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on August 31, 2016
The book came packaged nicely and arrived on time. As a huge Hunger Games fan, I was extremely excited to receive this book. I've been completely obsessed with Hunger Games for several years, never miss any books or movies of it. The author’s imagination is amazing which draw me into the story so completely that it's hard to put the book down. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. All in all, this is a really good book which are a great gift for every Hunger Games fan!
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on January 22, 2014
Whether you have seen the movies or have yet to experience these thus-far excellent translations of the books, you really should read the originals. I didn't read author's explanation of the genesis of this trilogy till after I finished the books, but it did confirm my suspicions that under this breathtaking set of thrillers were some serious concerns over reality shows and war, and the possibility that in the current trajectory of the public's taste in entertainment that the two might come together in some unholy marriage. Despite the media's touting of the love triangle, this is a de-glamorized look at war and violence and what it does to those who fight and those who decree that wars be fought. Katniss is less naive here than in the movies, at least when it comes to the media. Her problem with making choices in the games and in war have more to do with her resentment of being manipulated than her understanding of what sells. She never loses sight of the fact that people are forced to kill others in the games and in the revolution that follows.The major problem with the books is that the first person narration does limit what we see of Panem to what Katniss sees and knows. This is especially problematic in the last book where revolution breaks out and Katniss finds herself now a puppet of the good guys. Our sense of the wider war is of necessity rather narrow. The movies will undoubtedly correct this as they have in the first two movies. I just hope they keep the uncompromising resolution to the story. It would be a mistake to romanticize the violence and the effects it has on its victims and even its "victors."
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on October 31, 2012
While I basically like this book, I found that the "world building" (amount of detail provided) is a bit weak even considering that it's written in first-person voice from the point of view of someone who's largely kept in the dark by a totalitarian government. To me the setting basically seems too surrealistic for the level of believability that the author seems to be aiming for simply due to the lack of detail about the world itself. Obviously the whole premise of the book is far-fetched but in order to have characters who behave according to believable realistic human psychology you need enough detail about the environment to get the feeling that their behavior makes sense. I feel like there are too many unanswered questions and unspecified details to give me confidence that the author is making realistic statements about human behavior and society.

For example, I'm constantly thinking to myself: "There's absolutely no way they'd need to have a lottery to force someone to participate. They would always have volunteers, and if there was a lottery it would be to decide which volunteer actually got the option to become the 'tribute'. There are simply too many adolescents who are suicidal, or want some sort of fame and don't really grasp that they're over 95% likely to die, or maybe just want to die or would be willing to just to be famous for a while."

Maybe I'm just hyperanalytical, or I just spend a lot more time than most people do studying how people behave in real world extreme situations, but while I think the author does understand certain aspects of human psychology very well as it applies to warfare, I still can't help but be bothered by too many behavioral assumptions that just don't seem to match up with real-world study and experiences.
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on April 1, 2013
I had heard so much about this book that I just had to get it. I bought this one and the second one in the trilogy, Catching Fire, at the same time and read them both is a little more than a day =)

The Hunger Games gives us a look in a possible future of the society and world we live in today. We follow Katniss about a century after environmental catastrophes have changed the face of North America and the former United States is now Panem, a nation divided into 12 districts and a Capitol.

Katniss lives in district 12 and has been taking care of her mother and little sister since her father died years ago. Living in poverty, Katniss relies on unconventional methods to feed her family with the the help of her best friend Gale.

74 years before the Districts rebelled against The Capitol and lost. As a lesson to its citizens The Capitol holds The Hunger Games every year. The Hunger Games are a reality show where 2 children of each district enter an arena and the last one left alive will be set for life. Yes, you read that right, the last one left alive! They have to kill each other!

I have to say I was pleasantly surprise by how amazing this book is. Suzanne has created such a believable world and characters that is just so easy to get lost in their lives. It is shocking and disturbing to realize how credible is this tragic future created by her. How easy it is to believe that our utter disregard for the Earth can lead us to such a life and our society's love for reality TV and obsession with perfection can lead us to a society as such described in The Capitol, where people look like freaks by over using plastic surgery.

I fell completely in love with Katniss. She is such a great heroine and you can't help but root for her every step of the way. Her love and devotion for her sister is heart breaking and seeing her putting herself on the line so that her little sister doesn't have to go the brutal Games is an inspiration.

I was utterly disturbed by this future world. The idea that watching kids killing each other is entertainment disgusted me. This book brought me to tears so many times. It is impossible to read it and not commit yourself to it completely!

