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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games (edition 2008)

by Suzanne Collins

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37,165283716 (4.38)2 / 2018
“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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I really appreciate a writer who can appeal to young adults, but give them the credit of comprehending writing that also attracts adults. Collins, like J K Rowling, has a great style of imagination and substance. I'm sure this book will soon be a movie; I'm looking forward to that.
My fourteen year old son, who hates reading; loved this book. He stayed up until midnight one night because he couldn't put it down. I read it in a day for the same reason. ( )
1 vote jenngv | Jun 25, 2015 |
I think this was a really interesting book. With the dystopian future, it actually reminded me a bit of The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. The fact that it was written in first person made you really connect with Katniss. I couldn't put it down. I read more than half the book in the last few hours. I'll definitely be reading the two othes in the trilogy. ( )
  Shannon29 | Jun 25, 2015 |
Of course, classic. Love Katniss and the love she has for her sister. How selfless she is, that even though shes doing things for her sister, she doesnt want to kill Peeta, not wanting to face the fact that it would mean killing a boy from her district. ( )
  valesbookshelf | Jun 23, 2015 |
I ended up watching the movie first, which I probably shouldn't have done- but either way the book was 100% better than the movie!

Katniss is a great narrator and I love the way her mind works! I can't wait to read the other two books. ( )
  momma182 | Jun 23, 2015 |
It reminds me of the short stories the lottery, the most dangerous game, and the novel 1984. Yet, it is still its own original novel. I did like this though it doesn't go into the history of how the world came to be like this. However, I have a feeling it will be more thoroughly explained in the other books. It is gruesome but no more so then the stories I first mentioned. ( )
  hjwesten | Jun 19, 2015 |
I resisted reading this book for years. The reasons were dos.

It’s popular so therefore will be a poorly written book
It’s *gasp* YA

In my defense of #1 I have read a Dan Brown novel and attempted to make my way through The DaVinci Code (have yet to make it past the first 40 pages). So if a book is popular across the board with out of genre readers, critics that only like pretentious books and fans of the genre I compare it to Dan Brown books and go the other way.

For #2…I don’t know, because YA is childish? At least that was what I thought. About a week before I picked up The Hunger Games, I was in Barnes and Noble looking at Coraline. I was ready to buy another copy right then because I haven’t a clue what happened to my first. When I turned from the shelf holding Coraline I saw a Hunger Games display. Talk about an aha! moment. I was just thinking of how great a children’s book is and here I am casting stones at a YA book.

So I checked it out on Overdrive (love that app).

The book is split into 3 parts, at least in ebook format. I read the first part in about 2 hours. Two days later, about six hours of reading during those two days, I finished the book.

Holy shit Suzanne Collins can write. If Catching Fire and Mockingjay are anything like The Hunger Games, then this series makes it into my Top Five all time favorite series.

As for the movies. I saw the first one. While I enjoyed the cinematography, it was comparable with Christopher Nolan films, the movie did nothing for me. When I walked out of the theater, from what I can recall, I looked at my watch, saw it was still fairly early, and then went to a bar for a drink. The two hours of my life I spent staring at moving images didn’t enter in my brain after I left the theater.

Not feeling anything about the movie and never having any sort of desire to even watch a trailer for the other ones is a shame. The Hunger Games book is so much better than the movie. In the movie nothing bad happens to Katniss, hell it looks like she has makeup on during the Games (which she does yes, but the makeup people could have done better).

So I’ll be reading the next two books eventually. I like taking my time with series, but I have no doubt I’ll finish this trilogy and read other YA books now that I got off my high horse about YA being not old enough for me.
( )
  scifi_jon | Jun 16, 2015 |
4.5 stars. This is a completely different concept than anthing else I have ever read and I am looking forward to starting the 2nd book! ( )
  TexasBookLover7 | Jun 16, 2015 |
definately one of the best books ive ever read. but the #1 most thrilling..loved the character development, the psychological effects the author can only guess at. it reminded me of Fahrenheit 451. very bradburu-esque. awesome book. ( )
  Alwaysmidnight | Jun 16, 2015 |
Are you hungry for more Hunger Games?

