Friday, November 27, 2009

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Series: Hunger Games Book 1
Genre: YA Fantasy
Copyright: October 2008
Pages: 374
Book Source: Own Purchase

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

I bought this book not long after it was released based on a zillion rave reviews then left it sitting on my bookshelf, every week making promises to read it (sad I know.) Well, I can now say I'm sorry I waited so long, the rave reviews were spot on. The Hunger Games is amazing! Exciting, fast-paced, unusual, violent, suspenceful, sad, unputdownable - I read it overnight!

A 'last man standing' fight to the death, for 24 tributes (competitors), and if that's not brutal enough, the tributes are children aged from 12 to 18 and the event is broadcast to all districts for compulsory viewing. Survival depends not only on the physical and mental skill of the tribute but on their audience appeal. Likeability equals life-saving gifts from sponsors. Sound unbelievable? Well, Collins' writing is masterful making this a riveting read, completely believable and absolutely addictive.

District 12's tributes for The Hunger Games are Katniss and Peeta. Katniss makes a compelling narrator, she's spirited, courageous, smart, compassionate and formidable with a bow and arrow. Peeta, the baker's son has some unusual skills that are completely under-rated, his relationship with Katniss is complex and I loved the way it evolved. Collins does a brilliant job developing characters you truly care about and wrapping them carefully in this gripping story.

But it's not all kill or be killed, the fight to survive is tempered with humanity & compassion. Subtle attempts are made to thwart the system. Bravery, sacrifice, helplessness, and hope are all rolled together with some touching moments, the scene with 12 year old Rue and the gift from District 11 had me all teary.

The Hunger Games earns its place as a "keeper" on my bookshelf, it's one of the best YA books I've read and one of my favourite reads of 2009. If you're one of the last people on the planet to read The Hunger Games ... HURRY!!

One of the bonuses of waiting so long to read The Hunger Games is that I had the sequel, Catching Fire to continue immediately on with and I have to tell you I was not disappointed (review up soon.) Now I just have to wait for the last installment in this fantastic trilogy. Visit Suzanne Collins' website to find out more.

To celebrate my 1st Blogoversary two lucky readers can take their pick from a choice of 6 books in this month's spookalicious competition. Check this blog post for details. International entrants welcome.


  1. Yes why did you wait so long ;)
    Truly an amazing read. I am waiting to get my hands on the 2nd book, the library has it, and now I wait

  2. Right there with you. I loved these books. I can't wait for the 3rd. I recommend this book to everyone EVERYONE.

  3. Great review. I quess I am one of those people who have not read the book yet. I do am planning to buy it very soon. :)

  4. I loved both number I and II. Great review.

  5. This is one of my favorite reads of the year as well. An incredible read!!! I am glad that you read the book!
    I look forward to reading what you thought of Catching Fire. I am positive, you and I will have differing views on Catching Fire.

  6. I just finished this book yesterday. I requested it from the library then kept putting off starting it, for no real reason i just kept choosing to read other books. Now I need to find the second book, hopefully from the library. It was neat reading your review since I just reveiwed it myself yesterday!

  7. What a great review! I agree that Suzanne Collins's skill really shines in the way she makes an unbelievable story utterly believable. And like you, I loved the complex relationship between Katniss and Peeta.

  8. I still have to read the second book, but I liked the first one. I was late reading it, too, and I was so happy to find out that it completely lived up to all the hype!

  9. Have no fear-- since you enjoyed the book so much, we'll forgive you for putting it aside for so long! :D I hope you do not wait as long to read 'Catching Fire' now!

    Wonderful review, I agree completely-- Collins has managed to enter my 'favorites' list as well.

    I hope you have a great weekend!

  10. Glad to hear you loved it too. You will need to read Catching Fire now. It is definitely one of the best books I have read this year.

  11. This was my favorite book last year. Can't wait for the movie.

  12. B ~ I don't know why I waited so long, I was kicking myself. But I didn't procrastinate with Catching Fire :-)

    Parajunkee ~ do you know if book 3 is out 2010?

    Nina ~ don't wait, this one is brilliant!!

    Louise ~ I loved Catching Fire almost as much as this one.

    Deanna ~ I found Catching Fire great, cliffhanger ending which was a bit of a bummer but it didnt quite make my favourite read list. Obviously you thought differently? Did I miss your review, will have to come over and check!

    Mandi ~ you are missing out, you gotta read this one!

    Jill ~ I'll pop in soon to check out your review. Thanks for commenting.

    Laughing Stars ~ have you read Catching Fire yet? The Peeta, Katniss, Gale triangle gets a whole lot more complex!

    Alitareads ~ I loved Catching Fire, almost as good as The Hunger Games.

    TBQ ~ don't worry, already devoured Catching Fire and I loved it too although it just misses my favourites list LOL

    Viv ~ I went straight on to Catching Fire, fingers crossed I'll have my review done in the next day or two :-)

    Abigail ~ there's a movie?? That will be awesome!!

  13. No, I did not put a review for Catching Fire. I am doing that review with a friend and well...we do not have our act together. For the most part, the review is done we just have to tweak it a bit and actually post it.

  14. Such an Awesome book, i am dying for book three, and than after book three three the movie! I am SO excited. Such an awesome series


  15. Well, seeing how I'm still holding out reading them...I could claim that I wanted to wait until I could read them all at once!! Great review and seriously I have to get to these during Christmas break!

  16. I can't wait to read this one. I'm holding off for book three to be published and then I'll gobble them all up at once.

  17. Well I must be one of the last people on the planet. Will put this on my 2010 reading list for sure!

  18. Have been waiting and waiting to read Catching FIre. Hunger Games was one of my best reads for 2009. Waiting for ur review of Catching Fire.

  19. So...are you Team Peeta or Team Gale?

  20. I loved this book and recently read it myself! I too was so glad I had Catching Fire to read right afterward!

    Fun to read your review and thoughts on the book.

  21. I just finished reading Hunger Games in french this morning. Unfortunately Catching Fire is not yet translated (not until May 2010). I will have to read it in English (I can't wait)!^^

    Suzanne Collins has a fascinating and vivid imagination. Thanks for your review!

  22. I only recently finished these as well and cannot wait for the final book to arrive!!! I hate cliffhangers!!! :)

  23. Hi Teddyree!

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it, it's on my keepers shelf as well, along with Catching Fire. Awesome reads from a very talented lady.

    I loved this book, captivated from page one, couldn't put it down.

    Dottie :)

  24. It's me...the last person on the planet to read this book.

    I have two other books to read before this one. I picked it up from the library and am hoping to get to it over the holidays, or sooner if I can swing it.

    I'm so glad you liked it.

  25. Ah, yes, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire were both amazing, weren't they? Now, that's good teen writing! Collins is a very talented writer - my family is also a big fan of her Gregor the Overlander series.

    It was just announced yesterday that book 3 will be released Aug 24, seems such a long time to wait...


  26. Thanks for the review. Been wanting to check this one out for a while after I heard Adam Lambert raving about it.


Thanks for taking the time to leave some comment love, I'm a 'comment back' kinda girl. Don't forget to check the 'Notify me' box