Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: October 31, 2008
Edition: Hardcover (374 pages)
Cover Review: I really like the cover. I find that it's not girly or boyish. Plus, I love how it has the little mockingjay pin!
Series: The Hunger Games, Book 1
Main Character: Katniss Everdeen
Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.Every year in the country of Panem, an annual show called The Hunger Games is aired on T.V. This isn't your usual television show. Children between the ages of 12-18 are chosen as sacrifices to fight to the death. Yes, people do enjoy watching this. Only if you live in the Capitol. The Capitol is this place where the president of Panem lives. The president of Panem is President Snow. There are 12 districts in Panem. All the districts must give up a boy and girl for the fight, unless you live in the Capitol. The citizens of the Capitol love the show. They eagerly await for it to be that time of the year again. They enjoy watching the fight and they like to pick favorites and place bets.
We follow Katniss Everdeen, who is 16 years old. She lives in the Seam in district 12. She lives at home with her younger sister, Prim, and her mother. Her father died in a coal mining explosion. On the day of the reaping (the day that the tributes are chosen), Katniss goes out for a little hunt in the woods with her best friend Gale. Katniss and Gale hunt in the woods for food. This is illegal. What else is there to do when you're poor and you don't have food?
After their little snack, they head over to the reaping. At the reaping, Effie Trinket chooses a "winner". District 12 usually never wins. There have only been 2 winners in district 12, one of which is still alive. The living winner's name is Haymitch. He is usually always drunk.
The first name that Effie pulls out of the girl's bowl is none other than Katniss' little sister, Prim. Prim begins to walk up to the stage when suddenly Katniss takes her place. This is unusual, especially for district 12. Why would you sacrifice yourself?
Effie then pulls out a boy's name. She pulls out a slip with the name "Peeta Mellark" on it. Katniss doesn't like this. Peeta and Katniss have a past together, and she feels that she can't kill him after what he did for her. Throughout the rest of the novel, we follow Katniss and Peeta as they try to survive in the arena while other people are out to get them.