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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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33,500None19 (4.4)2 / 1887
readingwithtea's review
“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 2590 (next | show all)
The Hunger Games describes a post apacolyptic, dystopian society named Panem where there is a ruling Capitol and 12 districts. Every year, a boy and a girl, ages 12-18, from each district are chosen to battle to the death, ala Battle Royale, until one is left standing. The narrator, Katniss Everdeen, goes in place for her younger sister.

Honestly, I had the audiobook of this so I felt like I liked it more than I would have. It has a very slow start up to the actual games themselves. I thought, at times, if the games were going to be an actual part of it. But once the games begin, it is very exciting, complelling, bloody, gory, and heartbreaking.

Sometimes Katniss got annoying. As smart as she was, she was so daft! Peeta could do better. I like the whole fake/real love story aspect of it. I am not a fan of love stories so sprinklings of it would suffice.

Anyway, I did enjoy this book and I can't wait to listen to the next one. ( )
  Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
The Hunger Games describes a post apacolyptic, dystopian society named Panem where there is a ruling Capitol and 12 districts. Every year, a boy and a girl, ages 12-18, from each district are chosen to battle to the death, ala Battle Royale, until one is left standing. The narrator, Katniss Everdeen, goes in place for her younger sister.

Honestly, I had the audiobook of this so I felt like I liked it more than I would have. It has a very slow start up to the actual games themselves. I thought, at times, if the games were going to be an actual part of it. But once the games begin, it is very exciting, complelling, bloody, gory, and heartbreaking.

Sometimes Katniss got annoying. As smart as she was, she was so daft! Peeta could do better. I like the whole fake/real love story aspect of it. I am not a fan of love stories so sprinklings of it would suffice.

Anyway, I did enjoy this book and I can't wait to listen to the next one. ( )
  Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
The Hunger Games describes a post apacolyptic, dystopian society named Panem where there is a ruling Capitol and 12 districts. Every year, a boy and a girl, ages 12-18, from each district are chosen to battle to the death, ala Battle Royale, until one is left standing. The narrator, Katniss Everdeen, goes in place for her younger sister.

Honestly, I had the audiobook of this so I felt like I liked it more than I would have. It has a very slow start up to the actual games themselves. I thought, at times, if the games were going to be an actual part of it. But once the games begin, it is very exciting, complelling, bloody, gory, and heartbreaking.

Sometimes Katniss got annoying. As smart as she was, she was so daft! Peeta could do better. I like the whole fake/real love story aspect of it. I am not a fan of love stories so sprinklings of it would suffice.

Anyway, I did enjoy this book and I can't wait to listen to the next one. ( )
  Y2Ash | Apr 16, 2014 |
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.
1 vote rgruberexcel | Apr 15, 2014 |
This was a page-turner! I couldn't put it down, and ran straight to the library for the sequel! :) ( )
  KatieCarella | Apr 12, 2014 |
Suspensful, great character development, moving. Great story. ( )
  linda.temple | Apr 9, 2014 |
Collins wrote a perfectly paced, thought-provoking novel with lots of surprises and twists that leave the reader breathless. The characters are well-developed and the story is more character driven than plot driven, I believe. It is suspenseful, thrilling, and AMAZING. The audio, narrated by Carolyn McCormick, is fantastic as well, as she reads with perfect cadence and sounds much like I would imagine Katniss sounding (Katniss seems very mature to me, although she is 16 or 17, and the narrator is a grown woman).

This is an audio book I can listen to time and time again. ( )
  ohmira | Apr 3, 2014 |
My experience in the realm of young adult fiction is very limited - I think I've only read one other book. That being said, I had no idea what to expect. If I'm being honest here, I thought I might be exposed to something like Twilight - of which I had no desire. Having not read Twilight, I can't imagine Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games being anything close as I have a hard time believing anyone can truly hate this book.

