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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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35,843275817 (4.39)2 / 1960
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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I found this book to be very engaging and easy to read. I think it is most appropriate for middle school and above because of the subjects of romance and violence. It is a good book to get students excited about reading realistic fiction.
  adates12 | Dec 17, 2014 |
Read the three books in three days. Couldn't put them down.
( )
  JeaniaK | Dec 13, 2014 |
Well, add me to the list of people who loved this book! Great plot, great characterization, very well-written. At this point, there's not a whole lot to say about this book that hasn't already been said a hundred times over. So, I'll just point out something in particular that really struck me with the character of Katniss. In no way is she a softie. In fact, she's rather cold & hard in personality and the way she perceives the world, which isn't difficult to understand given the world she lives in. However, it was definitely a nice change to see one of the male characters be more emotional than the main heroine. I also liked that Katniss questions so many things, whether it be her own feelings or the actions of others. Katniss was by far my favorite character, and Haymitch was my second favorite. And if pressed, I would have to say I'm team Peeta. For me, Gale just never felt like anything more than a friend to Katniss. Feel free to disagree, as I'm sure many will, lol. Overall I highly recommend this book! ( )
  Kelly_Mills | Dec 12, 2014 |
This book is phenominal, and that is all I can say without going into a series of fangirled shrieks. ( )
  stargazingx13 | Dec 11, 2014 |
I could tell as I was reading this that I was reading one of the truly great novels of the past 5 years....maybe more. In this I found a novel that captured me with the innocence of the first Harry Potter book, and then just lured me in through an increasing level of horror where I literally had to keep reading to find out if Kitness survives or not. This book represents one of the more original concepts of a post-war or apocalyptic America where the attitude of a government towards its people is nothing short of appalling, and the way Collins brings this view to the reader through the eyes of a cunning 16-year-old survivalist is something that everyone should experience. I'm anxious to see how they adapt this into the movie, and to dive into the sequels. ( )
  utbw42 | Dec 10, 2014 |
Don't start reading unless you have at least 24 hours of free time :) ( )
  otikhonova | Dec 8, 2014 |
The first book of "The Hunger Games" trilogy is an introduction into a futuristic society where the government oppresses its citizens. The story is set seventy-four years after an attempt to overthrow the government. As a punishment for the attempted coup, the government chooses 26 children between the ages of twelve and eighteen, two from each district, who will fight to the death in a giant arena. The fight goes on for days, and every citizen is forced to watch it on TV. The story begins at the Reaping, the ceremony wherein the children are picked, lottery style. Our main character's young sister is chosen as the female tribute (forced participant) in the Games. Katniss volunteers to take her place in order to save her sister's life.
A big part of this trilogy is the main character, a teenage girl with PTSD learning to trust her family and loved ones in a society where people grow up learning that no one is to be trusted. ( )
  hphipp2 | Dec 7, 2014 |
A thought-provoking book that follow young Katniss Everdeen as she volunteers to save her younger sister from almost certain death… by taking her place instead. What follows is not only a tale of survival, but also of rebellion. It only takes one spark to start a fire, and this book is that spark; it is not a book filled with children murdering each other for fun, but rather one girl's fight to stay alive while fighting to save the nation as a whole.
  Joycecat | Dec 7, 2014 |
There were several elements of this book that I really enjoyed.
Katniss is a feisty heroine and her thoughts and feeling really help to drive the plot along.
In all honesty however, my enjoyment was thoroughly outweighed by the disgust that I felt at the gratuitous violence.
Personally, I don't understand how people could find enjoyment in a book in which killing is one of the principle elements of the plot.
More specifically, children murdering other children in cold-blood.
Is this really the sort of thing that people should be reading? And more importantly, what does enjoyment of it say about our society today? ( )
  Gorthalon | Dec 6, 2014 |
I read this book to keep up with my 10 year old son. I, like him, couldn't put it down. Suzanne Collins has taken the reality show genre to its hideous gory extreme where the stakes are life or death.

