The Hunger Games
1 journaler for this copy...
A key difference from the books I mentioned: participants in these games may receive benefits during the game from "sponsors", something that not only affects the course of the games but that allows some degree of communication, of sorts, between the competitors and the families and friends they left behind. [Another factor is the ongoing media coverage, much of which the competitors are allowed to see during the games; heroine Katniss uses this to her advantage a time or two.]
The majority of the story has to do with the difficulties of life in this world, of the resilience of Katniss in her attempts to support her family, and with the challenges of the games themselves, whether physical, strategic - or the more heartbreaking ones of whom to trust and for how long. I found myself liking Katniss, even when she wasn't being all that likable - her situation excused a lot of her behavior - and her abilities in woodcraft, herbalism, and hunting made her a far-from-helpless heroine. The other main characters were appealing as well, including some of the Capitol folk involved with the games - it was clear that not all of them were content to see so many young people forced to die for entertainment value. Hints of discontent and possible rebellion laid groundwork for later books, I imagine; in this one, it lent depth to the story.
It's difficult to set up a plot like this, where the whole point is that people are being forced to kill innocents just like themselves, and to keep the main characters sympathetic even though they do wind up killing - and to depict the joy at each success while not forgetting the cost, but I think it was achieved here. I'm glad I read this one!
[There's an extensive TV Tropes page for the series, with a link to a separate page for the film. Interesting info, but beware of spoilers.]
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