This suspenseful Science Fiction novel, set in the futuristic country of Panem, (a country created from the remains of what was once the United States) explores the journey of 24 teenage boys and girls, who are forced into participating in Panem's annual Hunger Games. The brutal game of life and death places 1 boy and 1 girl from each of the 12 Panem districts into a battlefield arena, where they are to fight, kill, and attempt to save their own lives. Not only do the teenagers have to fight for their lives, but the Capitol televises the battles, to remind the people of Panem that they are merely citizens with no power or control.
During the lottery draw, Prim, a mere 12 year old girl is selected to represent District 12. Katniss, Prim's older sister, sacrificed for her family her entire life. She hunted their food. She bartered for the necessary herbs to heal the sick in her district. She wasn't afraid to step-up to life challenges, and the lottery draw proved just that. Katniss voluntarily took the place of her sister Prim, in the annual Hunger Games. She was joined by the baker's son, Peeta.
Coming from District 12, neither Katniss nor Peeta had the favor of winning in their court. Not only did they come from a district of severe poverty, but their mentor was the district's local alcoholic -- Haymitch. Despite their disadvantages, both competitors faced the arena with courage and dedication. Throughout the battle, friendships and alliances were formed, death was witnessed and initiated, and a love story developed.
This tense, dramatic, and engrossing novel will undoubtedly hold the attention of any avid literature junkie. Collins follows this novel with Catching Fire and Mockingjay, the other two novels within the trilogy. I will most definitely add both of the aforementioned books to my must read list, especially after the "reader satisfaction" that I gained from The Hunger Games.