The Hunger Games Hardcover – September 14, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
If there really are only seven original plots in the world, it's odd that boy meets girl is always mentioned, and society goes bad and attacks the good guy never is. Yet we have Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, The House of the Scorpion—and now, following a long tradition of Brave New Worlds, The Hunger Games. Collins hasn't tied her future to a specific date, or weighted it down with too much finger wagging. Rather less 1984 and rather more Death Race 2000, hers is a gripping story set in a postapocalyptic world where a replacement for the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death.Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, offers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, but after this ultimate sacrifice, she is entirely focused on survival at any cost. It is her teammate, Peeta, who recognizes the importance of holding on to one's humanity in such inhuman circumstances. It's a credit to Collins's skill at characterization that Katniss, like a new Theseus, is cold, calculating and still likable. She has the attributes to be a winner, where Peeta has the grace to be a good loser.It's no accident that these games are presented as pop culture. Every generation projects its fear: runaway science, communism, overpopulation, nuclear wars and, now, reality TV. The State of Panem—which needs to keep its tributaries subdued and its citizens complacent—may have created the Games, but mindless television is the real danger, the means by which society pacifies its citizens and punishes those who fail to conform. Will its connection to reality TV, ubiquitous today, date the book? It might, but for now, it makes this the right book at the right time. What happens if we choose entertainment over humanity? In Collins's world, we'll be obsessed with grooming, we'll talk funny, and all our sentences will end with the same rise as questions. When Katniss is sent to stylists to be made more telegenic before she competes, she stands naked in front of them, strangely unembarrassed. They're so unlike people that I'm no more self-conscious than if a trio of oddly colored birds were pecking around my feet, she thinks. In order not to hate these creatures who are sending her to her death, she imagines them as pets. It isn't just the contestants who risk the loss of their humanity. It is all who watch. Katniss struggles to win not only the Games but the inherent contest for audience approval. Because this is the first book in a series, not everything is resolved, and what is left unanswered is the central question. Has she sacrificed too much? We know what she has given up to survive, but not whether the price was too high. Readers will wait eagerly to learn more.
Megan Whalen Turner is the author of the Newbery Honor book The Thief and its sequels, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. The next book in the series will be published by Greenwillow in 2010.
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Lexile Measure : 810L
- Grade Level : 7 - 9
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0439023483
- ISBN-13 : 978-0439023481
- Product Dimensions : 6.25 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches
- Publisher : Scholastic Press (September 14, 2008)
- Reading level : 12 and up
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #12,924 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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There are two “winners” in this Hunger Games lottery, a girl and a boy. Actually they are selected - drafted. Their names are pulled out at random. They get to compete with eleven other boys and eleven other girls in a war- games-type arena. There can only be one winner in the Hunger Games - the person still alive at the end of the games.
We follow Katniss, a girl from District Twelve, the poorest district, and Peeta, the baker’s son, from the same district. Peeta has had a crush on Katniss since she was five years old. She owes him for giving her bread when her family was starving. She feels she should repay this debt. Now they might be forced to kill each other.
The pageantry leading up to the games at times resembles a beauty contest, at times resembles training for participation in a less-lethal sport and at times it resembles preparation for a bullfight.
This is a terrifying story, but it’s also a life enhancing a story as the 24 children (ages 12 to 18) in the games sometimes form alliances based on friendship or need. It’s hard to trust anyone knowing that person might soon become your killer.
There’s are lessons in survival here. There’s also romance as Katniss isn’t sure if she loves Peeta, but she cares for him enough to fight for his survival as well as her own.
It seems I am the last one who read this book! LOL. Lots of hype generated about this book back when it was released. For no reason I never picked it up and always delayed watching the movies so I can read the book first. I guess now it is time to watch the movie. First thing I have to say the hype is not just a hype without any justification to it. The book is very well written. The story is very fast paced and enjoyable. I know many new dystopian books took an idea or two from this one.
