wilderness for the express purpose of being the last man standing - in other words, they have to kill one another.

Our heroine, Katniss, insists upon taking the place of her younger, weaker sister who actually draws the lot from their territory.

Equipped with little but bread and wits, the Tributes are dropped off near something called The Cornucopia, which has supplies, but is needless to say the site of the first savage killings as Tributes attempt to get all the supplies - food, weapons, etc. - that they can. Each Tribute does have a weapon of choice - Katniss has chosen a bow.

From this point on, the story is part survival skills, part weaving of characters, part love story (Peetna, the boy Tribute from Katniss' region, is in love her), and part rip-off of the tv show Survivor. Players form temporary bonds to defeat someone else, only to renounce their temporary truce and try to kill one another in another strategem.

The book is the first of a series of three - I am already deep into the second novel. And I have to say, it as one of those "I have to read it in a single weekend, it's so engrossing," even if I'm not 12 years old!

A recommended read for anyone who likes a good blend of fantasy and adventure.


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