The Hunger Games trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay; available at National Bookstore for P759 each (hardbound), P995 for the paperback boxed set, which one lucky reader is going to win!
The first time I saw The Hunger Games was at a Candy shoot in 2009. Marla asked Pat to shoot the books for the magazine, and while I was a little curious about the title, I neglected to look up the book when we got back to the office, and then forgot about it.
A part of me is kicking myself for having missed out on a series so amazing for well over a year. Another part of me is relieved that I caught on so late, because by the time I was finishing Catching Fire, Mockingjay was just about to be released. (I can’t imagine what it must have been like for early fans, the wait after that crazy cliffhanger!)
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
The Hunger Games trilogy is classified as a young adult speculative fiction series. I bought the books because I was looking for light reading, and young adult novels are always good for that. Little did I know that, although I was getting what I asked for and the text wasn’t challenging, the story itself would be one of the heaviest I’d ever read.
Like, seriously, after I finished Mockingjay, I was completely dazed. I just threw myself into bed and stared at my ceiling for 15 minutes. It was so intense.
Anyway. We find ourselves in a dystopian future; in a country called Panem (formerly North America) that is ruled by an all-powerful Capitol. Panem is divided into 12 districts. Each district serves a specific purpose: one cares for livestock, another does the fishing, another is in charge of agriculture, there’s a district for electronics, for lumber, etcetera. All of these districts deliver goods to the Capitol. All the districts are strictly controlled. All of them live in near poverty. All of them live in fear.
And every year, as punishment for an attempt to revolt against the Capitol (which lead to the destruction of District 13), each district is required to send two children between the ages of 12 and 18—one male, one female—to battle to the death until there is only one person left standing, in a brutal, televised bloodbath called the Hunger Games.
Children die to entertain the Capitol, and the districts never forget that they’re so powerless, they can’t even save their children from slaughter. Heavy stuff for young adult, eh?