My thoughts before reading: Last time someone told me I was in for "an amazing book" they handed me a gigantic book about touching faces with an old, cold, homicidal man. Needless to say I have my doubts about this.
Also, this girl has my last name. So, if she turns out to be cool I can tell people we're sisters. (Nobody will think that it's weird, don't worry.) Is it just me, or does she have kind of a stupid name? That's okay, I have a friend named Chip.
Hey Chip! I think we found someone to bump you down to number two on the "Names that I like less than Spot but more than Gunther" list.
With that in mind, lets press on. Shall we?
Part 1- "The Tributes"
Chapter 1- Well look at that, they don't have titles! Should I make one up? Okay then: "Katniss 'ThunderKat' Everdeen."
At the start of the book we are introduced to a girl who, doesn't say her name yet, but I assume is Katniss Everdeen. She says she has one sister named Primrose (Her name isn't going on the list, I like it) and a mom. She gets up from bed and the first thing she does is put on her hunting boots.
Whoa! Stop everything! In the last cultural phenomenon novel I read, the first thing the heroine did after getting out of bed was whine about the green, leafy plants that plagued the view from her window. But Katniss is waking up...and preparing to KILL ASSORTED LIFE FORMS? Oh. My. God. Hey Katniss! Um can I call you Kat? Wanna be best friends? If you promise not to kill me, I'll let you win at Super Mario Brothers. I'm willing to do that because I already know that you are wicked awesome.
The next four paragraphs show me that not only am I in for a good story but that my new life ambition is to become Katniss Everdeen. Of course, i say this because I'm comparing it the the last cultural phenomenon novel (which will now be abbreviated to LCPN). In the LCPN, 4 paragraphs taught me that the heroine (if you can call it that) whines. A lot. In four paragraphs with this girl I learn:
In paragraph 1: She hunts
In paragraph 2: She sneaks, ILLEGALLY, under an electrified fence.
In paragraph 3: Her dad died in a mine explosion and now, I'm assuming, she does all the hunting in his place.
In paragraph 4: Her weapon is a bow and arrow.
Maybe you didn't hear me. She kills things with a freaking BOW AND ARROW. I just KNEW Legolas had a long lost sister. She might as well be a Silvan Elf. Why doesn't this book just go on forever?
Okay so she goes out hunting on a day called "The Reaping." She meets her friend Gale in the woods and they start hunting together. Gale, as it turns out, is just as awesome as Katniss. They both hunt to feed their families and take care of business. It is at this point where I started making them capes to wear. After hunting and trading their kill on the black market at a place called The Hobb, they both go home. (If this girl gets any more BA I think the book will be too hot to hold.)
Right before this happens, though, we learn some more details about life in The Seam. Apparently they are so poor that you can trade a tessara of grain in exchange for having your name entered into the drawing for what I assume is the Hunger Games more than it already is. Katniss, who supports her whole family, has her name in 20 times and Gale has his in 42. I guess this is bad. Worse than Heidi Montag's new face.
Yada yada yada they go to the reaping yada yada yada. Then the history of the Hunger Games is read and things get juicy. The Sparknotes version is that there was once 13 districts in the country Panem, ruled from the Capitol. But the rulers were Douche bags so the thirteenth district tried to rebel. Then the Capitol was like, "Oh no you didn't beeyotches," and had them annihilated. So now, since the Capitol has control issues, they make each district send one boy and one girl to participate in The Hunger Games. Over several weeks all 24 kids must participate in a fight to the death. Last person to not get slaughtered, wins.
Oh my. This book is too legit to quit. I just gave it it's own spot on my bed. And a plush new book cover. I wonder if I should sing to it. It deserves a parade.
On the last page, I expect Katniss to be called. I'm about to snicker at the predictability of an otherwise mind-blowing first chapter. I get ready to give myself a pat on the back, but then it shocks me.
They call her little sister, Primrose Everdeen.
Suzanne, you saucy minx! You had me fooled! I thought Katniss was going!
At first I thought, whatevs; someones gotta die. Might as well be the one who doesn't traverse the district, brandishing a bow and arrow (whilst flying?). But then I thought about it. Kat (Again, can I call you Kat) loves her sis more than anything. Kat described her as an angel and as being only 12. I've also decided that she looks like Dakota Fanning in "I Am Sam." What if it were my sister?
My heart just fell through my butt.
So in review:
Bleak dystopian setting...check.
BA heroine with BA weapons...check.
Box of Wheat Thins...check
Prediction: Katniss dons her homemade cape and decides enough is enough. She takes her bow and arrow and kills every Peace Keeper in sight. Somehow, her awesomeness permeates the air and Robocop and the Green Lantern Corps show up to defeat the Capitol. The peacekeepers now participate in the Hunger Games. Katniss learns that she can shape shift/fly/see through walls.
P.S. I'm so glad I made these capes in an aerodynamic fashion. Im getting almost no wind-drag while running down the street. I wish my neighbors would put their phones down and stop looking at me so suspiciously. Do you hear sirens?