Great Story, Heavy Violence
The Hunger Games is, as plainly as I can put it, a violent YA novel. I don't think I need to tell you that it has elements that, maybe more easily recognizable for an older age, can be seen as extremely heavy.
The heroine of the story is Katniss Everdeen, a strong and fiercely protective young woman (in this book, she's 16 years old) and the caretaker of her mother and her younger sister, Prim, who just so happens to be the reason for the future events about to take place. But I won't go in to that too much, with it being a plot twist best found out on your own. Katniss, although crushed by the terrible death of her father, and the undeniably poor state of her district, has somehow overcome that, not to mention the violent history of her country. She is likable, but not easily likable. She's brave, but stays humane enough to feel rightfully afraid. Oh, and she's deadly vicious with a bow and arrow (hence the name, Kantiss, which shares names with the flower, nicknamed "Arrowhead").
In this story she's paired with Peeta Mellark, the boy chosen from her district as a "tribute" for The Hunger Games. Together they are paired up as "Star-crossed Lovers" and, much later, allies.
You may be wondering who is included in the story as the antagonist. I could name a few, but I feel for this book that the main antagonist would be the fearsome Capital, who, basically, are the reason for the Games.
Although I am a big fan of The Hunger Games, having read it six times, I have to say that the violence is a little too well-described, and it can be very scary for someone who might have grown up around war (the Iraq War, for instance). I don't believe that younger preteens should be picking up this book, but who can stop them? This book is extremely popular, critically acclaimed, targeted towards that age group, well written, and I of all people have to admit, it's extremely fun.
So who should be picking up this book? Well, when I pick up a book that does not seem like something very nice to read, I do the easiest thing, which is to put it down. It's really the reader's decision.
This title contains:
Great role models
Too much violence