A Brutal Best-Seller
Reader reviewed by Keara Benton
Katniss Everdeen's life always hangs in a state of false danger. In order to feed her family in a futuristic North American place called Panem, she must go outside the law to hunt and sell game. She and her best friend Gale find themselves more often together and in the woods breaking that law than anywhere else. But the approach of the annual "Reaping" threatens to tear their world apart like it does every year.
If your name is drawn in the "reaping", a possibility for every child between twelve and eighteen, you are sent as a tribute to fight to the death against teens from every one of the twelve districts of Panem. One girl and one boy are sent to the Capitol, twenty-four contenders, and only one walks out alive.
Everything changes the moment Katniss's younger sister Prim is selected--and she steps up to take her place. Within seconds, their world is forever altered as Katniss stands by Peeta Mellark, the male tribute from District 12. They are thrown into a bloody battle with no choice but to kill or be killed. Could either of them possibly survive the brutal Games?
The Hunger Games is a fast, action-packed, but thought provoking, edgy story that forces you to keep reading. Effortless detailed, you clamor for more, and find yourself torn between the lives of the tributes and especially Katniss and Peeta. There are also evident and witty comments on society and people that are equally as intriguing as the plot and the characters spun into this gripping story.
The Deadly Games
Reader reviewed by Chandler Jarrels
Hunger Games is more than just a girl fighting for her life. It has deeper meanings and themes that run in through the book. One such theme being that adults cannot control kids so effortlessly as they think. This theme means that kids do have a choice in not only their future but their present time as well.Today parents play a huge role in the lives of kids. Having good parental influence is a great thing in a maturing child, but sometimes parents can become over controlling not letting a kid have a stress free childhood.In some scenarios kids end up having not respect for there parents but either fear or discouraging feelings around there parents. Parents or authority figures are supposed to be someone your not afraid of but respect them them for their caring and affectionate attitudes to a child. An example of this is how Katniss and Peeta are able to outsmart the Capitol and fake their suicides in an attempt to both survive the games. Another deeper meaning in the book is Katniss lack of confidence in herself. She believes she is going to die. As she trains, however, she becomes more aware of her talents. One great tool she discovers is her talent with a bow and arrow. Like Katniss, so do many kids too often underestimate themselves in certain aspects of their life. Katniss learns to let go and allow herself to believe in her skills to potentially survive the Hunger Games. Underestimating ones self creates many downfalls. People need to be confident in themselves, if confidents is not there then success can not happen. Also when people underestimate themselves it does not let them reach there fullest potential to rise above and succeed.
This book has definitely targeted teenagers between the ages of fourteen to eighteen years old. It has dramatic violence, illusionary romance and a theatrical storyline thats grabs and keeps the interest of the reader. The twisted love triangle between Peeta and Katniss creates drama and tension in the games and the violence is enough to keep any action junky satisfied. Hunger Games is well deserving of the highest five star rating and highly recommended for any fortunate reader.
May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor...
Reader reviewed by Noah Blakely
In the near future, in a place once known as North America, children between the ages of twelve and eighteen battle each other for public entertainment in an annual fight to the death. Two tributes from each of the twelve districts of Panem are sent, one boy and one girl. They have no choice in the matter, because they must do what the Capitol says.
This is the world of The Hunger Games, a sci-fi young adult novel by Suzanne Collins, the first installment in a breathtaking trilogy. In a brutal, dystopian era, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen struggles to support her mother and sister in District 12 while the citizens of the Capitol roll around in their riches. The day her sister, Prim, gets her name called in the reaping- the ceremony that decides who will be a tribute in the Hunger Games, a yearly televised fight to the death- is the day her world begins to fall apart. In a split second decision, Katniss offers to go to the Games in place of Prim, an act that most consider a death sentence.
But, as Katniss soon finds out, her entry into the Games is only the beginning. She is forced to make decisions between survival and life, killing and dying, and the love life she never thought shed have. Slowly, she begins to unearth the dark secrets of the Capitol and its corrupt government, headed by none other than President Snow, the vile, snake-like dictator of Panem. And as it turns out, the Games arent just about winning&
At first glance, the book cover seems unassuming. A golden bird on a black cover with the title in bold white across the top. It is simple, but it symbolizes the book so much better than a complicated cover would have. Fans of the series know exactly what I mean, but for those that have not read the book, I can say no more, for fear of spoilers. But the cover isnt what draws you into The Hunger Games. It also isnt the synopsis on the inside flap, though that does play a very big part. Instead, what really reels the reader in is the short excerpt on the back showing off Suzanne Collins fast-paced, first-person present-tense style: Once Im on my feet, I realize escape might not be so simple. Panic begins to set in. I cant stay here. Flight is essential. But I cant let my fear show.
