The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) Details

TitleThe Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 14th, 2008
PublisherScholastic Press
ISBN-139780439023481
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Fiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) Review

  • Kiki
    January 1, 1970
    I have got to stop poking fun at this series with memes. Someone take them away from me!Nah, I didn't love this book. I know I'm in the minority, and part of me is glad about that. I mean it when I say this book deserves recognition, and honestly, I'd rather people were reading this and following a heroine as independent as Katniss, rather than a simp like Bella or Bethany. The Hunger Games is high-quality YA, intelligently written, and despite its flaws it's worthy of success. Here's where I be I have got to stop poking fun at this series with memes. Someone take them away from me!Nah, I didn't love this book. I know I'm in the minority, and part of me is glad about that. I mean it when I say this book deserves recognition, and honestly, I'd rather people were reading this and following a heroine as independent as Katniss, rather than a simp like Bella or Bethany. The Hunger Games is high-quality YA, intelligently written, and despite its flaws it's worthy of success. Here's where I become one of those lone rangers on a forum uttering the forbidden words: Battle Royale. Stop! Put down the pitchforks! Let me make my point, okay?At the risk of sounding like Hipster Mermaid, I read BR and watched the movie long before I discovered THG. So the second I read the synopsis, the first thought that popped into my head was, "Sounds a lot like Battle Royale!"It reads a lot like BR, too. I'm sorry, THG fans; but you can literally pair up characters from this book and fit them snugly into the moulds of those from BR. Katniss is Nanahara, Peeta is Noriko, Cato is Kazuo Kiriyama (he even volunteered, just like the Careers!), President Snow is the guy played by Beat Takeshi, Effie is the bouncy girl from the training video, Clove is Mitsuko...the list goes on.I know, people. I know Suzanne Collins said she hasn't read BR. I find this hard to believe, given the similarities, but to each her own. The above is simply something that really, really stuck out to me. The entire way through, I was finding similarities. This isn't to say The Hunger Games doesn't follow its own course, and have its own storyline. It does. But think of the people who lash out at Cassandra Clare because of the similarities between her work and J.K. Rowling's. If you're one of the people who feels angry about that, consider that perhaps the people who read BR, then THG, and noticed the same glaring similarities as I might feel the same way. I am not a Harry Potter fan, thus I don't know what the comparisons are between the Mortal Instruments and the Harry Potter books - but I did read both BR and THG, and personally, I came across many similarities that I could not overlook.Moving on, the romance. The romance in this book drove me insane. I don't understand what the constant need to have a love triangle is, but people who say, "There are no teams!" are just kidding themselves. If there were never meant to be teams, and if this book didn't want to have "just another love triangle" ... then it shouldn't have had "just another love triangle". That's the way it is, I'm afraid. I am absolutely and utterly sick of love triangles, and what was worse about this one was the second I read Peeta's name and his history with Katniss, I knew it was going to be all about Katniss loving Peeta and Gale trying to muscle in. It was predictable, and a Plot Tumor. Think of how amazing this book could have been had there been no romance, or if Katniss had actually been forced to kill Peeta. I literally waited, with baited breath, for Katniss to kill Peeta. But she didn't. Convenience saved her.The synopsis of this book suggests that Katniss's humanity will be questioned, and she will be forced to make agonizing decisions in the name of her survival, but never once does she kill for the sake of herself. Every kill she makes is either in mercy, accidental or in lieu of child murder (Marvel's death was carried out after he speared Rue; Katniss's killing him would then play out as comeuppance rather than Katniss killing for the sake of herself). Katniss's hands remain proverbially clean, the whole way through the Games. This is simply not what I signed up for. It's unrealistic, to begin with. Biologically, the human body and mind is wired for survival at all costs. It's true. Think about it: when someone develops dementia, the mind literally breaks down to nothing. Why, then, does the body not simply give up? Why doesn't it shut down, because the mind no longer works? Survival. Survival is why. The main objective of life is to do exactly that: live it. Animals exhibit this to a tee. Smaller animals have faster heartbeats than larger animals, because the lower down they are in the food chain, the more ready they are always required to be to rely on flight to escape predators. This is why Katniss's lily-white innocence remaining intact until the end irks me. She never has to make any difficult decisions. She is never forced to wrestle with her humanity, give up her principles, shame herself in front of the people who love her who must watch her participate. She is unabashedly perfect. Her inability to make friends doesn't even factor in; everyone immediately adores her regardless. People are willing to die for her, for heaven's sake. The Capitol practically eats the dirt she walks on. And this doesn't change over the course of the series. I like flaws, man. What can I say? Perfection doesn't interest me. Innocence doesn't interest me, especially in a dystopian setting, where brutality is law-enforced. It just doesn't convince me, is all. Having said all that, I simply cannot fault Collins' amazing ability to build suspense. I'll put a pin in the excruciatingly boring first 140 pages, and say that the portion of this book that featured the actual Games was just thrilling. The prose was sparse, with the feeling of unedited thought; I love that. A lot of people don't, but I do. Actually, come to think of it, Collins' writing was stellar overall. I'm a huge fan of first person present tense, especially during snappy and gripping action scenes, of which this book had many. Honestly? These books just piss me off. I don't know what it is. The setting was smart and well-drawn, the anti-violence message was clear and good, and despite being a constant annoyance, Katniss was a fiercely independent and capable female character. This I greatly appreciate. It's not a bad book, by any means, but I'm just not a fan of it.Aside: I have to laugh, kittens, because a lot of people need to crack open a history book before they make wild claims about the form of government going on here. Numero uno: the government system is not fascist. Please, don't say that it is. It just isn't. At all. It also isn't Marxist, either. I'm not a fan of Marx or his boyfriend Frederick, but don't shame the man and his gratuitous beard. It's more like a very obscure form of Stalinism (but without the weird foreign policy).In fandoms like this, the naysayers are never without backlash. I've run into a fair few people who scream about how insane I am for not being in all-consuming love with this book (as if three stars is suddenly a bad rating!). Honestly, I don't really care if you loved the book. Sure, if you did, that's great. It's brilliant when people can enjoy the written word, and this book is not terrible, I did not hate it, and if I had never read any dystopian before it I would probably lobotomy-fangirl over it until I died. But right now it isn't for me.Another aside: I ended up reading CF in full because a friend forced me to. I don't know what was different the second time around, but when I gave it another try I realized that book is outstanding. Definitely the best in the series. Far better than this one, and let's only refer to the last book from now on as Dat Flop. In fact, let's not refer to it at all. Let's pretend it never happened. I beg of you all.I tried hard to jump on this bandwagon, but in all honesty, I just don't really have any passionate feelings for this series. Comprende?Bonus Time!Look, I'm sorry. But I had to do it.
