I admit that I originally picked up this book after I saw the trailer for the upcoming movie. I am a busy senior at a university so I do not have time to read as much as I used to. But I was pleasantly surprised when I read this book. I couldn’t put it down. I literally read it all in a Friday evening. You, like I did, will immediately fall in love with the characters. Suzanne Collins knows just which words to put on the paper to let you know exactly what the characters are thinking and feeling without being overly wordy. The plot was also amazing. Even to the last chapter I did not know who was going to live and who was going to die! There is one particular scene towards the end that made me cry, but I’m not going to give that part away just yet. If you read this book, be prepared for a plethora of emotions. And don’t forget to throw on The Civil Wars Barton Hallow CD while you’re at it. This folksy music will really add to the dark story.
When I saw the trailer I thought, that that’s a plot that I could really get into! It is about a girl living in a “district” under an oppressive government. Now I’m going to have to stop here and explain this oppressive government called the “Capitol.” It is filthy rich. That’s about it. The citizens spend all their time getting dressed up in what all the other districts see as obsurd costumes. They strive to be the hippest, most fashionable by even dying their skin. Collins describes how these people all have surgery to manipulate the way they appear and that they can nearly reverse aging. However they do not share these amazing technologies with people who cannot afford them, like almost everyone in the 12 districts. This country called Panem which is run by the Capital is a country designed for the rich. Only the rich have enough to eat. Only the rich have safe places to live. Everyone else is working ridicoulous hours at horrible jobs and they are starving to death. Be careful citizens that you too do not get caught in this deep net of shallowness.
Now I know that the United States isn’t exactly that bad; far from it actually. But are we not heading in this direction? Are the rich (the “job creators”) not pushing our government to pay less taxes and doing away with much of the government regulations? Panem is where that leads. When the government doesn’t stick up for its people and turns towards the rich and tells them that they are free to do with their money as they want, then they are not going to create beautiful work environments for 1000’s of people so that these people can provide for their families. They are going to take their jobs to countries like China and have those poeple work so hard and get paid so little that they are jumping out of the windows in order to kill themselves so much that they have installed nets at the factory dorms instead of improving the working conditions! Do I think that rich people are looking out for me? No. So, I think that my government should.
Wow, that was a tad of a rant. Sorry about that. Back to the story. Katniss Everdeen grows up in District 12 which is based in the Appalachian Mountains. I can relate being as I spent most of my life in the foothills of Appalachia. Collins does an amazing job here making you feel the hopelessness of District 12 and thickness of the coal dust drenched air. Katniss’s father died in a mining accident leaving her to hunt in order to provide for her family. But sadly when her sister’s name was chosen to “play” in the bloody Hunger Games (a yearly ritual that the Capital set up to let the other district know that they cannot fight against the powerful Capitol) Katniss volunteers to play and die in her place.
The story follows Katniss as she journeys to the Capital with cameras and an entourage very much like a reality show today. She is disgusted by the utter waste at the Capital. They have so much and care so little that everyone else is starving to death. Now I don’t want to give away the ending so I’ll just say that Katniss plays in the Hunger Games, she befriends a few people, one dies in her arms, and she falls in love with someone. You just have to read the book. My rantings are in no comparison to the book itself.
So in conclusion: READ THE BOOK!
Check out my related posts.
The Civil Wars – https://onlyartblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/the-civil-wars/
My Bow and Arrow – https://onlyartblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/my-bow-and-arrow/
Also I have just finished reading the 2nd book in this series: Catching Fire. Expect another book review from me soon. And if you disagree with my assessment of the book feel free to leave a comment. I love discussions that are in good taste.