The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The-Hunger-Games-by-Suzanne-Collins3The Hunger Games is a book (and movie) that I know most of you are familiar with. I broke the unspoken rule in the book world by watching the movie before I read the book! I never really intended on reading the book, because I generally stay clear from over popular books for the fear of not liking it and feeling like I’m missing something. However, when I saw the movie I decided I’m going to have to pick up the books and read it – a similar experience I had with the Twilight Saga.

The Hunger Games is a dystopian fiction novel that’s marketed for the YA audience, but I think it’s a book that everyone can enjoy. I normally give a short overview (without any spoilers) before I tell you my thoughts, but somehow I feel like I’m probably just going to repeat what you already know. What used to be North America is now called Panem and those who rule Panem resides in the Capitol. There used to be 13 districts, but district 13 was destroyed after the districts rebelled against the Capitol. After this event, the other 12 districts were sort of enslaved to the Capitol and to prevent this incident from happening again (and teaching them a lesson) they created The Hunger Games. The latter is a TV show where a boy and a girl from each district must participate in, as tributes. It’s almost like Survivor, only difference is they have to kill each other and the one remaining is the winner.  Katniss Everdeen is the tribute for District 12 who volunteered in the place of her sister. The rest of the story you all know by either reading the book or seeing the movie.

This is a story about survival and sacrifice and I did enjoy it. It’s probably one of the better YA novels I’ve read and I cannot wait to read Catching Fire (I’ve seen that movie too!) Of course I don’t agree with The Hunger Games, even though I enjoyed the book. Forcing teenagers (the tributes are all between the ages of 13 – 18) to kill each other for entertainment? Is it not murder, or is it not seen as such? I get dystopian society is different, but that’s just the thought that crossed my mind. There’s also other elements in the story – love, politics and violence.

Did you enjoy The Hunger Games? I plan on reading quite a few of these dystopian fiction novels this year.

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  • I have neither read the book nor seen the films. From your review it sounds too scary for me.

    • It’s not scary at all, I promise…

  • I read Hunger Games a while ago and did like it. I do feel the movie was very much pointed at the games and the killing and I missed the deeper political statements that can be read (sometimes between the lines) in the book. Glad you enjoyed it and I hope you will enjoy Catching Fire and Mockingjay too.

    • I definitely agree with you. The movie could have been less about the games, but that’s the thing about the movies, they don’t always do justice to the books 🙂 I will definitely read Catching Fire and Mockingjay too.

  • I really enjoyed this trilogy and the two films that have come out so far. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the next book.

    • I hope to read Catching Fire soon! I really enjoyed the second movie too, so I will definitely finish reading the trilogy

  • I was surprised by how much I liked these books. I am usually not into dystopian stories. I think the books concentrate more on how wrong the games are than the movies do. Catching Fire was even better- enjoy!

    • I’m glad to learn the second book is better 🙂 Yeah, I haven’t read many dystopian and I don’t normally seek them out, but this was a nice read (and a nice movie)

  • I probably need to either read the book or see one of the movies in the series to stay current with pop culture, but dystopic fiction doesn’t thrill me. I did enjoy your post though, Melinda!

    • My first dystopian fiction read was The Handmaid’s Tale. Have you read that one Marian? I don’t really seek out dystopian novels, but I enjoyed this. I knew about it of course and that it was popular, but I had to see the movie first to make up my mind whether I would want to read it 🙂

  • I’m glad you read it! I read them before any major hype started (yes, my one claim to hipster-ness). My husband was interested enough he read all three, as did my daughters. My husband almost never picks up a book to read like that…not fiction anyway. So glad you enjoyed it!

    • Thanks! Now I just need to read the rest of the trilogy and see how I like it 🙂

  • I really liked it 😀 But then it went downhill for me :/

    • In this book or the following books?

      • Book 2 was ok but nothing new and book 3 for me just sucked

        • Ok I also heard that about book 3….

  • I read The Hunger Games years ago, and I really really enjoyed it, but for some reason I never read the rest of the series. I pooped out on Catching Fire around page 75. 🙁

    • Oh no 🙁 You didn’t like Catching Fire? Let’s see how I like it then…

  • I enjoy dystopian novels s a general rule, but The Hunger Games novels hold a special place in my heart. I’m glad to hear you liked it!

  • Ali

    I’ve never read the books or seen the movies and don’t want to. The whole concept of Murder As Entertainment is revolting, made moreso by the fact that children are forced to be the participants. Someone mentioned Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” and that I did enjoy. I can highly recommend that one if you want to try another novel in this genre.

    Ali

    • I’ve already read The Handmaid’s Tale and I agree that’s a nice dystopian novel! 🙂

    • I haven’t read them, either, for pretty much the same reasons. That, and I tend to shy away from the super-duper popular series unless I happened to start reading them in the beginning.

      • Somehow I either don’t read them either (the highly popular series’) or I read them later when everyone else has done so already. Late bloomer…

  • Hahaha! You totally cracked me up with the whole “of course I don’t agree with the hunger games” – Who does??? 😀 That made me laugh out loud.

    • Lol! You’d be surprised how many sadists you get out there 😉

  • The whole idea of the games is so sick and twisted!! Strangely enough, I did enjoy the whole hunger games concept, it is the whole point of the storyline… I have actually watched the Hunger Games movie first and then read the book, I enjoyed both, the book and the movie. I also read Catching Fire and Mocking Jay about 5 to 6 months ago. And I think, they definitely worth reading if you liked Hunger Games :). I would love to hear what you think of Catching Fire, once you read it… I know you have watched the movie but there are some finer details that is slightly different in the book than what they showed in the movie, like when Gale was whipped…

    • I would definitely let you know my thoughts about Catching Fire when I read it. Thanks for telling me about Gale’s whipping! I might just whip you 😉

      I heard Mockingjay wasn’t that good, but we’ll see…

  • I had the same experience with Twilight. I fell in love with the movies and then read the books, although I never finished the series. The writing became too painful after awhile. I haven’t read The Hunger Games series (yet), but I’ve recently fallen onto the Divergent series wagon so I’m reading those books right now. I probably will move onto The Hunger Games after that. How do you feel The Hunger Games movies compare to the books?

    • I did find that I liked the book more, but the movies are good too. I’ve only read this one, the other 2 books I must still get to. Twilight was a good read for me, sorry that you didn’t like the writing. I found it to be an easy read – all 4 of the books. I might re-read it this year.

  • Isi

    I haven’t read the book nor have I watched the movie, can you believe that?
    Anyway, it’s on my list, and perhaps I will try it on audiobook, to see if I can understand it in English 🙂
    I’m glad you enjoyed it, though I knew you would because everybody likes this trilogy 😉

    • I think it’s okay if you haven’t read the book or seen the movie yet. Maybe you can watch the first movie and then decide if you want to read the trilogy. I liked this book yes, but I’m in no hurry to read the second book yet.

  • I plan to read this later this year. I meant to read it before the movie came out, but I just never got around to it. I liked the movie, but I don’t remember anything about the 13th district rebelling or how that was the reason for having the Games. Was that even in there? Because now that I think about it this is the first time I learn the reason for having the Games.

    I don’t think we’re supposed to agree with the Games at all. It’s part of what makes the society dystopian, makes us reflect on what’s gone wrong. Like Ender’s Game, where people are so terrified of interstellar war and alien invasion that little children are sent to battle school and spend all their time learning to strategise.

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