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on December 2, 2010
The box set includes 3 Hunger Games books - which is the complete set. This would be an amazing gift for any teenage girl or guy and even an adult who likes science fiction. These books have it all - action, drama, adventure, sci-fi, love, loyalty, friendship. All 3 books had me on the edge of my seat, flipping and reading the pages as fast as i can.

The books are about a teenage girl, Katniss, who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country Panem which is controlled by one government and one president. Her world is very different from ours as Panem consists of 12 districts and they're basically like little towns or little cities. All 12 are controlled by district 1 which has the most food, money, power and comfort. District 12 is the worst - the people there live in extreme poverty, have no money or help from anyone and life is hard. To keep everyone in their "rightful" place, district 1 hosts Hunger Games every year which is a game that is broadcasted on television in every district. Hunger Games work like this - 1 boy and 1 girl is chosen at a random draw from each district to participate, they're then transported to district 1, the capitol, to play the game. The game is hosted in a man-made environment, like a little forest for example, and there are a lot of traps everywhere. The goal for the participants is to kill each other, and the last one standing is crowned the winner. The winner gets food and gets to live in a better house. The point of the Hunger Games is for the capitol to demonstrate that even children are not above the law. District 12 almost never wins since the children there are hungry and weak, and mostly District 1 and 2 win the games since the kids there have plenty of food and healthcare.

The only difference is that the rich districts (1,2,3) children just want to win for pleasure but the poor districts (12, 11, 10) they fight for food.

Katniss, is not chosen for this year's Hunger Games, instead her only sister is, who is very young. Katniss volunteers to take her place in the games, and that's how the story begins.

The idea is horrifying, I have chills just writing about it and thinking back to reading the books. I already gave this set to a friend of mine and she finished the 1st book and absolutely loved it. This is a great gift or just buy it for yourself. I am planning to go back and re-read the trilogy in some time, it's just amazing. The story is very well written, you can easily picture the sounds and the smells - the characters are written out very well with great detail. The action and drama scenes are so intense that you will hold your breath and shed a tear - it feels like you're right there in the middle of all of this. Get the set, read it, you won't regret it!
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on November 3, 2010
I read all three books in under two weeks while at home with strep-throat.

I was very quickly intrigued by the main character, and liked her immediately.

From there, I just could not read the books fast enough, I needed to know what happened next.

I love that the female protagonist is essentially the age of a high-school senior, but is brilliant, strong-willed and lethal. She's no passive debutante. Any person who has had to struggle in their life, especially as a child or young adult, can appreciate the way that forms you as a person. How it can make you a little hard.

Apparently these books are classified as "young adult" but I got a real kick out of them, and I'm not a young adult. I'm merely "adult." I mean, the stories are quite violent. More so than many adult science fiction novels I've read.

Unapologetic. Action heavy. Great characters. An absolute riot.
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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 January 19, 2011
This series has made it through our family of 6 and their spouses. It is now being shared with the in-laws and their families. Best to buy the boxed set as you won't be able to stop after the first book!
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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 January 9, 2012
I see many people complain that the ending was unsatisfying, but I personally loved it. For an original and epic story such as this one, the ending was just right. It was sad, of course, as most war stories are. But there was also a large element of hope, as the characters we've grown to love throughout the series find a way to live with the immense sorrow and ordeals they have suffered, and build a new life, with love and wisdom. This is only described briefly in the last few pages of the book, but it is enough.

In my opinion, had the ending been different (read: more optimistic and all-appealing), the series would not have had as much power, and as big an effect on the reader. These were very emotional and intense stories, so it only makes sense that the ending is as realistic as possible, without the absence of love and hope.
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on July 25, 2011
It was a modest finish for the Hunger Games saga. Since the novel is written in the first person, any action that occurs while Katniss is unconscious or missing from the event is not fully told. This results in a disjointed novel with large portions of the plot experienced in waiting as Katniss experiences them. On one hand, it is true to the series as a whole. It worked well for the previous two novels because Katniss was a main participant in all that occurred. However, in this book, one cannot help but feel cheated out of important events that would have resulted in a well rounded story.

Nevertheless, as a fan of the Hunger Games saga, this book is well worth the money and time. The reader just needs an avid imagination to fill in the rest of the blanks.
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on February 1, 2012
My sister and I read the first book after a mutual friend loaned it to us, and we loved it so much we decided to buy the trilogy set so that we had the books for when our children get a little older and are interested in reading them. Great story line, much different from the usual kinds lately out there. We are looking forward to the movie coming out and hope that the producers do it justice and keep it true to the book. It is a story line that makes you "hungry for more" on the characters and the tradgedies and triumps that take place in their life. Very much worth buying and reading!
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on September 16, 2011

I found the book to be too much like Hamlet. The author spent so much time introducing and building characters, only to kill them all off in the end. I don't mind if a character or two is killed, but 90% of the the people were wiped out. On that note, I don't like how she killed Prim. I thought it to be too drastic and as it was too close to the end of the book, there wasn't enough time to wrap your head around it. It happened, Kaniss went crazy, and the book ended; it just didn't seem to fit into the plot properly.

The first 2 books of the series were absolutely amazing! Perhaps this is why I expected so much more out of the third book and perhaps, with those expectations, that is why I was so let down. She spent so much time developing these amazing characters in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, but then tore them apart in Mockingjay. Katniss was this strong, brave, intelligent fighter who turned into an emotional wreck. I understand that I'd probably be the same way if I were in her shoes, however, I'm not and that's not the character we grew to know and love in the first 2 books. To watch her fall apart in the 3rd was unpleasant and I found myself reading too quickly over the pages in order to get to the end faster in hopes of finding the original Katniss. As for Peeta, I really do wish that he had somehow completely overcome what Snow had done to him. To know that he doesn't and spends his life fighting it and wanting to strangle his wife, just didn't sit too well with me. And as for Gale....

I wasn't a Gale fan to begin with, but I'm also biased when there's two men fighting for the same girl. I pick my guy from the start and nothing will change my mind! I loved Peeta from the start but I loved Gale as well; I just didn't love him for Katniss, so you can imagine how upset I was with the way their relationship ended. They had an unbreakable friendship! He was in love with her, she was possibly in love with him. But in order for the author to make it work between Peeta and Katniss without the audience getting upset that it wasn't Gale, she turned him into a bad guy and dismissed him without any notice. He was the one who killed her sister, something completely unforgivable....

But before I go on, I would also like to give Katniss a good beating! No, he did not kill Prim on purpose. If it had been anyone else, it would have been fine! You went into this rebellion knowing that people would die! You went in knowing that Gale was helping design weapons and, although you weren't happy with it, you didn't stop him. I know you're not happy with the people you've killed, but you're now abandoning your best friend over an accidental kill? In the words of Katniss with the ending of her friendship, "No, instead I feel nothing but relief". This was what made me decide that the book was a let down. You just lost your sister, your home, your friends, and now you're WILLINGLY losing your BEST FRIEND!?!?!

...I would rather have seen Gale fall in love with someone else, or have him (I know it's hypocritical) die. At least then there would have been some form of closure.

There were many other small details that didn't sit too well with me, but I found this to be the most jarring. I know this book was written with political views on war and propaganda but I was hoping for a little more of a plot and a little more closure.
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