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The Hunger Games: Book 1

A book by Suzanne Collins.

< read all 54 reviews

Creative dystopian novel

  • Jan 22, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
In the nation of Panem, the only civilization left in the ruins of North America, fear is power. The Capitol keeps each of the twelve surrounding districts on a tight leash by exploiting this fear, particularly through a cruel and vicious ceremony known as the Hunger Games, a yearly contest for survival. Each district is required to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to compete in this fight for life that is televised live for all of Panem to bet on and enjoy.

Things are going fine for sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen of the poorest part of District 12. Her family is doing relatively well and Katniss hasn't gotten caught hunting in the forest or poaching, crimes punishable by death. She even has a trustworthy partner in her illegal activities, a real friend. But when her younger sister is randomly drawn to be a contestant in the Hunger Games, she volunteers to take her place out of love and desperation. And even if Katniss doesn't think she stands a chance, coming from the dumps of the poorest district, survival is part of who she is. But in the Hunger Games, there is no room for the luxuries of friendship or even humanity, because there can only be one victor.

The Hunger Games contains a shockingly disturbing view of the future in which humanity has progressed backward even if civilization and technology continues. It is a completely dystopian future where wealth is unevenly distributed to an extreme degree, starvation is commonplace, and fear rules people's lives. Yet, in the midst of this harsh and unforgiving atmosphere, small amounts of humanity to persevere, especially in the form of spunky heroine Katniss. The fight for survival drives her to the edge between right and wrong, and Katniss struggles between feeling compassion for her human competitors and ruthless killing like a machine in order to win. I felt Collins illustrates this precarious balance very well through this action packed and thought provoking novel. The inclusion of romance and Katniss' confusion over her feelings, even if that part gets rather annoying, only further demonstrates the struggle of humanity against a cruel regime of power, because love and friendship are the most human one can get. Suspenseful and full of hidden meaning, this page turner wills stick with readers beyond the last page and leave them craving more.

If the "End of Book one" on The Hunger Games' last page is any indicator, this must read will soon be continued in a sequel or series. Fans of other dystopian novels including the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld, Shift by Charlotte Agell, Unwind by Neal Shusterman, Cherry Heaven by L.J. Adlington, and The Giver by Lois Lowry will not want to miss The Hunger Games.

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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
Staying alive
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
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Ruthless and calculating, the Capitol rules the districts with an iron hand. Especially after what happened to District 13. But people don’t talk about that. Inside the Capitol life is a constant celebration filled with beauty and abundance, especially during the Games. Outside the Capitol, in the other districts, people live in poverty struggling to find …
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
"There's some confusion on the stage. District 12 hasn't had a volunteer in decades and the protocol has become rusty. The rule is that onece a tribute's name has been pulled from the ball, another eligible boy, if a boy's name has been read, or a girl, if a girl's name has been read, can step forward to take his or her place. In some districts, in which winning the reaping is such a great honor, people are eager to risk their lives, the volunteering is complicated. But in District 12, where the …
About the reviewer
Rachael Stein ()
Ranked #823
THE BOOK MUNCHER is the reviewing alias of a prolific teen reader. She is guilty of several overflowing bookshelves in multiple states. Her literary diet is mostly dedicated to the young adult fiction … 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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