Although there are some controversial themes in the book- I have to admit, children fighting to the death isnt exactly my favorite, either- they only add to this brilliantly crafted novel. There is always something happening to Katniss and the other contenders, and there is always something left for the reader to think about. It is exactly these questions that propel the story along, making it virtually impossible to tear yourself away from its pages. What is going to happen next? How is this going to play out? Even past the thought-provoking issues, The Hunger Games is one of those books you end up getting really emotional over. Since it is such an intimate viewpoint- first-person has that effect- you really get inside Katniss head and experience everything that she experiences, which means that the impact is that much stronger.
Overall, The Hunger Games was a great read, despite a few sub-plots that got annoying after a while. Suzanne Collins writing style is intense and in your face, and the topic of the book adds to the whole insane mood of it. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who wants a good read, but beware: One you start, theres no going back&
I read all 3 Hunger Games books in 1 day
I heard about this book series and was told if I read the first chapter and put it down, then it wasn't my type of book.
That seemed like a fair proposal.
Well I couldn't put it down. I started the first book on a Saturday morning, and continued reading the 2nd and 3rd books through the nite and into the wee hours of the morning.
It's just that good.
If you understand (not like or hate) American Idol, reality TV shows, then you'll get Hunger Games.
It's the type of book where you HAVE to know what's going to happen to the characters. You really end up caring about them.
I guess they're making a movie of this. My advice is to read these books so that you have the story the right way, then go watch the movie in a few months or whenever it comes out.
If you're wondering if these books are girly, they're not. The girl is totally kickbutt and the guys in the story aren't doe eyed pale faced wannabe vampires. They hunt, they fight, and they survive by any means necessary. People get shot, eaten, attacked, electrocuted, brainwashed, it's intense!
Check out Hunger Games, you won't be disappointed
Heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, haunting....perfect set-up for the next 2 books
I read The Hunger Games several months ago. I never wrote down my thoughts, because thousands before me already had, and I figured I probably didn't have much to add. Then I read and reviewed a bunch of other young adult dystopian fiction, some good, some "eh," and came to the conclusion that if I'm going to judge all of them against The Hunger Games, then I should probably go ahead and review The Hunger Games.
This is a review only of the first book.
We all know by now what The Hunger Games is about. In a future version of the United States (now called Panem), the country has been divided into 12 Districts, each specializing in a different industry, surrounding a central Capitol. Years ago, the Districts rebelled against the Capitol. The Capitol prevailed, and as punishment for the rebellion (and as a deterrent against future rebellion), each year the Capitol forces each District to sacrifice 2 of its citizens - a boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18 - to fight to the death in a barbaric gladiatorial arena for the amusement of the Capitol's citizens. One will survive. 23 will die.
The decadent and pampered Capitol citizens, desensitized to the actual horror of what they are watching, view the televised Games as the height of entertainment, Olympics and action movies and reality TV all rolled into one.
Meanwhile, the oppressed citizens of the 12 Districts live out a nightmare, as they are forced to watch their children mercilessly slaughtered on TV.
And rebellion is out of the question. Each District is patrolled by Capitol-appointed "Peacekeepers," there to make sure that they willingly send their Tributes and watch the Games like they're supposed to. To resist is to guarantee death - or worse.
The heroine of the book is Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl who has managed to avoid the Hunger Games for the past 4 years. But that all changes when her 12-year-old sister, Prim, is selected to be this year's District 12 Tribute. Katniss, terrified for Prim, volunteers to take her place -- a decision which most likely guarantees a gruesome death.
Katniss is shipped off to the Capitol to prepare for the Games, along with Peeta, the local baker's son. They are primped and polished, interviewed and pampered, and ultimately turned loose in the arena with the other 22 tributes.
