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on September 25, 2008
Twenty-four children: twelve boys, twelve girls, tributes selected by random lottery every year and sent to the capitol city of Panem to compete in a brutal, bloodthirsty fight for survival, with the last participant standing declared champion.

Welcome to the Hunger Games, a grim reminder to those living in the twelve districts comprising what was once the United States of their place as virtual slaves to the gleaming Capitol at their center.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen is this year's female representative for District 12, having volunteered to take her younger sister Prim's place. Sent to the arena with the baker's son and classmate, Peeta Mellark -- a boy who, several years prior, saved Kat and her family from the ravages of starvation after her father's death in a coal mining accident -- neither competitor from the final district seem to be contenders.

But Peeta's good nature and Kat's small stature belie the former's cunning intelligence and the latter's experience as a hunter; while a revelation from Peeta during the introductory ceremonies sends Katniss into the first day of competition more than a little off-kilter.

The stage is set, the tributes have arrived, and the cameras are watching...let the games begin.

It is no exaggeration to call THE HUNGER GAMES a pulse-pounding page-turner. Collins grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go. While Katniss isn't always the most likable character (in fact, there were plenty of times I much preferred the affable Peeta, or even sweet, birdlike little Ruth), she is always compelling, thanks to her rational approach to every challenge and her dogged determination.

While THE HUNGER GAMES is a plot-driven novel, the characters and their relationships are the heart of the story. Ms. Collins has created a dystopian tale of Orwellian caliber for young adults, giving any reader plenty to churn their minds between now and the next installment of this trilogy.

My only complaint is having to wait for the next installment.

Reviewed by: Cat
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The 74th Annual Hunger Games are soon to begin. The Hunger Games are a fight to the death. In the new country of Panem, in the ruins of North America, each year as punishment for a rebellion and as a control mechanism, the Capitol forces each of the 12 provinces to draw names of a male and female tribute. The tributes are drawn from all people between the ages of 12 and 18. They receive training, are assessed by the game masters and then the betting begins. The games will be televised and are required viewing for the whole nation.

The draws are not exactly even though. You can choose to enter your name extra times, for yourself and for family members to receive a terse, a grain and oil supplement from the government. Thus enters our heroine Katniss Everdeen. She is entered this year 20 times as she is 16 and taken the terse every year, for herself, her sister and her mother. Her close friend Gale has his name in 42 times, but this is the last year he is eligible. Then Katniss has the worst fear hit - her younger sister Prim (short for Primrose) is drawn with her 1st and only ballot. Katniss then does the unthinkable; she volunteers to take Prim's place.

Katniss Everdeen knows that she has at least some chance of survival in the games. She has been secretly hunting in the woods and feeding her family since her father died years earlier. She hunts and gathers what she can with her friend and hunting partner Gale, in the woods beyond the fenced border of District 12. Yet even so, most believe she has just given up her life for her sisters.

Katniss and Peeta Mellark are the tributes from District 12 for the 74th annual hunger games. As they travel to the capitol they have two mentors - Haymitch Abernathy the only surviving Hunger Games winner from the district and Effie Trinket the Capitol's representative in the district. They will each in their own way try to help them to survive both the Capitol, to win favor with the citizens who can sponsor them in the games, and then the games themselves.

This book is very well written, the scenes sharp and crisp, the world believable and detailed. The characters become real as you read. You reach the end and are left hungry for more, which is what you will get as this is book one in a trilogy. The only drawback in my opinion is the lack of a map. I keep hoping for a map of Panem, with the 12 districts, the mysterious destroyed 13th district and the wilderness area's between them. Maybe it is just a guy thing, but I wanted a map. In this book Twenty-four are forced to enter the game zone but only the winner survives. You get a sample online. You can read chapter 1 online but it will only whet your appetite for more. There is also a video trailer for the book you can find online. This is a great Sci-fi book and would make an excellent movie.

