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

by Suzanne Collins

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36,397279217 (4.38)2 / 1990
“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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What would you do if you were picked to be publicly killed for the entertainment of the higher class? Would you kill a complete stranger just to get a little bit more food? No one would like to live a life like that. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is part of a sci-fi trilogy known as The Hunger Games. The books contain computer generated creatures and people trying to fight for their survival.

Katniss Everdeen, 16, soul supporter of her mother and sister since her father died on a mine explosion. She hunted illegally with her friend Gale to get food for their families and also bartered for necessities at the local black market in an abandoned coal warehouse. Katniss and her family live in a small poor district on the outskirts of a big nation known as Panem. The district was called District 12 and was known for their mining and production of coal. Once a year, Panem holds an enormous event known as the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games consists of one boy and one girl being chosen at random from each district to fight to their deaths until only one was left, who would then be crowned the victor. Panem held the Hunger Games to remind the districts that Panem was in control and that no one could stop them or change their ways.

On the day that the tributes would be chosen, known as The Reaping, all the children ages 12-18 would have their name placed into one of two glass bowls; boys and girls. The names were then chosen at random, first girls then boys. When the announcer/escort of the district 12 tributes Effie Trinket drew the the slip of paper that had the name of the girl tribute on it, it read ‘Primrose Everdeen’. Primrose was Katniss’ little sister and it was only her first year being involved with the Hunger Games. Katniss could not bear see her sister go through the Hunger Games and instead volunteered to take the place and the female tribute in the Games instead of her sister. Effie then drew the boys slip of paper which read ‘Peeta Mellark’, the baker’s son. They then had to show their survival skills in the arena and try to stay alive. Within all the chaos of trying to survive, they also had to pretend to be star-crossed lovers. It wasn’t hard for Peeta since he already loved Katniss. But, the real struggle was Katniss’, she had to try to look like she really loved Peeta and try to survive the Games all at once.

The Hunger Games in an adventure packed book that I enjoyed very much. The plot was paced perfectly and the storyline kept me hooked all throughout. The Hunger Games’ target audience mostly consists of young adults. The target audiences are young adults because the story is based on kids their age and it has violent content which a lot of young adults enjoy. These help keep the young adult audience engaged in the book. Suzanne Collins has expressed her true talent for writing in The Hunger Games. She used a lot of detail throughout the story in the settings and the characters backstories to help the readers get a good feel of the characters lives. She also has great talent in writing a story that keeps the readers attention. Overall, I thought The Hunger Games was a great story with great amounts of detail and adventure in it and I would recommend the story to others. ( )
  Emlab14 | Mar 2, 2015 |
I admit, I picked this up and read this because I wanted to see what all of the hype was about. Everyone I know was talking about or reading this, or had seen the movie. I am funny. I will not see a movie if I have not read the book that goes with it, so I hadn’t seen it yet. I have been getting some nudging from a friend, so figured I should read the book and see what it was all about.

In the beginning, Katniss seemed kind of fickle to me, in terms of response to male attention. She has this guy right in front of her, and yet it is almost like she does not even see him. When I was a teenager, I would have killed for a boy to have been that attentive to me.

I imagine Gale to be this handsome, tall young man who one would just melt into.

When you get into the meat of the story, you start to see the dynamic of the characters and who they really are, but it takes a little while to get there. There is a degree of frustration in reading, because the writing is somewhat juvenile, but entirely too graphic for some YA readers in their earlier teens.

The compassion Katniss is shown after she steps up after the horrific feeling when her sister’s name is called is amazing, though. I mean, you never expect to hear them call Prim, because her name was only in there once. It just does not seem possible. But it happens, and it is there, in black and white, and I was shocked, horrified. All of the same emotions I imagine Katniss was feeling.

But then you meet Peeta, who you instantly fall in love with, and find yourself tuning the pages just to see what is going to happen.

Overall, the story was enjoyable and suspenseful, if a bit horrifying. I would recommend this book highly to older teens and adults (16-17 ). I think some younger readers or some who are more sensitive might have a hard time with the level of violence in this book. ( )
  destinyisntfree | Feb 28, 2015 |
I admit, I picked this up and read this because I wanted to see what all of the hype was about. Everyone I know was talking about or reading this, or had seen the movie. I am funny. I will not see a movie if I have not read the book that goes with it, so I hadn’t seen it yet. I have been getting some nudging from a friend, so figured I should read the book and see what it was all about.

