It doesn't actually say so in the book, but apparently set in a post-apocalyptic world. The city of Panem has 12 districts (once there was a 13 but it has since been obliterated). Every year, the Capitol(government) host the Hunger Games. Think like an annual Olympics.
Each District has to choose a boy and a girl rep meaning there will be a total of 12 x2 =24 contestants in the hunger games. From here on it's like Survivor, in an arena that is specially engineered by the game makers..but one doesn't just get voted off. You literally have to survive till the end to win.
Anyway, the story is told in first person point of view of our heroin Katniss Everdeen. It is fast paced, and full of surprises. I love that Katniss is very intelligent as you read how she overcomes obstacles or challenges using her brains. She partners Peeta (I hate saying the name out loud) and together they take on the games. But the catch is, only one person can win. The rest have to die.
|Cartoon, Katniss, and Peeta (I assume)|
I think what makes it such a popular read is the brilliant novelty of the idea (something that Harry Potter had as well...and maintained throughout the seven books). It's something that no one has really read of before, plus it keeps us on the edge of our seats. There is also the slight romance that she throws in (love it! Who doesn't?). All the characters are distinct in their personalities and she really makes them grow on you despite their flaws. Well some of them.
I always feared that the novelty would wear off in the third book in a way that would put the reader off. Hastily explained circumstances or weird facts thrown in in answer to a strange occurrence but nothing of the sort happened. It also doesn't dawdle, taking half a page to describe the wind blowing. As beautiful as that type of writing is, I simply will not be able to hang on for long *cough cough* LOTR *cough*. Instead Collins writing is fast paced and for the most part straight to the point.
She also deals with such powerful themes like sacrifice, hunger for power and just how far one is willing to go in order to achieve your goal. . Ultimately you always enjoy a book that leaves you thinking about things you would otherwise take for granted. That, for me is true quality writing. Reality in fiction. I enjoy Jodi Picoult novels because of this as well.
Right, lets end this. I love the books and anyone looking for a book WORTH your time, (tear jerking at times) then this IS IT. Do NOT look up the books on Wikipedia or even GLANCE at the movie trailers and promo posters because you might not like it and not read the books. Anyway it's always more fun when you imagine the characters faces yourself before seeing what the directors come up with.
I sincerely hope this isn't the last we see of Suzanne Collins.
*I said "glued to the computer* because I'm reading an e-book