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The Hunger Games: Book 1

A book by Suzanne Collins.

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Exciting, but falls apart at the end

  • May 4, 2010
  • by
Rating:
-2
"Hunger Games" is a young adult science-fiction suspense novel. The premise--sending teens into a game that requires them to kill each other--also qualifies it as a horror novel, in my opinion.

The story was very exciting and fast-paced. For the first two-thirds of the story, there was barely a pause in the danger-laden action filled with unexpected twists. The world-building was very good and brought the story alive in my imagination. The characters were interesting, and there were many very nice characters risking themselves to help Katniss survive. I liked the potential of Katniss more than I actually liked her. She wanted to be nice, but she thought everyone was out for themselves so she rarely trusted others and her main goal was survival at whatever cost.

I read the book because my 12-year-old friend wanted me to, because of the suspense, and because I thought Katniss would be pushed to the point of boldly defying the evil of the Hunger Games. But her main goal was to survive and avoid conflict. Even her minor defiances stayed within the rules and she eagerly cooperated in trying to patch up any damage done by them to The Capital's power. She lied knowing it would be hurtful to someone she cared about and was willing to kill people she liked in order to survive. Only some fancy footwork on the part of the author kept Katniss from facing much moral dilemma about her actions and intentions.

By the time the Feast came about (near the end of the book), I had concluded that Katniss wouldn't stand up against the Hunger Games, no matter how cruel or how much she disliked them. By this point in the story, there were also a bunch of inconsistencies--including a critical one that meant the story wouldn't have played out the way it did.

(Explanation, SPOILER alert: Peeta said that his family only ate stale bread. Thus, Peeta's mother would never have told him to feed fresh, slightly-burned bread to the pigs--which formed the bond between Katniss and Peeta--when his family could have enjoyed the bread themselves. END SPOILER)

At this point, the pacing was also slower so I started to notice things like how fresh, unpreserved meat stayed good for days despite very hot days (it would have spoiled much sooner), how Katniss never thought to use the iodine for medicine when it might have made a big difference, how she hid some knives yet never thought to go back to get them when she needed them, and how she didn't even try to use her weapons when captured by an opponent intending to torture her to death.

In my opinion, it basically fell apart at the end, and I stopped caring about the story. Some readers might not catch the inconsistencies or care as long as there's great action, but I do.

There was no sex. I don't recall any bad language. The gore was left to the readers imagination. The novel was written in first person, present tense. Overall, it was a "clean" and exciting reading, but I was disappointed by the end.

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More The Hunger Games reviews
review by . December 20, 2012
We're all familiar with the old storytelling trope about the evil empire oppressing the good guys who are helpless to do anything about it. Those actual stories, though, have one particular thing in common: They're all told from the point of view of one of the scrappy revolutionary good guys. Has anyone ever wondered about the everyday people who weren't some secret spies for the rebels? This is the dynamic that author Suzanne Collins first introduces us to in The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games …
review by . June 16, 2010
Have you ever read a book and after you finish it you want to kind of shove it into anyone and everyone else’s hands so they can read it too? This is the state I’ve been in ever since completing The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I can’t even remember where I first heard about this book. It’s easily one of the best books I’ve read all year. I’m only sorry I didn’t discover it sooner.                 …
review by . November 20, 2010
Dystopia, Big Brother and post-apocalypse are themes that have been included in novels so often that it could well be a life's work for a librarian to prepare an exhaustive catalogue of titles. But, in terms of quality, the devil is in the details and Suzanne Collins has justifiably taken the world by storm. Her novel, THE HUNGER GAMES, inspired by the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur, is an innovative, dare I say unique, young adult twist on the recurring themes of violence, cruely, despair, …
review by . April 19, 2012
Told from the perspective of the main character, Katniss, THE HUNGER GAMES takes place in a future where the United States as we know it no longer exists. The book never explains exactly what happened, but years earlier there was some sort of economic collapse and global catastrophe. In the aftermath, what was once the continent of North America is now a country called Panem. In what is explained in THE HUNGER GAMES, Panem was controlled by a massive Capitol City that ruled over thirteen separate …
review by . December 16, 2010
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Novels with dystopian themes have been popular for generations, and one of the newest, The Hunger Games, is worthy enough to merit a place among the classics. Written for teens, with adolescent main characters, the story will snag and rivet the attention of an older readership as well. The plot is straightforward: the American democratic experiment has failed, leaving the surviving population distributed among a dozen rigidly separated settlements, each region assigned to produce a specific commodity …
review by . July 07, 2010
When I first read the summary for Hunger, I had a clear picture in my head of what was going to take place within these pages: a no-holds barred, youth-oriented battle royale. If that's what you want to read, then you will get that in this book. But the beauty of what Collins has done here is that you also get so much more.      Hunger opens when the protagonist, Katniss, is chosen to participate in the annual Games, an event created by the Capitol to keep down the rebellious …
review by . November 13, 2010
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review by . July 26, 2010
So my friend Sarah has been trying to get me to read this book since it first appeared in the hands of her middle school students.  She says she thinks it’s “better than Harry Potter”.  While I’m not ready to go that far, I do think Suzanne Collins has successfully created a series that is head and shoulders above the enormous pool of fantasy/dystopian young adult books that have exploded on the market since J.K. Rowling opened the floodgates.      …
review by . June 27, 2010
This is the first of the best young adult series that I've read all year. In "the Hunger Games" we see a government gone wrong. By wresting control of all life from it's constituents, the government has consigned them to a life of horror. The heroine and narrator is Katniss Evergreen, a practical, level-headed teen and the sole support of her mother and younger sister. Her father having died in a mine explosion (the family lives in a coal-mining district with an Appalachian feel, …
review by . August 02, 2010
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About the reviewer
Debbie White ()
Ranked #120
I review books, do organic gardening (vegetables, fruit trees, etc.), mentor a young lady, and work with inmates at the local jail and state prison units. I live in a passive solar house (with an active … more
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The Hunger Games is a young adult science fiction novel written by bestselling author of The Underland ChroniclesSuzanne Collins. It was originally published in hardcover on September 14, 2008 by Scholastic Press. It is the first book of the Hunger Games trilogy, with two more books to come. It introduces sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world where a dictatorship called the Capitol has risen up after several devastating disasters. In the book, the Hunger Games are an annual televised event where a ruthless Capitol randomly selects one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts, who are then pitted against each other in a game of survival and forced to kill until only one remains.

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Details

ISBN-10: 0439023521
ISBN-13: 978-0439023528
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Teens
Publisher: Scholastic Press
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1984 (British first edition)

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