In the beginning, Katniss seemed kind of fickle to me, in terms of response to male attention. She has this guy right in front of her, and yet it is almost like she does not even see him. When I was a teenager, I would have killed for a boy to have been that attentive to me.

I imagine Gale to be this handsome, tall young man who one would just melt into.

When you get into the meat of the story, you start to see the dynamic of the characters and who they really are, but it takes a little while to get there. There is a degree of frustration in reading, because the writing is somewhat juvenile, but entirely too graphic for some YA readers in their earlier teens.

The compassion Katniss is shown after she steps up after the horrific feeling when her sister’s name is called is amazing, though. I mean, you never expect to hear them call Prim, because her name was only in there once. It just does not seem possible. But it happens, and it is there, in black and white, and I was shocked, horrified. All of the same emotions I imagine Katniss was feeling.

But then you meet Peeta, who you instantly fall in love with, and find yourself tuning the pages just to see what is going to happen.

Overall, the story was enjoyable and suspenseful, if a bit horrifying. I would recommend this book highly to older teens and adults (16-17 ). I think some younger readers or some who are more sensitive might have a hard time with the level of violence in this book. ( )
  destinyisntfree | Feb 28, 2015 |
This book is much different then most, since there is a female lead. I like this book a lot for children because it allows them to put themselves in another world. They also get to see how life can differ from what we are use to and some may be able to relate to the sacrifices Katnis and her peers have to make. This book does a great job introducing the characters and the setting. It allows you to have a full understanding of each character and how their lives can differ so much, even though they live in the same district. It also allows students to see how rule can change because the capital starts with set rules, but as Katnis is making up her own ending, the Capital tries to keep control while accepting what she is doing.
  bmille16 | Feb 26, 2015 |
The book tells us about a new world risen from the death of the old where the capital reign over and as their sport a cruel game comes where the children of their people are fighting for death . A story with a powerful idea, and hence a strong theme.
( )
  durgaprsd04 | Feb 25, 2015 |
In my opinion this book was very easy to read because it kept the reader on the edge of their seat, waiting to figure out what happens next. The writing was very descriptive, painting a scene of dystopia where each town must send two "tributes" to participate in a game to the death. The characters are slowly developing to adapt to the conditions in the games. Katniss, the main character, begins by being protective over her family, but must later become protective over herself in order to stay alive. She is a very believable character who believes in doing the right thing and fighting against injustice. Katniss also has to become a team player, now protecting a boy named Peeta who is from the same district, or town, and she is from. The plot is filled with suspense because, while in the games, anyone could die at any minute. There are also frequent plot twists, like when the Gamemakers decide that instead of there being one victor, there can now be two, as long as they are from the same district. This book pushes readers to consider tough ideas, like what they would do in Katniss' situation. Would you run away from the games or fight to win? The big message of this book seems to be that with persistence, change can happen. One small move can create a giant ripple effect. ( )
  kwhite18 | Feb 23, 2015 |
I wasn't sure I'd like this because YA has to be very strong to appeal to me. It tends to be a bit quick on the draw, and the category doesn't always provide the depth of characterization I enjoy.
This book turned me around. I had watched the movie first to see if I enjoyed the story enough to read the book. Once I began reading I was pleased to discover a very nice depth to the characters.
I will be reading the second book in this series soon! ( )
  Laine-Cunningham | Feb 22, 2015 |
** spoiler alert ** This book certainly lived up to all the hype!

I wasn't too keen on reading this book as it under the "dystopia" genre, and I generally am usually not impressed with those kind of books but The Hunger Games was completely different to what I was expecting.

The story is so absorbing it is literally impossible to put the book down, the only things I could possibly grumble about were the use of the mutt mutations of all the fallen tributes. !?! too far-fetched for my liking, and also Kat's complete unawareness and denial of Peeta's feelings towards her. That annoyed me.

Regardless, the description and story was AMAZING - and all the different characters were really developed and engaging. I can not wait to read the rest of the series!