The only drawback I would say is that we did not get to know some of the other characters who participated in the Hunger Games, some characters were more interesting than others because they were more elaborated. Rue for example was a good defined character. It would have been nice to know more about foxface. The main characters were very well written. Have no complaints about them.
The end of the story will make you want to jump into the sequel right away. I think this is a good book series to invest some time into. I hope book two and three will be as good too.
After a failed uprising 74 years ago the nation of Panem began hosting the annual Hunger Games, a tournament where two tributes from each of the twelve districts fight to the death until only one victor remains. Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen has always dreaded reaping day, but after her twelve year old sister is chosen, Katniss doesn't hesitate to volunteer to take her place. Katniss is then swept off to the glitz and glamour of the Capitol where the games take place and it will take everything she has to survive.
Katniss is such a fantastic main character and I love how realistic her reactions are. Every time I read the scene where she volunteers to take Prim's place, I can feel her desperation to save her sister. It's immediately clear that the most important thing for Katniss is that she survive the games. Every decision she makes is to ensure that happens and she can return to her sister. What throws a bit of a wrench in her plans though is fellow district twelve tribute Peeta. Peeta slowly gets behind Katniss' defenses and I love the scenes between the two.
I always forget just how brutal the games themselves are. The author really doesn't hold back with the violence and I find all of the traps made by the Gamemakers to be fascinating. The Gamemakers definitely come up with some crazy stuff and I really like how far they take things as it definitely ramps up the suspense. Possibly my favorite scene in the entire book is the final scene with Katniss and Rue. It's so fantastically done and Katniss' devastation is so clear. The ending of this book is amazing and I love how well it sets up for the second book in the series.
Overall The Hunger Games is one of my favorite books and I'm glad I decided to reread the series.
Underneath all the fighting for survival is a boy in love with a girl and a girl who is desperate to return home. Willing to do anything, she goes along with the idea of them being in love, hoping that in the end, it will mean both will end up back in their district.
The imagery invoked a lot of breathtaking pictures. The characters had enough background that I found myself loving, hating, being indifferent, or hoping that nothing bad befell them. The emotions were sharp and cut deep in many cases; the fact that the nation forced children to fight to live as punishment for a long ago war, I found horrid. Yet, in some cases, I have to admit that I was glad when some were taken out.
There are a lot of twists and turns that occur. Some you see coming, some you are told are coming even if what will happen isn't known and still others that come from seemingly no where. How each character reacts helps define their personality and chance of survival. This is a book with very few places were things become dull.
Top reviews from other countries
I only came across the films last year, I was very late to the party in that regard but I fell in love with the films instantly and I watched them often.
A few weeks ago at work I found myself singing verses of "the hanging tree" so much so that 2 others in the office were also joining in and it made me want to watch the movies again they were just that good.
Then the pandemic got worse and last Monday was my last day at the office, I desperately needed something to do and of course watched the movies I thought of only a few weeks prior.
It hit me then that I never even read the books, normally I read the books first as they hold so much more information than the films so instantly I bought all 3 on Kindle and it's kept me occupied.
They are fantastic! I had the advantage of the films being fresh in my mind so when I read the books from Katniss's point of view I was already picturing what was going on when she was receiving things like shocking news for example (spoiler alert) when they are drawn back to the quarter quell. When you read the books you are seeing things from her perspective only but from the film you are seeing how it's been manipulated and brought about. So for me I was able to picture everything at once which made it more of an enjoyable read.
The books hold so much more information than the films showed, don't get me wrong the films are brilliant but you always get more from a book.
The books and the films show realism, even if it's fiction there are things written and shown that are relatable to everyone. The author is fantastic at portraying this.
It merely depends on your own life and what you've faced as a person, if you found yourself relatable/similar to Katniss's character and I don't mean the fictional parts I mean the realistic ones like dealing with poverty, enduring grief, crippling fear. (I could go on but this review is already long enough) you may act differently to her character or you may sympathize with her and when I read the books I found that I sympathized. Beforehand I was indifferent. It was only after reading through first person I got an understanding of what kind of person she is.
