Suzanne Collins’ bestseller “The Hunger Games” is the first book of a trilogy that has captivated readers across the country since its publication in 2008. Although set in the future, the novel’s initial tone evokes a simpler bygone era when people hunted for food and truly understood the value of living to see another day.
Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year-old resident of the nation’s poorest district, is one of those fierce and able hunters. However, her whole world changes the day she enters the Hunger Games. All her life, she has feared this deadly event but when her younger sister, Primrose, is selected to participate in the Games, she readily volunteers to take her place.
And so, she finds herself thrown into the midst of a blood bath between twenty-four competitors. The threat of impending death is real and yet, she knows that her every move is recorded and broadcast nationwide, lending her plight a commercial air. There can only be one winner, spurring bets and predictions among viewers. Peeta Mellark, the male representative from her district, pulls at the audience’s heartstrings, professing his love for Katniss. Does Peeta really love her? Does she love him? In these most harrowing of circumstances, can one really know?
As the novel unfolds through Katniss’ perspective, it takes on a more modern tone, utilizing the widespread language of teenage girl-talk. Adolescent readers may appreciate her candidness and enjoy the romanticized account of her battle to stay alive. For adults, the novel may even raise a few eyebrows. Why do we become so fixated on the lives of others? What is the future of reality television?
As one might expect, the popularity of “The Hunger Games” has spawned the making of a film. Production is underway and it is expected to hit theaters in early 2012.