The Hunger Games Trilogy.
The world has gone to hell. North America is now Panem, a country divided into 12 Districts and ruled over by the Capitol. Each year the Districts are forced to participate in the reaping, where a boy and a girl from each District, called Tributes, will be picked to compete in The Hunger Games.The Hunger Games is the ultimate test of survival. A televised event pitting the Tributes against each other in a fight to the death. There can be only one winner. It's basically hardcore Survivor. But instead of being voted off and Jeff Probst whisking you away to a mere four star hotel, the contestants must kill each other and wait for the body of the person they've just bludgeoned to be transported elsewhere by hovercraft. Hard. Core.
The story revolves around Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is one tough cookie. She hunts, fishes, single-handedly takes care of her small family, and now, after taking her younger sister's place, she must compete in the Games. Also picked from her District is Peeta Mellark. A boy with whom Katniss shares a bit of a history (and maybe a bit of a romance with as well!) Rounding out the main cast of characters introduced in this book are Haymitch, former District 12 winner of The Hunger Games (and resident drunk) as well as mentor to Katniss and Peeta; Rue, the small Tribute from District 11 and eventual ally to Katniss; Gale, Katniss' best friend and hunting buddy from the Seam; Prim, Katniss' little sister; Cinna, Katniss' stylist (because the Capitol wants to pretty you up before they lead you to slaughter); and Effie Trinket, District 12's overly enthusiastic escort.
The plot is pretty basic. Stay alive by any means necessary. But Suzanne Collins has managed to make magic because with every turn of the page you want these characters to be ok. You want them to come out on the other side safe and unscathed but, because of the rules of the Games, you know that some of them won't and it breaks your heart. Suzanne Collins did a wonderful job with these characters. She had me rooting for them, worried for them, frightened for them and ecstatic for them. This book is an emotional roller coaster for the reader because, with how the Games are, there's danger around every corner and no one's safety is guaranteed. This makes the book very fast paced without being sloppy. I wanted to pick it up and read it every night until my eyes were sore and my vision became blurry and even then I still wanted to finish Katniss' story but sleep would eventually win out. In the morning I would see the book on my nightstand and get all whipped up again waiting for the moment when I could dive back in. I thought the book was beautifully written and very interesting. The whole book is a masterpiece in my opinion. The characters, the plot, the pacing, the imagery, the details! All of it comes together so wonderfully! I can't wait to get started on Catching Fire and see what happens next!
I HIGHLY recommend The Hunger Games especially if you're looking for something a bit supernatural but also unique and have grown tired of the vampire/werewolf/fairy/angel/witch lit that have been tumbling from the YA shelves lately.
The Scale of Judgment says...... 5!
Stay tuned, muffins. I'll be reviewing Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games, soon. So keep checking back and may the odds by ever in your favor! ;)