These kids, they're being forced by a strict repressive government to battle it out to the death with the reason being, "Hey, don't forget who's in charge here people". You have those from the wealthier districts who have trained their whole lives for the chance at glory. The chance to kill those who are being forced to fight. In Collins' vision of the future, humanity has become so jaded, so disgusting that they consider the violent demise of children as entertainment. Even in the end, after the games are over, the thought that over 20 teens being murdered for no beneficial reason, just washes over the citizens of The Capitol. It's a horrifying thought to imagine society degrading to this level - yet really, is it really impossible? With the advent of reality television in the mid-to late 90s and the influx of websites that ridicule people and their misfortune on a daily basis, it appears the feelings of many are irrelevant. With the atrocities being committed overseas in war-torn countries and the fact that little is done by the average citizen in the wealthier nations is a sign that possibly, maybe eventually, this could become a form of entertainment. These aren't real people, they're contestants.

*Ahem* Let me get off my soapbox here.

Sometime in the future - an approx. date is never given, other than that the Hunger Games has been held 70 times previously - North America has been rebuilt after a series of wars and environmental disasters. The continent is now known as Panem and is broken up in to twelve separate districts all surrounding The Capitol. Each district is supported by a core industry (textiles, agriculture, coal, etc), which in turn, supports The Capitol. Over the course of Panem's history, there have been several revolutions in an attempt to overthrow those who maintain an iron fist over the districts but always resulted in failure.

In an effort to show the Districts who's boss, The Capitol instigated The Hunger Games. Each year, two representatives from each District must partake in a giant fight to the death, the winner of which will be the recipient of a much easier life and several gifts for their homeland. The novel follows Katniss Everdeen, a resident of District 12, who along with Peeta Mellark are drafted into the battle.

Katniss is quite the lead character. Collins writes her with such spirit that she is easily one of the strongest female characters I've ever seen. She's a total badass. She hunts, kills and keeps her family alive at the tender age of 16. All that she's learned in her short life transfers well into her quest for survival in the games and you're rooting for her right from the start.

Overall, the novel itself is surprisingly violent. While Collins holds back a little, she still reveals a lot. Many of the deaths are quite descriptive with acts of poisoning, explosion and raw physical contact; this is not a book to be taken lightly. While all of this is happening, Collins writes a love story that eventually takes center stage. While I found some of the dialogue to be a little cheesy, you could probably defend that with Katniss' desire to remain alive.

I'm become enthralled with future fiction heavily influenced by dystopian society, maybe I was a little predisposed to like this than most but I was sucked in from beginning to end. I'd happily recommend this. However, I probably don't even have too. It appears to be one of the most widely read books on this site. ( )
  branimal | Apr 1, 2014 |
Suzanne has inspired me to dig a little deeper with my own writing. There are so many beautiful moments of humanity and hope in this brutal world that Suzanne created. Can't wait to read the next two books. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Suzanne has inspired me to dig a little deeper with my own writing. There are so many beautiful moments of humanity and hope in this brutal world that Suzanne created. Can't wait to read the next two books. ( )
  CharityBradford | Apr 1, 2014 |
Edición en español ( )
  Marie.Veliz | Mar 31, 2014 |
Similar to the movie but better description. ( )
  JoeYee | Mar 30, 2014 |
Hace años, de una tierra destrozada llamada Norteamérica surgió Panem, una ciudad formada por trece distritos que rodean el Capitolio, centro neutral del país. Pero aunque el Capitolio llevó la paz y prosperidad, los trece distritos se rebelaron con él. Doce de ellos fueron vencidos, y el decimotercero aniquilado. El Capitolio, para recordar a los distritos supervivientes quién mandaba, creó los Juegos del Hambre, un cruel juego de supervivencia que se emite por televisión y que todo el mundo está obligado a ver. En él, veinticuatro adolescentes de entre doce y dieciocho, un chico y una chica por cada distrito, son elegidos al azar para participar en los juegos. El objetivo es sencillo: luchar a muerte entre ellos, pues solo uno de los veinticuatro puede ganar ( )
  sofi2911 | Mar 30, 2014 |
This is a really good book, fast-paced and action-filled :) I loved it. ( )
  Librabookworm | Mar 29, 2014 |
This book was great. I read through it quickly though and had to get the last two books and read straight through because it leaves on quite a cliffhanger. I'm not a fan of the movies, but this book was well worth the read! ( )
  JessicaofAbbey | Mar 28, 2014 |
The Hunger games -suzane collins

