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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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The Hunger Games (edition 2008)

by Suzanne Collins

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
36,674281017 (4.38)2 / 2002
“Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games”

For those few people left in the world who haven’t read the book or seen the film… Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12, the most deprived of the districts of Panem. When her younger sister is selected as a sacrificial tribute to the Hunger Games, a TV show run for the amusement of the Capitol and the suppression of the districts, Katniss runs to take her place. Once she gets there though, she will need all her instincts and wit, not just her honed hunting skills, to survive.

The most obviously positive aspect of this novel is the choice of protagonist. Katniss is not perfect, and she knows it. Highly skilled, by all means, diligent and hard-working and caring for others, certainly. But she is proud and headstrong and thinks she knows best in every situation and is cruel to both Gale and Peeta – and best of all , she recognises her own failings. Collins could easily have chosen the gentle giant Peeta, with his superior charm, world wisdom and general all-round goodness, to be her protagonist – the Ellie Linton of Panem. Harry Potter had failings but wasn’t really aware of them. Bella… well we all know that Bella just sits around waiting for Edward or Jacob or some other lovesick demon to kiss her. So I was impressed both by Collins’ courage in giving Katniss non-trivial character flaws, but also granting her the wisdom to see them and how they might impact others.

The other characters are very strong as well – and Collins hits the mix of development neatly. Peeta is in some ways more complex than Katniss, and we can’t help but like him. The rest of the characters are fairly one-dimensional, but that is all that is required for the plot to progress. Because we’re stuck in Katniss’ head, we only learn about the other characters as she considers them, which is a neat way to make Peeta’s actions more mysterious.

The plot? Well, I’m not usually a sci-fi fan. I’ve steered clear of the YA craze for dystopia. But I read all but 30 pages of the book on a two-and-a-bit-hour train trip and couldn’t wait to have a chance to finish it that afternoon. I was rapt. Collins hit just the right mix of sci-fi and today’s world that it was a different world (and one that was very hard to pull myself out of!) without being a foreign one. We spent enough time in District 12 setting up Katniss’ character, her bitterness, her difficult relationship with her mother, the dynamic with Gale and the total malnutrition. Then off on the train to the Capitol, and there is lots of time for the Katniss-Peeta thing/non-thing to be a thing, and then into the arena. Where it is no holds barred – and yet not grisly. Or maybe I don’t notice these things.

