Every once in a while, on a Thursday, I post an old school assignment that I have written as a “throwback thursday” type thing when I have an assignment I’ve found that seems interesting enough to post. This time have a book review of the Hunger Games I wrote in 6th grade. This won’t follow my normal book review policy because I wrote this before I knew blogging was a thing. But, my opinion still stands.
*Extreme Spoiler Warning for the first book of the Hunger Games
The Hunger Games By Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games is the first book in the trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where North America lays in ruins and a new country-Panem-in its place. In Panem there are 12 (formerly 13) districts and a capital that rules them. The book is in the point of view of the main character Katniss Everdeen who lives in district 12, the poorest district. The book starts with Katniss hunting in the woods with her best friend Gale, even though the penalty for such is death because they refuse to let their families starve. That day is a special day because it is reaping day, the day the tributes are chosen to participate in the hunger games. The hunger games are a televised event made by the capital to turn the districts against each other in order to prevent another uprising. A boy and girl from each district between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen at random and only one survives of the 24. During the reaping Prim (Katniss’ sister whom she adores) is chosen though she is only 12. Katniss desperately volunteers to go instead even though she knows it’s a death sentence because she wants to spare her sister and she has the slight advantage of knowing how to use a bow and arrow. The male tribute being Peeta Mellark which drags up bad memories and bitter feeling for feelings for Katniss as he inadvertently saved her life. Later, when saying their goodbyes Katniss promises Prim she will make it out alive though she doubts this. She is also, visited by Madge the mayor’s daughter who gives her, her mockingjay pin as her district token. Lastly, she sees Gale who promises to make sure Prim survives and afterwards, as he is about to tell her he loves her, the door is slammed in his face so, she doesn’t hear him…
On the train to the capital, it is tense between Katniss and Peeta because in a few weeks either one of them or neither are going to be alive. Their mentor who is supposedly there to help them survive is Haymitch, who is an alcoholic who won the games 24 years ago. He promises to help them though, as long as they do not interfere with his drinking, which Effie (capital escort) does often enough. Once there, Katniss and Peeta are star struck by the flashing, glittering lights of the capital. For the tribute parade, they are unknowingly put into matching outfits and they hold hands because they are both scared and to “show unity” according to the capital. They are set alight with faux fire, which is how Katniss earns the nickname “girl on fire.” They later train for about a week afterwards to practice survival and defense skills for the games. They then get individual sessions to show the gamemakers their skills, where they get a score from 1-12 the higher score, the more sponsors. Katniss is last due to district and gender and becomes frustrated when the drunken gamemakers pay her no attention. In order to get their attention, she shoots an arrow at the roast pig they are staring at. She then storms out, leaving shell-shocked gamemakers behind. Later, when they get their scores Katniss gets an 11, Peeta an 8 and a little girl Rue from district 11 got a 7. The next day, during interviews Peeta confesses his love for Katniss, which she reacts badly to.
The first day of the games are very eventful as 11 die in the bloodbath, Katniss makes an enemy of Clove (the girl from district 2), Katniss gains a knife and backpack with a sleeping bag and some food as well as, almost dying of thirst. The next morning fireballs are unleashed burning Katniss and driving her to a group of tributes called the careers, who have allied with Peeta! She climbs up a tree to escape, as the others are too heavy to follow her. Haymitch sends her burn medicine and she sees Rue in a neighboring tree, who warns her about the tracker jacker nest hanging above her. She saws it off sending it into the midst of the group. Glimmer dies and Katniss steals her bow and arrows after recovering.
After recovering, Katniss allies with Rue who reminds her of Prim. They bond and plan to destroy the careers food supply. But something goes wrong when Katniss’ left ear goes deaf from the explosion caused and Rue is not at the rendezvous point. That is when she hears Rue call for help. Rue is found trapped in a net but Katniss is too late as Marvel (district 1 tribute) throws a spear and it hits Rue. Katniss kills him on instinct and immediately moves to help Rue. At Rue’s last request, Katniss sings her to sleep with the valley song and in an act of defiance and love, covers her body in flowers to prove she was an actual person, not just a piece in the capitals morbid games. Soon afterwards, they announce a rule change where both tributes from the same district can win. Meaning Katniss and Peeta can both survive. This change was brought on from them being known as the star-crossed lovers of district 12.
Katniss then goes looking for Peeta and if horrified to learn that he has gotten blood poisoning from Cato’s (district 2) sword cut. Later, when announcement of a feast is made with promise of medicine for Peeta, Katniss tricks him into eating sleep syrup and runs to get it. Once, there Clove (district 2) attacks her, goading her about Rue’s death and how her own death will be slow and painful. But, Thresh saves her when he smashing Clove’s skull fatally with a rock and spares her for being there for “the little girl.” She then gives Peeta the medicine when she gets back saving his life. Soon after, they go hunting/gathering and Foxface dies when she eats the nightlock berries Peeta accidently gathered. On the last day, the only people left are Cato (who we learn might not be entirely right in the head), Katniss and Peeta. It’s two against one and the odds are very much in their favor.
To drive them together, the capital depletes all the water sources to drive them to the lake. They also, send mutations with the characteristics of the dead tributes after them as well. The three of them climb on top of the cornucopia to escape and Cato falls to the mutts but as he is wearing full body armor they painfully maul him but do not kill him. Katniss sends an arrow to his neck in an act of pity. The mutts then leave and Katniss and Peeta think they won. So, they climb down. An announcement is made removing the rule change allowing them both to live. Realizing that they were set up to kill each other, they threaten dual suicide unless they can both live as this would possibly get they gamemakers hung for not having a victor. Seconds before they carry it out, they are allowed to live though Katniss has now made an enemy of President Snow as he thinks she was igniting a spark to start a rebellion, the underdog outsmarting the “almighty” capital. Once back, Haymitch tells Katniss she has to reverse this by pretending she was so, madly in love with Peeta it drove her to near insanity. When she does Snow is still skeptical and Katniss learns she might have to marry Peeta eventually just to keep peace. Her conflicted emotions turn even more jumbled when she learns Peeta’s feeling were real and when he discovers her conflicted emotions he becomes with drawn and heart broken. At the end of the book Peeta offers Katniss his hand saying “one more time, for the cameras” with Katniss dreading the time she will finally have to let go of the “boy with the bread” because she knows she loves him, just not in what way because she has never been good with feelings and there is the whole Gale factor…