Every year, two participants from 12 districts between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen to participate in the Hunger Games. Competitors are released into an arena resembling a wild forest, controlled by the Capitol who can (and do) regulate the temperature and the weather, and the rules of the game, to make better television for the entertainment of the districts where viewing the show is compulsory.

The aim of the game is to survive. To do so, you must kill your opponents, as there can only be one winner. Collins creates an eerie, sense of hunting and being hunted. Alliances are formed and traps are set. Readers see the games from the perspective of Katniss Everdeen, a reluctant participant from the impoverished district 12, who took the place of her beloved younger sister, Prim. Katniss is tough, but not cruel. she survives by her wits and skills, honed through the necessity that poverty brings. Katniss allies herself with the other district 12 participant, Peeta, who she thinks is hamming up his unrequited love for her for the benefit of the tv cameras. The relationship seems to bring rewards (in the form of gifts from the world beyond the arena), so Katniss plays along. She and Peeta are the last participants standing and she calls the games' bluff by threatening double suicide, rather than kill Peeta. She saves them both and the relationship is set up for further exploration in the next book.

The games have all the hallmarks we are familiar with from reality shows, the make-overs, the interviews, the training, the alliances and backstabbing. All set in a future dystopia we will no doubt learn more about in the next group. ( )
  ilovejfranzen | Dec 6, 2014 |
The Hunger Games. By Suzanne Collins. Read by Carolyn McCormick. Scholastic Audio. 2008. 11 hours and 14 minutes. Grades 7-12.

In this sensational bestseller, children from the separate districts of the dystopian future nation of Panem are pitted against one another in an event known as the Hunger Games – and sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen finds herself fighting for her life after volunteering as her district’s tribute in place of her younger sister. The plot is enthralling, and Collins’s clear, straightforward prose gives an excellent sense of Katniss’s voice. Audiobooks are a handy format for young adults who may not enjoy reading but would still like to keep up with pop culture. Unfortunately, this audiobook version is sadly lacking in comparison with the action and emotion of the original text. McCormick’s reading does not transmit the passion of the teenage protagonist, and her tone is too measured and even for the story’s sense of constant drama and suspense. Given the work’s continued popularity (though the work was published in 2008, film adaptations of its sequels are still being released), this audiobook is a good alternative resource to have on hand, but there are other, better audiobooks for teens in search of compelling examples of the genre. Additional selection. ( )
  tierneyc | Dec 4, 2014 |
In the nation of Panem, the government rules the population from the lofty, affluent Capitol while the rest of the citizens are split between twelve, poorer districts. Every year each of the districts, as punishment for a past failed uprising against the corrupt government, must send two tributes, a boy and a girl, to fight in the annual Hunger Games. Here each of the tributes fight to the death to provide entertainment to the denizens of the Capitol and cement the nation’s control over the districts. The book opens upon District 12, the coal-mining district, and a headstrong, young girl, Katniss Everdeen, who is trying to make ends meet for her family and put food on their table. At the ceremony to chose the 74th District 12 tributes, Katniss’ younger sister, Primrose, is chosen. Desperate to protect her sister from the Games, Katniss volunteers as tribute. After she shocks the crowd with her sacrifice, Peeta Mellark is chosen as the boy. Thus chosen, the two are sprinted off for preparations for the Games, full of pampering and interviews to expose them to the Capitol public in order to try to compete for the people’s good graces and gifts to help them through the Games. The depiction of the Hunger Games does not shy away from the violence and horror that is inherent in the idea of children being forced to kill one another in order to reassert the government’s authority over the districts. However, unlike the other Games of the past, Katniss presents a threat to the government and sets the stage for the rest of the series by unwittingly making herself an enemy of the state. This is a well-paced book that crafts real emotion by refusing to pull its punches. Collins is trying to tell a story, and through a mixture of personable characters and unbelievable situations, she does just that. Recommended for purchase. Ages 14 and up. ( )
  kornelas1 | Dec 4, 2014 |
In order to control the population in a dystopian world, children are selected at random to enter gladiator style games in which a fight to the death produces only one victor. In the first installment we meet Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Malark both chosen to represent their district in the latest competition. The book also focuses on the love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gael (the neighborhood boy who is Katniss' best friend and one true love.)
  EmKel753 | Dec 2, 2014 |
A very engaging novel set in a futuristic world in which only twelve districts remain. Every year a Hunger Games is held in which a man and a woman are selected from each district to compete in these games. These games are televised for all the districts to watch. The competitors in the games must fight until death or until only one competitor is left standing. This raises the issue of a totalitarian government. This describes a world in which citizens do not have freedom and their world is bleak. ( )
  bmsherid | Dec 2, 2014 |
An amazing story! I'm in love with Peeta. At first the present tense was a distraction, but I soon adjusted. I loved Suzanne's writing style-I forgot I was reading. I will be reading the next two books in the series and I can't wait for the movie. ( )
  DaphneH | Dec 1, 2014 |
good action and adventure book for people looking for something exciting and something heart warming.
  DeborahUnderwood | Nov 30, 2014 |
I knew that I would enjoy reading this one before I even flipped it open. For those of you currently reading the book, I do not want to say much plotwise since I do not want to ruin the ending. I have to say that the story reminds me a lot of "The Running Man", even though I've not read the Stephen King stories off which the movie is based.

