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The Hunger Games

July 21, 2009

The Hunger GamesI couldn’t stand it any longer after reading review after review (Lesley’s Book Nook, Bloggin’ ’bout Books & Booking Mama to just name a few) of how great this book is, so I quick got my name on my library’s waiting list and ended up with a copy of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

The book takes place in the post-apocalyptic country of Panem, or what used to be North America, which is run by the people in The Capitol. Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12, one of thirteen district’s in Panem. She is a 16 year old girl who has had to take care of her mother and younger sister after her father’s accidental death while working in a mine. Her mother never quite recovers from the loss of her husband and is almost helpless to take care of her daughters. Which means Katniss, along with her friend Gale, illegaly sneak under the fence which separates District 12 from the rest of the country to hunt for food so her family doesn’t starve.

The book opens on the day of The Reaping, a yearly event that takes place in each District and is televised throughout the country. On this day, citizens are reminded of the Dark Days, when during an uprising of the districts, the Capitol defeated twelve and destroyed the thirteenth. As a punishment for their disobedience, the Hunger Games were created. Each of the twelve remaining districts must provide, via a lottery system, one boy and one girl to compete. They are then transported to an outdoor arena to fight to the death. Whoever is left standing can return home and their district will be treated with prizes and food all year long. It’s been a while since District 12 brought home a winner.

Against all odds, Katniss is horrified to see her younger, sweet sister get picked for the games and right away insists on taking her place. Along with Peeta Mellark, a boy who harbors a crush on Katniss which she knows nothing about, Katniss finds herself on her way to the Capitol and is trying to prepare herself for the fight of her life – the Hunger Games.

With a nod to one of my favorite short stories (The Lottery by Shirley Jackson) the fast-paced, edge of your seat action makes The Hunger Games a fun book to read.  The book has good bones – interesting characters, lightning speed plot and plenty of heart-pumping scenes. Add a few unexpected plot twists and you’ve got a book that’s perfect the next time you are relaxing on the beach or enjoying some time on your back deck. Just make sure you have plenty of time to read, as this is a hard one to put down.

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games)The Hunger Games is a young adult novel (for kids 12 and up) but don’t let the YA distinction scare you away. This is one of those books that adults enjoy too! In fact, due to the grisly nature of the book, I would suggest that this book might not be good for some sensitive teenagers. But if the teenager in your life loves watching Survivor and enjoys books and movies with a little adventure, then The Hunger Games might be a perfect fit.

With an ending that leaves a few unanswered questions, readers are left wanting more. Luckily the wait won’t be all that long. Catching Fire, book two in the Hunger Games series will be hitting stores in September! If you can’t wait that long to get your hands on a copy, stop by Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’ for a chance to win her ARC of Catching Fire! Oh, and I just found out via Twitter that you can download a chapter of Catching Fire here!

As for me, I snagged my own ARC of Catching Fire while at Book Expo Amercia this past May and have been saving it for the right moment to read. This Sunday I’ll be leaving on a cruise to Bermuda, so you can guess which book  I’ll be taking along with me!

33 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2009 8:44 am

    I’m glad you loved this book. We’re taking it to the beach with us, but Carl has called dibs on it, so I’m not sure when I’ll get to read it.

  2. July 21, 2009 8:47 am

    Your blog popped up just fine with all the graphics and everything – very quick. Have fun on that cruise. (I’ll admit, I didn’t read anything you said about Hunger Games because I hope to read it and I just can’t read too many reviews or it over-influences my expectations.)

  3. July 21, 2009 8:59 am

    This book sounds very interesting. I’m going to have to add it to my list. Thanks for the review!

  4. July 21, 2009 9:49 am

    my comment is not related to the hunger games, but since you mentioned shirley jackson, have you read we have always lived in the castle?

    • July 21, 2009 10:06 am

      I haven’t read anything but The Lottery (which is just so darn original)!!

  5. July 21, 2009 9:50 am

    I’m a middle school library media specialist, grades 6-8, and my students LOVE this book! I mean, LOVE, this book! Every time I recommended it last school year, someone came back saying they loved it! I have a feeling there won’t be a lot of hellos come the day after labor day, but rather, “Where’s Catching Fire, Mrs. B?” Love it!

    I also had my adult girlfriend bookclub read it and let’s just say there will be several ladies in line September 1 to get CF! It’s a hit!

  6. July 21, 2009 9:56 am

    Great review. I was afraid that the hype would make my expectations to too high, but I loved the book and can’t believe I waited so long to read it.

  7. mountainsofbooks permalink
    July 21, 2009 10:32 am

    You’ve convinced me. Now, I’m going to have to find a copy.

