In future, distant or near, there is a place called Panem, with a Capitol and 12 Districts. Each district specialises in one field that ultimately serves to the need of the Capitol and its citizens. Every year 2 teenagers a boy and a girl from each district should be sent as tributes to the Capitol to participate in Hunger Games, a celebration of quelling of rebellion of the districts by the Capitol nearly 74 years ago. A token of retribution for all, that the Capitol is all powerful and can takeaway even your own children from you, you see them die televised live with all the world.
Katniss from District 12 just hopes that she is not a tribute this year. She isn't. But she does go to participate in the Hunger Games along with Peeta from her District. Will she survive the games? Does she have it in her to kill 23 other participants to emerge victor? Can she kill the little girl from District 11 who so much resembles her little sister?
Narrated in first person present tense Hunger Games has a very fast pace. Things happen one after another that I was glued to it and finished it in one sitting from 11 in the night to 5 in the early morning. I am sometimes irked by present tense, it doesn't really work for many books, but it works really well for The Hunger Games.
I do think the book should be called Love games. Does Katniss love Peeta or not? Or is it all a game? A Love game telecasted live. Suzanne Collins brings out her perspective on Reality TV with a twist. Katniss is constantly on alert. She knows she is being watched all the time. So all her actions are for the benefit of the audience. How the presence of camera changes our behaviour is interesting. Most of the twists were predictable for me. Wouldn't be surprised if there were real hunger games on TV soon! Published in 2008, this is the first book in the Hunger Games Trilogy.