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  • Saniya
    January 1, 1970
    LMAAAOOOO! Thats Peeta folks! xDHahahahaha, Totally! xDHAHAHAHAHA! Laughed my ass off on this! XDOMFG. HUNGER GAMES. CINEMA. O.O IT.WAS.FREAKING.AMAZING. ♥Am I...am I still alive...? o.O *pinches myself* -ouch! Yes, I can stay alive for the next movie.And I was crying before the movie even started. Damn cinema, showing 'The Titanic 3D' movie trailer. >.< OMG, there were sooo many moments where I was crying. And God, I love my Pakistani people, they were so much fun to watch with :') <3G LMAAAOOOO! Thats Peeta folks! xDHahahahaha, Totally! xDHAHAHAHAHA! Laughed my ass off on this! XDOMFG. HUNGER GAMES. CINEMA. O.O IT.WAS.FREAKING.AMAZING. ♥Am I...am I still alive...? o.O *pinches myself* -ouch! Yes, I can stay alive for the next movie.And I was crying before the movie even started. Damn cinema, showing 'The Titanic 3D' movie trailer. >.< OMG, there were sooo many moments where I was crying. And God, I love my Pakistani people, they were so much fun to watch with :') <3Go and watch The Hunger Games movie NOW! When is the next movie coming? :'D <3I just died. OH YES I DID becaaaussseee...‘Hunger Games’ Clip: Peeta Mellark’s Interview With Caesar!!!OMG PEETA LOOKS SO HOT! OMG OMG OMG! <3 And how he says, well, shes here with me! :'Dhttp://mockingjay.net/2012/03/12/hung...The Hunger Games ET Behind The Scenes [Extended Version] http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=...*Yes people, in this video you can watch Peeta escaping for his life, throwing breads and hugging Katniss* EEEE! ^_^Five Days and 21 hours till the Red carpet premiere...OMFG OMFG OMFG! O_O Anyway guys, KATNISS AND CINNA FULL 4 MIN SCENE!http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/the-hun...Another SONG released. Its so creppy and weird. LOVE IT! xDArcade Fire - Abraham's Daughterhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N9qiD...OMG! ONE OF THE HUNGER GAMES SCENES! xD(When Katniss shoots arrow in the apple while preparing)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L761Sr...After watching this, I am like, "FUCK YEA! ^_^"27 days.... OMFG! ^_^ SO DAMN EXCITED! :DAnyway, new picture people!! :DPeeta painting. Now isn’t that just adorable. XD <3Josh Hutcherson (Awesome one)interview:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoow-j...OMG OMG! THE ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK! <3Deep Shadows by T.T.L:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJWT2b...I am getting chills. This instrumental is Perfect.New picture! =D *Official cover*OMG! FIRST SOUNDTRACK RELEASED! ^_^ <3Safe and Sound by no other than TAYLOR SWIFT FT THE CIVIL WAR.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFEDTt...Ok. I thought it would be like you know, metal, but this rocks! =D <3THE OFFICIAL TRAILER! OMG OMG OMG! ITS PERFECT! ITS FAB! *girl squeal!* THIS IS SO FREAKING AMAZING! xDhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-5ANq...For me its like, I read this series. I loved them. Then I saw the first book becoming a movie. And now watching the trailer, I feel so good. Like a dream come true. =)And I already watched the trailer like, 15-20 times. XDYeah. I nearly died while looking at this pictures. X__XWhats the use of reviewing this book when its awesome and everybody knows it! I.just.can't.wait.till.freaking.March.23.2012. =D****** May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor ! *******
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  • Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
    January 1, 1970
    I was forced into watching Mockingjay: Part II this weekend. To clarify, I watched the second part of the last Hunger Games movie without having read any of the books, without having watched any of the movies.Needless to say, I was confused as fuck.So many questions and thoughts ran through my mind as I watched the movie. Why is Peeta so thin? Did that huge-ass bruise really disappear from her neck the next day? Is Katniss supposed to look like she's about to burst into tears at any given moment I was forced into watching Mockingjay: Part II this weekend. To clarify, I watched the second part of the last Hunger Games movie without having read any of the books, without having watched any of the movies.Needless to say, I was confused as fuck.So many questions and thoughts ran through my mind as I watched the movie. Why is Peeta so thin? Did that huge-ass bruise really disappear from her neck the next day? Is Katniss supposed to look like she's about to burst into tears at any given moment, or is that just Jennifer Lawrence? Woody Harrelson is in this movie? Hey, it's Margaery from Game of Thrones! Who's President Snow? What's a Mockingjay? Lesser Hemsworth is pretty hot.Well, you get the point. I know how the book ended and I still have no idea who anyone is, and neither do I know their names, with the exception of Peeta, Gale, President Snow, that Coin woman, and Katniss. Of course, knowing how the book ended means I probably should read the first book, so here I am, the last person on earth to read The Hunger Games.And it was good. It was really good. My sister was right (she usually is).What else can I say that hasn't already been said? I loved it. The world building was interesting (although it helps that I've seen what it looks like on the big screen), and Katniss is awesome. One of the things my sister didn't like about the first movie is that the on-screen Katniss was different from her portrayal in the first book. I haven't watched that movie, but I kind of see how the screen portrayal of Katniss might have bothered her. Book-Katniss is strong, kick-ass without being a Mary Sue. She has a fierce love for her sister, and she is manipulative and cunning. She uses the prospect of romance to protect herself, she has no qualms about using people, and I love that about her.Time to watch Movie #1!
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  • Dija
    January 1, 1970
    My "Epic Book Recipe" Checklist for The Hunger Games: 1. A sharp and intelligent heroine with just the right amount of emotion who gives in to absolutely nothing and no one? 2. A sweet and sensitive hero who loves and supports the heroine unconditionally? 3. An original setting with a unique and thrilling plot? 4. A couple of earth-shattering shocks every now and then to keep the readers' mind reeling? 5. Extraordinary side characters from interesting backgrounds who possess the much-needed Voic My "Epic Book Recipe" Checklist for The Hunger Games: 1. A sharp and intelligent heroine with just the right amount of emotion who gives in to absolutely nothing and no one? 2. A sweet and sensitive hero who loves and supports the heroine unconditionally? 3. An original setting with a unique and thrilling plot? 4. A couple of earth-shattering shocks every now and then to keep the readers' mind reeling? 5. Extraordinary side characters from interesting backgrounds who possess the much-needed Voice of Reason and/or Humor in every crisis? 6. Desperate circumstances that force me to bite my nails in anxiety? 7. An ending that provides the perfect premise for the sequel but also concludes the present book? Like I said, EPIC. For more reviews, visit my blog.