(First Published in Imprint 2008-10-31.)
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on March 1, 2009
For a full day this book sucked me deep into it's incredible story... time passed and I didn't notice. I couldn't stop reading until I was done. Then on the last page I read, 'End of Book One' and my mouth fell open, my stomach dropped. I didn't get to know the end of the story. There's so much more to come... and another book to be released in Sept. I have another day off tomorrow and I'd really rather just have the next book now and spend another day in bed entranced by the next part of this amazing story.

I'm a teacher and I also work in a childrens book store. I read a review about this book and was intrigued. The description reminded me of a Japanese horror movie called "Battle Royale" which follows a similar storyline. That movie was great, but utterly disturbing and full of gore. So, I really wanted to read this book intended for youth, wondering how the author could have a similar story but not have it turn out as disturbing for the young readers. She succeeded. I'm still not even sure how, but she did it! Incredible.

I will be recommending this to friends my age, other book lovers, the book buyers at my store, teachers and youth (with a warning about the material as it still is about an upseting game/war). I can't wait to get my hands on the next book!
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on October 11, 2013
Katniss everdeen is a 16 year old girl who loves her sister more than you can imagine. Times are hard and Katniss's family must fight for survival. The Hunger Games are an unforgettable read. Most people watch the movie before reading the book. That right there is a big mistake. The audience watching the hunger games wants blood and violence. So the directors think okay, lets give them what they want. So they make the movie with blood and violence and the parents of the kids watch it and seeing all that violence their immediate response to their child is "no you cannot watch or read the hunger games they are too violent" period end of story. But what the parents do not think is "hey, maybe the directors of the movie have over done all the violence." If you are thinking that you are right. In full truth the movie is actually way more violent than the books. In the first book there is about six deaths, three of which are slightly violent. let me assure you there is no extreme violence. Okay so yeah Katniss does kill a few people and there are a few other deaths but over all this is not a violent book. The three slightly gory deaths i can think of are when Cato gets attacked by the dogs and Katniss finishes him off in mercy with an arrow, and when Thresh kills Clove with a rock to the head. Another one is when Rue gets stabbed with a spear and dies but that one is more sad then gory. Overall these deaths aren't that bad at all. There is a bit of sadness though. So now that you know there isn't much violence you are going to say "ok but what about the romance?"I have to admit there is quite a bit of romance between Katniss and Peeta. They kiss quite allot. Unlike other books it does not describe the kiss. For example it would say "... it was a long kiss the first one where she and peeta were not sick or dying." frankly I don't think that is too bad. The author is showing romance in a very respectful way. There is no sexual content in this book. The Hunger Games is a great book where Suzanne Collins keeps you suspended every minute. It is a great read suitable for readers age 11 and up. Parental guidance is suggested. If you feel that the Hunger Games is too mature for your child you might want to consider letting them readGregor the Overlander the start of a series also written by Suzanne Collins. this series is a good read for all ages to enjoy.
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on December 1, 2008
A few things I did not know until after I read this book : 1) it is sold as a "young adult" book. Didn't know and frankly, glad I picked it up anyway. 2) It's the first of three books. Again, glad I read it anyway.

This book is, in a twisted way, a social commentary on our society, obsessed with their bodies, fixated on the new reality show, oblivious of what is actually going on in the world around them. I can actually see something like this book happening to us in the not-so-far future. And it is scary.

The people that run the fictional country of this story are in power and they know how to wield it over the rest of their nation. They are the have-it-all and they don't share. Because they rebelled at one point, ages ago, the better part of the nation has to suffer and they do without... anything, really. And to better control them, the leaders pack a bunch of kids every year and make them fight to the death in front of a TV audience.

I won't give away any more of the story but I hope that if you read this book, you will get the irony of the people watching the games, obsessed with their appearences while young kids are forced to kill each other.