Right, now to watch the movie adaptation! ( )
  KittyBimble | Feb 12, 2015 |
Read this again after going to see Mockingjay Part 1 in theaters... it was just as good this time around! / nov2014

--------
original review written march 2012


I was drawn into this book immediately. This book sat on my TBR pile for an extremely long time... I got the book but never seemed to find the time to read it. Once I did pick it up- I didn't put it down! I was pulled in quickly by the dystopian nature and the totalitarian government, as well as the developing characters. I was drawn to Katniss and her strength (and stubbornness) as a female lead- she seemed "real" to me. As the story developed, I was pulled in and became fully engrossed in the story. It was as if I was experiencing the Games myself. I really enjoyed how Collins created such emotion throughout the story... I could really feel the emotions of the characters as well as my own emotions seeping out. There were also epic scenes in the story which created some amazing glued-to-the-page moments. I could easily visualize the scenes as I read through the book- from the Seam to the Capitol to the Arena. Overall, I felt that Collins created a well developed story which catches the audience and pulls him in. Her characters are fully formed and make the reader feel attachments to each- she created characters to love and characters to despise. This book was a wonderful experience and I have been recommending it to everyone. All my students have read the book and are just as hooked on it as I was! A great beginning to a phenomenal trilogy. ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Read this again after going to see Mockingjay Part 1 in theaters... it was just as good this time around! / nov2014

--------
original review written march 2012


I was drawn into this book immediately. This book sat on my TBR pile for an extremely long time... I got the book but never seemed to find the time to read it. Once I did pick it up- I didn't put it down! I was pulled in quickly by the dystopian nature and the totalitarian government, as well as the developing characters. I was drawn to Katniss and her strength (and stubbornness) as a female lead- she seemed "real" to me. As the story developed, I was pulled in and became fully engrossed in the story. It was as if I was experiencing the Games myself. I really enjoyed how Collins created such emotion throughout the story... I could really feel the emotions of the characters as well as my own emotions seeping out. There were also epic scenes in the story which created some amazing glued-to-the-page moments. I could easily visualize the scenes as I read through the book- from the Seam to the Capitol to the Arena. Overall, I felt that Collins created a well developed story which catches the audience and pulls him in. Her characters are fully formed and make the reader feel attachments to each- she created characters to love and characters to despise. This book was a wonderful experience and I have been recommending it to everyone. All my students have read the book and are just as hooked on it as I was! A great beginning to a phenomenal trilogy. ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Read this again after going to see Mockingjay Part 1 in theaters... it was just as good this time around! / nov2014

--------
original review written march 2012


I was drawn into this book immediately. This book sat on my TBR pile for an extremely long time... I got the book but never seemed to find the time to read it. Once I did pick it up- I didn't put it down! I was pulled in quickly by the dystopian nature and the totalitarian government, as well as the developing characters. I was drawn to Katniss and her strength (and stubbornness) as a female lead- she seemed "real" to me. As the story developed, I was pulled in and became fully engrossed in the story. It was as if I was experiencing the Games myself. I really enjoyed how Collins created such emotion throughout the story... I could really feel the emotions of the characters as well as my own emotions seeping out. There were also epic scenes in the story which created some amazing glued-to-the-page moments. I could easily visualize the scenes as I read through the book- from the Seam to the Capitol to the Arena. Overall, I felt that Collins created a well developed story which catches the audience and pulls him in. Her characters are fully formed and make the reader feel attachments to each- she created characters to love and characters to despise. This book was a wonderful experience and I have been recommending it to everyone. All my students have read the book and are just as hooked on it as I was! A great beginning to a phenomenal trilogy. ( )
  littlebirdreads | Feb 10, 2015 |
Right this is the second time I have read Suzanne Collins book, so it goes without saying that I enjoyed it.

The Hunger Games follows the adventures (if that is the right word) of Katniss Everdeen, a teenager who lives in future America, now called Panem. Living in District 12 under constant starvation and fear, Katniss keenly feels the threat of being picked for 'The Hunger Games'. A compulsive set of gladiatorial games which pits teenagers from the ages of 12 to 18 in a fight to the death. Used as a tool of control by the oppressive Capitol regime, the games are held each year and 24 teenagers called tributes, 12 male and 12 female are picked by lottery. Katniss volunteers for the tournament when her younger sister is picked for the games. Taken to the Capitol, dressed and shown to the crowds, she is then taken to the arena where she must try to survive. This is complicated by the male tribute from District 12 declaring his love for her before the entire nation.