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  • Nataliya
    January 1, 1970
    Suzanne Collins has balls ovaries of steel to make us willingly cheer for a teenage girl to kill other children. In a YA book. Two reasons why this book rocks: (a) It is not Twilight, and (b) I really hate reality shows. Seriously, how long would it take for reality shows to evolve from "Survivor" to "Hunger Games"? Yes, this book is full of imperfections. It often requires a strenuous suspension of disbelief. It can cause a painful amount of eye-rolling and shaking fist at the book pages. Its Suzanne Collins has balls ovaries of steel to make us willingly cheer for a teenage girl to kill other children. In a YA book. Two reasons why this book rocks: (a) It is not Twilight, and (b) I really hate reality shows. Seriously, how long would it take for reality shows to evolve from "Survivor" to "Hunger Games"? Yes, this book is full of imperfections. It often requires a strenuous suspension of disbelief. It can cause a painful amount of eye-rolling and shaking fist at the book pages. Its style is choppy and the first-person present tense gets annoying. The story is simple, and the message is heavy-handed. But is does set a better example for young impressionable pre-teens than gushing stories about sparkly co-dependency. And here is an obligatory taken out of contest Twilight-bashing quote: “But just the fact that he was sparkling leads me to doubt everything that happened.” So why did I add it to my to-read list for my future (hypothetical) daughter? Because Katniss is cool and a badass. She is fierce, independent, resourceful, intelligent, and skilled. She is loyal to her friends and family. She is a survivor. She will never allow a guy to carry her around as though she is a delicate flower. She skewers that apple in the pig's mouth with an arrow in front of the Gamemakers in the most awesome way imaginable. For all that, I love this imperfect, surly, prickly, sullen and perpetually pissed-off, quick to jump to judgment, and sometimes clueless girl. And I love this book because - despite The Hunger Games being YA literature that seems to hinge on the romantic puppy love - the happiness of Katniss does not revolve solely around a cute male lead. Yes, there is a (hated) love triangle here *eyeroll* but there are other issues that occupy Katniss' mind - such as the survival of her friends, family, and herself rather than just pining over a cute boy. (*) * Unlike other so-called "books", where a boyfriend of a few months dumping you is a valid reason for catatonia and almost-suicide.(**)** And yet we still get readers who divide themselves into the incredibly annoying "Team Peeta" and "Team Gale". (***)*** Because clearly nothing else ever matters besides sappy love - in a book about children murdering each other. *eyeroll* Now, here is what bugged me about the romance that DID make it into the book. There is actually a LOST OPPORTUNITY here to have a YA book where people CAN be just friends, where devotion and loyalty stem from friendship and respect and not from attraction. Katniss and Peeta could have had plenty of other reasons to care for each other that don't include puppy love - they are from the same district, same school, he gave her that bread, she trades with his dad, etc. But alas, that did not happen. I understand that Collins had to cater to the way that YA publishers and Hollywood tend to view us, the female audience. At least Katniss escapes the perils of insta-love. But poor Peeta - all of his actions are colored by him being "Lover Boy", and I think it detracts from his personality and reduces him from a kind compassionate person to a fool in love who'd do anything for Katniss only because of his physical attraction to her. Yeah......Rue...Oh, Rue...Now, back to the GOOD. Rue, my favorite character. Little, fragile, almost-too-perfect Rue who was clearly doomed from the start. Who despite her appearance was neither weak nor helpless. Whose (view spoiler)[death scene (hide spoiler)] brought the human side to Katniss (who, until that point, was almost bordering on robotic). There was real grief and anger and sadness in that scene, and from that point on I began to care. Suzanne Collins strictly follows the "show, don't tell" rule. (Actually, she does it to such an extent that the book reads almost like a screenplay.) The plot moves along at a fast pace, only slowing down a bit in the drawn out Capitol makeover and cave makeout sessions. Collins does not shy away from gruesome scenes, making many parts of the book hit home.----------I enjoyed it despite the imperfections. Katniss easily beats the majority of the popular YA heroines. And because of all her coolness, this gets 3.75 stars. "Exactly how am I supposed to work in a thank-you in there? Somehow it just won't seem sincere if I'm trying to slit his throat." ----------------------------------------- EDITED TO ADD: So I saw the movie today. All I have to say - Suzanne Collins may have given life to Katniss, but Jennifer Lawrence definitely gave her heart. Lawrence's Katniss has such emotional depth, and she brings such truthfulness to her character. Excellent adaptation with a great balance of tugging on the heartstrings and darkness.I CRIED TWICE (yes, apparently I am less of a cynic than I thought). First time - when Katniss volunteers for Prim and people salute her. I JUST CHOKED UP. It felt so real. I have a brother who is much younger than me, and all I could think at that moment was how I would do the exact same thing for him WITHOUT ANY HESITATION. It wouldn't even be a choice. Just like it wasn't for Katniss. *Sob* The second time I teared up - Rue. Oh Rue... And the salute from District 11 - so powerful and so touching. I...I...I just can't... PLEASE EXCUSE ME WHILE I GO AND GRAB A BOX OF TISSUES. OR TWO. OR TEN. *SOB*
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  • Jana
    January 1, 1970
    A lot of things are troubling me about The Hunger Games. A lot of things which I more and more perceive and which are not solely connected with this book but with the metaphor behind the words. People attach themselves to fictional freedom without seeing what really something is and which unfortunately is here to stay because you can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. You can’t make a shift on a deeper level, if the only thing that attracts you to this book is – a vision of fight, r A lot of things are troubling me about The Hunger Games. A lot of things which I more and more perceive and which are not solely connected with this book but with the metaphor behind the words. People attach themselves to fictional freedom without seeing what really something is and which unfortunately is here to stay because you can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. You can’t make a shift on a deeper level, if the only thing that attracts you to this book is – a vision of fight, retaliation and the outcome of freedom. Freedom of flesh. In comparison to the freedom of and from your mind which is nowhere to be found. And this is why I detest this book, although detest is such a strong from the ego word. Because the whole purpose of this story is to show how people shouldn’t sacrifice their children for the better of their communities and with the positive outcomes realise that we are so much stronger and yada yada. THE WHOLE PURPOSE of this book should be that there shouldn’t even be in the first place a need to sacrifice members of our society for some other people to be amused. And where after the battle of ''united'' people we heal and repair the damages for the better tomorrow. The society cancer of western civilisation thinking. Heal the damage, never heal the cause of it. But then we wouldn’t be talking here about the same book. We would be discussing how humanity can help each other with being better, with taking responsibility and with being open to each other. And yet imagine this paradox we live in: better, as if the majority of population can even understand that we are in constant blood thirst to achieve peace. With war comes peace. While along the way we are trying to be better and safer. Yet most people deliberately choose to live on the utmost lowest level of their existence. In fear, frightened of itself.And people read books which are so extreme in their bullshit. And people connect with Katniss because she is the heroine. She has managed to outsmart the system. Instead of thinking that she was not even supposed be there in the first place. Because we live in society that does this to their children. ''No, we don’t!''''We do...''''But children can learn how to fight.''''You teach them to fight for individual puppeteers. And instead of working on yourself, how to achieve your inner peace, you associate yourself again with the group because it feels better to be in the tortured crowd, instead of being alone and awakened.''''What are you talking about? It is just emo gibberish. Leave Katniss alone. And in the