Synopsis – The Hunger Games is a televised competition where one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 must compete in a fight to the death in an outdoor arena until only one survivor remains. The games are punishment for a rebellion that took place before the start of the story and that caused the destruction of the 13th district.

The story specifically follows Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old who volunteers to enter the competition in place of her younger sister, who had been chosen through the lottery. Then there’s the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale. Don’t fret, though. Whereas the focus of the “Twilight” series was on the sickening love triangle between Bella and her boy toys, “The Hunger Games” takes a much more interesting approach to the way emotions play out amongst people in a kill-or-be-killed situation.


By the Numbers – There are over 2.9 million copies of the “The Hunger Games” in print. Originally, only 50,000 copies were printed before eventually increasing to 200,000 and then expanding further. The book is available in 38 countries with 26 different foreign editions going to print. It spent over 100 consecutive weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. It’s also one of only six novels to have sold over one million copies on the Kindle.

The film, for which presale tickets were made available on Wednesday, has already broken the presale-ticket record by selling out hundreds of movie theaters around the country. “Twilight’s” third film “Eclipse” previously held the title for most first-day ticket sales.


The World – The story is set in the post-apocalyptic nation of Panem, located in the former United States. It consists of 12 districts and the highly advanced Capitol that rules all. All the wealthy and powerful live in the Capitol, while each district provides a resource that keeps the Capitol running smoothly. There was once a 13th district, but after a rebellion that led to the creation of the Hunger Games themselves, the 13th district was destroyed.

The 12th district, where the story begins, mines coal as its primary resource, and is also where Katniss is from. It is located in the region known as Appalachia, not at all far from George Mason University.


The Players – Katniss Everdeen is the story’s main protagonist, and the story is told through her point of view. She lives in District 12, the poorest district, and takes care of her sister, Primrose, after the death of their father died in a mining accident. Katniss makes a living by hunting on the borders of her district and selling her kills on the black market. She brings her lifelong best friend Gale with her on many of these hunts.

Like Katniss, Gale has become the head of his family after his own father died in a mining accident. His relationship with Katniss forms the basis for one of the underlying plots throughout the series. But then there’s Peeta.

Peeta is the male chosen to represent District 12 and hails from a slightly wealthier family than Katniss. He’s had a thing for her since he was a young child, but as is often the case, never had the nerve to tell her how he felt.

While not a major player in “The Hunger Games,” a constant presence lurking in the background is President Snow. Ruling over the Capitol and all of Panem, nothing happens in his world without his knowledge or consent.


Surviving – Prior to the start of the event, all of the participants — or “tributes,” as they’re called — spend time in the Capitol being interviewed and attempting to win the crowd’s favor. They’re interviewed to give the audience a sense of who they are and why they should be supported.  This is paramount to the struggles that await them. Much like sporting events nowadays, having the crowd in your corner greatly impacts your performance. During the games, viewers can send packages to the tributes containing things like food and tools to help them in their battle. Audiences love drama — just watch TV and you’ll see. Katniss knows this and wins over the crowds’ favor by using the one thing no can resist getting involved in — romance.