There series takes place in a country called Panem (once upon a time it was the United States). There are twelve districts (13 was destroyed because of the rebellion). Katniss lives with her mother and sister, Primrose. Each year two tributes are taken from a district (one boy, one girl) and are put into the Hunger Games. Katniess Everdeen takes the place of her sister and volunteers. Peeta Mellark is the other tribute, and to whom Katniss feels indebted because of past encounter when they were kids. Gale is Katniss's best friend and hunting partner. He is also in love with Katniss.
The book follows Katniss as she takes the place of her sister, prepares for the Games, and this is ultimately thrown into them. I am amazed by the ruthlessness of some of the characters, but the book I think is meant to show what many humans will do to survive.
The Hunger Games is quick paced and grabbed me from the beginning. There is no time wasted in putting the reader into the book. Any information that the reader might need can be found in flashbacks. Everything about the book felt natural. Katniss is a heroine that no one would mess with, but what I liked most about her character is how human she is. Especially in regards to her relationship with Peeta (I love the connection between their names and what their parents do!) and what she must do in the Games.
There are a lot of love triangles going on in books of late (Exhibit A: The Twilight Series), but I like the one in The Hunger Games. While in many books I have an idea of which character I want the heroine or hero to end up with, I cannot decide so easily on whether I like Gale or Peeta more.
All of the characters seemed so real to me. They had good points, but also flaws. Collins did a wonderful job of showing the kind of world the characters live in through personality. Everything Katniss does is because of the society she lives in. And, as I sneak in a few pages of Catching Fire, I learn that Haymitch is more than meets the eye.
The movie, scheduled to come out on March 23, 2012, will star Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Liam Hemsworth as Gale, and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark.
The Hunger Games had me wondering what I would do in a similar situation. It was more than that though. I wondered what life would be like in a world like the characters'.