Tuesday, March 30, 2010
9. the HUNGER GAMES
The Book Blurb:
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before -- and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
What Hooked Me:
Unbelievable as it may sound, even with a plot that promises death and destruction, I love that the author managed to have the minimum amount of violent scenes necessary to describe the intensity of the Hunger Games. And that she definitely left us clamouring for more.
'When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim's warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.'(opening lines)
'I protect Prim in every way I can, but I'm powerless against the reaping. The anguish I always feel when she's in pain wells up in my chest and threatens to register on my face. I notice her blouse has pulled out of her shirt in the back again and force myself to stay calm. "tuck your tail in, little duck," I say , smoothing the blouse back in place.
Prim giggles and gives me a small "Quack."'(15-16)
'The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.'(18)
'Bright and bubbly as ever, Effie Trinket trots to the podium and gives her signature., "Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!"(19)
'But a shift has occurred since I stepped up to take Prim's place, and now it seems I have become someone precious. At first one, then another, then almost every member of the crowd touched the three middle fingers of their left hand to their lips and holds it out to me...It means thanks, it means admiration, it means good-bye to someone you love.'(24)
'To this day, I can never shake the connection between this boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave me hope, and the dandelion that reminded me that I was not doomed.'(32)
'Instead, the jabberjays mated with female mockingbirds, creating a whole new species that could replicate both bird whistles and human melodies.'(43)
'My father was particularly fond of mockingjays. When we went hunting, he would whistle or sing complicated songs to them and, after a polite pause, they'd always sing back. Not everyone is treated with such respect. But whenever my father sang, all the birds in the area would fall silent and listen. His voice was that beautiful, high and clear and so filled with life it made you want to laugh and cry at the same time.'(43)
'One by one, we see the other reapings, the names called, the volunteers stepping forward or, more often, not. We examine the faces of the kids who will be our competition. A few stand out in my mind. A monstrous boy who lunges forward to volunteer from District 2. A fox-faced girl with sleek red hair from District 5. A boy with a crippled foot from District 10. And most hauntingly, a twelve-year-old girl from District 11.'(45)
'A kind Peeta Mellark is far more dangerous to me than an unkind one. Kind people have a way of working their way inside me and rooting there.'(49)
"I want the audience to recognize you when you're in the arena," says Cinna dreamily. "Katniss, the girl who was on fire."(66)
'Somehow the whole thing -- his skill, those inaccessible cakes, the praise of the camouflage expert -- annoys me.
"It's lovely. If only you could frost someone to death," I say.'(96)
'Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to... to show the Capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games, says Peeta.'(142)
'I pick my tree carefully. A willow, not terribly tall but set in a clump of other willows, offering concealment in those long, flowing tresses. I climb up, sticking to the stronger branches close to the trunk, and find a sturdy fork for my bed.'(155-156)
'And that revelation has barely registered when I notice the collar with the number I inlaid with jewels and the whole horrible thing hits me. The blond hair, the green eyes, the number ... it's Glimmer.'(333)
'We both know they have to have a victor.'(344)
a Scholastic book edition
Post updated: March 8, 2012