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The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

 

So I have fallen behind a little bit with my posts.  Recently, I ran out of books from the library, so I decided to start rereading the Hunger Games Trilogy.  I also decided to do this so that when I watched the movie again, I would have a better base for comparison having read the books recently.  Anyways, I love The Hunger Games.  It is probably my favorite book currently.  Although I do not really hold the rest of the series in that regard.  I think as a whole series it really is a bit of a let down in the end.  Suzanne Collins sets a really high standard with the first book and the others seem to fall a little flat.

The Hunger Games is set in a dystopia where the people in the Capitol want for nothing while most of the people in the Districts are sick, starving, and struggling to get by.  The Capitol also acts in ways to continue to show their dominance over the Districts and to attempt to stem off rebellion like one that took place around 75 years earlier.  One main tool that they use in this regard is the Hunger Games.  This is an event that happens every year.  Each District is required to send two tributes, one male and one female, to the Capitol in order to battle against the other tributes in hopes of being the last person standing.  This person is then set for life and their District receives gifts until the next victor is crowned.

Obviously Katniss Everdeen ends up going to the Hunger Games after she volunteers in place of her sister.  Being from District 12 she is automatically a huge underdog.  However, her hunting prowess and the charisma of her fellow District 12 tribute, Peeta Mellark, results in them being the last two tributes standing.  Believing a rule change would save them both, Peeta and Katniss teamed up, but in the end it was two good to be true and the Capitol wants them to battle it out so there is only one victor.  Katniss pulls out poisonous nightlock berries that they intend to eat at the same time resulting in no victor.  Immediately they are stopped and both declared victors.  This is considered a small act of rebellion by some Capitol officials and Katniss needs to watch her step to protect both herself and Peeta from their wrath.

Catching Fire picks up when they are preparing for the victors tour where Katniss and Peeta will travel to each of the Districts for celebrations.  President Snow visits Katniss and informs her that she better convince everyone that she acted out of love with the nightlock berries and stem any uprisings that may be in the works.  He is mostly unsatisfied with her attempts and several uprisings begin in the Districts.

This year of the Hunger Games is the 75th which makes it a Quarter Quell which were determined when the games were established.  Quarter Quells happen every 25 years and have a special twist.  The first twist was that each District had to vote in their tributes rather than the typical reaping.  The second was that twice as many tributes would go.  This was the games that Haymitch Abernathy (Peeta and Katniss’ mentor in the games) competed in and won.  For the third Quarter Quell, the reaping uses only the pool of victors from each District.  This results in Katniss and Peeta going back into the arena.

In the end, there is a plot involving tributes, mentors, and game makers to begin a rebellion.  Ultimately, several of the tributes are able to break out of the arena.  Some are taken to safety by the rebels (Katniss and Finnick Odair) while others (Peeta and Johanna Mason) are captured by the Capitol.  This sets the scene for Mockingjay where the actual war takes place.

 

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