Monday, January 23, 2012

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

~ Review by Jan

Well, where do I begin?  

book jacketThe Hunger Games is a sci-fi novel for young adults, but this book has such adult concepts that it will be a compelling read for all ages.  It has received a lot of accolades and I understand why.  I will also say that I haven't been more emotionally invested in the plight of a character in a very long time. I read this book in one sitting. The writing is phenomenal!

The Hunger Games is set in a futuristic world of "former" North America.  After environmental catastrophe and war, it is now divided into 12 districts, with the Capitol as the ruling body.  Each district has its purpose for the Capitol, from agriculture to coal mining.  To remind the twelve districts of their absolute power, the Capitol holds a tournament each year called "The Hunger Games" where a boy and girl are chosen from each district by lottery to complete in the games.  The Hunger Games are a televised, fight to the death, competition where only one survivor remains.  The district who's contestant is the last remaining survivor is rewarded with gifts.

From the very beginning the reader is made brutally aware of the desperation of the district's inhabitants with Katniss, the lead character, who hunts illegally and eats rat stew so her mother and sister won't starve.  When Katniss's twelve-year-old sister's name is drawn in the lottery, Katniss volunteers to take her place in the Hunger Games.  Peeta's character, the male contestant who's name was also drawn from District 12, is also compelling.  The author created a solid back story involving the two lead characters.  When Katniss's father died in a coal-mining accident, her mother fell into a severe depression and left her two daughters to starve.  Peeta is the bread maker's son; he purposely burns a loaf of bread, receiving a beating from his mother, and throws it into the woods where he knows Katniss is hiding.  Then, four years later, his name is drawn with Katniss's, and they are now expected to fight to the death. 

Collins did an amazing job developing her characters and forcing them to make difficult choices.  As a reader, I was invested in the fantasy world she created.  Children are murdered while the world watches for entertainment! 

This book is well worth the read.  I can't wait for our February meeting.  Without doubt, The Hunger Games will stir up an interesting discussion.

Hope to see you in our library someday soon,

Request The Hunger Games from the Bangor Public Library

PLEASE NOTE:  There are copies of this book available for NYOBG members that do not appear on our catalog.  Send Jan or Sarah an email, located on the left side bar of this blog, and we will put a copy on the hold shelf for you!


  1. Great review. Although I don't thnk we should throw books into age catagories. Hunger Games is a great book for anybody who likes reading. Katniss IS one of the competent (young) adults, she's older then her years.

  2. You're right, of course; her maturity is the reason I was so invested in her character. Now I feel positively ancient. :o)

  3. I read this book and it was hard to put down!

  4. I only started the series a week ago and I am already on book three "Mockingjay". My husband read the series as well and he never reads fiction. ~Sarah