|Artwork by Bleunite|
The reality of the Hunger Games (Book 1) is a world that is hard for us to fathom. The Hunger Games themselves exist as a way for the government, The Capitol, to keep the 12 Districts in line. Every year, there is the reaping event in each of the districts where the eligible children's names are put into huge glass balls and one boy and one girl from each district will go to the capitol as tributes to be in the games. Some kids, like Katniss and her friend Gale, have their names in the drawing more than once. This is because each child of age (from 12 to 18) can purchase tesserae (oil and grain) for each person in their family if they want. This means that when Katniss turned twelve, her name was put in the bowl 4 times: once because it is required, once for food for her mom, once for food for her sister and once for food for her. When you factor in that the tesserae are cumulative, Katniss has 20 entries in the drawing when she turns sixteen. Her friend, Gale, has 40 and her younger sister, Prim, has 1. So, really it is shocking when they pull the girl's name and it is Prim. Katniss immediately jumps in, volunteering to go in her sister's place. When the boy's name is pulled it is Peeta Mellark, a boy that Katniss has a history with even though they have never really spoken. The two of them are sent to the Capitol where they are prepped and polished and put through training, interviews and ceremonies before they are taken to the arena where the games will be fought. It is then up to them to fight their way through the competition and the last tribute standing is the victor.
|Artwork by Aleatoire09|
The thing about Peeta that I love is that he is persistent and true. He wants to keep her alive and he works hard at it. It honestly annoys me that Katniss doesn't realize that she has fallen for him sooner. But I am going to let her slide on that one because they are fighting for their lives. Peeta is an amazing character who just does not get enough props in Hunger Games. He's fiercely loyal to Katniss- no matter how she treats him. Peeta is ALWAYS there when she needs him. He always seems to know right from wrong and he is a brilliant spokesperson for "Team District Twelve". I feel AWFUL for him as we watch Katniss "play to the cameras" because he really believes that he is getting through to her. What 16 year old girl wouldn't fall for Peeta?! Most importantly, you never feel like he is fighting to get back home to his family and the bakery. He is always fighting to get Katniss home to her family. (If you haven't gotten the hint- I am totally Team Peeta.)
This book was a wild and emotional ride through a world that I hope never comes to be. It's not merely about kids killing one another. It's about love, family, right and wrong, choices and consequences, politics, revolution, life and death. Everyone over the age of fourteen or so should be able to read this book. The deaths are somewhat gory (I didn't throw up reading them, I swear!) And the spin politics that surface all through the book would be too much for younger readers to understand. The book was riveting and truly stunning.
Hunger Games earns 5 Fairies for being an epic story with amazing characters.