THE HUNGER GAMES book report

Frida JOnsson


This book is about a televised game made part as entertainment, part as a brutal penalty for a past rebellion. It takes place in Panem; a nation built from the ruins of what was once North America, divided into twelve districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. It’s mostly sadness for one to be selected.

This year Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are the tributes from the coal-mining district twelve. Katniss is the main character. A girl with brown long hair usually tacked in a braid, a rough sarcasm and a bow and arrows on her back. Peeta is at first a flat character. He’s the baker’s son, nice and compassionate. Not until after the reaping he becomes a round character, the second most important in the novel. He fights against the Gamemakers attempts to turn him into a monster and wishes to figure out a way to show them that they don’t own him.


There are a lot of smaller turning points in the novel.

One is at the reaping, when the odds are actually in Prim’s (Katniss younger sister) favour, because a slip with her name is entered in the pool only once while, for example, Katniss’ name is entered twenty times and Gales as much as forty-two times (they enter their names more times the older they get and to exchange for food). So the chance for Prim to be selected hardly exists, it’s one in thousands. But still, Primrose Everdeen is the name they read out at the reaping. No one really believes what they hear, especially not Katniss. When her ability to speak finally returns she screams out the very rare phrase that hasn’t been used in the district for descends. “I volunteer!”. The plot turns around very quickly and now it’s suddenly Katniss mission to fight in The Hunger Games.


Another turning point is when they get into the arena and Peeta, who is the second tribute from district 12 joins a pack with the toughest tributes and turns his back against Katniss. Not only forsaking her but also helping the others to find her, so they can kill their biggest threat. When Katniss finds out what Peeta has done to her, she realizes that she is completely alone in the arena.

The real turning point though, is at the end of the games when everyone, except Katniss and Peeta of course, is dead. Killed by other tributes, natural disasters or starvation. Katniss and Peeta have forgiven each other and once again work together as a team. They have no plans on killing each other, but someone has to win or the games won’t end.  So after surviving the man-eating dogs and several others of the Capitols attempts to kill one of them, they both decide to eat poisonous berries as a last protest against the games and an escape from killing each other. When they have counted to three and are just about to put the berries in their mouths, a voice from the Capitol tells them to stop. And after that he represents the winners (yes winners, not winner) of the 74th Hunger Games. And having that said he admits the Capitols lost against the people.


The whole book is written in a first-person point of view, obviously in Katniss Everdeen’s point of view. She tells the readers what happens, describes every little thing around her and shares her thoughts with them. No one else gets the chance to talk straight to them. And nor do they get any more information about the other characters than Katniss does. This adds to the excitement and dramatic because neither the reader, nor Katniss herself, has any idea what is coming next. No one gets to know that Peeta is truly in love with Katniss before he tells her. The reader gets a chance to feel more involved instead of observing the story from a third point of view.


The setting of the novel plays a very important role. During every chapter descriptions and details about the nature, arena or districts are being told. The arena, specific, determines what will happen. If there’s wood; the tributes climb trees, if there’s a lake; they take shelter from deadly wasps and so on.


The mainly theme is the inequality between rich and poor. The people living in the Capitol and certain of the districts are the rich ones. District twelve, where Katniss and Peeta lives, are among the poorest ones. The disparity reveals itself in many ways, but the most notable is food. As I mentioned earlier, they can enter their names more times to exchange for food.  Katniss also has to hunt illegally to feed her family.

The Capitol is working hard to keep the inequality as a reminder that the districts should not start a new rebellion. They are using brutal methods to do this such as the Games, rules forcing them to sell the coal and crops they’re producing and forbidding them to travel out of the districts.


The author


Suzanne Collins was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1962. Her father was a military officer, so her family was constantly moving around in the eastern U.S. She graduated from a school of fine arts and a university as major and double major in theatre art. She started her career as a writer for children’s television show. After some success in that section, she was inspired by another author and by Alice in Wonderland to write her own children’s books. Her breakthrough as an author came with The Underland Chronicles, a series of five epic fantasy novels.


Despite the success, those novels are pretty much overshadowed by the one and only trilogy: The Hunger Games. Partly inspired by a Greek myth and partly by her father’s career in the Air Force (which allowed her to have better understanding of poverty, starvation and other effects of war) she created a masterpiece. Within 14 months, 1.5 million copies of the first two books were printed (in North America alone).

Lions Gate Entertainment asked for worldwide distribution rights to make a film adaptation of The Hunger Games and Suzanne gave it to them. She even adapted the novels for films herself and she was very involved in the casting and production.

Suzannes reaction to Jennifer Lawrence playing her beloved heroine Katniss Everdeen was very positive and, in a letter to her fans, she made an official statement about how she couldn’t have asked for a better actress. “We have found Katniss” she wrote.

As a result of the significant popularity of The Hunger Games, Suzanne was named one of the most influential people of 2010 and she has also won several awards.


I think Suzanne has done a clever and wonderful job making this story outstanding. The story develops fast and one can get sucked in to it very quickly. She didn’t want to write a classically dystopian text, where everything would have been as bad as it could get and then Katniss would have rebelled against the Games to eventually become a coward and die. I can see the point of not doing that, because a trilogy where the main character dies in the first novel wouldn’t be such a hit.

Instead, Suzanne wanted to make some sort of a response to reality TV and war. For example Katniss, who clearly has no feelings for Peeta, kisses him when she has discovered that’s what it takes to get soup from her sponsors. She does that, even though the boy she loves probably watches the Games. This love triangle is a clever part of the novel. People do like to read about stories that involve relationships, especially of this sort. In fact, the idea of the love triangle came from Suzanne’s editor who wanted the story to be more character-driven, while Suzanne focused on the war story. If her editor wouldn’t have purposed that, the story probably would have been too plot-driven and the readers wouldn’t sympathize with the characters enough.


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