Commentary

April 13, 2012

Fly Over: The Hunger Games

Written by: Denise Willhite
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T

he Hunger Games, a sci-fi novel, is the first book in “The Hunger Games” series by Suzanne Collins and was released in 2008. The Hunger Games is written for the young adult, which is not my age group, but I found myself unable to put it down and stayed up all night reading it.  It was an easy read and fast-paced.

The Hunger Games takes place in the future, after the destruction of the U.S. by some unknown apocalyptic event, in a nation called Panem. Panem has in it the wealthy city of Capitol that rules over 12 poorer districts. There was a 13th district but they were destroyed by the Capitol after they rebelled. As punishment and to serve as a reminder to the other 12 districts, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected from each district by an annual lottery, also called the reaping, to participate in the Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games is an event in which the tributes (participants) must fight to the death until only one tribute remains in an outdoor arena created and controlled by the Capitol Gamemakers. The surviving tribute can then return home to wealth and fame.

Because of the way these children are chosen for the Hunger Games, I feel the book is great for discussion on society, government control and the value of human life.

The book begins with a girl from District 12, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who volunteers to replace her sister, Primrose, who was selected in the lottery, in the 74th annual Hunger Games. Also selected from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a baker’s son whom Katniss knows from school.

Once the tributes have been selected, they are whisked away to the Capitol where they are mentored and prepped for the Hunger Games. The mentors are previous victors of the Hunger Games. They are then publicly displayed to the Capitol audience in a televised session with interviewer Caesar Flickerman in a ploy to gain audience support for the Games, which can be crucial for survival, as audience members are encouraged to send gifts like food, medicine and tools to favored tributes during the games. During this time, Peeta reveals his long-time love for Katniss.

Katniss must not only survive the games, but deal with a romance between her and Peeta and the decision to kill the tributes from the other eleven districts for her survival.

While reading this book, I was drawn to Katniss’ fierce loyalty to her family and friends, her strength, character and individuality but I think that anyone who reads this book can find a main character to relate to.

In my opinion, The Hunger Games is an excellent read that I would highly recommend. It holds your attention from beginning to end. Despite a high level of violence, usually found in books meant for a more mature audience, it is geared for those ages 14 and older.



About the Author

Denise Willhite
Denise Willhite
Denise Willhite is a lover of books, movies and food. Her favorite authors are Dan Brown, George R. R. Martin and John Sparks. She is currently reading "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" series. She enjoys going to the movies and watching action movies and romantic comedies and won't shy away from an occasional thriller. She also loves to try out restaurants in Phoenix. Her current favorite is Papadeaux Seafood Kitchen located off of North Black Canyon Highway.


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