Sorry...that just had to said.

Ok...now on to the review. I must say that I enjoyed every moment of it, and I'm glad that I can freely move on to the next book instead of having to wait for it to come out. Taking place in a post-apocalyptic North America where the Capitol rules, you have your typical Orwellian novel that's mixed in with some Twilight-esque love triangle. No, really.

One thing that I first noticed while reading this book is that it had almost an anime style of action going on. I mean, what with all the fancy clothes that don't seem practical except for show, and the stylized way everything is exaggerated. Where else would you find fancy burning clothes that don't actually burn? Sounds like something out of a Final Fantasy game. Another literary technique that felt a little too forced for me was the little deus ex machina in which they decided to allow two winners for the Hunger Games not once, but twice. Granted, this is only the first book, and I don't know what the effects will be on the following two books yet, but I'm simply speaking from a stand-alone novel perspective. It just felt a little too easy to resolve the desire to have both main characters survive.

One piece of storytelling technique that I did like was the irony of the hunger games. I mean, here these characters are, children fighting for their lives for survival, killing one another in the process. It's this gruesome, Lord of the Flies-esque landscape that they're thrown in, with the rest of the world watching. And when I say the rest of the world, I mean us, the readers. And that's exactly why we want to keep reading...because it's just that good. Here we're getting this sick pleasure from reading about kids killing one another, like it's some video game. I mean, prizes fall from the sky, the faces of those that died are lit up in the sky, and the country is listening to your every word. Can this get any better?

Now let me talk about the characters. First, we have Katniss, a sweet little girl who's survived all her life by hunting game illegally and taking care of her sister and widowed mother. How very unique. And then we have Peeta, the baker's son who's had a crush on our main character since he was five, who's strong, handsome, clever, and sensitive. Again, how unique. I guess the only thing that I really want to give props to is the fact that we have a strong female character who can kick some ass with a bow and arrow...and that's it. Why? Because when it comes to boys, she's just a confused little girl who can't decide how she really feels about both of them. I think she should meet Bella...at least Katniss isn't into beastiality.

Overall, I really did enjoy the narrative, and am ready to move on to the next book. Hopefully I'll loosen up on my criticisms, eh? ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
I just finished Hunger Games, and its a great book. It a good book for older kids, but it reads well for an adult. Also, you would think that a book about pitting teenagers against each other would be nothing but gory, violent, and hard to handle, it isn't. The way the main character handles each situation with grace, courage, and luck without being over the top is something you don't see in most books in this genre. I also like the way technology is used. Katniss, the heroine, does not have access to it in her normal life, but when she encounters it, it is not considered 'magic', just something else that technological elite keeps from its poor workers.

