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Book Review: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Updated on March 11, 2013

The First in the Amazing Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is the first book in the amazing young adult trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

For anyone who enjoys dystopian fiction, this series is a must read! Whether you are adult or young adult, I really believe that you will enjoy The Hunger Games and the novels that follow.

This is my review of the first book in the series. For more information about my take on the series as a whole, please look at my Hunger Games Trilogy review. This page discusses the first book in the series at length, but does not contain spoilers. I want you to be able to enjoy the series without me ruining the ending of any of the novels for you.

On this page I will give you a synopsis of the book along with my feelings about the story, the writing, and Suzanne Collins in general. I have given this novel a five star rating. Coming from me that is fairly unusual!

My Summary of The Hunger Games

In my own words...

Can you imagine living in a world in which there is never enough food to eat? A world in which the children are sent off at a very young age to work to support their families? A world in which you cannot go where you want, when you want, because the government controls everything? What if, in that world, children were annually chosen by lottery to go into a great arena to fight to the death on live television?

This is the world of Panem, where Katniss Everdeen lives in "District Twelve" with her mother and sister, following the death of her father in a mining accident. It is a world in which Katniss and her best friend, Gale, sneak under the fence to go out hunting daily and then sell their contraband game at an underground market.

On the day of the reaping (the day every year when two children between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen from each of the twelve districts to go into the arena to fight to the death), Katniss is stunned to find that her younger sister's name is called from the lottery. Instead of allowing Primrose to go into the fight, Katniss volunteers to take her place. As she stands to await her fate, however, she hears the name of the boy who will go into the arena with her. It is a boy who has once before saved her life.

Now Katniss must go into the arena, created by the diabolical minds of the Capitol, and fight twenty three other children to the death so that she can come home to district twelve. All she has to help her is the drunken victor of a Game many years ago, Haymitch Abernathy.

Can Katniss come out of the games alive and return to her sister and her mentally ill mother? Will Haymitch keep her alive, or will he focus his attention on her district twelve opponent, Peeta Mellark?

Rate The Hunger Games! - I give it a 5 stars!

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Why I Loved the Hunger Games

A new favorite!

I didn't actually expect to particularly enjoy The Hunger Games. I only read the first book because it kept coming up on blog after book review blog. I was amazed at how often I was seeing this book reviewed, and even more stunned to see that it was getting more press (at that time) than Twilight and the other books in that series. But Twilight was done, and that left me itching for something to read. I had already picked up and put down Stephenie Meyers' The Hose and was feeling frustrated when I finally gave in and purchased The Hunger Games in paperback.

It took me all of about ten pages to realize that I was going to fall head over heels in love with Katniss Everdeen. One of the best things about this book (from my point of view) was the first person, present tense narrative. Most books are written in past tense, regardless of the perspective of the novel, and I found this interesting. Unfortunately, I'm not sure whether or not Collins managed to pull it off to my satisfaction. There was some tense-jumping in all of the novels. I will have to re-review them in order to determine for sure whether or not it was just that she was changing from Katniss talking about the past to talking about the present or whether it was sloppy writing.

Of the three novels in the series, I have to say that The Hunger Games is the most heartbreaking and certainly the most shocking. I cried off and on throughout the book, and I found it almost impossible to put it down. I think that you will probably find the same thing. Definitely give The Hunger Games a chance!

Get The Hunger Games on Amazon

The Hunger Games (Book 1)
The Hunger Games (Book 1)

This is a hardcover version of The Hunger Games. I personally found the paperback a bit difficult to handle (which is unusual, because I usually prefer paper back over hardcover). The paperback version is a bit slippery and oversized. The hardcover is definitely worth the investment, particularly at the current price listed on Amazon.

 

Return to the Hunger Games Hub

This is just one spoke on my Hunger Games wheel. I have several pages about The Hunger Games and if you would like to return to the center for more of my reviews, movie countdown and other pages, please

return to the hub.

This is your opportunity to sound off about The Hunger Games. You are very welcome to add your personal review of the book here in my comments. Whether you agree with me or disagree with me regarding my stance on the book, you may take the time to write something about the book here. I am sure that my visitors are interested to hear your take as well! Just please be sure not to post any The Hunger Games spoilers (or spoilers for the other books, for that matter). I do check all comments before they are posted, and I won't allow spoilers to appear in my comments!

What's Your Review of The Hunger Games? - Did you vote above?

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I absolutely LOVE The Hunger Games!! Katniss is just so.. cool , daring,and... enduring - what with having to deal with The Capitol and keeping her relationship with Peeta and Gale... And winning The Hunger Games! That's something I would never acomplish ... There's just one thing I don't like about the story though... Her "relationship" with Peeta...But I guess a book has to have stories like this or else the book would be boring... ( I guess)

      So... what I'm trying to say is that The Hunger Games is amazing! (and though its story IS a bit brutal , I still love it!)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      i just love the first two books i cant wait to see the movie and read the third book im 11 and just cant stop reading the books

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      Everyday-Miracles 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Let me know what you think when you see it! I just got home from watching the movie and I'm dying to talk about it but don't want to spoil it for anybody else!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Everyday-Miracles: Hmm...I would have to say that I probably was so drawn to the book because of the connection I had with all of the charecters. I felt close to Katniss because of her motivation and determination for people she loves, which was very cool and admirable. And Roo, especially, was my favorite charecter, because of her age, and how she is trusting but smart at the same time, and because she reminded me of my sister, too :-D. So that was awesome, and the fact that the sory line kind of like, shows what we (our country, basically) could turn in to in a worst case scenario. :-D Thanks, by the way! I'm super excited to see the movie tomorow night and I just started Catching Fire today!

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      Everyday-Miracles 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I'm very glad that you liked it, Courtney! I had a question on one of my other pages asking why teenagers (particularly young teenagers) like the series so much. It would be interesting to have some viewpoints on that.

      Thank you so much for a respectful comment. I love hearing from teenagers who can speak their opinion in a positive manner. Very well done and I'm glad you loved the book. I hope you love Catching Fire too!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      The Hunger Games was, in my oppinion, a truely amazing book, and I am deffinately not a huge fan of dystopian literature. I am 13 and thought the book was incredible, and I also know people both younger and older than me who agree that it is. I am a slow reader, but I couldn't put it down from the time I started it (that morning!), and ended up finishing at 1:00 AM in my bed with a flashlight because I couldnt stop. I cried and was on the edge of my seat throught the whole novel, and now can't wait to read the second book! Hooked, and not a big reader or a typical fan of the genre. DEFFINATELY give this book a try.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I think this was a best of the three with the third being the most disappointing. It wasn't a typical Sci Fi type of book (which is why I looked at it, that's what it was being promoted as by me) but it was a new story (to me at least) and I liked most of the characters. I found the politics annoying which is why I had decreasing interest as the series continued, I like character driven stories not 'change the world' types. But it managed to hold my interest for all three. The back story of the family, the world, the other towns was all done in a creative and interesting way instead of just droning on and on about it.