Highly recommended. ( )
  readingwithtea | May 26, 2012 |
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Showing 1-25 of 2757 (next | show all)
Not what I expected, was very pleasantly surprised. ( )
  mandersj73 | Apr 27, 2015 |
Kinda violent. ( )
  maliora | Apr 24, 2015 |
I bought the Hunger Games earlier this year together with the two sequels and read them all back to back. They were difficult to put down. I'm not a great fan of YA novels, but I love sci fi and this had all the elements of a good sci fi tale: a fearless heroine, an evil dystopian society and a love story. The whole story is told in the first person current tense, which at first seems a little strange. But Suzanne Collins is a master story teller. Loved the film too. ( )
  JMJ_Williamson | Apr 24, 2015 |
I bought the Hunger Games earlier this year together with the two sequels and read them all back to back. They were difficult to put down. I'm not a great fan of YA novels, but I love sci fi and this had all the elements of a good sci fi tale: a fearless heroine, an evil dystopian society and a love story. The whole story is told in the first person current tense, which at first seems a little strange. But Suzanne Collins is a master story teller. Loved the film too. ( )
  JMJ_Williamson | Apr 24, 2015 |
I bought the Hunger Games earlier this year together with the two sequels and read them all back to back. They were difficult to put down. I'm not a great fan of YA novels, but I love sci fi and this had all the elements of a good sci fi tale: a fearless heroine, an evil dystopian society and a love story. The whole story is told in the first person current tense, which at first seems a little strange. But Suzanne Collins is a master story teller. Loved the film too. ( )
  JMJ_Williamson | Apr 24, 2015 |
I bought the Hunger Games earlier this year together with the two sequels and read them all back to back. They were difficult to put down. I'm not a great fan of YA novels, but I love sci fi and this had all the elements of a good sci fi tale: a fearless heroine, an evil dystopian society and a love story. The whole story is told in the first person current tense, which at first seems a little strange. But Suzanne Collins is a master story teller. Loved the film too. ( )
  JMJ_Williamson | Apr 24, 2015 |
Kinda violent. ( )
  maliora | Apr 24, 2015 |
I bought the Hunger Games earlier this year together with the two sequels and read them all back to back. They were difficult to put down. I'm not a great fan of YA novels, but I love sci fi and this had all the elements of a good sci fi tale: a fearless heroine, an evil dystopian society and a love story. The whole story is told in the first person current tense, which at first seems a little strange. But Suzanne Collins is a master story teller. Loved the film too. ( )
  JMJ_Williamson | Apr 24, 2015 |
This science fiction novel is about distopian society in the future where a central control, the capital, forces each district in the nation to send two child tributes form each district to go fight in a battle to the death with the children from other districts. This story focuses on the character Katniss Everdeen who sacrifices herself for her young sister, Primrose. Katniss is sent to fight with a boy from her district that she somewhat knows, Peeta Mellark. The two are sent to the battle with the help of their prep teams, Effie Trinket, and Haymich. Katniss is skilled with a bow and arrow because she hunts in the woods with her friend Gale, and Peeta is very strong because his parents own a bakery and he has to lift heavy bags of flour. Katniss finds herself not trusting anyone in the arena and eventually finds herself a friend and ally named Rue, who reminds her of her sister at home. Rue is murdered, and Katniss finds out she can pair with Peeta and they both can win. Haymich plays up Katniss and Peeta as lovers, and they eventually end up both winning the Hunger Games, but then the capital announces that they can't both win. Peeta and Katniss decide to eat poison berries together and the capital changes their mind, but they also unintentionally start a motion burning. ( )
  sommerkirk | Apr 20, 2015 |
I was hooked on this book right from the beginning! Great read. When I was done, my kids took it up and fell in love with it as well. ( )
  kat32969 | Apr 20, 2015 |
My 2nd favorite in the series. I love love love the trilogy. I have reread multiple times! If you haven't read it yet you need to! The movies changed a lot of things so there will be many surprises for you! ( )
  AngelaFries | Apr 20, 2015 |
See Sock Puppet. ( )
  kfrost32 | Apr 19, 2015 |
This book was much better than I had expected and I'm glad I read it (just in time for the movie). Some of the characters really had me on the hook for them. I am looking forward to books two and three in the series. ( )
  jimocracy | Apr 18, 2015 |
Finally finished the hunger games, after over a month, not be cause it was a bad read but because of all the emotional pull it had. I literally cried for through the first four or five chapters. Overall, I'm not sure how I feel about it the book. I'm glad Katniss and Peeta made it through every thing and they are as okay as any survivor can be but I don't know if I can continue to ride this emotional roller coaster to read the next book cause you just know something terrible is going to happen. It will be a while before I move to the next in the series. For now I will give this book 3.75 Stars, it was well written and thought provoking and even ensnaring but also depressing. The concept of the Games in general just leave me with bad feelings and somehow prevent me from giving this a higher rating. ( )
  bookjunkie57 | Apr 17, 2015 |
This was a powerful story, Katniss must participate in what is known as the "Hunger Games", a yearly tournament that takes place in a future America. This is an engaging story that is both heart-breaking and quick moving. The scene in which Katniss offers to take her sister's place is powerful and moving. Katniss is also a very well developed character. We learn much about her and how her environment has shaped her. This is also a great novel in showing us what could happen in the future if we forget our past. This book is a must for every school library because of its popularity and message. ( )
  erikmurri | Apr 14, 2015 |
This scientific fictional book is about Katniss Everdeen who is forced to fight for a fight for death competition against other children. Each child represents the district they come from. In Panem, where the setting is, the children are hiding from each other and on the look to hunt each other. The gamemakers are staying alert to throw challenges at the "players". Katniss and Peeta work together and the game rules change so they can have a co-victory. ( )
  BayleeWestrick | Apr 13, 2015 |
I read this book for a literature class. I found it to be much more than I had expected. There is so much symbolism and truth in this book. Katniss’s relationship with Gale is one that was based on true friendship. Katniss was not a trusting person, and it took a while before she felt she could trust Gale. Once this trust was established, she was able to be herself around him, and believed they worked better as a team. When she was in the forest with Gale, she smiled, and this was not something that Katniss did often. She did not seem to be romantically inclined toward him, even thinking the idea of running away together was preposterous, yet while she was in the arena, she thought of him often, and even wished he were with her. She questioned whether or not there might be more to their relationship, than she had previously thought.