Suffice to say for me I gave the rating 5 stars, I read some of the lower ratings to get an idea of what I was getting into and many of them were so low, a lot of this was down to the miss-selling of books. (Covers were not portrayed right etc)
I found them gripping and it took me two days to finish them, I'd happily read them again. I like where all books take you and that's away from wherever you are. So for two days I spent it in the Hunger games listening to Katniss tell her story and I recommend these books to anyone who wishes to escape for a little while.
Stay safe everyone 🙌
OMG what a story, what a book. This is Amazing. I loved this book. This book one of the best books I have read in a long time. A lot more happens in the book then it does in the film. Katniss is such a strong and principle character. She volunteers herself so her sister doesn't have to go into the games and possibly die.
This book is a set in the future, where the whole country is called Panem. The Capital is the richest and there are districts, the higher the district you are the poorer the district is. So hunger is a continues problem. The Capital puts on a reality game show every year called 'The Hunger Games' where 1 boy and 1 girl are picked at random from each district. Then it is a fight to the death, where there is one person left standing, because that person has killed all the others. That person is the winner of The Hunger Games.
At the age of 12 you have to have your finger pricked and write your name below your blood. Then your name is put into a jar and if your name is picked, you are to go into The Hunger Games.
This is pleasure watching TV for the people of the Capital who love the Game and the excitement of it all. The training all the districts have to go through, there are TV appearances, interviews, makeup, dresses. The other Districts have to watch in Horror while their children are danger and the risk of them dying because the other districts are reminded constantly about the Uprising that happened that ended District 13 and why these Games are put on, so all the Districts can learn not to go up against the Capital.
The book is in the POV of 16 year old Katniss Everdeen. She lost her father in a mining accident years ago and her mother fell into a deep depression and it has been Katniss who has had to feed herself, her younger sister Primrose and the mother by going into the woods hunting animals and selling them at the market, which is off limits.
Her younger sister is chosen at the Reeping to go into the games, but Katniss won't let that happen so she volunteers herself to go instead of Prim.
The boy chosen Peete also the same age go into the Capital with their mentor Haymitch, who was a Hunger Games Winner when he was a boy.
The pear are put to the limits with training. Pushing themselves to breaking point.
The Hunger Games is a valiant book because it's children that are killing and dying. Having said that it is written in a way that you didn't feel that way when you read it. Because it's set in the future and all the districts children that are taking part in the games it is normal for them, because they are used it, we, as the reader are not used to it so it's shocking for us. But that is what I loved about this book. It was shocking, sad and sometimes terrifying but, Katniss makes you rout for her, makes you want her to be the winner even if she has to do something that is shocking.
This year there is a twist in the Hunger Games but, don't get to comfortable this is the Capital and they like their entertainment.
This book made me so tired, it just doesn't stop. I wanted at one time wished I could jump into my kindle and kick some booty at some of the people at the Capital because they were seeing entertainment when really, its a kill or be killed game, and they are children who are being killed or made to kill.
Its a fantastic book even if it sounds really morbid you will not at all be disappointed in this book at all.
I am already prepared to read the next books, however, I am going to split up the reading and choose something else first. I had seen the first film but could not fully remember the story. I had high hopes for the first book and I was not disappointed. Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12 of Panem in North America with her widowed mother and her younger sister, Primrose, Prim. Following the death of her father in the coal mines Katniss has no choice but to become to main wage earner and provider for her family by any means possible. She uses a variety of skills, in particular, the ability to use a bow and arrow, and techniques she has developed, along with the help from her friend Gale, to provide for her family.
