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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

>> Monday, May 25, 2009

Series: #1 in a trilogy (which I did not know)
Genre: YA, Science-Fiction
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 374
Support Your Local Library Challenge #22

First of all: “End of Book One” ??? How did I not know this? And how soon can I get on the library waiting list for the 2nd book (which comes out in September)?

Sheesh! OK, I know that not being aware that this is the first in a planned trilogy is my own fault. It’s because when I first started seeing reviews of this book I skimmed them because this book falls into two genres I rarely read: YA and Science-Fiction. I noticed that people liked it a lot, but it really didn’t start catching my attention until the number of positive reviews just kept growing and growing. Enough of my blogger buddies who share my reading taste praised this book that I just had to give in and get myself on the library waiting list. At that point, I continued to skim the ever growing number of good reviews so I wouldn’t get spoiled before reading it. See – my fault.

Now I’m going to add myself to the endless list of bloggers who have really enjoyed this book. I’m eagerly anticipating the second book.

Katniss Everdeen is a 16 year old living in District 12 of the nation of Panem in what used to be known as North America. The Capitol rules over and is supplied by the 12 districts. There used to be 13 districts before a failed rebellion. Now, to remind the citizens that the Capitol is in charge, the annual Hunger Games are televised and watching is mandatory.

The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.
When the drawing to select this year’s tributes is held in District 12, Katniss’ younger sister Prim’s name is the one drawn. Katniss volunteers to take Prim’s place.

It’s like Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, meets Stephen King’s (as Richard Bachman) The Long Walk and The Running Man, meets Mark Burnett and reality TV.

This was such a good book. The combination of the insane pageantry surrounding the “games’ with the tension and action once the games actually got started made it difficult to put down. I knew early on that Katniss was a bit of a rebel because her hunting that provided food for her family had already made her a rule-breaker who questioned the government’s rules. But once she put herself in her sister’s place as tribute she was forced to play along with the rules. I loved rooting for Katniss and loved watching her develop. September seems like a long way away. The book definitely didn’t end without a valid resolution to the story, so don’t fear that. Instead look forward to more.

This is a book that lived up to the hype.


raidergirl3 5/25/2009 2:26 PM  

>It’s like Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery, meets Stephen King’s (as Richard Bachman) The Long Walk and The Running Man, meets Mark Burnett and reality TV.That's why I liked it so much! all my favorites are listed there!

Glad you liked it. It can be tricky when you've read too much praise and build up to a book. I know what you mean about skipping reviews though. I mostly read reviews of books I've already read, other than getting the gist of whether a person has liked the book.

Bookfool 5/25/2009 2:55 PM  

I'm glad you enjoyed this, even thought it's a Sci-Fi YA. I've read all those good reviews, too. Read, not skimmed, so I knew it's the first in a series -- and I bought it in spite of that fact. I wish I had a library like yours.

Literary Feline 5/25/2009 7:38 PM  

I have heard such great things about this book and with each blogger review I read, I want to read it a little more. I am glad you enjoyed it!

Amy@TheSleepyReader 5/26/2009 8:36 AM  

I loved this book and am really looking forward to the sequel. Great review!

Kailana 5/26/2009 9:39 PM  

I don't know if I should read this. lol I have it out from the library right now, and by the sounds of it I should have waited until closer to September...

SuziQoregon 5/27/2009 9:49 AM  

Raidergirl: I read all of those when I was in High School or College and loved them. The review minefield is a tricky one - you want to get a feel for what the folks you trust think, without getting spoiled on the details. I just keep seeing folks I know like the same books I do praising this one.

Bookfool: Sorry you don't have a very good library. I sure do appreciate mine.

Literary Feline: Read it. It really is that good.

Amy: Your review was among the many that pushed me to read this sooner rather than later - thanks!!

Kailana: Oh don't wait - read it soon. Once the second one comes out, you'll be in the same boat as the rest of us waiting for the third.

DeSeRt RoSe 5/27/2009 10:38 AM  

You have something waiting for you at my blog :)

imbookingit 5/28/2009 9:11 PM  

I'm another blogger that loved this book, although I wasn't as surprised-- I generally enjoy YA & SF as well as many other genres.

Thanks for sharing your review.

Meghan 5/29/2009 4:32 AM  

Everyone loves this book! I can't wait until mine arrives in the mail. =)

SuziQoregon 5/30/2009 7:47 AM  

DeSeRt RoSe: Awww - thanks!

Imbookingit: definitely not my normal genres, but I still really enjoyed it.

Meaghan: Hope you like it. I know most folks who have posted something did, but there's always the danger of 'too much hype'.

Les 6/03/2009 7:35 PM  

I loved this book!! And guess what? An ARC arrived at work last week. No, I didn't get it, but I have a feeling it will be making the rounds, so maybe I'll get to read it before September. Yippee! :)

SuziQoregon 6/04/2009 9:46 AM  

Les - your review was one of the ones that convinced me to read this. I'm dying to get my hands on an ARC - really don't want to wait till September to read Catching Fire. But then we'll all have to wait for the 3rd one, so maybe spacing them out is better???

Amy 6/07/2009 8:39 PM  

Probably shouldn't tell you I'm reading Catching Fire right now, huh?

SuziQoregon 6/08/2009 7:09 AM  

Amy: that's not nice ;-P Yes, I'm jealous, but on the other hand, I keep telling myself that the sooner I read Catching Fire, the longer I'll have to wait for #3.

Nicole 6/09/2009 3:11 PM  

I didn't think this one would be for me, but I loved it.

SuziQoregon 6/11/2009 2:26 PM  

Nicole: that's exactly how I felt. Now I can't wait to get my hands on the next one.

alisonwonderland 8/29/2009 9:50 AM  

A few months ago I picked this for one book club I meet with, and I recently picked it again for my primary book club since I'm hosting in September. I just love to share a good book!

SuziQoregon 8/29/2009 10:00 PM  

Alisonwonderland: Oh me too! I've been recommending this one to lots of folks. Right now I'm listening to it as a re-read before I read the sequel. The audio is great too.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave a comment. I read and respond them here although not always right away. If you would prefer an email response let me know.

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