In the nation of Panem, or in the ruins of what used to be North America, girls and boys age 12 through 18 must fend for their lives. The Hunger Games, a yearly game where 24 contestants from 12 separate districts battle it out while the whole world watches, is back in town ready to take 12 boys and 12 girls' lives as prisoners. When 12-year old Prim-Rose Everdean is picked for the brutal games Katniss, Prim's 16-year-old sister, is in utter shock and without meaning to, she takes Prim's place. Now Katniss's instincts are put to the test as she fighters for her life. And in the Hunger Games, it's killed or be killed.
At the beginning of 'The Hunger Games' it shows how Katniss Everdean lives her day-to-day life in Panem's District 12. Her father, a coal-miner, had previously died in an explosion when Katniss was only 12. She was then forced to become the supporter for her family, as her mother became extremely depressed (to the point that she was unfit to take care of Prin and Katniss) and as Prim was only 8 and had no hunting skills. As usual the Hunger Game contestants (one boy and one girl) are chosen at random an Prim's name is pulled. But Katniss, who knows of how weak Prim is, takes her place.
As the book goes on Peeta, the boy who was picked as District 12's male competer, and Katniss are taken to the Capitol, where they are pampered in preparation for the games, which is televised. Katniss recieves stylist, eats 5-star food for the first time, and for once is not worried about trying to survive or bringing home dinner because the Capitol is the head of Panem and everybody is accustomed to the life of the rich and famous. On the other hand Peeta, a bakers son, is focused on earning the crowds support and gaining sponsors. Sponsors usually send weapons or food to their favorite contestants in hopes they'll win. To earn fame he says he loves Katniss on-air. Peeta's meathod works and both Peeta and Katniss gain many sponsors.