There is, of course, much more to the book than that simple summary. On my first read of the Hunger Games, I was struck with similarities to other entries in the 'most dangerous games' genre, yet this first novel strikes a different note. Katniss is a powerful protagonist. That's not to say she's superhuman or always right, but she has a great strength. Unlike other YA heroines, her thoughts do not revolve around her love interests or trivial matters. She is pragmatic, calculating and determined to survive.

The action is well placed and the world building quite successful. As the future is so far ahead of our own, we don't need to know how our world got to that stage. As to the games, they are a feature of our past and any knowledge of the Roman Empire will give you gladiators. What Collins has done is to meld history, current trends and a sharply written main character into something exquisite. ( )
  Claire.Warner | Feb 8, 2015 |
Right this is the second time I have read Suzanne Collins book, so it goes without saying that I enjoyed it.

The Hunger Games follows the adventures (if that is the right word) of Katniss Everdeen, a teenager who lives in future America, now called Panem. Living in District 12 under constant starvation and fear, Katniss keenly feels the threat of being picked for 'The Hunger Games'. A compulsive set of gladiatorial games which pits teenagers from the ages of 12 to 18 in a fight to the death. Used as a tool of control by the oppressive Capitol regime, the games are held each year and 24 teenagers called tributes, 12 male and 12 female are picked by lottery. Katniss volunteers for the tournament when her younger sister is picked for the games. Taken to the Capitol, dressed and shown to the crowds, she is then taken to the arena where she must try to survive. This is complicated by the male tribute from District 12 declaring his love for her before the entire nation.

There is, of course, much more to the book than that simple summary. On my first read of the Hunger Games, I was struck with similarities to other entries in the 'most dangerous games' genre, yet this first novel strikes a different note. Katniss is a powerful protagonist. That's not to say she's superhuman or always right, but she has a great strength. Unlike other YA heroines, her thoughts do not revolve around her love interests or trivial matters. She is pragmatic, calculating and determined to survive.

The action is well placed and the world building quite successful. As the future is so far ahead of our own, we don't need to know how our world got to that stage. As to the games, they are a feature of our past and any knowledge of the Roman Empire will give you gladiators. What Collins has done is to meld history, current trends and a sharply written main character into something exquisite. ( )
  Claire.Warner | Feb 8, 2015 |
The Hunger Games is like nothing I've read in atleast 10 years. I've been in the paranormal reading business for awhile. But, every single person who has read it has raved, so, New Year's Resolution: Read The Hunger Games series. And...*drum roll* I love it!! It's the first book that I've read in a first person perspective in a while as well. Which, made a difference for me, the story is fast paced, and this perspective just adds to it. No wonder I read it in practically a 24 hr period! Katniss is a very strong female lead, which I adore. In the beginning, she seemed like a zombie to me, but her love for Prim, brings out her dynamics and she constantly surprises me and draws me more and more into liking her. As I read the story, I couldn't help but constantly think..."What would I do?" Her choices are so extremely difficult and risky in the arena...I think I would have probably been a goner. This book definately gets you thinking about present day as well...what a government can do if you give it too much power. I'm in a rush to finish this series, I'm dying to know the end of Katniss' story, hoping it's a happy one with Gale! ( )
  sgcastellini | Feb 6, 2015 |
2/4/15 - 2nd time reading the book after watching the movie several times. Kept comparing the two in my head. Am waiting to see what happens in the other books which I haven't read yet, but got for Christmas. ( )
  ChrisWeir | Feb 4, 2015 |
I want to read the others in the series, when I can get my hands on them. I like to think that I was not absorbed in the book because of the grisly life-and-death situations presented in it, but because I wanted to see the main character "stick it to The Man." It's probably a bit of both, plus the tragic romance. ( )
  TrgLlyLibrarian | Feb 1, 2015 |
Wow... that was a heck of a page-turner! ( )
  VincentDarlage | Jan 30, 2015 |
I can't help but compare this book to Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. In both books a totalitarian government sequesters a group of teenagers in a large unfamiliar area and forces them to fight to the death. It would spoil both books to get much more specific about their similarities, but there are quite a few throughout.

The Hunger Games provides a fast-paced plot alongside a good dose of introspection. It's often predictable, but contained just enough surprises to keep me reading. The tone of the book ranges from saccharine to morbid and back again instead of being grim throughout as I expected. It's also a quick short read, which is unusual in anything so dark.

