Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.(synopsis from Goodreads)

I am a Mocking Jay.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a captivating dystopian novel that literally blew me away. It takes place in the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Here Collins introduces us to wonderful characters and a governing body that does unspeakable things to its districts children. Each year two children (one boy and one girl) between the ages of twelve and eighteen are chosen from each district to be participants in the Hunger Games; a nationally televised fight to the death. Collins tale offers; action, loyalty, romance and a brilliant tale of humanity, death, hope and human’s ability to endure.  

The protagonist is sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen. She lives with her mother and younger sister Primrose in District Twelve. After the death of her father, she assumes the role of head of household. For them to survive, she hunts illegally for squirrel, rabbit and herbs. She sells them on the black market to feed her family. Although poor, she and her family are well liked by the people of District Twelve. Since she was twelve she has had her name entered for the Hunger Games. In order to provide for Primrose and her heart-broken mother, she has submitted her name multiple times to receive yearly stables for her family. This is her sister's first year, and when Primrose’s name is called, Katniss steps up and volunteers as a tribute. She does this without hesitation; even though this is nothing short of a death sentence. I fell completely in love with Katniss within the first few pages of this novel. She acts unselfishly and provides for her family. Katniss sees what is wrong in her world and does whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves. She is fearless, bright and loyal. She is also graceful, vulnerable, and compassionate. Without a doubt she has earned a place on my favorite heroines list.

The tale that unfolds completely captures you. Collins’ world-building and her depiction of the Capital, the events and the actual game were incredible. The event is dark, gritty, and barbaric. All of this is hidden behind a government event full of Hollywood glamour. Citizens place bets, sponsor players and root for their district. The government manipulates the game to increase ratings based on viewer feedback. The whole concept is frightful and yet Collins' makes you believe. Her writing style enables you to visualize the scenes and events as they occur. You become swept up in the characters and their emotions. You feel their fears, compassion, and hopelessness.  Once the game begins you become completely immersed. As characters make decisions, form alliances and their skills emerge you become a part of the game. When Katniss makes her first kill, her emotions rip through you. When she experiences a loss, you weep with her. As she begins to learn and use skills necessary to manipulate the game you cry for what it cost her. You feel both sorrow and relief when a player is eliminated. Despite the fact that the whole concept of the game appalls you, you want Katniss to survive. The romantic triangle in the story is believable and pulls at you. 

Collins’s tale is unique, flawless and brilliant. The tempo of the plot is perfect and the emotions she drew from me as the reader, left me spent and wanting more. The characters are unforgettable and have a depth to them that ever writer and reader dreams of. This is a book I would read again and again. If you haven’t done so, I urge you to read The Hunger Games. If you have waited like me, there is a plus side….all three books are available. I will review book two, entitled Catching Fire sometime in the next thirty days. The third novel, Mockingjay will quickly follow. The Hunger Games is currently available in paper, audio and eBook format. The trilogy is available in a boxed set. Collins’ has been added to my list of must read authors and I look forward to reading more of her work.

I gave this novel 5 coffee cups out of 5. 

Author's website:Suzanne Collins
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Buy it from Barnes and Noble:
(click cover to buy any of the Hunger Game Books or boxed set)

Or buy them from  Amazon: 

The official trailer for The Hunger Games Movie out in theaters March 23, 2012

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At February 8, 2012 at 12:42 PM , Blogger Barbara W. said...

I saw the commercial for the movie the other day and actually had a pang of embarrassment that I hadn't read the book yet. I love, love your review, I actually just went and tossed it in my cart at Amazon so the next time I check out I have no excuse not to get it.

At February 8, 2012 at 6:07 PM , Blogger Christy D said...

Love it!! Doesn't the trailer get to you even more now that you've read the book? I get choked up every time I watch it.

At February 8, 2012 at 7:26 PM , Blogger The Book Diva said...

Great review! Now I'll have to move this series up on my TBR list.

At February 9, 2012 at 5:48 AM , Anonymous Jess @ The Secret DMS FIles of Fairday Morrow said...

The Hunger Games was an amazing book- I find myself thinking about it at random times during the day. Suzanne Collins really captures the voice of Katniss- I felt like I was right there in the arena. I am looking forward to the movie, though I know that they can never touch the book : ) Great review- happy to think about the book again for a minute.

At February 9, 2012 at 11:46 AM , Blogger Tribute Books said...

Kimba, let me just say - you have amazing books on your blog this week - truly ones that are my favorites. Thanks for a superb review on the Hunger Games. I can't wait until the movie comes out next month :)

At February 9, 2012 at 8:20 PM , Blogger roro said...

Great review I can't wait until the movie comes out next month :)

At February 10, 2012 at 3:21 AM , Blogger Blodeuedd said...

I do hope they make a good movie of the book. They need to catch the essence of it *fingers crossed*

At March 14, 2012 at 8:04 PM , Blogger Munnaza said...

The Hunger Games is one of my favorite dystopian novels and the best one in that trilogy, in my opinion. I love how strong and independent Katniss is, and it's great to see a heroine who kicks ass. I also really felt for her, and I can understand why she is the way she is, given her world and her family background. Collins' world building is incredible, and I agree, the book is written in a great writing style that really fits the tone and atmosphere. This book made me feel all the emotions, and I loved all the Peeta/Katniss scenes, especially the ending. I can't wait to see the film in a few weeks! Great review!

At March 19, 2012 at 7:17 AM , Blogger Aisya said...

Happy hunger games

At March 19, 2012 at 7:17 AM , Blogger Aisya said...

Happy hunger games

At March 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM , Blogger Martina Koleva said...

I'm not really surprised you gave the book 5 coffee cups. I, myself, wanted to give it about 10 stars by the time I was finished. I got the books from the library(I will be buying them as soon as possible) so I read them in no time and that was the best books I've ever read. It moved me, I cried, I wanted to yell at the characters. I was a mess buy the end and I loved every single word written in the novels. I am afraid to re-read them because the withdraw from them was hard but as the movie premiere draws near it's harder and harder to resist the urge to pick them up again. Loved your review and I can't wait to see what you thought of Catching fire!


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