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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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36,875282317 (4.38)2 / 2010
“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 2767 (next | show all)
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! ( )
  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 is when 24 kids between 12 and 18 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 |
The Hunger Games is a young adult novel set in a dystopian future. Katniss volunteers to participate in the annual Games after her sister's lottery number is called, games in which one boy and one girl from each of the districts of the former United States must fight in a reality t.v. survival "game" until only one is left alive. The novel is written in first person from an unreliable and fairly uninformative narrator.

While this is a fast, somewhat entertaining read (descriptions of the various costumes are particularly imaginative), it does little to develop the society, history, politics, or world outside of Katniss' immediate surroundings. There are characters you are meant to like and characters you are meant to dislike-- there is no one as complex as Oryx or Estraven or those characters found in novels like The Road, The Stand or Ender's Game. Katniss is always out of her depth but good (despite being in a death match with other children), and she always is in a position to try to help the other "good" characters and innocents.

Collins' work is similar to the 1999 Japanese novel Battle Royale, and the first paragraphs of the first chapter are eerily close to the opening paragraph of The Road (a character wakes up, reaches out to touch a child that's sleeping beside them, there is an uncomfortable material we wouldn't use as bedding, a description of light/darkness, and finally a relationship suggested between children and beauty/nature). ( )
1 vote Ailinel | May 3, 2015 |
I had heard from so many people that this book was "great" that I was probably bound to be disappointed. It was a good book in that it was fast-paced and hard to put down, but at the end I felt vaguely unsatisfied and not particularly interested in reading the rest of the series. ( )
1 vote Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
Whoa. I was told by a friend that I must put everything down that I was reading right now and read this. Since I trusted her(with all the energy of her insistence), I obliged, though I very rarely ever do that. And I was not disappointed. I know I give five stars a lot, and I would like to think it is because I only ever read the best books, but this one is among the Best of the Best. Absolutely brilliant. And I have to say, if given a choice, I would maybe sell just a small part of my soul to write like her. Can't wait for September, when the next book comes out. Hope I didn't gush too much--set your expectations to wariness at least (that anything could be that good) because it took me a bit of getting into it before I was really sold. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
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 |
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