end, it is just a book. Why don’t you want people to read and educate themselves, does everything have to be deep and meaningful, can’t you just relax?''Yes, everything has to be deep and meaningful since we are drowning in shit of meaningless and shallow. The system as it is, the plot of this book is just another evidence to show us how we are controlled. That we are left barren from our true selves which we only find in empathy, love towards each other and genuinely understanding that we are one and everything is one. But on this provincial&marginal&primitive&emotional level, so many took this book for granted. And the only reason I am writing this review here, the only reason I am giving it so much attention is to tell what is on my mind since it is so widely popular and since I have read it. And one of the main reasons why I can’t really keep things light and popsy is because so many things are already deep down in gutter light and popsy and mainstream. As if having money is any critieria for life, as if not having your own free will and education and information means nothing. And the other side of the rich coin is poverty with people who believe in symbols, who are sidetracked with religions, censured TV, economy and utter lack of information circulation. And a lot of people here are trying to disregard this review and want to reassure me that I am so terribly wrong. BUT, you have yet not seen what I am talking about and it is perfectly OK. So I followed as well screaming Goodreads recommendations and I bought a book that is stupid, violent and written so plainly but of course written for vast masses so they can be touched by fake social awareness. Because it is fake, but most of all it’s tragic. And this is not a critique toward Collins, in my nature of a thinker and seeing her a person who shared her thoughts and which millions of people loved and connected with, I am still a firm believer that the general public just didn’t understand what she was talking about. And this is my silver lining. Because it has been like this throughout centuries and with the biggest thinkers of our civilisation. What they meant and wanted to show, is definitely not what most of the public projected. Because the mainstream public is a group of sheep, not seeing anything properly, but following and like a Tarzan, screaming, don’t you dare stealing my Jane from me. As a metaphor, don’t you dare telling me these uplifting emotions are not true, when all in me about this book tells me that is correct and how people should live their lives. And if the mainstream likes it, uh, then definitely that is not what it’s true. It is just a constant reminder how so many things are left unrecognised while these superficial stories which evoke cheap emotions are always so hugely praised. It could have been just a little story but never underestimate the obese octopus that is called In God And Country We Trust - code red mentality. Mentality of humans which are too ignorant, beautifully naive and untouched basically with what is means to be socially aware. And although this is a teen book, it is more deeply hurting and sickening because if you want to influence somebody, of course you will influence the children – and yet there is nothing that children can learn from it. They can learn some things, we all need little courageous Katniss, but on a deeper subtler level is it just an intravenous injection of more Nothing and more Numbing and more Disconnected. At least they read is one of the arguments. And argument as fruitfull as at least they eat GMO food. One food for the blind intellect, other for the digestion which both results in basic survival without any interference of you in all of it. Because it takes courage and guts and a pinch of anarchy to stop, turn around and start questioning what is handed. For me, the thought about giving this to a child is sickening especially because we live in this world where all the life criterias are upside down. Because a child will not learn how things are vile and disturbing because Katniss told them through her delusional and hyperventilating focus, but a child will learn about life’s cruelty, and it will be touched by it sooner or later, by questioning everything that is served in front of it. Because if it is served somebody is earning money and you are just getting fatter and sicker. And the children will learn how to question if you teach them how to find not if you broadcast them the answers. Not if you teach them through aggressive examples and if you keep the nation in cold sweat especially if you are lucky enough to live in the countries where oppression is not the issue but consumerism, body image and mediocrity have you on the leash. I am astonished with a fact that around 75.000 Goodreads members read this book and that around 50.000 of them rated it 5 stars. What is it that fascinates them so much. It’s disturbing because people obviously associate and find themselves in this book. And it's about a girl Katniss Everdeen, living in the far away future, who was chosen to participate in a cruel Big Brother game, in which 24 contestants (children age 12-18) kill each other, because live TV has become demanding, and the public loves reality blood and violence. That's it. A little bit of undeveloped and unbelievable romance between her and two boys, a little bit of her abandoned family problems, a little bit of The 5th element movie political structure, mutants and pop stylists. It’s so screwed up. In the beginning, first 50 pages were well written. There was suspense, Katniss was sweet and witty, but overall this book is a shitty meltdown. Adding the ridiculous cliffhanger ending. Some people here are using words like dystopian literature, and then write essays about how this book is the core of it. The core is pointlessly graphic and sadistic, without any concrete message except of the negative: this book is just proving that the world today is fucked up if this book is so successful. I don’t see the point of reading about the fictional kids who are doing this to each other. In a metaphorical way it is promoting political establishments of certain countries and that is getting tiring. Not all people are eager to swallow the shit of general brainwashing. Katniss being the heroine (ironical quote marks). Being loyal and darling and a role model. Just wake up. Life is happening and some pretty dark things are happening while you are thinking that Katniss is the representative of the club called liberation. For me, in a bookish way it stands for one bad one night stand, kiss and forget. But as always, readers tend to bring fiction to their real life and just as many think that kittens and superheroes are comfort zones, a lot of readers perceive this plot as their own little shrine. But that is me not being in tune with the mainstream population which is too distracted with billboards. Because it is easier, because why protest, why not simply take what you are given - eat your GMO Monsanto's company hamburgers, eat your cancer giving Nestle products and think that The Hunger Games are the best franchise ever, like ever. If you don't have any arguments about real life activism and if you think that there is deepness in this plot which I have yet not seen so you need to enlightened me, just include North Korea or Hitler or ISIS(L) or those poor people who are closed in Zara hangers who work nonstop ''somewhere'' in the world because obviously you are aware of the crisis although you don’t think you could show on the map but you have heard somewhere on Murdoch media. This shit sells. It's genuinely bad but excellently targeted. You know, it evokes pride and loyalty and massacring children, freedom and scandal and Hollywood. It goes very well with all the Kardashian filth. As long as it sells, sells, sells. And marketing agencies know that people are united when they are jealous, when they want and they with those hamburgers want freedom. Nobody is going to kill their Katniss in a goddam book! Really? Take a look around you. And then the punch line for this book comes from the so called activism from the shopping mall. People who devour literature of this kind and think that everything is all right while in the same time, fuck, you are getting oozingly fat. Bottom line.This book is very shallow and MTV culture oriented, like a classical example of easy consummated pop-literature; I'm very surprised that it didn't come with some trash magazine subscription. If it doesn't have savage brutality, prize money and prefix ''media coverage'' then it won't be appealing and educational because surely this is how children of 21st century survive this techno media world; through examples of true moral issues and realistic outcomes. Have another gulp of Coca-Cola along the way while you listen to dubstep shit. It saddens me when a violent hillbillish book is so popular. What is there to truly identify yourself with. Except if your chicken soup for soul are basic emotions which come with buy 1 get 1 free.
