The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) - Suzanne Collins
The cover art is simple; a solid black cover with Hunger Games scrolled across the top with a symbol that had I not read the book I would not have known it was synonymous with the one of the tributes among the game. The cover had never caught my attention long enough to penetrate the pages beneath the cover. That was the case until my reading group was gearing up to read the series prior to the movies release March 23, 2012. When I saw the movie trailers I was dumb struck; I had to read it. After all I can handle a book putting a movie to shame but a movie destroying a potentially good book I will not stand for. So I had to hurry and read.

Upon diving in I was more impressed with the movie trailers’ than the book it’s self. I put the book down before I could finish the first few pages. I just couldn’t get past the POV’s perspective. Something about just didn’t sit right with me. I know I’m no author; heck I’m not even grammar literate. Actually I am far from it. However, I am good at one thing… reading tall tells weaved from the imagination of talented story tellers. And Collins spin on the Hunger Games in my personal opinion was written to grab hold of fifth (5th) graders worldwide.

After turning to another read I couldn’t get the book out of my mind so I turned to other reviews trying to find something that appealed to me. I was shocked to say the least to find that others adults shared my views on Collins writing style but what really struck my craw was the written verbal assaults Collins has taken from adult reviewers since the books release in 2010. Reviewers that I want to point out are well above the target age group for the book. It’s demeaning to an author to endure such assaults. Especially when any reader with half a brain can tie almost any book published to a previously published title. After all authors get their inspiration for the same place readers do…. Books, real life experience interpretations, and the interworking of one’s own creative imagination.

Now with a daughter in the target age range, I put my petty issues with the perspective aside and jumped in; kindle in hand and was shocked again. Because once I let my indifferences go I was sucked deep into the world Collins built for Katness and the Hunger Games.

In “Hunger Games” we are introduced to the game through Katness’ eyes. We get to feel and understand the world she has grown up in through her emotional journey. Quickly you come to love and respect Katness. At sixteen (16) years of age she is more of a daughter, sister and yes I am going to say it woman than most grown woman today. She lost her father to a mining accident and has done all she can do to keep her sister and mother alive from illegal hunting to adding her name to the bowl for extra rationings.

When the seventy-fourth (74th) hunger games assembly is gathered and Prim’s name is called, Katness again protecting her family steps up in a simple selfless act and volunteers as tribute. Katness’ baby sister lives however, she doesn’t understand the effect her taking her sisters place would have on the Capital or the districts.

Enter Peeta, Katness male counterpart as tribute for District twelve (12) for the games. The sweet boy with the bread, the one who if had not shown compassion to Katness years prior would have had starved to death. Emotional goodbyes are given but not by Katness. She stands strong for her mother and sister. Again unaware of how her actions affect the people of the different districts.

Preparation for the games is its own unique trip. Think America’s top model meets made over and throw some over the top theatrics and for good measure think Miss America. Then end it with a little Spartacus meets gladiator to prep for the game. What do you get? A bomb shell delivered by none other than Peeta that rock’s both the Capitol and all the districts. What could have Peeta said that brings the districts to its feet and Capitol stunned? Oh, how to would love to share but you’re just going to have to read it. Trust me when I say you will suck in a stilled breath with eyes opened in shock.

Moving on o the games… keep your box of Kleenex handy because you’re going to need them. In a game where twenty-four kids fight to the death and the only rules are no cannibalism and one winner; what will it take to bring home both Peeta and Katness? Can it even be done? Will Peeta turn on Katness to save himself?

Soon another bomb shell is dropped on the Capital as katness delivers a blow to the Capitol that rings through to each district as Katness faces the death of a friend in the game. In this one simple act of mercy and compassion she further brings together the districts and unsettles the Capital.

Uneasy Snow drops a game changing rule, in a game with no rules that could save a mortally injured Peeta. But is it too late? Did Snow change the rules in time to save Peeta? Or did he change the rules just so Katness and the districts could watch Peeta die? Does Katness have what it takes to save them both?

My recommendation— if you haven’t yet read “The Hunger Games” and can overlook the perspective as I did— READ IT!! It truly is an emotional story that will envelope you and push head long in to the sequel “Catching Fire”.