The world the story takes place in is a drab and generally unbelievable dystopia. It won't stand up to serious scrutiny, but it isn't interesting enough to invite that anyway. ( )
  wishanem | Jan 27, 2015 |
Started out slowly enough that I wasn't sure I was going to love it so much, but by page 150 I was so invested I blew right through the last 200 pages. Really, really great with a wonderful heroine, a delightful male figure, and a brutal dystopian future. A ( )
  dukedukegoose | Jan 26, 2015 |
Loved this book.It was completely original and imaginative, and it also was able to make social commentaries in the process. The whole idea of a "Hunger Game" is brilliant and captivating. The arena scenes were so suspenseful and scary that I breezed through it. I definitely think the series is worth the hype and even enjoyed the second book just s much as the first one. The idea of the districts being run by the dictatorial "capitol" is also amazing. It drew some parallels to current society and the fight against social injustice. The intricacy of the games was perfect and the maturity of the writing and content made it even more relevant and interesting to me. I would recommend this for any teen or adult!
  TimSher | Jan 22, 2015 |
This Book has much better detail than the movie! ( )
  Emma_G | Jan 21, 2015 |
Leest lekker weg. nu kan ik de film ook eens gaan kijken. ( )
  davidakachaos | Jan 20, 2015 |
This novel was as intense and suspenseful as it was exciting. It follows the life of teenage girl Katniss Everdeen, from her time in District 12 to her stint in the Hunger Games. The book takes place in the future, in a country located where the United States of America used to be. The government is a corrupt dictatorship that forces a boy and a girl from each of the districts in the country (there are twelve districts) to participate in an event known a the Hunger Games. In the Hunger Games, the participants fight to the death, and the last person alive is declared the winner. The focus of the story is Katniss' experience in the Hunger Games and how it changes her. The literary work showcases a motif of defiance throughout the story.
In my opinion, this is a captivating novel. It has every key quality that makes a story great: drama, suspense, action, and a deeper meaning. The characters are believeable, and although there are some instances where the realm of realism is stretched, nothing is too exaggerated or far fetched. The plot has plenty of surprises and twists and the book is overall very interesting to read. There are no boring sections in the book. Suzanne Collins did a fantastic job with this novel, and I would definitely read more of her books in the future. This book, along with the other two books in the series, are must reads for anyone looking for a new book to open up.
  skypalat | Jan 19, 2015 |
The hunger games is a book about a girl and boy fighting for there lives against 22 other people 11 are boys and 11 are girls the main characters are Catniss Everdean and Peeta Malarkey. The plot of the story is america has been devastated by natural disasters so the country had to unite under Panam the new country but its not exactly a good place they are run by a government the rules by force and there are 13 districts at least there was until the 13th rebeled and was extinguished. and now to punish the people and never let this happen again they have an annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is when 2 people are selected from each district and are to fight in an arena to the death. The winner gets to live in paradise and his district gets food and oil to last them a year because all the districts are VERY poor. In the story Catniss and Peeta are selected to fight. When you are selected you go live in the Capital or there country's Capital and are interviewed and trained to fight. After a week they go to the arena to fight Catniss and Peeta are from the same district so they make an alliance to survive but when they get split up Peeta has to break it and go with a different group. They finally meet back up and work together again. Once again they split up and Catniss finds a young girl who is about 12 the starting age for the games and Catniss tries to help her until she dies. Finally in the end Catniss and Peeta are the only 2 left but there can only be 1 winner so they decide to both die until the game controllers allow both of them to win the government doesn't like this so they keep both of them in the capital. Peeta and Catniss develop a love for each other to.

The reason why i gave this book this rating is because i liked this book. I liked it because when i read it i got a heart for it it made my emotions go all over the place mad sad happy. It also was very action packed which is something i like in a book. I cant wait till i read the sequel. Another reason why i liked this book is that it kept my attention. Its very important that a book keeps my attention because i lose interest fast. I hop others will enjoy this book as much as i did. ( )
  nicholasvb1 | Jan 13, 2015 |
I really liked this book, it was a nice break from my UF immersion and contains some nice social criticism. I look forward to seeing how the rest of the series goes.

Yes, I read the book in about 18 hours, which includes sleep time. No, I didn't do anything else with my day. ( )
  librarycatnip | Jan 12, 2015 |
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