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Book Review: The Hunger Games (Book 1)

I purchased The Hunger Games trilogy last year to see what the hype was all about. It seemed everyone was talking about it and I got interested in reading it. I have always been a fan of dystopian novels and I easily ranked it as one of the best in that category.

The story is set in future North America where the country of Panem is divided into twelve districts and the Capitol. The Hunger Games is an event held every year to commemorate the downfall of District Thirteen and all the rebels who tried to take down the Capitol’s political regime. Each district has to send a girl and a boy to the Capitol to compete in an arena where the rule is very simple: kill or be killed. The entire Panem is required to watch the Hunger Games. In here, one’s survival is just someone else’s entertainment.

Among all the characters, I like Peeta the most. His character developed strongly throughout the story, from the sweet and innocent “boy with the bread” to a raging lunatic and ultimately, to a mellow and broken boy who survived all the hardships of life. Katniss is a tough, independent girl who braved her way through the Hunger Games, wanting to lean on to someone but not knowing who to trust. Gale, for me, is very selfish and ambitious. He didn’t suffer as much as Katniss and Peeta so his perspective in life was quite mistaken.

The story is sad and disturbing – not really for the faint at heart. There are brutal scenes where I can totally imagine the blood and suffering. While I was reading it, I felt like there was darkness looming over me. I think the author is very effective in putting the readers in the right melancholy mood. She is also very good in describing the characters and settings.

All in all, The Hunger Games is a must-read! I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars!