The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

hunger gamesSixteen-year-old Katniss knows what it is to be hungry. Ever since her father died in a mining accident, she has been the sole breadwinner for her family, teaching herself how to hunt with snares and arrows in the dark woods that surround District 12. Now it’s time for the annual Reaping lottery, when Kat’s futuristic fascist government forces each District to send one girl and one boy (known as Tributes) to compete in the Hunger Games, sort of like Survivor—except, to the DEATH. When her sweet little sister Prim’s name is called, Katniss immediately volunteers to go in her place, along with Peeta, the brawny baker’s son. Thrown into a harsh landscape with little resources, each Tribute fights to stay alive as the cameras track their every move for the entertainment of the crowds back home. No one expects the scrawny girl from the poorest District to last very long. But Katniss is tougher and smarter than she looks. She knows how to hunt and forage, and she cunningly builds an alliance with the physically stronger Peeta. But there can be only one Tribute left alive. Does Katniss have what it takes to wipe out the competition, including loyal Peeta? This disturbing, fascinating novel is reminiscent of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, Stephen King’s The Long Walk, and more recently, Andrea White’s Surviving Antarctica. But what distinguishes Suzanne Collins’s clever take on televised Darwinism is her excellent pacing and the shrewd, brave character of Katniss herself. I was completely in love with this kick-ass girl by book’s end (as are two other main characters—hmm, wonder what book II & III will be about? The cliffhanger ending spells S-E-Q-U-E-L-S). The swift, brutal action is balanced by the utterly humane characterizations of both Katniss and Peeta. You can’t help but put yourself in their hiking boots and wonder how you would play this version of Real World, Destination: Hell.

37 thoughts on “The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  1. This does sound…interesting. I added it to my “books to get list,” but I’m skeptical whether I’ll like it or not. It should definitely be unique enough.

  2. I just finished an ARC for this book and it was hands down one of the best in YA lit that I’ve read in the past two years. Her world is so complete and emmersive, redolant of Lowry and Duprau’s style, that I found myself drawn directly into the action of the story and I never looked back. This book is destined to become a favorite handsell (hurry October, hurry!) and one to add to my permanenet collection.

    Rebecca Wren
    Joseph-Beth Booksellers
    Lexington, KY

  3. I’ve finally got my hands on a copy at my local Barnes and Noble and read as soon as I got home! I finished today and I loved the story ,and read it during classes because I couldn’t get ENOUGH!! Ahhh! Love the story!! I cannot wait for the sequel (if there is one, and I desperately hope hope for it!)

  4. quite possibly one of the best books ive EVER read… picked it up and couldnt put it down! cant wait for the next installment!

  5. I agree 100% about it being like The Lottery and Battle Royale. Yet it hand something more too it. Kat and Peeta had me at the Capital. I could not put it down if it was to save my life, and in Kat’s and Peeta’s case it was. I am telling everyone I know to read this book. I will be holding my breath till the next one!

  6. this book is amazing i loved it. i loved the twilight series and this was a great book if you are just looking for something new. i most defintily reccomend this book.

  7. i absolutly loved this book. i first saw stuff about it on stephenie meyers website and decided i would read it. this book is one of my favorites now!

    ; i really hope you’re writing a sequel if so i cant wait to see what happens between katniss and peeta. !

  8. This book is soooo good! I read it in a matter of hours. And I was like what? The end already?! NO! It has definately become a favourite!

    It is a trilogy but nothing further has been released about it.

  9. I hated the ending soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much!!! Why didn’t she love Peeta back!!!

  10. i read this book within two hours, it is amazing, i have gone back and read it so many more times

  11. posters beware! don’t ruin the book for those who haven’t read it! that being said, i couldn’t put this book down. i’m a 9th grade english teacher and have recently been reading TONS of ya lit so that i can screen what goes onto the shelves of my classroom library, and this book definitely made the cut. it reminds me of the uglies trilogy by scott westerfield in so many ways with its hi-tech forms of human control and ideas of deadly government secrets hidden from the characters yet threatening to rise to the surface of the plot. katniss even has a double love interest similar to the main character in the uglies trilogy, and hovercrafts float silently through the air while humans live in a world where more possibilities equal greater risks. i hope that the sequel provides a glimpse into the structure of the ruling power that is in control of the hunger games, and perhaps some insight into the lives of the characters from the other districts.

  12. I was skeptical at first, turned out to be one of the best books I have ever read, I could not put it down; a must read for everyone! Cant wait until book 2 Catching Fire!

  13. I fell in love with this book. I read it on a whim in November, and I still think about it often, now. If you were to ask me why I love it so much, I couldn’t tell you. I’ve read it more than once, picking up on many little things I didn’t the first time because I was blowing through it so fast…it was just that great. Whenever a friend asks me what they should read, this is my first recommendation (and they all seem to adore it, too). September can’t come soon enough.

    -Amy M, 15, NJ

  14. Amy, thanks for stopping by and posting. There is sure to be a long line outside the bookstore when book 2 comes out!

  15. I thought that the hunger games was one of the best books I have ever read. The book was full of descriptions and it pulls you into the pages as if you are living there

  16. So far this has to be the best book I’ve picked up in the last six months. I even preordered the next one two months ago when I saw Amazon had it up for sale. And I ordered an extra copy of both books so that I can donate them to the library so others can enjoy them.
    Honestly, I couldn’t put this one down, it sucked me in so much. The world and characters Collins creatures are just so alluring and realistic and the situations she puts them in really bring up those intense questions that I would love to do a discussion on this book.

  17. AHHHHH!!!!!!!! best book evur! reminded me of the uglies triology i couldnt put this down! at first i thought it wasnt my type of book…but WOOOOW!!! i was wrong!! CANT WAIT 4 DA SEQUEL

  18. I cannot wait for Chasing Fire. Everyone in my family has read the Hunger Games and are just so siked for the new one to come out in September! I think I shall read Hunger Games, again, soon!
    Anywoo; anyone that wants a good read this is the one! Also, if you just can’t get enough of adventure, or a book like the Hunger Games, check out Graceling by Kristen Cashore!!!!! :]

  19. Thanks for the reminder, Alex. GRACELING is another one I must get to soon! I’ve heard so many good things about it.

  20. I’m one of the very lucky few to have gotten my hands on an ARC of the sequel – Catching Fire (coming soon to a bookstore – preferably indie – near you!) – and I don’t think that anyone is going to be dissappointed. Just as engrossing as the original but Collins took a little more care in filling in some of the background and fleshing out the characters from other districts. My only problem with these books are the cliffhanger endings, I don’t think I’ll be able to stand the wait for the next installment!

    Rebecca Wren
    Joseph-Beth Booksellers
    Lexington, KY

  21. Does anyone else out there worry about the addiction of this book, the way we’re completely drawn in and able to “get into” their lives involving murder? Maybe I’m being too simplistic and naive? But it disturbs me to witness what’s happening in my mind.


  22. The Hunger Games series is the best series I have EVER read, hands down!! I know it’s supposed to be a trilogy, but I would love to see a fourth book. And it would make one heckova movie! Who agrees with me?

  23. This first book keeps you reading the series of the hunger games.
    BEST series ever!
    Team Peeta!

  24. There are too many loose ends, beginnings and too much suspended disbelief for this too be Class A science fiction BUT it is a really interesting combination of themes from a greek tragedy, Sparticus, American Idol and a big shout out to Joan of Arc. Hopefully she doesn’t die by the age of 19 in book three as the real one did.

  25. Depressing, but really exciting. So many shocks and plot twists, I wasn’t sure what to expect half the time. I’ve only read the first book in the trilogy, but I love it so far. Wish the rest would come out in paperback already…!

  26. Oh my god. i just finished reading all the books for the second time and i had forgotten how intense they were.i love the cave scene where they just start pouring out about there past. then when all the mutts come out to the cornicopia and cato has his long gruerome death its just so diffarent. If you have not read the other books i don’t want to spoil things but don’t like gale since what happens to peeta does not mean you can just steal katniss away. lastly i just think katniss is a b’ch and should just think of the others more then she does! Anyway please comment on this cause you guys have to understand other things in the books that don’t make sense at first.

    -little peetahotgirl

  27. I started reading this book awhile ago. I got bored a little halfway through the book. I banned the book after awhile, or at least until I saw the movie. The movie really got to me, I loved it so much (especially Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence). I tried the book again and I got through it, saying ‘oh yeah, I remember that scene!’. I love the book, you all should read it. I’m rereading the book for banned books week, and i figured out why it was banned.
    So y’all should try it. It’s a pretty good book (:

  28. One of the best books that I have ever read. The story is tense and not like any other book. AMAZING. Buy this book and give Suzane a high five.

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