I liked the fact that Suzanne Collins did a great job of creating a dystopia that shows a blend of old ways (the citizens of District 11 being farmers and District 12 being coal miners, both similar to times of slavery) with cutting-edge technology (genetic engineering).

The greatest component of the story, in my own personal opinion, is the appropriate balance of exposition with the right amount of action. Collins did a great job of describing the locations, the people, and their own individual life circumstances but she also had a keen sense of knowing when to begin including the confrontations between the tributes.

Although I was somewhat grossed out by the injuries that happened to the different characters, I will say that any parents worried about their teens being wrongfully influenced by the book should have nothing to worry about in the sense that nothing is overly exaggerated. For example, no one has their spine ripped from his or her body nor is anything of that sort explained in overly graphic detail.

One other coolness factor for me is the fact that I do not live far from where the film was shot. ( )
1 vote preston.whit | Nov 30, 2014 |
A young girl struggles to find her place and develops her own moral compass, while dealing with social psychology and expectations that put her way of life in danger.
Ages: 12 and up
Source: Personal Library ( )
  amandapanda613 | Nov 24, 2014 |
I have so much to say about this but I'll keep it as brief as possible in order to retain my sanity: if you don't have the ability to shut your brain off on command and/or dislike terrible teenage love stories then don't read this. The world is so haphazardly constructed that it can't withstand the slightest bit of scrutiny; Tthe characters consistently act in the most irrational and unlikable ways possible, with the main character somehow being the most abhorrent of the bunch; The plot and character development are filled with deus ex machinas and other sorts of nonsense and somehow manages to botch even the most basic story setups; chapters drag on way too long, which is highlighted by the terrible monologue of the protagonist, and often sentences just make no grammatical sense.

It's such a big ugly mess that I can't even begin to comprehend how it got this popular. I'm astounded that I found literally nothing likable about this. ( )
  Kuroonehalf | Nov 23, 2014 |
This is another book I read AWHILE ago that I am just now reviewing. I read this book right before the movie came out, I hate watching a movie that is a book before reading the book. It was a quick read.

I liked the intricacies of the world that Ms. Collins built. It reminded me of Harry Potter in the way that the world was so elaborate and so all immersive. I liked Katniss, she is a beautiful character both a lover and a fighter. I also don't understand why people called Peeta/Gale/Katniss a love triangle...maybe it's from a later book (that I have still yet to read).