It is a very dark book, and I suspect that some people are not going to be able to handle all the death, but I highly recommend this book if you like dark fiction that is not just a well written story, but also has some very difficult themes. ( )
  TheDivineOomba | Jun 14, 2015 |
Me gustò la idea de la rebeliòn contra el sistema , la de un pùblico egoista e idiota , hambriento de desgracias ajenas (algo que recuerda bastante a mucha gente hoy en dìa , regodeandose en la morbosidad) ; la idea de gente sin recursos que sale adelante con lo poco que tiene . Muchas cosas me fascinaron , muchos temas que pocas veces se tocan en los libros juveniles y en este punto me hace acordar , por un lado a Harry Potter (la victoria de los oprimidos contra el opresor) y tambièn tiene toques de 1984 de Orwell . Este primer libro me comprò totalmente y aunque no me parece recomendable para chicos muy chicos (ya que no entenderìan quizàs varios guiños y metàforas sobre el consumismo ; y ademàs probablemente se asustarìan un poco) pero si recontra recomendable para adolescentes , sobre todo para las mujeres , Katniss Everdeen es una protagonista como pocas. ( )
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
I'm sorry to say I'm not a fan of Susanne Collins's Hunger Games. Though her writing is good--clean and engaging, with compelling characters, I just can't enjoy the child-killing, particularly in a novel that is meant for middle grade/ young adults. ( )
  mfieldswriter | Jun 5, 2015 |
I could not put this book down. Seriously, it is rare that I struggle to put a book down to do something...Suzanne Collins' story really grips the reader. As soon as I had finished it, I was hungry for more (pun not really intended lol) I picked up Catching fire right away. ( )
  Thebrit | May 30, 2015 |
I loved this book. It so interesting how these people how these people survive after this and they remember it it a odd way. I like how they were separated and some districts were poor and other have their own ability. I didn't understand how they got there though. Or why they couldn't leave. They also need to explain more about district 13 and what they did and how they got bombed. I also diet see why people didn't rebel earlier. I would've because what the capitol did is wrong.
It started with Katniss volunteering instead of her sister. She is taken to the capitol and she immediately start training, she get so many people watching her because she is from district 12 and in that district everybody is weak. She is known as the girl on fire because of her dress. When she goes in she makes some friends and she battles other people. In the games she falls in love with Peta and at the end they both survive and our taken on a tour and back to their district and they live in the winners homes ( )
  anthonyh.B1 | May 29, 2015 |
Katniss Everdeen lives in district 12 known for their poor conditions, They also support the capital, which controls all the districts. Every year the capital takes a boy and girl (from ages 12-18) in every district to come together and fight in an arena. Prim (Katniss sister) was picked and instantly Katniss volunteered which surprised all the districts, and was then forced to fight a boy, named Peeta, that saved her life when she was starving. After being shown to all the districts she is sent to practice and show the gamekeepers her abilities. She shoots an apple right next to the lead gamekeeper and scores an 11. They are later put in the arena where Katniss has to survive with nothing but her wits and climbing. After hours she already is being hunted down by the capital districts and Peeta which joined them. She gets burned by a fire and is sent some fast aloe. She climbs a tree to escape the capitals and they stay there waiting for her to come down. As they sleep, she cuts a poisinous wasp called a Tracker Jacker's nest down and it kills all of them but Peeta. In effort to get away she grabs a bow and gets away but is confused because she was stung. She meets a girl about Prim's age ang instantly becomes friends until Rue (the girl) died terribly.She finds Peeta and they fall in love. The gamemakers then changed the rules to two winners if they are both in the same district. As the other tributes die they are both left. Right after the gamemakers changed it back to one winner. Katniss and Peeta both pretend to eat the berries on the count of three, and the gamemakers make the rule change again and they one. Which made President Snow angry.

Readers should read this book because it's filled with action and cute moments. The way Suzanne Collins made this book she made it so you wont put it down until you know Katniss is alright. The fact that Katniss is the one that mostly takes care of her family and then is taken away because she knew her sister was going to die warms the heart. In the intense part Katniss still finds away. Suzanne also made sure it wasn't full on 100% action she made sure it had some humor in it, which makes you smile! However there is some parts where it is just terrible and makes you feel sad Other than that this is a great book and will make you sit on the edge of the seat! ( )
  CaitlynO.B1 | May 28, 2015 |
The Hunger games about a girl named Katniss that lives in a world of poverty. There are twelve districts that are part of the Capitol. the Capitol is the head of the government. Katniss is part of district 12 ,the district responsible for coal. Every year there is an annual "Hunger Games" where children from ages 12 to 18 fight for life. The capitol says it is to "prevent war". There are different settings each year. Katniss' sister gets picked to go. Katniss with no thought volunteers herself to take place of her sister, Prim. Her and Peeta Mallark are taken to the Capitol and go through training .When they are in the arena everyone tries to kill Katniss because she is the most talented and is most likely to survive, and Peeta makes allies with the people who want to kill her. Everyone ends up getting killed except for Peeta and Katniss. They tell the whole entire audience watching that they are "in love" to make them send things to keep them alive. Katniss and Peeta try and play the Capitol by both eating poisonous berries at the same time so they could both win. They both won and were sent back to the Capitol.