There is also romance in this book and what every fan of this series is going to ask is which Team are on? Team Peeta or Team Gale?

The Hunger Games is a must read for any YA lover out there. Its fun, emotional, entertaining, politically engaged, disturbing, action packed, it has got it all. I did not put down this book for a second! If you haven't read The Hunger Games, what are you waiting for?

Originally Posted at Welcome to Larissa's Bookish Life {larissaslife DOT com}
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on April 30, 2012
It's not that I fell victim to the hype; "The Hunger Games" was recommended by a coworker at least a couple of years back - the recent release of the film is what moved it up on my reading list. The story represents for me something of a parallel universe that takes Reality TV to the next level. It reads like a fusion of sci-fi adventure and romance, neither genre alone is typically enough to draw much interest from me; but the subtext, as I read it, provided a much richer experience of the story.

I couldn't help thinking about the similarities between "The Games" and the Reality TV show, "Survivor". Both are televised events featuring contestants (tributes) who compete for a prize (fame and fortune) by voting off all other competition (or killing them). Through this lens, the story becomes a cautionary tale warning us of the dangers of a society desensitized to violence; where viewing the most atrocious scenes of human debasement becomes entertainment for the nation. Where the manipulation of human emotion - by The Gamemakers (entertainment industry) and tributes (the romance back-story of Katniss and Peeta or any number of "Survivor" contestants who've manipulated fellow players to stay in the game) - is commonplace; expected even and ultimately, if you're really good at it, rewarded with the prize. Today's prize is a million dollars and the potential to earn more if your celebrity status is sealed due to a particularly vile form of manipulation and cruelty. Some years from now, the prize could be your life.

The potency of the former statement is magnified when I recall my feelings towards one of this season's "Survivor - One World" contestants. While I don't recall the guy's name; I clearly recall his persona and particular brand of cruelty. A young, privileged, southerner and - by all indications of how he played the game - well versed in the ways of subjugation and manipulation to get what he wants; to win. During a tribal counsel; he attacked a fellow contestant with the most despicable assaults to the other guy's profession (a comedian), economic status (underemployed, barely making it - could really use a million dollars!) and character (called him lazy, needing to get a "real job"). His tone was sharp, sassy even; condescending and belittling beyond the point of cruel and rife with racial stereotype. In the following episode, he fell ill with appendicitis. I relished in his pain; told myself I could care less if he died and in that moment realized the failure of my humanity. In that moment, I was one of the people from the Capitol.

Both stories will forever be connected in my memory, the preferred being Collins' imagined portrayal of the ultimate survival game. Her writing is accessible and efficient - perfect for a teen/young adult read - while well paced and sufficiently nuanced (there are elements of government control, genetic engineering and social repression here as well) for a broader audience. Although I don't plan to watch another episode of "Survivor", I'm sure to read the next installments of Collins' trilogy; imagined, fictional cruelty is much more entertaining than the real life version. A Recommended read, Enjoy!
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on April 19, 2015
The Hunger Games is a riveting story that hooks you in the first few pages. I couldn't put it down the first time and read it just as eagerly the second time. The characters are complex and likable, the story is well paced with action and good dialog with just enough romance to soften it. The concept is devastating and has the reader caring about these people and this world right from the onset. Katniss is good to the core, but is unpolished and awkward enough to be believable and likable (I don't like it when authors create heroines that are seemingly perfect). Peeta is strong in all the ways Katniss is not, which makes for an interesting relationship. Even the side characters are interesting and complex. It is very well written and so easy to fall into and forget where you really are. I highly recommend reading The Hunger Games!
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on July 27, 2017
Ok, The Hunger Games is probably to me another Harry Potter. The first book was definitely my favorite of the trilogy. The romance between Katniss and Peeta is not over done and is more interesting than most because of the fact it is to keep them alive. To be 100% truthful, I didn't personally like the character Katniss because it was hard for me to relate to her. At first, I couldn't relate to her choices and her thoughts were kinds isolated to me. That might have just been the way I read it but it bothered me how she rejected Peeta even after he saved her life, though I know that was for the point of the series. I didn't really enjoy the second book in the trilogy, but only compared to the first book. Alone it was pretty good. The Si-fi in it gets a bit over done in the quarter quell though, and that annoyed me because the Hunger Games was more relatable to life and history, referring to the times of the Colosseum and camping. I liked the Mockingjay, and how she wasnt perfect after the games, like some characters in books end u being 100% after bad times. Not true. I was disappointed by Finnick dying and I wanted him with Annie for longer, but it showed how origonal the Hunger Games is by really showing the consequences of war, and reality. I love the series, just plz, dont ship Gale and Katniss. Thanks!
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on December 13, 2011
I started the series because I was really interested in the movie. I always read books before they release it in theaters. But I heard many great things about the series from all my blogger friends, so a few weeks ago I bought the entire box set. The Hunger Games surprised from the first few chapters. This world Collins has created was so creative that you can imagine this world of 13 districts.The writing was beautiful, it really got me into her novel and the world of the Districts. I couldn't put it down once the pace of the Capital came into view.

