Okay, I have finally finished reading The Hunger Games thoroughly.
The buzz of the movie adaptation finally induced me to read it. I was actually surprised that it is good. It had the same vibe as Battle Royale, in which all the morbidity and gore are the things that get me hooked.
The story takes place in this dystopic, post-apocalyptic country called Panem. The Capitol controls everything, hence the name 'The Capitol.' Citizens of Panem are mandated where they would live in the 12 districts, they would be very lucky if they get in The Capitol. Why? Because it's the sole city where there is no poverty, no starvation and it is where The Hunger Games takes place.
Each year, 2 representatives, aging 12-18 years old, 1 boy and 1 girl from each of the 12 districts are picked to participate in The Hunger Games. They are called Tributes. They are to kill each other until only one survives the whole ordeal. And fight they will, for the Capitol will manipulate everything in the arena so that the Hunger Games will commence as planned and only one victor will stand. And so the battle starts with the sound of a gong and every kid was fighting for dear life. "May the odds be ever in your favor" is one the favorite things that the characters in the book like to say.
Several plot twists make the whole story quite interesting, but I will not be posting that because I might be spoiling the story for some of you.
After reading the whole book, I found out why the book is popular with kids. First, the main characters are 'tweens,' very much like the readers. The underlying theme of poverty and oppression also stirs up that rebellious nature inside of them. There's also a very cliche romantic twist a midst all the brutal killing, which I think kids these days will gobble up almost instantly. Suzanne Collins did a really good job making a story that could almost be at par with the Harry Potter series.
I like it because it's fairly easy to read. The narratives weren't vague and fragmented. It was a simple first person point of view, which is good. But even if it is, the story has depth and the "back-stories" have a certain amount of 'thickness' to it, so to speak. It will keep you reading on for more. The pacing is also very good too. Certain twists are not that predictable, but I find it cheesy and overused sometimes. Parts of the book really hits a nerve, I got depressed when one of the characters died. Pathetic as it may sound, but I just felt how Suzanne Collins want me to feel on that part of that book, in which I applaud her. She's done her job, or maybe I just became too emotionally attached to a fictional character. Haha.
All-in-all, I think people of all ages would read the series. I would very much want to see the movie now.
P.S. I would definitely die of starvation first before any of the tributes could have killed me.