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Review: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

Quite simply, every bit of praise you’ve heard for The Hunger Games is true.

Katniss Everdeen has essentially been the provider for her mother and sister ever since her father’s death in a mine explosion.  They live in poor sector 12, which has little to recommend it, but must still send two 12-18 year olds to fight in the Hunger Games every year.  When Katniss’s sister is selected against all odds, Katniss takes her place in the Games, knowing that it’s almost certainly a death sentence since only two contestants from sector 12 have ever won the Games.  But Katniss has already survived against the odds; can she do it this one more time?

I loved this book from start to finish and it’s rarer and rarer that I can say that these days.  After everyone else in the book blogging world loved it, I just had to buy a copy and I am so glad that I did.  I simply sped through this book.  I spent two hours in the library with it waiting for something and then when I got home, I just sat down and read until I was finished.  It was that good.  It’s an adventure story, an almost-love story, an exciting edge-of-your-seat thrilling race against the odds.  It’s hard to explain exactly why it’s so fantastic, but it completely rocks.

Part of it is certainly that I loved Katniss.  I can’t imagine not feeling sympathetic to her character, especially for women.  She’s tough because she’s had to be, but she is really just a teenage girl somewhere in there and it comes out sometimes.  I loved the softer bits of her personality amidst the rough exterior that she has to develop just to survive; that is certainly evident most of the time.  She’s not the only great character, though; Peeta certainly is and I’d love to hear more about Gale in the next book, Catching Fire. The other contestants don’t have much personality to them bar one, but really, they hardly need it.  The book is only so long and they’re all out to kill each other anyway.

I think it’s probably the plot of this one that has made it so amazingly popular, though.  Not only is Katniss fantastic, but she’s constantly fighting for her life in so many ways.  The reader never knows what’s going to happen next.  Some of the events herein are truly heartwrenching while others are exciting and still others gave me a huge grin.  There is so much here.  I mean, how many adjectives can I possibly use to describe it without sounding like a thesaurus list?

In short, this is a fantastic book.  It does have a cliffhanger, so if you don’t like that, by all means wait until the third book of the trilogy is published.  I hear Catching Fire has an even more frustrating cliffhanger, but you won’t find me waiting.  I’ll be buying it the day it comes out.

Amazon | Powell’s | IndieBound | Amazon UK

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22 comments to Review: The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

  • What a great review!! Yeah, I’m one of those that have been singing the praises of this book. I loved it! I’m all about the tough, strong female protagonist, and I sure found it in Katniss (though the name still bugs me!)

    Catching Fire was equally good, if not better. There is a huge twist that I never saw coming, and you are right. The cliffhanger is enough to make me want to pull out my hair! I’ll be looking for your Catching Fire review soon!

  • Fantastic review. I loved this book too and I really don’t think I’ve found anyone who hasn’t appreciated this book!

  • :D So glad you loved it!!! That was a great review.

    “Part of it is certainly that I loved Katniss. I can’t imagine not feeling sympathetic to her character, especially for women. She’s tough because she’s had to be, but she is really just a teenage girl somewhere in there and it comes out sometimes. I loved the softer bits of her personality amidst the rough exterior that she has to develop just to survive; that is certainly evident most of the time.”

    She is definitely my favorite part of the book too. I’m “rereading” it with the audio version too and it struck me again just what a great character she is. I can’t wait for Catching Fire!

  • I took this to the beach with me, but didn’t get it read because my husband claimed it before I did. He loved it and Catching Fire. I’m beginning to think I’ll be the last person to read The Hunger Games.

  • Ha, Katniss actually got on my nerves a little bit in this book (I liked her better in Catching Fire) but I think that’s because Peeta might be my favorite character.

    I’m so glad you loved it! :)

  • Kay

    I’m so glad you loved it too! At first I was afraid it would be one of those overrated books, but absolutely not! I can’t wait to get my hands on the next one.

  • Meg

    I have to admit that the first time I read the plot, I really couldn’t imagine myself hunkering down to read this one. But after reading everyone’s great reviews and following everyone on Twitter who can’t get enough of it, I started to feel like the uncool kid not invited to the party! So I snagged a copy on BookMooch (lucky me!) and have had it on a shelf for more than a month now. I’m going to start it… soon. Like, maybe tonight. I’m going to take my coming across your review at the top of your blog as the sign that it’s time :)

  • I just finished this a couple of days ago and loved it! I can’t wait to get hold of the sequel!

  • I’ve heard so much about how frustrating the ending is that I decided to wait until I have both this and Catching Fire to read it. But knowing the ending of Catching Fire is just as bad doesn’t help :P I’m glad this lived up to your expectations!

  • I have it… I checked it out from the library. Everyone seems to love it. :)

  • I really enjoyed this one as well. You did a great job summing up why it’s such a good book!

  • I love love loved it, too. Catching Fire is also unputdownable. But yeah, the cliffhanger in the second book is even more intense! I’ll just have to re-read them both when the third one comes out! :D

  • YAY! So glad you joined us on the HG bandwagon. I just bought a copy for my friend’s birthday today. I have a feeling I will be buying a lot more copies too.

  • I’m so pleased that you loved this book as much as I did. I’ve pre-ordered my copy of CF, so it will arrive through my door on it’s release date. I am really looking forward to it.

  • Great review! I love that there’s such a wide range of readers that like this book.

  • I can’t decide if I am going to read Catching Fire right away, or wait until the third book comes out. I don’t know if I can handle another cliffhanger – but I also don’t know if I will be able to read all the reviews and not read it. =)

  • Wow, you really did a great job on this review. It is hard to talk about it without sounding like you’re just copying words out of the thesaurus. Is that the British cover? I think I might like the US cover better.

  • I’m SO glad you loved this book as much as I did. It really was fantastic! I have to say I agree with you in that it’s hard to put a finger on exactly what makes it so fantastic precisely but dang if all those working parts together don’t make for an absolutely stunning first in the series. Now I’m twice as eager for you to read Catching Fire….I though it was even better than this.

  • I have this one, and am planning on reading it very soon. I am glad you liked it! I have to say it seems to be the most popular summer book on the book blogs. I am eager to read it and come to my own opinions on it.

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