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  • Cecily
    January 1, 1970
    If I were a teenager or recommending this to a teen, I might give it 3*; as an adult, I give it 2*.PLOTIt's a potentially exciting but gruesome story, but most of the characters were rather flat, much of the plot was predictable (it's not hugely original; in particular, it is VERY similar to the Japanese "Battle Royale"), and there were too many flaws in the plot. I fail to understand its very high ratings.Post-apocalyptic America (Panem) is divided into a wealthy and technologically advanced Ca If I were a teenager or recommending this to a teen, I might give it 3*; as an adult, I give it 2*.PLOTIt's a potentially exciting but gruesome story, but most of the characters were rather flat, much of the plot was predictable (it's not hugely original; in particular, it is VERY similar to the Japanese "Battle Royale"), and there were too many flaws in the plot. I fail to understand its very high ratings.Post-apocalyptic America (Panem) is divided into a wealthy and technologically advanced Capitol and twelve subsidiary districts of oppressed people who exist in dire poverty, with inadequate food, housing, and health care and hardly any technology. To reinforce the power of the Capitol by instilling fear in the population, once a year, two children from each region are selected by lots to fight to the death in a reality show. If that were not bad enough, the whole thing is utterly corrupt in multiple ways, plus the public bet on the outcome, and sponsors can sway the results. Did I mention these are children? (Some are as young as 12, though the narrator is 16.) A compulsory full-body wax on a teen seems rather pervy and who would want to bet on, let alone sponsor a child-killing tournament, even if it's by helping one of the contestants? As the book keeps reminding readers, one person's survival is only possible by the death of all the others.CRUELTY TO CHILDRENI realise that horrendous things are done to children around the world every day (extreme poverty, child soldiers, sexual assault, genital mutilation etc), but in none of those cases is the sole intention that all but one child dies, and nor is it organised by the government for a sick combination of sport, entertainment, punishment and profit. Humans often lack compassion, but I was never convinced by Collins' world - especially the fact this outrage has continued for three generations (it's the 74th games), apparently without the Capitol even needing to invoke gods or supernatural powers to justify their cruelty! Could a barbaric annual tournament really be such a powerful incentive not to rise up in all that time? (I don't think so.)BIG ISSUESNevertheless, it tackles some big themes that are particularly pertinent to teens: the nature of friendship; divided loyalties; the difference between love and friendship; who to trust; whether the ends justify the means; the need to repay favours; the danger of power, wealth and celebrity; the corrupting influence of reality TV; the need for independence, and whether you can trust a parent who abandons you. It all feels rather laboured to me, but it might not if I were a teen, which only reinforces my puzzlement at the number of adults who have enjoyed it. I must be missing something.NARRATIVE STRUCTURE Nearly half the book is backstory and preparation for the games; the remainder is a tale of hunter and hunted. I predicted the main plot twist less than a quarter of the way in (and the fact that Katniss is telling the story limits the possible outcomes), but the suspense was broken when it was made explicit way before the end. There are some other twists between then and the final page, but by then I was rather annoyed with the whole thing.IMPLAUSIBILITY AND INCONSISTENCIESIf I'd enjoyed the book more, I would have found it easier to suspend my disbelief, but as it was, I was constantly irked by questions and inconsistencies. * The contestants (and their parents and grandparents) have been forced to watch the games every year of their lives. I suppose they had become inured to it, but on the other hand, that meant they knew the horror of it. I just didn't believe there was as little fear in them as there appeared to be - given that they are children. * Participants don't want other participants to know where they are, yet sponsor gifts occasionally drop out of the sky, via silver parachute; not a risk, apparently. * It's all filmed by numerous invisible floating cameras (I can buy that), but that somehow includes filming inside a cave that is virtually sealed (I can't). * How (and why) would any of these participants be able to measure time to within half hour intervals?* How big is Panem? It can only be a tiny part of the USA because each district specialises in only one thing (coal mining, agriculture etc) and has just one town square that can accommodate everyone (8,000 people in District 12) and yet it's a day's train journey from District 12 to the Capitol. It doesn't seem like a very plausible settlement pattern in a post-disaster world, even given the totalitarian regime (concentrating people in a few centres makes it easier to observe and perhaps control them, but it also creates more opportunities for opposition movements to develop).COMPARED WITH LORD OF THE FLIESThere are some similarities with "Lord of the Flies" (my review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...), but although "The Hunger Games" is likely to have more appeal to modern teens, I think there are (at least) two crucial differences:* In LotF one person's survival is not necessarily at the cost of everyone else's. (It is even possible that they could all survive.)* LotF has much more depth and symbolism: it tackles original sin; the mystical "Beast"; leadership, tribal allegiance and group dynamics (including bullying and attitudes to difference and minor disability) and the importance of ritual and belief.The second point is what makes LotF a better book, in my opinion. Of course, there are other, more obvious, parallels with extreme "reality" shows such as "Survivor" and "I'm a Celebrity, get me out of here", but the fundamental differences are not just that contestants in those shows do not fear for their lives, but that they are adults who have chosen to enter. I TRIED TO ENJOY IT!Any fans who read this will now hate me. I wanted to enjoy this book, and I read it all the way through, making notes as usual, but to no avail. Sorry.
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  • Meredith Holley
    January 1, 1970
    For a long time now, I’ve wanted to rewrite my review of The Hunger Games so that I could tell you why I don’t just love this series, but why I also think it’s important. It is beautiful for the unflinching way it shows you, as a reader, your own willingness to disregard people who are different from you - how you are the Capitol audience. But, it is important as a story about girls. I had not initially thought about articulating that point because it seemed so obvious to me, and I am bad at rec For a long time now, I’ve wanted to rewrite my review of The Hunger Games so that I could tell you why I don’t just love this series, but why I also think it’s important. It is beautiful for the unflinching way it shows you, as a reader, your own willingness to disregard people who are different from you - how you are the Capitol audience. But, it is important as a story about girls. I had not initially thought about articulating that point because it seemed so obvious to me, and I am bad at recognizing my own assumptions. Lately, though, I have seen so many people, both men and women, acting as though this remarkable book is a piece of fluff that I realized maybe what I love most about The Hunger Games is not as obvious as it seems. To me, this series is important because it is a landmark departure from the traditional story about girls.Too often, stories objectify women. But the word “objectify,” I’ve realized, has almost no meaning for someone who has either not experienced objectification or who hasn’t really recognized it in her own life, so I’m going to be more descriptive here. When I say stories objectify girls, I mean they talk about girls as though they are fleshlights that sometimes have handy dandy extra gadgets such as an all-purpose cleaning mechanism and food dispensing function. Sidebar: if you are inclined to now google the word "fleshlight," I encourage you to consult the urban dictionary definition here before doing that, as the google results will probably be NSFW and also NSF those of you whose parents might check your browsing history. Do parents know how to do that? Sorry for the sidebar, I am just intending to make an explicit point, and now I am feeling uncomfortable about what that explicit point might mean to the target audience of this book. Girls, you are probably badass like Katniss, and you are definitely not a fleshlight. Back to my rant about typical objectification in storytelling: often the girls fleshlights have fancy outer designs because it makes the fleshlights happy to be fancy. Sometimes they have skeeeeeery castration functions, and other times they work as helpful databases for music or video games or whatever UR into. A lot of times, I will hear people refer to this type of objectification as treating women like they are just a vagina, or a pair of boobs, but I think there is something to the stories that is less human and more sexbot machine than that complaint covers.So, in all of those links, I have tried to include books written by men and by women because I think that women think of ourselves this way almost as often as men think of us this way. The link from The Ugly Truth, for example, shows both a man and a woman treating women like fleshlights. I have also included