Hunger Games (Book 1)
Set in a post-apocalyptic world of Panem, Suzzane Collins wrote this book under the reference to the contemporary reality tv shows with the twist of the story derived from the footage of Iraq Invasion.
She based Katniss Everdeen's (main protagonist) character on the mythical character Theseus who fought for the social order injustice in Athens.
The Heart of the Game
The entire book's point of view is entirely by the young and vibrant Katniss Everdeen whom has lost her beloved father years before the story began. Being the sole bread winner to the family along with her grieving mother and sweet little sister Prim, she managed to hunt for their food and met her best friend Gale Hemsworth who is also from District 12.
I'd like to think that Katniss is so naive and doesn't have the idea on how to cope with the actions of her best friend and how this person is genuinely fond of her. I mean, i think it's obvious that her best friend likes her. Well girls are by nature like that, (not the aggressive ones i must say) we tend to sort of act clueless and not admit to ourselves that we can actually understand what the boy wants to say. But we still want them to tell it straight to us without having to decipher what he really meant by what he said.
--For example in these conversations:
Gale to Katniss:
“We could do it, you know,” Gale says quietly.
“What?” I ask.
“Leave the district. Run off. Live in the woods. You and I, we could make it,” says Gale.
I don’t know how to respond. The idea is so preposterous.
“I never want to have kids,” I say.
“I might. If I didn’t live here,” says Gale.
“But you do,” I say, irritated.
“Forget it,” he snaps back.
Oh well, sometimes girls are also like that. LOL
But that's the beauty of Suzzane Collin's style. We can relate to the character's emotions such as joy, confusion, grief or anger.
When the country's metropolis, The Capitol held its 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss volunteered in place of the safety of her younger sister, Prim who was unfavorably chosen as on of the tribute to compete for her life inside the designed battle arena. Another tribute which should be a boy is drawn under the name of Peeta Mellark. He happens to be a baker's son who helped Katniss once in her life when she was starving to death looking for food for her family.
The book's conflict is on how can Katniss survive inside the arena and inner conflicts such as how can Katniss survive in the facade love affair with Peeta Mellark. When I think about Peeta, i just can't help but smile every time he interjects his 'love' for this young girl. He is indeed the 'Lover Boy'.
Peeta to Katniss:
“You have a . . . remarkable memory,” I say haltingly.
“I remember everything about you,” says Peeta, tucking a
loose strand of hair behind my ear.
“You’re the one who wasn’t paying attention.”
Peeta Mellark is the characterization of the person that Katniss don't want to be with because she is afraid that she might fall hard for this young man and feels guilty about it because she knows deep in her heart that she must be loyal to her 'best friend'. I don't think she loves Gale that deeply, she's just confuse cause she feels that comfort that her father provides her when she's with Gale. And ofcourse if she realizes about her true feelings to Peeta the soonest then there would be no story to follow. :))
The Strength of the Game
Suzanne Collins clearly captures the depiction of today's tv reality shows and let the reader be involved in the agony of one tribute while inside the arena. It feels like you are also fighting for your life and feeling the lost of someone who became so dear to you such as the sweet little Rue. The Battle Royale that we know is now taken to a deeper sense that these tributes also have feelings and they are also humans. They also have the capacity to feel pain and thirst and hunger(literally). I even remember the anime series Hunter X Hunter while I was reading this book. The melodramatic side of fighting for your life and glory is written in this book.
Then I remember Peeta’s words on the roof. “Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to . . . to show the Capital they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.” And for the first time, I understand what he means.
Another point that should be given credit to the author is the attempt to show the world the racial discrimination and political repression in the country of Panem. We can say that it is superficial or it can also be based on the current situation of the real world.
The End of the Game
It is one of those cliff hanger that I don't want to miss. I was in space and in awe when I finished the last chapter of this book. I had to take a deep breath before I went back to my own reality. In short, I'd want to follow the journey of the fierce and brave Katniss in the succeeding books. On how she would face President Snow's next move and what it'll be like to be with Peeta every single day.