The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
Following the success of the film adaptations of The Hunger Games series many have turned to the books, and probably been overjoyed to find that both film and book compliment, not undercut, one another.
By their own standing however The Hunger Games novels, The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are true triumphs of YA fiction.
Suzanne Collins has, through these novels, created a world which is so like our own and yet so far from it. Taking the idea of a class system, dividing an entire nation into districts, set to work themselves to death, living off meagre amounts of food, all to feed and provide for the rich and selfish people of the Capital. These novels hold a captivating idea, a reflection of the worst form of political dictatorship.
The Hunger Games is a yearly ritual, where each district must give up two children, one boy and one girl, to fight to the death in a televised game. The lone winner is given riches and fame, but at the cost of their soul.
We are brought into this world by Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old girl from district twelve. When the reaping happens for the 74th Hunger Games Katniss steps forward to save her sisters life. While the Games are a death sentence, Katniss has faced death before, and survival is second nature to her.
District twelve may finally have a winner.
Where the first novel is about the games, the difficulty to conform and the bitter reality of this world, the second book, Catching Fire, explores the challenges that those who dare to stand up against the capital will face, as Katniss is pulled back into the Games, and the people beginning to rebel in her name, will Katniss survive the wrath of the Capital, of President Snow?
All of this leads up to the final novel, Mockingjay, in which we experience the darkest depths of Collins imagination in a full blown war.
Katniss however is not a girl of great intelligence, or skill. She is merely a person of great pride, and it is because she does not bend to the will of others that she becomes the symbol of hope in a nation built on fear.
An outstanding series which you’ll want to read again and again.