both books I love and books I hate because, ultimately, I do think girls adopt this story about themselves, and I also think we can pretty easily identify with a male protagonist and disregard female characters who look nothing like humans. For example, The Sun Also Rises is one of my favorite books in the whole world, even though it does not contain any women who resonate with my experience of humans. And I don't think it's necessarily bad that I can enjoy stories where women are only fleshlights, as long as I can still be whoever I want to be without a positive role model. I think it's good to enjoy stories and take what we can get from them, and so I don't regret that I love The Sun Also Rises.In seeing some male reactions to The Hunger Games, I am reminded that most men do not identify with female protagonists the way women have been trained to identify with male protagonists. This seems like a huge disadvantage for men to be in, to me, and if you are a man reading this review, I would ask you to check out your bookshelves. How many female authors are on your shelves? How many of the books those authors wrote have no central male character? If you have a minute after that, check the shelves of a woman you are friends with and see how many of her books were written by men or have no central female character. Odds are the results will be pretty different.The Hunger Games is such a groundbreaking and deliberate example of a woman’s perspective on war and family and even men that it floors me. I think it partly floors me because, other than Buffy, I can’t think of another example of a female character who really fights for herself in such an obvious and hopeful way. Katniss is strong and broken, and powerful in her brokenness. Collins’s image of a woman’s perspective is not, admittedly, as effortless as Moira Young’s in Blood Red Road, but its deliberateness has its own value. It is not an accident that the story shows Katniss’s emotional growth and that Peeta, as a more emotionally whole person, facilitates her emotional growth. It is not an accident that the story does not discuss the effect Katniss has on the erectness of Peeta’s and Gale’s penises. The first is not an accident because in reality, men do not have to be the emotional cowards that the stories I’ve linked to above make them out to be. Masculinity does not have to mean emotional cowardice. The second is not an accident because the story is not from Peeta and Gale’s perspectives. Despite widespread rumors to the contrary, it is my experience that women pretty seldom think about their effect on men’s penises. Hopefully, we never think of our primary purpose in life, in the way so many stories think of it, as making penises erect. Hopefully, we never think of ourselves as gadgets that are super fun for other people.There are so many reasons I love The Hunger Games series, and all of this is one I wouldn’t have initially even thought to say. I saw this Eleanor Roosevelt quote earlier this month, and it said, “It is better to light one small candle than to curse the darkness.” I think The Hunger Games is a candle in the overall dark narrative of girls’ perspective on life. Yes, it is also a poignant critique of reality TV and Western callousness about the catastrophes caused by industrialization in the developing world, but that, too, resonates with me in many ways because of its remarkably feminine voice. It absolutely makes sense to me that this book is not for everyone because of its violence, but I still think that it is objectively important because it shows a perspective that seems authentically feminine to me – that talks like a girl, not like a sexy, fancy gadget. I’m not saying that in my opinion girls don’t or shouldn’t ever think about being sexy or erect penises, I’m just saying that it is my experience that we think and care about many, many more things than penises, clean houses, and food, and very, very few stories are willing to tell you about that. The Hunger Games is one that does, and it does so in way that is beautiful and important.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    Why did I put reading this one off for so many years? I remember this being extremely popular but it seems like I was in a rut with my reading and figured I would pick them up eventually when I was back on track. Months turned into years and I finally saw the movies, which I suppose pushed them even further down my TBR and is a real shame because the movies didn't capture quite everything the book had to offer. (Not that I'm shaming the movies; I enjoyed them but you never can include everything Why did I put reading this one off for so many years? I remember this being extremely popular but it seems like I was in a rut with my reading and figured I would pick them up eventually when I was back on track. Months turned into years and I finally saw the movies, which I suppose pushed them even further down my TBR and is a real shame because the movies didn't capture quite everything the book had to offer. (Not that I'm shaming the movies; I enjoyed them but you never can include everything the written narrative has to offer.) That said, I found myself initially shocked at how much backstory we get into Katniss's family and District 12. I guess I had assumed from the movies that most of those details were just meant to be vague and mysterious, OOOOooooooo, but there is so much more to the story that I initially thought. While I found myself still indifferent toward Gale's character (at this point in the story), I found myself much more connected and sympathetic toward Peeta. So much was left out of his character development in the movies; here he appears even-tempered and a stable comfort to Katniss while in the movies I felt he was more whiny, needy, and clingy. Everyone warned me that there was a big scene near the end that was highly disturbing and left out of the movie, so that was obviously in the back of my mind as I read, but I still don't think it prepared me for how unsettled it made me feel, and I wholly appreciated it. I do understand why they left out Cato's final scene from the films, but I also wish it had been included in some form as it's so vital to the overall narrative. Guys, I 100% see why these have been so hyped over the past decade. While this is a theme that's been done many times before these books were written, Collins captured something really special and important with her particular novels and I'm really excited to carry on our buddy read later this month to find out what happens next!
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  • elissa
    January 1, 1970
    I LOVE THIS BOOK! I've said to a few people that if I wasn't married, I'd have to marry this book. :) I read the 400 page ARC in a less-than-24-hour time period (so quickly that it was never even on my "currently reading" shelf), which I've only done before with HP books, and I've just officially put the first book on my 2008 favorites shelf. I feel pretty safe in saying that if this isn't still my favorite book of the year when next January rolls around, that I'll eat a hat. As soon as I finish I LOVE THIS BOOK! I've said to a few people that if I wasn't married, I'd have to marry this book. :) I read the 400 page ARC in a less-than-24-hour time period (so quickly that it was never even on my "currently reading" shelf), which I've only done before with HP books, and I've just officially put the first book on my 2008 favorites shelf. I feel pretty safe in saying that if this isn't still my favorite book of the year when next January rolls around, that I'll eat a hat. As soon as I finished reading it, I turned around and read it a 2nd time, which I've never done before in my life. I loved all of Collins' GREGOR books, and think she's a wonderful writer, but she's ratcheted it up to another level with this one. Even though it's the first in a trilogy, this one definitely stands alone, and I'm not sure how she can keep it up for another 2 books, but I suppose it's possible (think: THE GIVER, although I loved GATHERING BLUE, and liked THE MESSENGER--HUNGER GAMES is much more brutal than THE GIVER, though). It's got some very meaty issues to chew on, not the least of which is reality TV taken to extremes. There's a chaste and unresolved romance (think: TWILIGHT, but I don't think I will make it past the first in that series--HUNGER GAMES has much more action, more of a plot, lots of well-developed secondary characters, as well as extremely likeable main characters. I will miss Katniss until I can read about her again.). What more could you possibly ask for out of a book? It doesn't actually come out until October 2008, but if you can get your hands on an ARC, definitely do! I think that the violence in this will be easier for kids to take, since they probably won't see it quite as clearly as an adult will. None of it is particularly graphic, but it is definitely brutal. This is on the edge of too dark for me, which is my favorite kind of book. There aren't many writers who can push it right to the edge for me without going over (Zusak comes to mind immediately), but Collins is definitely one of them. Another book that I loved, and think of to compare this to is HOUSE OF THE SCORPION, but that fell apart slightly at the end for me. HUNGER GAMES didn't lack anything at all for me. OK, I'll stop gushing. I may have to re-write this review when I get some perspective. (2012: Obviously, I never did rewrite it, and this is my most-"liked" review :) My 10 1/2 yr old son asked to read this with me, so I read it for the 3rd time with him in Oct 2008. Still my definite favorite book of the year, but all the typos in the finished book were pretty disappointing. Still, it's my choice for just about any award out there, come January, including the JHUNT. Update May 2009: I am dying because the CATCHING FIRE ARC has just been released, and people are saying it's at least as good at HG. I've had 2 teenaged boys at my library read this on my recommendation, and both of them came back asking me for more books like it (really there isn't anything). One of them has pre-ordered CATCHING FIRE on Amazon (and I worked in a fairly disadvantaged neighborhood in DC at the time, so that was not a usual occurrence). May-June 2011: I'm reading this for the 4th time, with my younger son, who's finishing up 5th grade. Still as good as ever!! Can't wait for the movie!!Update 2012: Between them, HG and CATCHING FIRE were the pinnacle of my 20-yr career as a YA librarian! I've seen the movie twice so far, and definitely liked it better the 2nd time, when it didn't have to try to be my favorite book. :)
