I used to think I hated sci-fi. Truthfully, though, I’d never even read a single sci-fi book. I just assumed that it was boring because everyone I knew who read it was a geeky boy.
I was twenty-four years of age by the time I read my first sci-fi book. A coworker was raving about her favorite sci-fi book and, one day, out of the goodness of her heart, she brought a copy to work and made me borrow it.
The book was Ender’s Game, and I absolutely loved it.
Ever since then, I’ve learned to embrace my inner geek and read a little sci-fi from time to time. I really enjoy how it takes basic themes of humanity and sets them against a fantastic backdrop, like outer space or even a dystopian society in our own future.
When my good friend Jane told me that I had to read The Hunger Games, I was perfectly willing. I hadn’t read any sci-fi in a while, and I was ready for a new book.
The book’s protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, is a sixteen-year-old girl who is fighting for survival in a dystopian society. The nation of Panem is all that’s left of humanity on Earth, and the iron rule of the Capitol is felt through all of the remaining twelve districts, although Katniss’ home in District Twelve enjoys a little more laxity than the other districts, since they’re so far away from the Capitol.
But, as a reminder of the Capitol’s power, every district is required to send two tributes, one male and one female, to fight in the annual Hunger Games, which are televised from the arena for the duration of the Games. When Katniss’ beloved sister, Prim, is randomly selected as a tribute, Katniss does the only thing she can to save her sister: she volunteers to go in her place.
She and her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, must go to the Capitol an fight for survival against twenty-two other tributes, some of which are older and bigger, and some of whom have been training for the Games since birth. There can only be one winner of the Games, so Katniss knows that she will eventually have to kill Peeta if she ever wants to return to her family and her best friend andd hunting partner, Gale (who’s an older boy, by the way. Love triangle, anyone?).
Collins’ writing is decent, and the story is ossomly compelling. As a reader, I could feel Katniss’ confusion over what to do: kill Peeta, trust Peeta, refuse to bow to the Capitol’s games, give up, become a monster that her family wouldn’t recognize in order to survive.
Collins is no Steinbeck, but she does a decent job of conveying the hunger and desperation that drive Katniss to clutch at survival.
This book is an amazing beginning to the trilogy. It’s too bad that (SPOILER!!!) ethay estray ofyay ethay ooksbay on’tday ivelay upyay otay ethay irstfay unway.