The USA don’t exist anymore. In its place are 12 districts and the Capitol that has the districts under its thumb. Katniss Everdeen lives in district 12, where at 16 she’s basically taking care of her mother and sister Prim and has been ever since her father died four years ago. Which means that she breaks the laws daily to go hunting with her best friend Gale. But Katniss’ life changes radically when the kids for the Hunger Games of that year are reaped. In the Hunger Games every year 24 kids, 2 more or less randomly chosen from each districts, are pitted against each other in a battle to the death until only one remains standing. And in this year 12-year-old Prim is chosen. In desperation Katniss volunteers to take Prim’s place. And so Katniss travels to the Capitol together with Peeta the baker’s son – to certain death for at least one of them.
The Hunger Games is an absolutely addictive read. Seriously, I just blazed through it. It made me read until 4am (despite having to work the next day) because I just needed to know what happened next. I can’t remember the last time this happened to me. I even shed a tear or two.
Katniss is a great character. She is rough, the most untrusting person I have ever met on paper or real life. And she is definitely a product of her surroundings. She is awesome.
But who I loved even more was Peeta. The whole thing is heart-breaking. He is heart-breaking but what a romantic hero. Since it’s a SFF young adult book, you get the obligatory love triangle with him and Gale, but I not only chose to ignore the triangle, but also Gale himself. I mean, he is pretty cool but he just doesn’t stand a chance.
[SPOILER] I have to admit that I expected Rue to turn out to be the biggest psycho of them all, but that Collins played it straight definitely was the better choice. And her death just wrecked me. [/SPOILER]
But the most outstanding thing about the book was the pacing. It just grips you and doesn’t let you go again. And this although most of it was rather inevitable so you knew what was coming anyway.
As soon as I was done I headed to the shop to get the other two parts in the trilogy.
Summarising: just plain great.