I immediately got myself a copy of the book right after I watched the movie, Hunger Games. As far as I can remember, this is the first time that I actually wanted to read all the books right after finishing a movie. I read this first book by Suzanne Collins nonstop on a Saturday afternoon and finished it in one sitting! :O
And that goes the same for the next 2 books (Catching Fire & Mockingjay) in this Hunger Games trilogy…
The Hunger Games Book was written as a narration by the main character of the story, Katniss Everdeen.
North America has been destroyed and now named Panem. The Capitol rules Panem and is divided into 12 districts.
As punishment for the districts’ rebellion attempts in the past (specifically district 13, now destroyed), the Capitol holds an annual televised reality show called the Hunger Games. Each of the 12 districts must draw the names of a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18. These 24 young kids (called ‘tributes’) must fight to the death in an arena created by the Capitol Gamemakers. The one and only survivor will go home to a more comfortable life with money and fame waiting for them.
Prim Everdeen (Katniss’ 12-year old sister) is the only person that Katniss loves above everyone else. So when Prim’s name was called to be a tribute, Katniss immediately volunteered to take her place. Together with Peeta Mellark from District 12, they must fight their way to be the sole survivor of the Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games is intended for kids ages 13 and up. I still feel a bit uncomfortable with kids reading the book considering the many violence, especially the one where kids as young as 12 years old kill and die out of survival. But I guess, every generation is different. Young adults are smarter and they know what is right and what is wrong. We just have to trust that they treat this as fiction and look beyond what the story is all about.
The concept of this kill to survive in a game is not new. There’s Battle Royale which was much more gore and deadly. The reason why The Hunger Games was successful is how the author Suzanne Collins wrote it. While it was disturbing to read murders like snapping necks, killed by spears, arrows, rocks and mutated animals, Collins made sure that we focused on the emotional side of the story. And that of course moved readers like us. We all wanted to find out what will happen with Katniss, Peeta and Gale, when and if Hunger Games will ever stop, and how the story will finally end.
It was successful in its target audience and it expanded to everyone else! I’m older (hehe!) but I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The nonstop suspense kept me from putting down the book. On that day that I was reading The Hunger Games, I only took breaks to go to the washroom or to eat.
Whatever way you look at it, there are lessons that you can find in the book. Whether they are to be applied to your job or to your personal life, there are takeaways and that’s what’s important. As I was browsing through the net, I actually saw different lists of lessons from the book. It was actually impressive! There were lessons for marketers, for social media professionals and even for economy!
On the other hand, I had these thoughts after reading the first book:
- It is vital for us to know what our strengths are and to make good use of them. Katniss knew she can hunt and that definitely helped her thoroughly with surviving in the Hunger games.
- Do not let other people control us and our principles. We have the power to choose. We must be in control of our own lives. I loved the line of Peeta when he told Katniss, “I keep wishing I could think of a way to show the capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than a piece in their games.”
- Winning does not always bring fulfillment and happiness. District 12 mentor Haymitch, in spite of winning Hunger Games, ended up being a miserable drunk person. We all know why he was like that. Imagine killing tons of people against your will or personal morals, would you be happy with that?
- While you can succeed on your own, it’s better to form alliances. The more people working together, the bigger chances you will succeed. In the Hunger Games, we saw several alliances like Katniss & Rue and the career tributes.
- Having a mentor is great. I used to take this for granted and didn’t take opportunities when I got the chance. In this book, you’ll see how valuable Haymitch is for Katniss. He saved her lots of times during the game and he continued to be a good coach especially for District 12 tributes.
- Lastly, YOU can make a difference. We all can! Look at how Katniss inspired the people in Panem! She became a symbol of change through her actions in the Hunger games.
The Hunger Games
Paperback: $5.00/Kindle Edition: $5.00