Every national of Panem is entered into the reaping between the ages of 12 and 18. A person can be entered on more than one occasion depending on their financial status and needs. Every entry into the reaping gives a family more food and support for the family, this is known as tesserae. Katniss, at the age of sixteen, has her name entered twenty times. Gale, at eighteen, is entered forty-two times. Prim has only been entered once as Katniss will not allow her to be entered anymore. Unfortunately and unexpectedly Prim is pulled from the selection, Katniss nominates herself to takes Prim's place and a whole range of incidents and unexpected outcomes are waiting for Katniss. in my opinion, the Capitol use the Hunger Games as a way to keep the less privileged and lower social classes in their "rightful" place. Unable to uprise against the Capital as had previously happened in Panem. The Capital use this barbaric and, frankly, ridiculous technique to show the others who is in charge. What absolutely baffled me was not that the Capitol were sending people into a controlled environment to slaughter one another for no other reason than being told to, but the fact that they were only, at a push, teenagers which were being forced to act in such a way. This system definitely had a sense of William Golding's, Lord of the Flies. The, to be perfectly honest, children are expected to murder, slaughter and if they feel like it, eat one another to survive. What an awful concept, just to keep the Capital happy with their control.
Katniss is the female chosen to enter the arena and Peeta is the male chosen. Peeta makes a confession during his pre-contest interview about his feelings towards Katniss. Katniss is unsure if this declaration is true or whether Peeta has found a way to appeal to the audience for both their sakes. The couple were separated for a large period of the story. However, a change in the rules means that both Katniss and Peeta could survive and leave the arena together means they need to strive to not only stay together but survive. During this time together the pair are able to visit and discuss their feelings towards one another. It is an unfair and controversial last minute rule change which makes us think that perhaps the couple will not end their story together. A Romeo and Juliet moment has the Gamemakers have a quick change of heart. I did feel very concerned for the lovable characters, were they going to survive? Would another contestant try and challenge them to the death? Would they ever get back to District 12?
There are a number of people to "help" Katniss and Peeta to prepare and progress through the games. Cinna, Katniss' stylist. He becomes a dear friend to Katniss when no one else will listen to her problems and worries before entering the games. Effie Trinket, the Capital representative for District 12. A lady who has never found anything interesting or rewarding come from the district until Katniss and Peeta. Haymitch Abernathy, the only ever Hunger Games winner to come from District 12, now a drunken...bafoon. Other than Gale, Katniss has an affiliation with Madge Undersee, the Mayor's daughter. Madge provides Katniss with a keepsake from District 12, the notorious Mockingjay pin which is seen as a stand to the Capitol as the bird was a mistake made on their part. The Mockingjay bird helps Katniss on a number of occasions through the books and brings her a little reminder from home each time. There is without no question of a doubt that Katniss would not have been anywhere near as successful in The Games without the help from Rue from District 11. Rue becomes Katniss' friend and companion for a period of time in The Games and with her help, they continue to survive and strive. Well done Rue, well done!
I would absolutely, definitely recommend this book to someone else. It has been such a good read and I can't wait to read the next two books. I did feel like Katniss is slightly self-centred and self-absorbed about her own gains and benefits. She doesn't often take in the thoughts and feelings of Peeta and has more interest in what Gale may be thinking of her whilst he is watching the games unfold. The games have a feeling of Big Brother, minus the murder...well, who knows what the series may lead to, in order to encourage viewings! The contestants are constantly watched and constantly need to be on guard for what they are doing and saying.
I look forward to the next books. To read more on my reviews visit threeminutesfortyfiveseconds.blogspot.co.uk
They have everything you want in a good book: an intriguing, original and addictive plot (they were hard to put down!), well drawn out complex characters with depth, multi layered message and themes running through the books and beautifully written by author Suzanne Collins. At the heart of the books is the un-stereotypical, complex and well written heroine that is Katniss Everdean. I loved her because while having all the flaws and vulnerabilities of any human she also acts a an amazing role model for women. I also loved the subtle love story that runs through it. Can't recommend this series enough.