I think the Hunger Games is a three and a half. It was boring for me in the beginning because nothing was happening. In the beginning, it was just going on and on about their life. When the fighting started was when it got interesting. People were doing anything to stay alive while being careless to the fact that everyone else is a human too. There were interesting allies and the whole fighting parts were filled with excitement and I like that. I just don't think it deserved a 4 or 5 because it wasn't the best book I have ever read. ( )
  Kaiah.g1 | May 28, 2015 |
Exciting first part of the trilogy. ( )
  NewLiz | May 26, 2015 |
The hunger games is a book about the world in the future where a government controls 11 districts with each district specializing in their own thing. a long time before there were 12 districts the 12 district lead a rebellion but was destroyed and the whole district disappeared. so the government makes the other districts pay a tribute every year to make sure that the other district wont rebel. every year there is something called the hunger games where 2 citizens from each district fight in a death match for fame riches and all the food they could wish which is rare because the districts live in poverty while the capitol flourishes. catniss is the tribute from district 11 and she must fight to win. when she gets to the arena she makes an alliance with a girl who later gets killed in the end her and the 2nd tribute form her district win.

I gave this book a 5 star because it was a different kind of book then all the others. it was the type of book I like action thriller. this book was a mix between sci-fi, action and survival. this book always kept me guessing what would happen next and I was left guessing wrong each time. I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I did. I wish to read this book again in the near future. ( )
  nicholasvb1 | May 21, 2015 |
Compelling! ( )
1 vote mfdavis | May 20, 2015 |
I was very disappointed in The Hunger Games. The writing was simplistic and just awful. The plot was decent and promising but was fairly anti-climatic. I understand this book is targeted for younger readers, but it could of been a lot better and I feel that it had a lot of potential but never went for it. The ending redeems it a little, but not much. I will finish the series, this book did manage to make me interested to see what happens but if the other two books are as plain as this one I don't see them getting higher ratings. ( )
  GrlIntrrptdRdng | May 14, 2015 |
This book is about a country called Panem. It's separated by 12 districts and a capital. The districts had a fight against the capital. Every year after the war the capital reminds the districts never to do it again by having the annual Hunger Games. The Hunger Games are when 24 kids between 12 and 18 years go into a very dangerous arena. Katniss lives in district 12 and when her sister gets pulled from the reaping ball she volunteers and is about to face the dangers of the Hunger Games. I liked this book because the author used words that made you not be able to put the book down. I also liked this book because it had a lot of action and it kept the book moving. I recommend this book to mature readers that understand the meaning of life. ( )
  TBarnet | May 10, 2015 |
An interesting take on a post-Apocalyptic America, but too many plot holes, poor logic, and painful first person narrative for my taste. There are bright points, but the book takes too long to get to the actual Games, and doesn't really offer a strong description of what's going on until the end.

Overall, I question the use of first person here. Some of my favorite books are written in the first person, but this doesn't fit the bill. Katniss frequently jumps from present experience to extensive flashbacks suddenly and without much explanation, making it difficult to keep track of what's going on. I can tell why this is so popular amongst the YA crowd, but still has serious issues. ( )
  bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
A YA series that I probably shouldn't admit to reading as I'm in my 60's, but a good series is a good series. ( )
  NHNick | May 9, 2015 |
When I started this I thought the first person view point would be an issue, after a couple of pages I no longer noticed it. Katniss Everdeen speaks with an economy of words. She shares little of what she is thinking and is a tough nut to crack and that is exactly why I loved this book and bought the two sequels in readiness. A superb story well told, enthralling, never boring. Populated with a supporting cast which grows in character each time you meet them. Having watched all of the movies (3) before reading this I was surprised by how well they did film. There were a few changes, there has to be to bring it to the screen but nothing was cut away for simplicity, every grimy moment was captured well. I look forward to reading the rest. ( )
  MathewBridle | May 4, 2015 |
Even though I thoroughly enjoyed this book there was one thing that I did not like about it so much. The main idea of the story is to stand up for what you believe in even if it means challenging authority. One thing I really liked about the book was the amount of descriptive language the author used. For example when describing hunting in the woods she describe it as "being on another planet where no life existed" and "being so peaceful it made you forget about the world." This really brought the book to life. Another thing I liked was how the characters were relatable. Since they were the same age as the readers, the readers are going to be able to relate more to them. One thing I did not like was the amount of violence in the story. Especially since the characters are children this could be too graphic for some readers. ( )
  bmalon6 | May 3, 2015 |
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