I found it quite difficult to decide, whether I wanted Gale or Peeta to end up with Katniss, because they both had strong feelings for her, and would do anything for her, including die.

This novel portrays a corrupt government, with inequality, and the entertainment factor is disturbing. You were able to see this through this, to the novel that it is. You saw the greed and corruption in this story, and how it brings out the obsession in our culture for reality TV, and how something as horrific as the hunger games, is televised for all to watch; the gorier the better.

I found that the romantic tension, helped me read further, because without it there would be no kind emotions in this book at all. ( )
  Spiritus3 | Apr 7, 2015 |
This Science Fiction book is about a girl who volunteers herself in place of her sister at the annual reaping. She then must fight against the other districts in an attempt to survive. ( )
  ebecker13 | Apr 6, 2015 |
Amazing! ( )
  Audri-Anne | Apr 6, 2015 |
RGG: First in a sci-fi trilogy with the main character a strong-minded teenage girl able to survive the ultimate survival game. Great read if very violent.
  rgruberhighschool | Mar 28, 2015 |
Old review (from 2011):

A post-apocalypses world in which a new country exists in some of the US territories - 13 districts and a capital. By the time the story opens, one of the districts is wiped out from the capital because of a rebellion... and the rest of the districts are forced to send 2 children each every year for the Hunger Games - a Survivor type of a game where you get voted out by being killed... literally.

That's the premise. And the characters do not disappoint - brave or witty - they all just add flesh to the bare bones of the novel.

Of course the novel has its issues -- Katniss never really make any hard choices - she never gets into a situation where she should kill a friend for example -- but that seems to be the usual way for YA novels these days.

Overall a very readable book and I will be picking up the next ones - but probably not for a while - I liked the world and the story but did not fall in love with it. :) ( )
1 vote AnnieMod | Mar 27, 2015 |
I watched the film before I read the book. There's a lot of extra detail in the book that kept me gripped. Even though I knew the outcome, there were still heart-stopping moments, and I enjoyed seeing things unfold through Kastniss' prism of experience. Really well written, and it's great to have a strong female character to root for! ( )
  missizicks | Mar 27, 2015 |
I love this book, and my opinion didn't changed after, before and while I read this book. I thought that it was neat for the author to create a series were there, like the maze runner, has a bunch of teenagers fighting for their life. Now normally I don't love romance in a book, but here it just seemed to fit right in. Like it could be a crime if Suzanne Collins didn't have some "lovey-dovey" action going on. can't wait for the second book to come out!!!! ( )
  JaFi14 | Mar 25, 2015 |
Katniss will have to fight on the Hunger Games to save her life. The world is controlled by a dictatorship of the Capitol and the Games are a way of entertainmnent for the hih classes. ( )
  danim116 | Mar 24, 2015 |
This book would be great for high school. It is action packed and draws you in. In high school, some students lose interest in reading, so this would be a perfect book for them to read because it really grabs your attention. I love how it has the love story behind the Hunger Games story line. ( )
  Hhaddad1 | Mar 3, 2015 |
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