The book is set into a bleak future (but with the way the world politics are . . . it seems more and more likely) were the US has been obliterated and only the Capitol survives with 12 districts. Every time I read the word Capitol I couldn't help but think of D.C. although I'm not sure that's what she meant. Each year 1 boy and 1 girl from each district are selected and must fight to the death, think gladiator but less Roman and less glorious, in a specified arena. Our main girl Katniss lives in District 12, which is known for mining. Each district contributes to the capitol in some form.
When the day of the reaping is upon them, Katniss, her mother, and her sister who's only 12 and now old enough for the ceremonies head to the town center were they are divided by age and gender. The name for the girl is chosen and it's Katniss' sister. She can't let that happen so she volunteers herself - something unheard of; for once your name is called you ner return unless you outwit and outlast the other 25 tributes. The boy from her district that is chosen is named Peeta, who once helped Katniss many years ago - she doubts though that he remembers.
Each tribute gets a mentor, someone who has survived the Hunger Games, and District 12's mentor is a drunk named Haymitch who doesn't seem to care if he's sober or not. However Peeta and Katniss soon sober the poor fool up and they begin to form a plan of attack along with the Capitol's representative Effie. The goal is to show to the pubic how much in love they are, and present themselves to the other tributes as a team (something that isn't usually done).
When the day of the Hunger Games arrive everyone is nervous. Will this be their last meal? Will they be the lucky one to return? Can they survive? The gong chimes and the games have begun. Quickly Katniss tries to grab what little supplies she can before she finds herself a target. She quickly darts into the woods and runs for safety. Even though they presented themselves as a unit, Katniss is going to fight alone - but she wishes Peeta luck. Relying on her hunting skills she must now fight her way towards freedom. It's not east since the Capitol is always watching and when things get boring . . . they add twists and turns to keep the tributes on their feet.
The first thing that came to my mind while and after reading this is I know for a fact that I would certainly not survive. I would be the first one dead. Secondly - how much that government reeked of poison. They had morally suppressed their citizens and made sure to wipe the rebellion out of them. Although after studying history and reading about revolts, it could be possible but unlikely (the districts don't communicate amongst themselves and they're constantly malnourished and poor). I've seen people chose either "team Peeta" or "team Katniss" and I don't know which side I'd chose. Although I do feel sorry for Peeta at the end. The book was worth the wait and I totally recommend it to anyone. I cannot wait for the 2nd book! I have to go put it on hold now!
Books in this series:
1) Hunger Games
2) Catching Fire
3) Mocking Jay (8.24.10)
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. New York 2008