Summary (from Amazon):
In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing.
This book is absolutely amazing. So amazing I read it in two days. I left whatever I was reading and finished it in no time. I had to stop because I needed to sleep, and go to school. But I took it to school with me and finished it there in a few hours (we weren't doing anything important, and I had to know if Peeta really loved Katniss, or if it was just a strategy!).
Collins's Present Tense writing threw me off at first -I'm not used to reading in the Present Tense-, but after a while it made sense. And I loved that Katniss was the narrator, because I got to feel whatever she was going through, and I, as a reader, knew exactly what she did, and that gave it a sense of overall mystery, I love being surprised!
I found I could relate to Katniss in almost every way: she stepped up to save her little sister from entering the Games, knowing that her chances weren't high, but at least her sister'd be safe. I would do the same thing if it happened to any of my brothers; I'm also a big sister. She was very head-strong, and didn't trust many people, unless these people had proven themselves worthy of her trust. Same thing with me. She was modest, and sometimes confused, which gave her a really humane personality.
I really liked Peeta (not his name though). From a start I wanted to believe he really did love Katniss, and I still do. I'm dying to read Catching Fire, and find out what this "Team Peeta" v "Team Gale" is all about, because the only thing I had on my mind while reading was how much I liked Peeta, Gale was barely mentioned. I understand the difference in them, Katniss shared her life with Gale, and she fought alongside Peeta in the Games, so she's got a strong connection with both of them. But I didn't see her thinking much about Gale while she was sleeping beside Peeta.
Maybe if I read Catching Fire I'll understand it better.
To sum it all up, The Hunger Games is a wonderful book, full of twists and turns, romance, not at all predictable (a huge plus to Collins!), and its fair share of darkness.
Monkey Rating: 5 Monkeys!
Author's Site: http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/