The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The basics

Title: The Hunger Games


Series: The Hunger Games #1

- The Hunger Games (2008)
- Catching Fire (2009)
- Mockingjay (2010)

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Goodreads Summary:

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

Read a full summary of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins below. If you can’t remember what happened in The Hunger Games and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

what happened in The Hunger Games?

  • Katniss goes hunting with her friend, Gale. The two consider running away before the reaping so they don’t have to potentially take part in the Games, but Katniss knows she needs to look after her mother and her sister.
  • At 2pm, the reaping is held in the town square. Eight thousand people are gathered there to see who will be chosen. There will a boy and a girl chosen from each District.
  • Prim, Katniss’s sister, is chosen to represent District 12. Katniss volunteers in her place, which is allowed. Peeta is chosen as the male tribute.
  • Katniss and Peeta are taken to the Justice Building, and they’re only allowed one hour to say goodbye to their families. Katniss reassures her mother that Gale will look after her and Prim in Katniss’s absence.
  • Prim makes Katniss promise to win the Games.
  • Peeta, Katniss, and Haymitch get on a train and head to the Capitol. The Capitol is huge and very well kept. The people who live there are rich, whereas those who live in the Disticts aren’t so well off. In fact, they’re quite poor.
  • Katniss is cleaned and styled by Cinna. She needs to look good so that people will sponsor and root for her.
  • The opening ceremony happens and Peeta and Katniss have fire worked into their outfits. It’s pretty cool and everyone loves it.
  • Katniss and Peeta have to train with the other tributes. Peeta doesn’t think he has any special skills. Katniss says she is a good hunter. They are told not to reveal these skills to the others.
  • Katniss meets an Avox girl who has had her tongue chopped off.
  • Katniss and Peeta have to show their talents to the Gamemakers. Katniss wows them with her bow and arrow skills.
  • Katniss and Peeta are prepped for interviews with Caesar Flickerman. Peeta is told to go with the whole “I’m in love with her” angle. Katniss is very angry about this.
  • Cinna gives Katniss her mockingjay pin back. He tells Katniss he thinks she can win.
  • The Hunger Games begin. Katniss grabs a bag and some food before running away from the Cornucopia. She covers her head with the bag, and someone throws a knife at it, so Katniss now has a knife.
  • That night, Katniss climbs a tree to sleep and watch the death recap on the screens.
  • Peeta seems to have joined another group of Career tributes and is helping them. Peeta kills a girl who starts a fire. Let’s assume this is a mercy killing.
  • Katniss still hasn’t found any water, and she wonders why the sponsors haven’t sent any. She thinks this could mean that she’s close enough to water anyway, so the sponsors don’t want to send her any.
  • Katniss climbs another tree to sleep. Then there’s fire everywhere.
  • Katniss has to run away from the flames, which seem to have been set by the Gamemakers to herd the tributes towards each other and create some drama.
  • Katniss’s calf catches fire.
  • The Careers group that Peeta has joined spot Katniss and try to follow her up a tree. They don’t manage it, so they plan to wait her out.
  • A girl called Rue is up in the trees too. Rue points to a wasps nest. Katniss drops this nest full of tracker jackers on the Careers below.
  • Katniss gets a bow and arrows from one of the bodies.
  • She has also been stung, though, and starts hallucinating. Not good.
  • Katniss slowly recovers and then goes hunting. Rue follows her and the two team up.
  • Rue plans to set fires to lure the Careers away from their camp while Katniss raids it for supplies. The camp is boobytrapped. Katniss is injured again.
  • Rue is trapped in a net and killed. Katniss receives bread from District 11 after this.
  • Templesmith announces that two tributes will be allowed to win this year, as long as they’re from the same district.
  • Katniss comes across Peeta covered in blood and camouflage. She takes him to a cave and they kiss. They receive some gifts for their efforts, including broth and some medicine for Peeta’s infection.
  • Katniss heads to the Cornucopia. Foxface steals her back. Katniss has to fight Clove and Thresh. Katniss explains to Thresh that she looked after Rue, so Thresh lets her go.
  • The Gamemakers set off a storm. Katniss and Peeta spend more time in the cave and have to ration their food.
  • Katniss and Peeta head out to hunt. Peeta is a bit useless so he goes off on his own for a bit. He brings back some poisonous berries. Foxface steals some of them and dies.
  • Katniss and Peeta head back to the Cornucopia and try to find and take out Cato. When they find him, he is running away from muttations.
  • Katniss fights the creatures off. Cato tries to kill Peeta but Katniss shoots him. Cato falls towards the muttations but he doesn’t die.
  • Katniss delivers a mercy kill.
  • Peeta tells Katniss to kill him but they refuse to kill each other.
  • They take the nightlock berries out of the bag. They will threaten to kill themselves unless they’re both allowed to live. It’s very Romeo and Juliet, but it works. They’re both declared the winners of the Hunger Games.
  • Katniss is sedated and cleans up. There’s a banquet. The Capitol is furious with Katniss and Peeta.
  • Katniss and Peeta have to kiss in front of Caesar’s audience. President Snow gives them each a crown. They still have to pretend to be in love.
  • Katniss and Peeta head back to District 12 on a train.

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