Every single one of them knows, if they are not prepared to fight to the death, they have no hope of winning. And a peaceful sit-in is not an option - the country is watching, and the Gamemakers will guarantee a good show, even if it means unleashing mutant wasps or raining down fire on the tributes.
I will admit, I spent the first half of the book convinced Katniss would certainly find a way to rebel against the Games. Surely she wouldn't participate. Surely she wouldn't kill anyone. Surely she wouldn't fight Peeta. Surely something will happen to make it so that none of these children actually has to die.
But Katniss doesn't go to the games to rebel. She goes to save her sister, and she goes to try to come back to her sister. Which means she has to win. Which means she has to participate. She's a 16-year-old girl in a world that has accepted the Games as a part of life for 3/4 of a century.
Children do die in this book. It's horrible and terrifying and heartbreaking. You want to scream at the Gamemakers and Capitol citizens, "What's wrong with you?" The book gives a chilling look at the insensitivity that would turn a blind eye to the slaughter of children in the name of entertainment and tradition.
It also gives us, in Katniss, a very flawed young girl. She is angry, stubborn and judgmental. But she is also fiercely loyal, protective, and determined. I don't agree with all of her decisions in the book. I was actually a much bigger fan of Peeta than Katniss. But I can admire her determination to do what she has to, to return to protect her sister. She clings to hope, even when all seems lost. In the world she lives in, it seems like the only choice she has.
As a parent, it saddened me greatly to think of a world where parents would be forced to send their children into a situation like this, and where children would be forced to endure this kind of brutality and despair. And if The Hunger Games was just a stand-alone story, I may not have given it 5 stars, even though it's an exciting and engrossing read. But it is the first book in a trilogy, and does an excellent job of setting up the world that Katniss and Peeta live in.
The first book is sad. I cared about the characters, but I hated the world they lived in. I hated what they had to go through. It's upsetting. It's horrifying. It made me angry. And it's supposed to. If this is the feeling you're left with after the first book, it's not a sign to give up on the series. It's a sign you need to see where it goes.
This book was alternately one of the best books that I have ever read and one of the most traumatizing books that I have ever read. Not only was there the terrible games going on in the foreground, but once you really thought about it and delved below the surface of the society in which they lived, it was terrifying beyond belief. The author did an amazing job capturing all aspects of the society, the games and the characters perfectly. I cannot wait to read the next book.
The best book I have ever read
If you haven't read this book you HAVE to. I promise you won't be sorry!
Great Book And WAY Popular With Everyone
I read this about a year before the movie came out and very little people I knew had read them. I instantly fell in love! Suzanne Collins couldn't have made a better beginning to possibly the best trilogy ever. Now, every single person I know has read at least the first one. It's amazing, really, how a movie can make such a big difference in the popularity of the book. I couldn't love a book more.
I fell in love with the Hunger Games. I don't agree with the age range 12+ because I think you need to be older to really understand the series. Can't wait to see all the movies.
Hungry For More
I was deeply impressed by this first book in the series. It most certainly stands well by itself, while leaving the reader with a desire for more of this futuristic, dystopian reality. Though it took me a while to get used to the first person present-tense perspective, which deeply annoyed me at first, the plot and depth was such that I -did- eventually get over it and was able to immerse myself in the solid imagery and rapid pacing.
The main character is a strong, jaded female forced into the mold of circumstance. Her maturity, and at times, immaturity, are well-placed and believable given her age, background, and the harshness (both mental and physical) of her surroundings. Though the male counterpart, Peeta, seemed a bit flat and their would-be romance deliberately difficult to buy, Katniss herself made up for it. If only because the author was masterfully subtle in the matter-of-factness of the character's voice, and her consistent ability to get me to ask myself 'what would I do if that were me?' questions. The moral depravity of the situation isn't thrust on the reader with undertones of the author's feelings, it simply is what it is--a cruel force that happens to be unimaginably above and beyond the control of any of the characters.
The degree of boyscout-like survival tidbits was downright inspiring, and along with the brutal depictions of violence, gave the book a certain appeal to males. The details on edible plants and basic survival skills was accurate without being dull...and indeed, the moral quandaries presented in the story result in a wealth of potentially valuable but covert lessons. For that, the book has earned a place on the list of those I will encourage my children to read on day. When they are of an appropriate age to handle the darker concepts contained therein, of course.