Imagine a future where the United States of America, weakened by drought, famine, and war, collapses. What would emerge from the ashes? Here we see Panem, a new country divided into the unimaginably wealthy Capitol surrounded by 12 districts that range in livable to almost intolerably poor conditions. Actually there were once 13, but as a punishment for district uprising district 13 was totally obliterated and a merciless martial law ruled the rest.
To keep the rest of the districts in line, every year a lottery is held for the Hunger Games. Two children, a boy and a girl, ranging anywhere from twelve to eighteen are chosen from each district to participate in a brutal fight to the death in an environmental arena chosen by the Capitol. Last one standing (living) is the winner.
And this depravity has a bonus feature. The games are televised and every district is forced to watch children, possibly their own, kill each other and be killed. This is considered great entertainment for the Capitol.
I didn’t see the movie but can tell you this about the book. It was ferocious, gripping, and I had trouble putting it down. Confession time: I almost called in sick to finish reading it. Responsibility prevailed (rats!), but I stayed up late that night. It was one of the best stories I have read this year and can’t recommend it enough.
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