The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Summary:  A 16-year-old girl from the poorest area of Panem volunteers herself to participate in the annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are where 24 contestants, 12 boys and 12 girls from the 12 districts of Panem fight to the death on television for the entertainment of the rest of the world. The Hunger Games happen over a period of weeks, and the contestants turn from humans to animals in their fight to survive, all to serve the two purposes of quelling uprising from the Districts and as entertainment.

Why I picked it up:  I picked up The Hunger Games because I had heard fabulous reviews about the book, and decided it was about time to pick it up and see for myself whether or not the stories were true.

Why I kept reading: The novel is rather compelling. Personally, I don’t believe that it was too deserving of the rave reviews it got, but nonetheless it was good reading. The first half of the book is well-paced in that it keeps you anticipating the Games, and the second is compelling because it keeps you guessing, all the time. The story tugs on a good number of heartstrings, as Collins attaches you to certain characters and pits you against others, leaving you crying or cheering with the advent of their fates. Some parts were bland, but that is most likely because I am not one for romantic subplots- otherwise, this is a solid piece of literature that will linger in the hearts of young and old alike, paralleling the success of the Harry Potter and Twilight series.

Who I would give it to next:  Definitely not my parents. Perhaps somebody who enjoys romance and the promise of loves and losses and doubting oneself, but enjoys some truly hyperventilation-worthy action scenes. Or graphic depictions of violence. There are a lot of those.

Reviewed by Sheila K.