Survival of the Fittest: The Hunger Games

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By Jamie Sughroue, Opinion Editor

    In the parcel of land once known as North America, ravaged by drought, storms, floods and war, a new country is born. It is called Panem, and in it lives a teenager faced with an impossible decision. There are few other options. The government has seen to that. Every year, two children from each of the 13 districts are chosen to participate in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death. Your name is called. You go…unless someone volunteers to go in your stead.

    Like her name suggests, Katniss moves with agility, instinct and self-preservation. These attributes sustain herself and family, as well as those within her district, as she fights for survival during the Hunger Games. She’s used to defending what’s hers and subverting the rules to do what she deems right, and as the games come to an end, radical changes come to pass with life-altering repercussions for all associated with her.

    In a tale rife with brutality, love is always smoldering underneath. The book could be too dark for many young adult readers if it weren’t tempered with a love triangle, friendships that form in unlikely places, and an engaging, intriguing plot that pushes the reader to force through even the most unpleasant of twists.

    The familial ties that bind Katniss weigh heavily in her decisions pre- and post- Hunger Games, and will be intriguing to see play out on the big screen. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark and Liam Hemsworth as Gale Hawthorne, the film adaptation is eagerly anticipated by fans. The cast is sprinkled with familiar names, such as Donald Sutherland and rocker Lenny Kravitz. Sutherland assumes the role of President Snow, a malevolent dictator, ruler of Panem. Kravitz steps into the shoes of Cinna, Katniss’ beloved stylist.

    According to MTV.com, “The Hunger Games” is expected to hit theaters on March 23, 2012. “Catching Fire,” the second in the trilogy, is set to release in 2013, with “Mockingjay” concluding the series Thanksgiving weekend of 2014. Enthusiasts are ravenous for anything associated with “The Hunger Games,” and can only whet their appetite until the movie is released with fan sites, movie stills and the books themselves.

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