Monday, December 21, 2009

Review of Hunger Games

Hunger Games 
by Suzanne Collins
Published: 2008
Pages:  374
Genre: Young Adult - Sci-Fi
My rating:   5 out of 5 stars

I knew this book was special the moment I placed it on my classroom’s bookshelf.  As I was placing it on the worn out shelf, a student quickly snatched it up and interrogated me with a series of desperate questions. “When did you get this book???” and “I’ve been trying to take this book out of the library for weeks, but it’s been on hold and they don’t have enough copies.”  I was perplexed. The students usually don’t react this way about a novel.  This student was seriously distressed!  The next day or two the student would return with the book and I would be shocked that they finished it that quickly. This routine went on for months.  Finally, I decided to grab it before someone else did and I am very glad I did so. 

This book definitely falls under the genre science fiction and I normally am not a fan, but Suzanne Collins knows how to captivate a reader.  It was refreshing to read about a female protagonist that wasn’t a push over (AHHHMMM....I’m talking to you, Bella Swan). I’m sick of whiny female characters who rely on males. But I digress.....Hunger Games’ protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, is a sixteen year old survivor. Yes, there are odd names in this novel, but you’ll get used to it.  Katniss is a resident of District 12 and lives in an extremely poor mining community called the Seam. A little background: District 12 is one of the outlying districts that surround the Capitol of the nation Panem.  Panem is the ruins of a place formally known as North America. Obviously, this book takes place in the future after what Collins describes as many wars, famine, natural disasters, fires, encroaching seas, etc.  With that said,  Katniss struggles to feed her mother and sister since her mother “checked out” years ago after her father died.  In order to survive, Katniss hunts and gathers outside of the fences of her district with her best friend Gale, who is a dreamy eighteen year old guy who is in the same situation as Katniss and must provide for his family.  Each year the districts are forced by the Capitol to send one boy and one girl to participate in the Hunger Games, which is a brutal and barbaric fight to the death.  It’s televised for the whole nation to watch--think Survivor meets Gladiator.  Only one person will win and that winner will be treated like royalty back home and so will their district.  Without giving away too much, this novel includes some romance, friendship, family, and it even makes you think about politics and society.
It’s no wonder Charlaine Harris, Stephen King, Rick Riordan, Stephanie Meyer, and my middle school students couldn’t put this book down.  I devoured it in less than 48 hours and plan on picking up the sequel, Catching Fire, tomorrow.  Collins’ writing style is addictive; she knows the perfect balance between description and dialogue.  She makes Katniss relatable and a heroine that both boys and girls alike can relate to.  I haven’t seen that since Harry Potter.  I look forward to the possible movie coming out and the third book this summer.  
In sum, I’d have to say that this is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time.  I highly recommend it.  It would be the perfect book to cozy up with this holiday and definitely set aside a lot of time, because you aren’t going to be able to put this book down....And long after you turn the final page, you will be hungry for more!   I know I was!


  1. This is such an awesome book and I loved Catching Fire as well!

  2. Yes, Catching Fire was sooo good. Collins is brilliant. I am looking forward to the third which comes out in August! Thanks again for the comment!

  3. I couldn't agree more, this book was awesome and re-opened a door to the new YA Lit. I couldn't wait to read Catching Fire (also a great read)as soon as I finished Hunger Games.

    Love the site, keep up the great work as I will take your advice on what I stock my book shelf with goign forward!

  4. I just finished this book and LOVED it! I basically devoured it and immediately went out and purchased book 2!! I love Katniss and her tough-as-nails personality. I completely agree that she's not a pushover and does let a boy rule her life like Miss Bella does. Great start to the series and I can't wait to dig into book 2!


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