Katniss Everdeen has essentially been the provider for her mother and sister ever since her father’s death in a mine explosion. They live in poor sector 12, which has little to recommend it, but must still send two 12-18 year olds to fight in the Hunger Games every year. When Katniss’s sister is selected against all odds, Katniss takes her place in the Games, knowing that it’s almost certainly a death sentence since only two contestants from sector 12 have ever won the Games. But Katniss has already survived against the odds; can she do it this one more time?
I loved this book from start to finish and it’s rarer and rarer that I can say that these days. After everyone else in the book blogging world loved it, I just had to buy a copy and I am so glad that I did. I simply sped through this book. I spent two hours in the library with it waiting for something and then when I got home, I just sat down and read until I was finished. It was that good. It’s an adventure story, an almost-love story, an exciting edge-of-your-seat thrilling race against the odds. It’s hard to explain exactly why it’s so fantastic, but it completely rocks.
Part of it is certainly that I loved Katniss. I can’t imagine not feeling sympathetic to her character, especially for women. She’s tough because she’s had to be, but she is really just a teenage girl somewhere in there and it comes out sometimes. I loved the softer bits of her personality amidst the rough exterior that she has to develop just to survive; that is certainly evident most of the time. She’s not the only great character, though; Peeta certainly is and I’d love to hear more about Gale in the next book, Catching Fire. The other contestants don’t have much personality to them bar one, but really, they hardly need it. The book is only so long and they’re all out to kill each other anyway.
I think it’s probably the plot of this one that has made it so amazingly popular, though. Not only is Katniss fantastic, but she’s constantly fighting for her life in so many ways. The reader never knows what’s going to happen next. Some of the events herein are truly heartwrenching while others are exciting and still others gave me a huge grin. There is so much here. I mean, how many adjectives can I possibly use to describe it without sounding like a thesaurus list?
In short, this is a fantastic book. It does have a cliffhanger, so if you don’t like that, by all means wait until the third book of the trilogy is published. I hear Catching Fire has an even more frustrating cliffhanger, but you won’t find me waiting. I’ll be buying it the day it comes out.