This book was not very nice because for about the first half of the book katniss was crying ,and it got WAY too much violence and drama also it is not sutable for young children and old children also all about peter.And it is very sad to imagine almost the whole world is poor and you must fight to the death and kill everybody to actually survive .
  RishiK | Mar 28, 2014 |
the hunger games books make no sense whatsoever and they are boring and all about katniss crying for half of the third book, its all about peeta and really cant get any worse! ( )
1 vote NathanHughes | Mar 25, 2014 |
This book by [[Suzanne Collins]] is a nice book but its kind of boring for me because it isn't really fun at all its like its all the same stuff that i am reading all over again and thats why i don't really like reading that book a lot. I actually red that book once because it was recommended by my mom so i had to read it ( )
  JooHan | Mar 25, 2014 |
I fought reading this for many years, but finally caved. I will admit I enjoyed it, but I am not so enamored to be sucked into the trilogy.
Poor Catniss. Poor Ru. But what is up with those dogs???
1 vote AbundaBookworms | Mar 24, 2014 |
Awesome! I could not put it down ( )
  Mykake | Mar 23, 2014 |
I'm a late adopter--finally got around to reading this book. I resisted seeing the movie. I'm glad I did. I love an original idea. Characters were endearing, plot well paced. l look forward to the next two books. ( )
  sharlene_w | Mar 20, 2014 |
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a phenomenal book that shows a preview of what the future may be like. This book is fast and action paced and there is never a dull moment. The book starts off with a young girl named Katniss who lives in the poorest district of all, District 12. She is forced to take charge of her family because her father died in a mining accident and she has toughened up a lot. When her sister is chosen to be entered in the Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her spot even though it almost certainly means death. Katniss must brave tough conditions and she must fight with 23 other contestants to have a chance at surviving. To find out if Katniss survives, you should read this book and find out. There is a bit of romance in this book as it is definitely not a young childrens book but other than that, it is an excellent book to read for all ages. This book has all the rights amount of suspense, action, and drama!
1 vote TomasJefferson | Mar 20, 2014 |
This book deserves the praise that it got. It took me longer to read than most young adult novels take, most of the time I just tear through them, but this one was more, pardon my pun, savory. Excellent storytelling. It's as well written as the later Harry Potter novels and definitely worth the read. I'm looking forward to the second book.

As a feminist I also enjoyed the strong female character presented in Katniss. Girls in the 10 - 16 age range should even more definitely read it. ( )
1 vote steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Loved this book. Very enjoyable to read. It made me want to read the rest of the series.
1 vote WizardsofWorch | Mar 17, 2014 |
The Hunger Games depicts a communistic society broken into thirteen districts, all controlled by the dominating Capital. Each year two tributes from twelve of the remaining districts are drawn and entered into “The Hunger Games.” The tributes are children, young teens basically. The games represent a sacrifice, a fight to the death until only one male and one female remain. The games were brought about as a punishment for revolting again the system. They are a way for the Capital to remind the districts that they are not in control of their destiny.
In the first book of the series, the main character Katniss is a strong young adult who lives to care for her sister, mother, community and friend Gale. Gale is a hunting companion and really somebody she loves, and just doesn’t understand yet. Katniss’s younger sister Prim is drawn as a tribute for their district, and in turn Katniss volunteers herself in her sister’s place. The male tribute is a young man named Peeta. Throughout the games, Peeta and Katniss learn to depend on each other and at times others in order to survive. Peeta and Katniss end of winning the games in an act of defiance against the Capital. Their act of defiance stirs acts of revolution and defiance among the other districts, and the young adults are found to be inspirational.
If you put aside the idea of fighting others in order to win a life or death game, The Hunger Games does have a lot of positive teaching points.
The Hunger Games can teach students to stand up for what they believe in, and what they think is right. It reminds students about the importance of community, loyalty, friendship and family. The story of The Hunger Games makes readers realize their actions and opinions can have an effect on society, and they don’t always have to accept life as it is.The story can be motivational and teach kids to stand up for what they believe in. I think the book can help promote a positive, inspirational message that you don’t always have to accept the hand life deals you. People can effect change.
The slogan of the games is, “May the odds forever be in your favor.” But I think readers can learn from the book, You don’t have to rely on luck. You can rely on your own actions, and those you choose to surround yourself with.
1 vote Phil9 | Mar 16, 2014 |
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