  8. July 21, 2009 10:33 am

    I haven’t read this book yet but your review really has me wanting to. I tend to wait for all the hype to die down. Not sure why but that is my M.O.

  9. July 21, 2009 10:44 am

    I really liked this book. I can’t wait for your thoughts on Catching Fire, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!

  10. July 21, 2009 12:33 pm

    I’ve read other good reviews for The Hunger Games as well. Yours reinforces my desire to read it. Thanks for a well-written review.

  11. July 21, 2009 12:46 pm

    I loved it too! I read it not too long ago and I had great expectations, but I wasn’t disappointed. You’re lucky to have Catching Fire! 🙂

  12. July 21, 2009 1:37 pm

    I read this a while ago and still haven’t reviewed it yet!

    Enjoy your cruise!

  13. July 21, 2009 4:49 pm

    Sensitive teen or sensitive 30-something. 😉 Sassymonkey already warned me that it might be too much for me. But I’ll try it anyhow – seems the University library has it in stock!

  14. July 21, 2009 7:56 pm

    I loved this book, and I can’t wait for the sequel to be released!

  15. July 21, 2009 9:21 pm

    Looks like a great series! I’ll have to put it on my TBR list.

  16. July 21, 2009 10:31 pm

    A cruise AND Catching Fire…it’s a winning combo! Hope you enjoy both!!

  17. July 22, 2009 1:25 am

    So glad you enjoyed it, since you’re a privileged one with the CF ARC…which I enjoyed even more than HG. 🙂

  18. July 22, 2009 2:21 am

    So glad you read it! I loved this book and cannot wait to read CF. I’ve been trying to find a copy of it but no luck. Thank goodness only a couple more months.

  19. Kiki permalink
    July 22, 2009 8:27 pm

    I enjoyed it but have to agree with the sensitive thing–lots of killing and death, my 13 yo daughter is skipping it, but my 12 yo daughter will be fine–depends on the person…have a copy of CF but haven’t had time to read it yet.

  20. July 23, 2009 4:23 pm

    Great review; now I want to read The Hunger Games, too! At least I won’t have to wait too long for book 2 🙂

  21. July 24, 2009 11:10 am

    I just got a copy of The Hunger Games through BookMooch (yay!) and can’t wait to start it! Like you, I just keep seeing it everywhere… I’m not always good at fighting (reading) peer pressure, so I’m giving in 🙂

  22. July 24, 2009 1:02 pm

    Great review, Stephanie! I’m reading this book right now, and it gripped me from the very first page. I’ve never been a big reader of young adult fiction, but lately I’ve been picking up quite a few YA titles, and honestly I’ve been blown away by some of them. I understand now why there are whole blogs devoted to YA fiction.

    • July 24, 2009 1:06 pm

      So glad you are enjoying The Hunger Games. I never used to read YA before I began blogging, but I have found so many really great books that are YA since then!!

  23. July 24, 2009 3:15 pm

    I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed! Like you I’d not read YA novels until I picked Hunger Games up and now it seems I’m reading almost all YA novels. There is so much to choose from within the genre (not that this isn’t the case with most fiction) that I can’t keep away.

    Have a great trip, hope you enjoy Catching Fire 🙂

  24. July 29, 2009 12:40 pm

    I’m glad you finally got to read this book and that you enjoyed it. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Bermuda and Catching Fire.

  25. July 30, 2009 1:26 pm

    The book was everything you said it would be. I could hardly put it down and probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t had to. I can’t wait for Catching Fire to come out!

    • August 3, 2009 9:12 pm

      Whitney, So glad that you enjoyed The Hunger Games. I finished Catching Fire while on vacation and I think it was even better than The Hunger Games!

  26. August 1, 2009 8:29 am

    This book is getting quite a bit of hype from bloggers and booksellers, especially with Catching Fire due out shortly. I’m glad you enjoyed it as well as I did. I’m anxious to see what you think of #2, though. Personally, I think the trilogy would’ve been better as a single book. Less padding and, perhaps, a more evenly paced story. Just my opinion, though. 😉

    • August 3, 2009 9:13 pm

      Lesley – For once I have to say that I disagree with your Catching Fire review – I actually enjoyed it more than The Hunger Games!! Now I can’t wait for #3!

      • August 8, 2009 7:37 am

        Wow! Better than The Hunger Games?! I’m glad you enjoyed it! Guess you’re dying to read the third now, huh? Wonder when that one will be published. Probably not until next summer. In spite of my ho-hum attitude about CF, I’m sure I’ll be interested in seeing how Collins wraps up the trilogy.

        Thinking of you this weekend!


  1. Catching Fire « Stephanie's Written Word
  2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins « Book Addiction

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