Book Review: The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1)
Published By: Scholastic
Publication Date: October 2008
Page Count: 374
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Dystopian

I suppose by now, if you haven't heard of The Hunger Games, you've probably been living under a rock. The Hollywood marketing machine is at full speed promoting the movie, and the book has won so many awards now that Suzanne Collins must have an award room in her house. Is it worth all the hype? Absolutely. I read a lot of books, and I'm going to say that since I started keeping a list of everything I read in January 2010, this is the best book that I've read. 

There are many other books out there that I love to death, some of them make me cry, some of them make me swoon, and some of them make me want to throw them across the room, but none of them make my heart pound in my chest like The Hunger Games did the first time I read it. Or the second time I read it. In fact, every time I read it. So why does it do that? Firstly, I suppose The Hunger Games was the first dystopian book I ever read - and I love a good story of rebellion against an oppressive government. This is a true underdog tale. The opulence of the people from The Capitol contrasts so starkly against the way the people from the districts, such as Katniss in district 12, have to live their lives that it makes me seethe with anger. The poor have to struggle every day, and in addition to that they have to worry that once a year any of their children could be selected as tributes who will have to fight to the last child standing for the amusement of fools. 

I love how uncomfortable Katniss is in being made beautiful, being waxed and prodded into beautiful outfits, and I love how she comes to understand that there are many ways that you can rebel. Cinna is a character which many fans hold extremely dear for his understated rebellion, and he really sets the tone for Katniss I think. She understands that although she may be physically controlled in the arena - which is wildly inventive and unpredictable - the game makers can't own her spirit, and for that reason, she captures the hearts of the audience in the book, and the reader. She has issues as well, which makes her human. She really isn't very good at understanding her emotions, and the possibility of true romance with Peeta, the male tribute from district 12, is never very certain. The Hunger Games really plays with my emotions, and I connect with it in a very 'real' way - I haven't yet recommended it to a person who didn't come back to me and say they loved it. I hope you love it too. 

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.


  1. The Hunger Games is definitely one of my favorite books too. Great review!
    Are you extremely excited for the movie too?!

  2. Yes! Rebellion against an oppressive government. An underdog tale. That is what I love about this series. Or any series that does stuff like that! But especially this one. :)

  3. Yeah for Jen! I am so glad you went back and reviewed this. All of the Larks have read it (I think), but we all read it pre-blog days. Is it sad that I get chills every time I see a movie trailer? I am beyond excited to see this movie and hope it does the book justice.

  4. I am just SO excited for this movie. I'm thinking of going by myself when I finish work tonight at 8pm... I noticed a sneaky showing at my local movie theater!!

    If you love the Hunger Games, then you should check out - it is run SO well by some amazing girls and they always have the news first. They also have some nice graphics... which I might have designed as well as ours... ;)

  5. Just to follow up... the movie was one of the best adaptations from a book that I've ever seen. It was phenomenal, and I consider my tiny mind properly BLOWN AWAY!!!

  6. We are going to watch the movie on Sunday. I can't wait! My husband hasn't read the books, so it will be his first time hearing the story.


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