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  • ~Poppy~
    January 1, 1970
    "I don't know how to say it exactly. Only...I want to die as myself. I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not. I keep wishing I could think of a way to...to show the Capitol that they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games." “You have a... remarkable memory.""I remember everything about you. You're the one who wasn't paying attention.” So, I really really liked this book!! Of course, I loved Peeta!How can I not? He is pe "I don't know how to say it exactly. Only...I want to die as myself. I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not. I keep wishing I could think of a way to...to show the Capitol that they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their Games." “You have a... remarkable memory.""I remember everything about you. You're the one who wasn't paying attention.” So, I really really liked this book!! Of course, I loved Peeta!How can I not? He is perfect! But Katniss? Why?? She is so strong and bad-ass but she always misunderstands Peeta! It's so obvious that he loves her but she is in denial! She is so stupid!! And when she realizes his feelings, she just hurt him! Congrats!4 stars because of Katniss' stupidity!Let's start from the beginning!What is Hunger Games?Every year, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 were selected from each of the twelve districts as tributes, who train for a week and then are sent into an arena to fight to the death.Only one tribute can win the games. This competition is showed to television to be seen by all citizens.So, Katniss' little sister, Prim, is selected for the games, but Katniss took her place to save her. "I volunteer! I volunteer as tribute!" The boy who was chosen to participate was Peeta Mellark, a boy who Katniss knew because she saved her from starvation and give her some bread as a result his mother beat him!------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1) I loved Peeta! He protected her but I will admit she protected him as well! She risked her life to get the medicine needed to heal his leg. But how can she not see that he is madly in love with her? I loved it when he told her about her singing for the music class, that's when Peeta realized he was in love with her when he saw that the birds were listening like they did for her father. “No, it happened. And right when your song ended, I knew - just like your mother - I was a goner," Peeta says.” 2)I think she has feelings for him deep down! Very deep. “I don't want to lose the boy with the bread.” Sometimes when she kissed Peeta she felt guilty because of Gale! Why????He is her best friend! At the beginning, she said that she never saw him that way and now what? She is confusing me.Please, not love triangle again!!I liked Gale but no! 3)Curiously, I liked Haymitch! He won the Hunger Games of his time. He is also Katniss' and Peeta's mentor. It seems at first that he doesn't like Katniss very much but at the Hunger Games he helped her more than he helped Peeta. “Here's some advice. Stay alive.” 4)I also liked Cinna, their stylist. He always supported her in his way.5)Rue! She was the 12-year-old female tribute from District 11. I really liked that Katniss allied with Rue. They were amazing together. But Rue died. I understand only one can win( our case two) but I felt so sad when she died. Not only her though. A lot innocent kids die because of the Capitol. It's not fair.6)In the half of the games, it was announced that two tributes from the same district can win. So katniss and Peeta can be allies. But when all the other tributes died it was announced that the rule they said early has been canceled. I was so angry! They did it on purpose. Assholes!!!7)When they announced it, Katniss aimed her bow at Peeta when she sees he has picked up a weapon, but he throw it into the lake. She is so stupid. He didn't want to fight her and she thought that he could kill her. 8)I was scared when Peeta and Katniss threaten to commit double suicide so there will be no winner! But it was a trick. Thankfully, that trick worked and both PEETA AND KATNISS WERE WINNERS!9)And the ending! Peeta discovers that Katniss was mostly acting during the games about the feelings. He was so heartbroken! My baby! “You here to finish me off, Sweetheart?” P.S. I haven't seen the movie yet!
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  • Colleen Venable
    January 1, 1970
    Fantastically Written? Ooooh yeah! Compelling? Yup! Super Quick Read? Most definitely! Original? Um...well *shuffles feet, since I seem to be a rare non-five star-er* not original at all really.... Man, I wish someone on my friends list here has also read Battle Royale and this book! The Hunger Games WAS pretty fantastic, hence the four stars (though I would have given 3 1/2 if the choice was available.) I ate it up, shouting into other rooms and offices that I was going to be shoving the book i Fantastically Written? Ooooh yeah! Compelling? Yup! Super Quick Read? Most definitely! Original? Um...well *shuffles feet, since I seem to be a rare non-five star-er* not original at all really.... Man, I wish someone on my friends list here has also read Battle Royale and this book! The Hunger Games WAS pretty fantastic, hence the four stars (though I would have given 3 1/2 if the choice was available.) I ate it up, shouting into other rooms and offices that I was going to be shoving the book into their hands as soon as I was done, but as it went on desha vu was a little too common for me. I know there are major story types out there, ones that are repeated over and over again. Shakespeare retold 200 different ways. The bible reinterpreted to 2,000,000 varieties of tales....but when it comes to YA dystopia, which is by far my favorite genre of any book, originality is one of my main ways I judge a book. FEED felt utterly original. The world of UGLIES felt new. LITTLE BROTHER was just plain amazing. If it's going to be about "the future" we don't know about, make it original. In my mind dystopia novels survive on "idea" more than "excecution" and while the execution of this was beautiful, the idea was hardly new. While I have a really good feeling Collins never read, or maybe even heard of, Battle Royale, The Hunger Games was 90% the plot of Battle Royal, minus the guns, the extra blood, the ability to get to know all the other players. In Battle Royal (short explanation of BR plot: 40 students put on island forced to kill each other and winner is set for life and put on TV etc...), the main focus is a love story between two students trapped in the game, two students bonding together with no real urge to kill others...one of whom had a crush on the other forever and it is only revealed during the game. There are so many other similarities, from the ways the gamemakers manipulate, to the ways the media encourages, to one character having a fever and the other taking care of them with soup. There are even "career" battle royal players. In BR you see the emotions before and after someone is killed, their last thoughts, the feeling of the person who killed. It's actually really beautiful the way it is done, and so believable that put in an arena teens WOULD turn into savages. In The Hunger Games, yes the main characters were fantastic, and many of the lesser as well, but Foxface is only Foxface, and the Careers are never more than random 1-dimensional bad guys. The Hunger Games was very Battle Royale, very The Long Walk (Richard Bachman book), and very much current reality shows. I am not saying it wasn't a GREAT read, I'm just saying it shouldn't shake the publishing earth the way I am pretty sure it is going to. I anticipate this is the next Twilight series people are going to gush over. In a few years we'll all be hosting Hunger Games final book parties. I'll be amongst the attendees I'm sure. Also in terms of female main characters, Katiniss may surpass Bella in me wanting to shake sense into a character. Talk about a smart girl being utterly clueless! Yes, it was great, but eh, maybe I'm just bitter because I think BR is the better book of the two and while Hunger Games will get tons of praise and likely a rather deserved award or two, BR will continue to be banned in many libraries. Amazing what subtracting guns can do to a story. Suddenly it doesn't feel as violent, but rather is more reminiscent of stories we heard growing up. The number of swords and arrow deaths in traditional fairytales is nothing to freak out about, but if bullets are flying, it will give "too many ideas" to teens and therefore must be dubbed an adult book. I'm pretty sure if I hadn't read BR just a few months back this exeedingly long review would have been just as long only instead of a rant it would have just been one long squeeeeeal of delight over how much I loved the book. Original Comment: Peer pressure, peer pressure, peer pressure. Geez guys! Alright, alright I'll read it!