A great book.
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on January 28, 2010
My niece who is 12 years old told me that her teacher was reading The Hunger Games to her class, she said it was this amazing book and thought I should read it and everyone loves it. I thought at first if my 12-year-old niece loves it, maybe it would be a little too immature for me. Heck was I wrong. What a great read. You can probably see that by reading all these good reviews! It is so exciting and thrumming with excitement I couldn't put it down. I finished The Hunger games and Catching fire in only a few days. I thought it might be a weird concept at first but I really was hooked right from the beginning. I loved all the descriptions the author gave and I felt like I was going through what Katniss was going through. I am telling everyone I know to read this one. I don't think there will be anyone who doesn't like this book or the next in the series! Absolutely Fantastic! I just wish I didn't have to wait all the way until August 24th for the next one! Oh the suspense...
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on October 6, 2013
I had absolutely no interest in reading these books. Saw the movie and thought it was ok, but still wasn't planning on reading them. Then someone I totally respect told me just how good they were, so I picked them up, and oh my goodness.....I was hooked immediately! Definitely lives up to all the hype, and of course the book is WAY better than the movie.
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on January 13, 2016
i think the bravery that katness everdeen showed while taking her sisters place as tribute was really the most amazing thing that would happen if it actually happened in real life, i think everyone should really read this book before death and i also think that young adults or even children should have read this book cause i am a young adult myself and i am surprised that i did not read this when i was 11 yrs. old it really a shame cause i would have bragged about to my friends that do not know anymore it IS a real shame but i cant do anything about it now so i can just talk about it on the internet as i am doing now so i shall say my goodbyes to you now because i am going to go off the internet very very soon! actually i changed my mind i am going to stay on the internet for a while but over all the book was probably my favorite book of all time and i hope to read the next books very, VERY soon so now i will actually leave this book to you my friends i hope you get the chance to read it because like i said it was my FAVORITE book of all time and you should really read it im sorry this review was barely about the book but i got to go live life so i bid my adews to you my friends :) :) :)
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on January 7, 2015
Generally, I don’t watch the movie version of a book until I’ve read it, but The Hunger Games flashed on the screen during a long-haul flight a few years ago and I gave in to the hype and my curiosity. I wanted to flush the movie version out of my system before I read the book. I’ve since learned that “flushing” is not possible, so I read it anyway.

The Hunger Games is dystopian YA set in a post-apocalyptic nation called Panem. During an uprising 75 years previous, 13 districts rebelled against the ruling capitol and the capitol won. The capitol wiped the 13th district off the map and created the Hunger Games as an annual reminder to the remaining districts of their failed uprising and as a disincentive to ever rise up again. Each year the districts must sacrifice a girl and boy Tribute between the ages of 12 to 18 to participate in a fight-to-the-death reality show called the Hunger Games.

This is a dark and disturbing read with a generous helping of physical and emotional wreckage. The world-building is imaginative and tightly woven into the story. The characters are interesting and the plot moves along at a good clip. There were a number of points in the story where I questioned the premise. Perhaps I’m a bit of a cynic, but I found it hard to imagine living under the conditions imposed on the districts or the conditions of the games. Easy to say from my cushy perspective, I suppose, but nonetheless… I’m looking forward to Book II, Catching Fire.
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on February 3, 2013
I should preface by saying I don’t usually read books like The Hunger Games, and when I saw the series getting whole-shelf treatment in bookstores I sniffed derisively and assumed the volumes represented a trilogy of teen trash. I usually read stuff with “literary merit,” and didn’t think this book fit that category, but I’m now forced to rethink that point of view. I had to read the novel for a course, and sighed when I saw it on the list, but I was surprised to find it was good, especially surprised given I’d seen the movie and wasn’t impressed. The Hunger Games is a very good read; it’s clearly and competently written and has great pace. The peaks and troughs are timed just so, and the story is violent, emotive, and compelling. This book helped make me re-evaluate how I look at literature and made me question what young adult fiction is; isn’t the HG more like science fiction? If an adult thinks it has that thing called literary merit, can it be classified as material for young people? Why was I so ready to dismiss it without giving it a chance? Anyway, a great bit of escapism. Now we’ll see if Catching Fire and Mockingjay are comparable. I’d recommend this book to almost anybody.

Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
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