In Katniss Everdeen’s world, the government randomly chooses one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen from each of the twelve districts in her country to participate in the Hunger Games. The “Tributes” as they’re called, are then taken to the Capitol and thrown into a huge arena which is set up to simulate the wilderness they live in. From then on, it’s pretty much a kill or be killed situation, and the last Tribute alive wins – obviously.
When Katniss wakes up on the day of the Reaping, she never thought her own sister would be the Tribute selected from her district. In an effort to save Prim’s life, Katniss volunteers herself instead. And so the Hunger Games begin…
This novel is a real page-turner. I started reading early in the afternoon, and I was physically incapable of putting it down. Instead of showering, I ran myself a bath so I could cleanse and read at the same time. I skipped lunch and dinner and refused to go to bed until it was over.
Katniss is a strong character, and her resourcefulness is inspiring. She understands the essence of the game; she knows that unless she wins, she’s going to die. Her focus does not waiver and she does not allow her emotions to control her actions. Yet the value of human life is not lost on Katniss, as it appears to be on her fellow Tributes. Where they kill ruthlessly in their own quests for survival, Katniss has a different strategy.
What I like about Katniss, however, is that she is smart, yet not cocky. She is confident in her abilities, yet humble when it counts. She is a thinker, but does not allow her ponderous thoughts to cloud her judgement. She appreciates the value of friendship and family, but she is definitely more than capable of standing on her own two feet. She is a strong, independent and utterly likeable character.
Girls, if you’re looking for a book that empowers your womanhood, look no further. If Katniss can, you can too! And boys, don’t despair. While this story is narrated through a female’s perspective, there is so much action in The Hunger Games I doubt you’ll ever feel bored. Katniss’s narration is far from the girly girl slang that seems to be saturating Young Adult bookshelves these days and reading through this particular girl’s eyes wont be a problem for you.
Not only does Collins really capture the essence of good characterization in this novel, but she proves to readers that she really is a master of the English language. Her prose is beautiful, creative and full of powerful imagery. It was hard to believe that I wasn’t actually in that arena with Katniss, watching her on her travels.
I take my hat off to you Suzanne Collins – the world needs more writers like you!