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Before I started reading Hunger Games, I had read some reviews going gaga over the book, but I was still not ready for it. The basic story premise goes something like this:
Set in a post-apocalyptic future, America is now divided into 12 districts ruled with an iron hand by the Capitol. The 12 districts each supplies the Capitol with different products such as coal, agricultural goods, etc. Years ago, there had been a rebellion by the districts against the Capitol which had been quashed mercilessly and utterly by the Capitol. As a reminder of the power the Capitol holds over the destinies of the districts, every year the Capitol chooses 2 children from each district, between the ages of 12 and 18, to fight in the ‘Hunger Games’, a fight to the death. The winner is treated as a hero uplifted from the poverty that hounds everyone else in the districts.
The event is of course televised, with compulsory viewing by the people in the districts. The inhumanity of this comes out when the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen’s younger sister, with no survival skills is chosen for the Games. Long story short, Katniss volunteers to take her place and enters the Games.