During the first part of the book, when they were picking the Tribunes, it was soo sad when out heroine Katniss sacrificed herself for her sister when Effie pulled out the name. This moment was presented perfectly and as the reader, it showed us how they were all chosen.

The setting was mainly taking place between District 12 and also in the district Panem, Collins described this as the future of The United States. The weapons and creatures in the books were the main items in which the weapons were to help support the Tribune. After reading the whole Games scene you can see that this is no ordinary world of the future, it was a death sentence.

I loved all of the characters in this book! Katniss Everdeen is one of the strongest characters I have ever read. She is stubborn, doesn't like following the rules, but she know how to survive in the wild. At the beginning you can really see that she is the provider in the family after her father passes away. Katniss hunts and uses the basic knowledge of survival to help her during the Games. Gale is her best friend at District 12, and he hunts with Katniss every Sunday. He is the other male character in her life. We dont get to know much about him in this book but I sense we shall see more of him soon!

Peeta Mellark..... how you are one sweet boy! He is the other Tribune to District 12. What I love about Peeta is his humor and how he interacts with with Katniss. He is the son of the baker, is not serious about the Games, but is willing to sacrifice his life to help save Katniss. He was one great character to read about. I was always looking forward to his parts in the book because you can see that he does harbor feelings so a special someone and he balances her and he does support her.

My journey of The Hunger Games was fantastic! Everyone needs to read this series, and it must be because everyone is talking about this book and the upcoming movie, which looks awesome. If you haven't read this series, you must start it, its worth it. Fast paced love, action, battle and when this romance is discovered, you will want to read the next one. Be sure to have the next two books next to you after you read this AMAZING series.
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I followed an usual path to reading, "The Hunger Games" instead of reading the book and then watching the movie... I did the opposite and watched the movie first. Despite being a little too violent for my tastes (at least for movies) I thought its was a very interesting twist on stories like Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery". I decided that it might be fun to go ahead and read the trilogy.

The biggest complaint that I heard about Suzanne Collins' writing, was her writing. People complain that the dialogue is overly contrived and that the writing lacked sophistication - violence was used as a substitute for character development... and such. After reading "Hunger Games" I find most of the criticism off-the-mark. While no one will confuse the writing in "Hunger Games" as a literary masterpiece - it certainly is better than some of the other books in this genre. It may be an unfair comparison but to me it reminded me of some of the works of Jules Verne (but with less foreshadowing and other literary devices).

A few other notes

- The book (except for maybe 5 pages at the end) seemed less violent and graphic than the movie

- Probably appropriate for children 11 and up... since their are some scary imagery - and the concept (kids hunting and killing kids) is certainly adult. I would highly recommend that parents read the story PRIOR to their kids.

- No foul language

- Lots of references to being naked... which is a bit odd for YA novels- nothing sexual or even remotely explicit, but still a bit odd.

- Very fast paced - the type of book that you will finish in less than a week.

Final Verdict - "Hunger Games" is a fast-paced novel that will immediately engulf you into the anti-utopian future of North America. While the writing may not be world class it is good enough not to be a distraction. I would highly recommend it for a fun fast paced read - but parents - you may want to read it before your kids.

5 Stars
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on February 24, 2016
Great book. I could not put it down. You will get very attached to the characters and involved in the story line. I almost wanted to read the series again when I finished the last book. Definitely worth the time, even if you have seen the movies already.

The books go into so much detail developing the characters that you get personally attached to them. Each one has their own quirks and oddities that make you fall in love with them. You honestly feel like they are friends. There is just the right amount of comic relief mixed in with the darker parts of the story line to keep you from getting really angry at the situations in the book, but nowhere near enough to even be slightly cheesy. And the descriptions of the people and places are so well written, you easily come up with a mental picture of the whole story. This book sucks you in right from the beginning and won't let you back out. There were nights I literally stayed up until 4am to find out what happened next.
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