Published in 2008 by Scholastic, The Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy of Young Adult science fiction novels by Suzanne Collins.
Sixteen year old Katinss Everdeen lives with her mother and younger sister, Prim in a post-apocalyptic world where a powerful government called the Capitol has risen up after several devastating disasters. The Hunger Games are an annual televised event – like a regular reality show – where the ruthless and evil Capitol randomly selects one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts, who are then pitted against each other in a game of survival and forced to kill until only one remains.
The plot thickens when Katniss volunteers to go to the Games instead of Prim, and along with Peeta Mellark, the boy tribute from her district leaves for the games. During this time, Peeta reveals on-air his long-time unrequited love for Katniss. Katniss believes this to be a ploy to gain audience support for the Games, which can be crucial for survival, as audience members are permitted to send gifts to the tributes during the Games.
Due to the immense popularity of Katniss and Peeta’s supposed ‘star-crossed lovers’ image, a rule change is announced in which two tributes of the same district can be winners.
Katniss, therefore, immediately finds Peeta in the Games arena and together they reach the grand finale of the games. To heighten the interest, the new rule is repealed. Instead of fighting down to death, Katinss and Peeta threaten to suicide so the 74th games will never have its winner. Subsequently, they’re both immediately declared winners.
After returning to the Capitol, Katniss must deal with the aftermath of defying the Capitol publicly. Her on-screen romance with Peeta also comes to a halt when he is heartbroken to learn that their relationship was all an act for the audience, though Katniss is unsure of her feelings.
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