The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

November 21, 2008

Book review: ‘Hunger’ addictive intro to series

‘The Hunger Games’

By Suzanne Collins

(Young adult)

The United States no longer exists. North America has been broken up into 12 districts and the country is run dictatorship-style from a city known as the Capital. Each year, two teenagers are chosen by lottery from each of the 12 districts to take part in a reality television show called “The Hunger Games.” During the “games” the teenagers are pitted against each other and made to fight to the death. The last player left alive is the winner and earns a life of privilege and ease.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen is a resident of District 12, or what used to be known as Appalachia. She lives in a poor mining community where every day is a struggle to survive. On the day of the lottery, her younger sister’s name is drawn and Katniss steps up to take her place — a selfless decision, made all the more courageous since no one has won from District 12 in 30 years. To complicate things further, the male District 12 contest, Peeta Mellark, once helped Katniss out of a difficult situation.

The pair arrive in the Capital, create a spectacle at the opening ceremonies, garner new skills from group training sessions, showcase their individual talents before the judges, steal the show at the final interview and are finally thrust into the grisly winner-take-all game.

Suzanne Collins, the author of the “Gregor the Overlander” series, has written another breathtaking series opener. Readers will find it impossible to put down her newest page-turner. The reality television show premise is intriguing, especially in today’s reality television-loving culture; and while the nonstop action reeks of violence, Collins’ matter-of-fact writing style lessens the gruesomeness. Collins has outdone herself with this addictive book that teenagers and adults alike will greedily devour.

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