The Hunger Games – A review without spoilers

The Hunger Games written by Suzanne Collins is dystopian fiction, a thriller novel.

A famous thriller read that every reader must be aware of. But if you haven’t read it yet or if the name is new to you, welcome to my page and let me walk you through this beautiful thriller as to why you should read it.

Now, what The Hunger Games is?
It is a live TV show where 2 tributes from each district of Panem and there are 12 districts so a total of 24 tributes are thrown into an arena which can be a desert, thick forest, snowfield or anything the Gamemaker can think of! Then those 24 tributes fight to the death until one remains. Yes, Fight to the death! So, Victor must kill all the 23 others to return home and will be generously taken care of for the rest of his/her life by the Capitol.

This brutal game is conducted by the Capitol which is controlling the 12 districts. They came up with it when there was rebellion and conducted it every year to remain, people, that they are under Capitol’s control, and no one can do anything about losing their own child in the arena.

How are the Tributes get selected in the reaping for the Games?
From each district, one boy and one girl are selected from the age between 12 and 18. When you turn 12 years old your name is entered once in the reaping and when you turn thirteen, twice. On the day of reaping (when they select tributes for the Games), they draw one name from the girls and one from the boys.

Our protagonist Katniss is a poor girl from district twelve where people often die of starvation. You can sign up for tessera in which the Capitol gives grains and oil for one person for a year and your name gets an extra entry in the reaping – which means one more extra possibility for getting your name drawn in the reaping. Katniss signs up for herself, her little sister and her mother as she became the breadwinner for her family after her father’s tragic death. So, at the age of sixteen, her name is twenty times in the reaping.

As a breadwinner, she hunts in the forbidden forest near district twelve. Hunting is a punishable death offence according to Capitol but the peacemakers (the representatives of Capitol) of the district overlook these types of offences because of starvation.

The story starts with the reaping day.

“May all the odds be ever in your favour”

is what they say on the day of reaping, but the odds are not at all in Katniss’s favour.

Katniss is a simple-minded girl who loves her family and her friend Gale with whom she goes out hunting. Her life is all about hunting, making sure her family is fed and going to school. But everything changes as her little sister’s name is drawn on the reaping day. Katniss volunteers for her sister in the games as she possibly can’t let her 12 years old beloved sister die in the arena.

The book is all about whether or not Katniss survives in the Games and wins over the hearts of the Capitol. Win over the people she absolutely hates.

I loved Katniss’s character development. She grows so much as a person throughout the story.

I was so into the story that I pulled an all-nighter to finish the book. Once they enter the arena, I just could not stop reading. The twists and the struggles made me sigh, cry all the way to the end.

As for the characters, I loved Ryu, a 12-year-old tribute and am sure no one can help but fall for the innocent, little girl. There are other characters I want to mention but you should read the book to pick your favourites and let me know in the comments section.

There are three parts to the book,
Part I: The Tributes.
Part II: The Hunger Games.
Part III: The Victor.

This book has two sequels namely “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay”. I am yet to read the sequel. Once I read it, I will review it here.

As for the movie adaptation, I am sorry people, I don’t watch movies once I read the books and vice versa because I feel like the movie rewrites my imagination.

But I did watch some highlights from the movies for the article. In the goodbye scene where Katniss says goodbye to her dear ones before leaving for the games, it is shown that the Mockingjay pin is given by her sister but in the book, her friend Madge gives it to her. And when she is talking to her sister and mom she is standing and going one after the other, while in the book her sister curls up in Katniss’s arms and her mom hugs both. See! This is why I don’t watch movies because I can’t help but compare them even though I know that in movies, not every character can be shown or all the scenes because of the time limit.

But if you don’t read books, read books. I won’t suggest movies. Read it to get the full essence of the story.

It is a must-read book if you haven’t already. It won’t let you keep the book down until you finish it.

Have you read this book already? Or planning to read it? Leave it in the comments section. I would love to know.

– a review by Sumi

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