The story takes place in North America in the future. Society is organized under the Capitol which is located somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. The rest of the people are divided into districts 1-12. 75 years ago there was a rebellion where the districts revolted against the capitol. They were subdued and a 13th district that existed up until that time was utterly destroyed.
To remind the people of the Capitol's complete control over them, and to remind them of the consequences of their trying to revolt, the Capitol instituted the Hunger Games, a yearly televised event in which each district is required to send two youth, a boy and girl to represent their district in a survivor/gladiator-style fight to the death in which one victor remains.
The main character Katniss volunteers to go in the place of her younger sister whose name is drawn. The male tribute who ends up being selected is connected to Katniss in an interesting way. As their story develops you learn more about their past and wonder more about the future of their story.
This book is totally my style of fiction. I love dystopian novels. I definitely recommend it to anyone else with similar tastes. Here are a number of books that I also love that it reminded me of. If you liked any of these books I think you would enjoy The Hunger Games as well.
The Hunger Games shows some similar themes as Lord of the Flies. There is the survival aspect, and the youth warring with each other. Another similar theme was the idea of whether or not you can stay true to your self and dignity in a situation like this or if you allow yourself to be changed into something different entirely. In both novels you see characters that go both ways. This always relates to our own lives and how we choose to react to situations that we are placed in.
The similarity with Fahrenheit 451 is more of an undertone in The Hunger Games but seems like it will come out more in the next book. The idea of quiet rebellion and everyday people fighting in small ways to overcome oppression. I could feel this vibe through the whole book. You can tell that something is going to happen.
We didn't realise until the end that this book is one of a trilogy. (I know Mom, you hate all the trilogies.) But getting towards the end I was getting afraid that nothing was going to change--about the society, or the system, because what is the point of going through all of this story if nothing is going to change? I told Jeremy "That would make this only a horror story." But the rest of the story is yet to come.
Finally, It reminded me of my favorite book from 2008: The Host. The idea of what price is too great to pay for peace? Is it all that bad if people are being oppressed if the trade-off means they are living in a peaceful safe environment? Will people who feel oppressed ever stop desiring true freedom and finding little ways to fight back?
The Host also includes the "survival" aspect and love interests that are complicated within the crazy storyline. Call me a sap but I like a good love-interest in a story. I definitely know MY life would be more boring without my hubby in it. I may be sentimental but I like to see my fictional characters end up in a happy, stable, mutually appreciated, loving relationship.