Top positive review
GRIPPING, SAD, BEAUTIFUL
Reviewed in the United States on December 22, 2017
Imagine a lottery. It’s sort of like a draft lottery they had during the Viet Nam War. It’s sort of like the lottery in Shirley Jackson’s short story where the winner is stoned to death.
There are two “winners” in this Hunger Games lottery, a girl and a boy. Actually they are selected - drafted. Their names are pulled out at random. They get to compete with eleven other boys and eleven other girls in a war- games-type arena. There can only be one winner in the Hunger Games - the person still alive at the end of the games.
We follow Katniss, a girl from District Twelve, the poorest district, and Peeta, the baker’s son, from the same district. Peeta has had a crush on Katniss since she was five years old. She owes him for giving her bread when her family was starving. She feels she should repay this debt. Now they might be forced to kill each other.
The pageantry leading up to the games at times resembles a beauty contest, at times resembles training for participation in a less-lethal sport and at times it resembles preparation for a bullfight.
This is a terrifying story, but it’s also a life enhancing a story as the 24 children (ages 12 to 18) in the games sometimes form alliances based on friendship or need. It’s hard to trust anyone knowing that person might soon become your killer.
There’s are lessons in survival here. There’s also romance as Katniss isn’t sure if she loves Peeta, but she cares for him enough to fight for his survival as well as her own.