I did things in reverse. I watched the movie first and finally got around to reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games is about Katniss Everdeen. She lives in a futuristic world where North America is Panem, a land with twelve districts and one ruling city, the Capitol. Many years ago, the districts rebelled against the Capitol and lost. As a punishment, every district has to select two children to enter the Hunger Games where the children fight to the death until there is one winner.
Katniss is a noble character, she chooses to sacrifice herself when her sister is chosen to enter the games. Once she is chosen, she immediately strategizes what she will do in the Hunger Games. Katniss goes through a whirlwind of social activities and training aided by Haymitch Abernathy, a former survivor of the games and Effie Trinket, her social manager.
Katniss is not alone in all this as every district has two tributes. The other tribute is Peeta Mellark. Personality wise, Peeta is friendly and open while Katniss is stoic and reserved but becomes fiery at injustice. When the Hunger Games finally begin, Katniss uses all her strength to survive.
The Hunger Game is an action packed and suspenseful. There are many times when Katniss and Peeta were stuck in precarious situations but managed to get out of it with luck or quick thinking. I found it fascinating reading the different approaches that the tributes took to surviving. There were some tributes who actively hunted other players while others hid. The game zone could be manipulated to force the tributes to confront each other for the sake of entertaining the viewers. Katniss was well aware of public perception and tried her best to manipulate the games in her favour.
I liked Katniss for her practical nature and fiery internal dialogue. She was a strong character who never gave up even in the most difficult of times. Katniss wasn’t a fearless person. In the dangerous situations she was afraid but she overcame her emotions to think practically about what she could do. She also had a protective nature towards the people she cared about and that was admirable.
I also liked all secondary characters as well. They all had interesting backstories and were full of personality. My favourites were Peeta, Rue, Haymitch and Effie. I liked Peeta because he was kind and loyal. Rue reminded me of my younger brother because everyone underestimated her and she was a plucky girl. I liked Haymitch for his intelligence in strategizing the game play which really aided in Katniss’ survival. Finally I liked Effie mainly because of all the cool costumes the movie Effie gets to wear. Also she was so prim and proper that I liked how Katniss would do things just to spite her a little. However, Katniss does realise that Effie cares for her in her own way.
I will be reading the other two books. I already know how it all ends as I am of those people who like to skip to the end. I will still enjoy the books though as I read how the conclusion was reached. I’m looking forward to watching the next movie too. Jon also reviewed the Hunger Games series last year which you can read here.