Book Four of 2012: THE HUNGER GAMES

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I’ve had a pretty busy time between Twilight and this book so of course, it’s taken a while for me to get another review posted. This book ultimately only took me four days to finish, but it would have been done in a matter of one or two if I didn’t have my little boy to love on. Not that I’d make that trade. I’d never make that trade. Anyways, on to my thoughts about the book.

As we all know, the movie is out in theaters and it has made a big smash among everyone who has seen it. The book is no different. If you haven’t read the book, go to your local library or bookstore and READ THIS BOOK. It is definitely one of my favorite young adult books and I am glad I picked up this book. Now, I will be able to see the movie!

The story is, of course, about survival. Everyone who has read the book can attest to that. There is, however, a love story involved and it is the most interesting love story in all of the young adult books I’ve ever read. Usually, the unrequited angle is for the female lead, but in The Hunger Games, we see the gender roles have been reversed. The female lead, Katniss Everdeen, is the strong survivalist who has no idea that the other tribute from District 12 is in love with her. Peeta, is ultimately the “damsel” in distress (only because we don’t see him fighting), but I am sure in the later books he becomes badass in the fighting. Honestly, I LOVE Peeta. He is charming, adorable, and has to be a fighter (which sadly we don’t get to see much in this book).

You don’t get to see the long, slowly revealing love story in young adult books, but that is what Suzanne Collins presents us. Yes, Katniss is not sure about her feelings even at the end of the book, but she presents various emotions about Peeta that goes beyond the “I owe him” and “total strangers” aspect. The character reminds me of the girl who works so hard being successful that she is oblivious to others around her and is not completely connected to her own emotions. Given the fact that survival takes priority, this characterization of Katniss is not far off at all.

Some people would say that Katniss isn’t in love with Peeta, and in the largest sense she isn’t. This book shows her developing love for Peeta. If she was doing things purely for survival, she wouldn’t have hesitated so long for Peeta to throw the knife into the lake. It was hinted earlier that he is good with the knife. If this is the case, Peeta could have easily injured Katniss with it by the time she was done making up her mind about the arrow. Instead, both of them had a stand still. In my opinion, this shows that Katniss is open for love and is subconsciously welcoming it. This isn’t a book about just survival, nor is it a book about love, this is a book about life. I can’t wait to read the other two. Hell, I can’t wait to see the movie!

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