“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins

Read this and may the odds be ever in your favour!

I’m guessing many of you have heard of a little book called The Hunger Games, especially now with the movie coming out in March 2012. If you’ve read it then you know how amazing the book is, if you haven’t then I suggest you pick up a copy. It’s $10 and worth every penny.

I’ll start by telling you about the book. It’s set in the country of Panem, once known as North America, which has been destroyed several years ago. So basically, it’s set in the future. I know what you’re thinking, “Cool! Hover cars!” Well, not exactly. Panem is divided into twelve districts surrounded by one Capitol. The closer a district is to the Capitol, the richer it is; so District 1 is richer than District 7.

Every year a boy and a girl (from each district) between the ages of twelve and eighteen are chosen to compete in the Hunger Games, a blood bath held in the Capitol. The Hunger Games are a long standing tradition and always result in one winner. The point of the game? Kill your opponents so you’re the last one standing.

The Hunger Games focuses on Katniss, a sixteen-year-old girl from District 12 who has spent most of her life hunting in a nearby forest in order to keep her twelve-year-old sister, Primrose, and their mother alive and nourished. I’m not a fan of hunting, but Katniss is a talented hunter. When Primrose’s name is chosen for the Hunger Games, Katniss steps up to take her sister’s place, an almost sure death…the last winner of the Hunger Games from District 12 is Haymitch, an old drunk who won the games almost 30 years ago.

The story then follows Katniss and Peeta (the male candidate from District 12) to the Capitol, through training, interviews, and finally, the Hunger Games. The action never stops, you’ll be flipping pages faster then you can finish reading them. I’ll be honest, I was skeptical about reading this book at first because it is a bit of a sci-fi novel and sci-fi is always a hit and miss with me, but The Hunger Games was a definite hit. I can’t wait to read the next two books in the trilogy.

Something I found pretty interesting about the novel was Collins’ specific choice in names. Katniss, for example, is named after a plant that looks suspiciously like an arrow head. It also happens that Katniss’ weapon of choice is the bow and arrow. Coincidence? I think not. Take a look:

Peeta is the son of a baker and his name suspiciously sounds like Pita, as in Pita bread. I’ll admit, I wasn’t that cleaver…a friend of mine actually pointed that one out to me, but it’s kinda cool, don’t you think?

Gale, Katniss’ friend and hunting partner from District 12, is known in the book as a strong male; a hunter who can easily find and kill any animal in the forest. Gale is also known to mean “a strong wind.”

I’m sure there are other names that mean something related to the characters in the novel, but until you pick up the book and find them on your own why not watch the teaser trailer for the movie? Don’t worry, it doesn’t spoil any of the book.

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