Suzanne Collins', "The Hunger Games," is the first of three in her beautifully written sci-fi saga. Narrated by female heroin Katniss Everdeen, the novel is set in fictional post-apocalyptic Panem, which consists of the Capitol and the twelve districts it controls dictatorially. The Hunger Games are an annual event enforced by the Capitol on the twelve districts whereby two tributes from each district, a male and a female between the ages of 12-18, must fight in a televised battle until one victor remains. They were designed as a form of punishment for a former rebellion against the Capitol. Whoever survives serves as a reminder year-round that the capitol has the districts on a leash, and that the Games are not over. Our heroin is from District 12, one of the poorest and weakest of the districts, with only one victor in the 73-year history of the Games. .
Collins' starts the novel on Reaping Day, a pre-Hunger Games event designed to pick out two teenagers from each district to fight in the Hunger Games. The names are picked out from a hat. Every year, another card with the names of the potential tributes is added, so the older you are, the higher your risk of being chosen. Your name can also be added more if you sign up for tesserae, annual supply of grain and other food items for your family. Knowing this, Katniss tries to protect her 12-year old sister Primrose by making sure she doesn't sign up for tesserae. Luck wasn't in their favor, and Prim gets picked out to be a tribute, to fight with twenty-three other tributes till death, despite her name being added only once. Brave heroin Katniss volunteered to take her sisters place. She faces a dilemma right then and there when the other tribute from her district is picked out. Peeta Mellark. He once threw bread from his family-owned bakery to feed poverty-stricken Katniss; she was indebted to him and yet had to kill him to survive.
Once the tributes have been picked out, the events play out in a blur.