I liked the world, even though dystopian fiction is not my favorite kind. I think that some of the imagery and scenes were brutal and a little too much for some young adults. The whole animal thing at the end creeped ME out and I am 25 years old. This was a quick easy read but I doubt I will continue on reading the series, the movies, maybe. ( )
  mojo09226 | Nov 21, 2014 |
This book is one of three about a future country. The main character is put into a "fight to the death" arena with 23 other teenagers. It is aired on live TV for all to see. The book is about her survival in and out of the arena. This book is very interesting and would attract new readers. This trilogy is something that could make students who "don't like reading" fall in love with it. It has action to keep the readers attention throughout. Also, it is being made into movies so some this could help students want to read to find out the ending while waiting for the next movie. Students in 6th grade would like this because it has some mature themes and can be graphic. It is a modern fantasy chapter book. I highly recommend it to everyone. ( )
  nhassa3 | Nov 21, 2014 |
I actually bought this book over two years ago. It had caught my attention because a friend, who hates to read anything more than a one-sentence e-mail, had been convinced to try it and she loved it. She flew through the entire trilogy faster than I ever would have expected. When I saw the first book on sale for $1.99 not long afterward, I decided to snag it.

I’ve never seen the movies, so all I knew about the story going into it was what I vaguely remember seeing on the movie trailer. I knew it would probably be a light, quick read judging by its apparent main-stream popularity, so I’ve been saving it for a “rainy day” – a day when I just want a quick and enjoyable read that doesn’t require too much mental effort. That rainy day finally came, and this book was perfect for meeting that need.

The writing style grabbed me from the beginning and easily kept my attention. For me, there were no slow parts whatsoever; it held my attention from the first word to the last. The story was completely uncomplicated, but interesting nevertheless. This book was clearly written for a younger audience, but the story is one that adults can appreciate too. The sacrifices and relationships formed in this book are very touching, as is the disparity between the impoverished and powerless versus the rich and powerful.

The story is told from the first-person perspective of a sixteen-year-old girl, Katniss. I would have liked the opportunity to read from the perspective of at least a couple of the other characters, but Katniss is a sympathetic and likeable character. Without giving anything away about the plot (if there’s anybody else left who doesn’t already know it!), I was sometimes a little bothered by how easily and willingly she was able to pretend to be what people expected her to be. She didn’t enjoy it, but it seemed like she usually managed to pull off a convincing performance in spite of that. I would have been more satisfied with a heroine who was more true to herself. However, given that the alternative was likely death for herself, and misery or possibly death for the family who depended on her, I suppose I can understand why she made the choices she made. She was putting the people she cared about above everything else. She wasn't trying to change the world or set an example, she was just trying to ensure the well-being of the people she cared about. That, I suppose, made her a pretty realistic character. ( )
  YouKneeK | Nov 20, 2014 |
Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called the Hunger Games. Killed or be killed. Katniss takes her sister's place in the Hunger Games. She basically thinks she's going to die and sees the whole thing as a death sentence, but in the end sees it as a game for survival.
  kzilinskas | Nov 16, 2014 |
The Hunger Games starts on the day of The Reaping, or the day when two children ages 12-18 are chosen to become "tributes" in a fight-to-the-death competition in which only one person survives. However, when the main characters sister, Prim, gets chosen as a tribute Katniss volunteers to take Prim's place. She travels by train to visit the Capitol, which has control over all the districts and receives all the wealth.
Katniss goes through four days of intensive training, and does surprisingly well on her training scores. Then comes the real challenge where she undergoes all the challenges of The Arena. Katniss must watch out for traps, set by other tributes as well as various mutations that the Capitol breeds in top-secret labs. However, her most important challenge is with Peeta, the boy from her district that falls in love with her. Together, they survive and go home to live another day.

I enjoyed this book because of the fact that there is always a twist; always an obstacle to overcome. Such as the morality of killing another tribute, starvation and other physical and mental burdens/ challenges, its no wonder that the book is rated as action-packed. Five out of five stars is what I rate this book. ( )
  johnn.b4 | Nov 8, 2014 |
This book is probably one of my favorite books ever . ( )
  Imane. | Nov 4, 2014 |
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