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  • Betsy
    January 1, 1970
    Clearly Gregor was merely the prelude. Suzanne Collins, you’ve been holding out on us, missy. As an author we were accustomed to your fun adventures involving a boy, his sister, and a world beneath our world. I think it's fair to say that we weren’t really expecting something like The Hunger Games. At least I wasn’t. But reading it gave me a horribly familiar feeling. There is a certain strain of book that can hypnotize you into believing that you are in another time and place roughly 2.3 second Clearly Gregor was merely the prelude. Suzanne Collins, you’ve been holding out on us, missy. As an author we were accustomed to your fun adventures involving a boy, his sister, and a world beneath our world. I think it's fair to say that we weren’t really expecting something like The Hunger Games. At least I wasn’t. But reading it gave me a horribly familiar feeling. There is a certain strain of book that can hypnotize you into believing that you are in another time and place roughly 2.3 seconds after you put that book down. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer could convince me that there were simply not enough canned goods in my home. And The Hunger Games? Well as I walked down the street I was under the disctinc impression that there were hidden cameras everywhere, charting my progress home. Collins has written a book that is exciting, poignant, thoughtful, and breathtaking by turns. It ascends to the highest forms of the science fiction genre and will create all new fans for the writer. One of the best books of the 2008 year.Life in District 12 isn’t easy for Katniss and her family. Ever since her father died the girl has spent her time saving her mother and little sister Prim from starvation by hunting on forbidden land. But worst of all is reaping day. Once a year the government chooses two children from each of the twelve districts to compete against one another in a live and televised reality show. Twenty-four kids and teens enter, and only one survives. When Prim's name is called, Katniss exchanges herself without hesitation to compete alongside the baker’s boy Peeta. To survive in this game you need to win the heart of your audience, and so District 12’s trainers come up with a plan. Why not make it as if Peeta and Katniss were in love with one another? But in a game where only one person can live, Katniss will have to use all her brains, wits, and instincts to determine who to trust and how to outwit the game's creators.I described the plot of this book to my husband, particularly the part where Katniss and Peeta fake being in love to gain the audience’s approval and the very first thing he said was, “Oh! That’s the plot of They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?" Then I mentioned that it took place in the future and that government leaders set up teenagers to fight one another to the death and he said, "Battle Royale”. So sure, there are parts of this plot that have been done before. You could say it's The Game meets Spartacus with some Survivor thrown in for spice. But that’s not what makes a book good or bad, is it? Some of the greatest works of literature out there, regardless of the readerships' age, comes about when an author takes overdone or familiar themes and then makes them entirely new through the brilliance of their own writing. Harry Potter wouldn’t have been any great shakes if it weren’t for Rowling’s storytelling. Similarly, Collins takes ideas that have certainly seen the light of day before and concocts an amazingly addictive text. About the time you get to the fifth chapter that ends with a sentence that forces you to read on, you’re scratching your head wondering how the heck she DOES that.Your story often rests on the shoulders of the protagonist. Is this a believable character? Do you root for him or her? Because basically it is a very hard thing to create a “good” person on the page that your reader is going to fall in love with. Because we readers know that we are flawed, we are often inclined to side with the similarly flawed people we meet between a book’s covers. Katniss, on the other hand, is so good in so many ways. She sacrifices herself for her sister. She tries to save people in the game. But there’s almost a jock mentality to her too. Katniss can figure out the puzzles and problems in the game, but when it comes to emotional complexity she’s sometimes up a tree. Most remarkable to me was the fact that Katniss could walk around, oblivious to romance, and not bug me. Seriously, nothing gets under my skin faster than heroines who can’t see that their fellow fellas are jonesing for them. You just want to bonk the ladies upside the head with a brick or something. The different here is maybe the fact that since Katniss knows that Peeta has to play a part, she uses that excuse (however unconsciously) to justify his seeming affection for her. Thems smart writing.Oh! And did I mention the dialogue at all? The humor? Yep, there’s humor. We’re talking about a story where adolescents hunger for blood, and Katniss is getting in lines about her trainers like, “And then, because it’s Effie and she’s apparently required by law to say something awful...” Good stuff. The words pop off the page. And then there’s the fact that we’re dealing with a dystopian novel where the author has somehow managed to create a believable future. No faux slang here, or casual references to extinct dolphins. There are some animals that were scientifically altered, but you can’t have a future without a couple cool details like that, right?In general, this book throws a big fat wrench into the boy book/girl book view of child/teen literature. People love to characterize books by gender. It stars a boy? Boy book. A girl? Girl book. Now take a long lengthy look at the first book in the Hunger Games Trilogy. It stars a girl... and a boy too. There’s a lot of hunting, fighting, and survival... and a lot of romance, kisses, and cool outfits. There’s strategy, the world’s most fabulous fashion designer, weapons and a girl who knows how to fight. This is not a book that quietly slots into our preconceived stereotypes. And you know what happens to books that span genders? They sell very well indeed. That is, if you can get both boys and girls to read them.The age range? Well, for most of this story I would have said ten and up. I mean, yeah the basic premise is that a lot of teenagers go around killing one another, and sure there’s some romance to deal with, but none of it really seems inappropriate... until a final death scene appears in the book. I won’t give any details, but suffice it to say it is gruesome. There are definite horror elements to it as well, so with that in mind I am upping my recommendation to 12 and up. I’m sure that there are 10-year-olds out there who’ve seen much worse stuff on cable, just as there are 12-year-olds who’ll freak out ten pages in. Still, I’m more comfortable recommending it for the older kids rather than the younger. You'll see why.It occurs to me that there has never been a quintessential futuristic gladiator book for kids. That is undoubtedly the roughest term you can give this book. Now I’m not a person who cries easily when she reads something, particularly something for kids. Yet as I was taking a train to Long Island I found myself tearing up over significant parts of this story. It’s good. And it’s so ridiculous that a work of science fiction like this could even be so good. You think of futuristic arena tales and your mind instantly sinks to the lowest common denominator. What Collins has done here is set up a series that will sink its teeth into readers. The future of this book will go one of two ways. Either it will remain an unappreciated cult classic for years to come or it will be fully appreciated right from the start and lauded. My money lies with the latter. A contender in its own right.Ages 12 and up.
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  • Emily May
    January 1, 1970
    It seems weird that I never reviewed The Hunger Games . I don't know why I didn't when it was a series that completely took over my life for a short while. But recently I've been thinking about posting something in this review space and after just watching the second film (which I think was amazing and better than the first), now seems like as good a time as any to talk about why I love Katniss and nearly everything about this series.I gave this book four stars back in 2011 and I'm going to le It seems weird that I never reviewed The Hunger Games . I don't know why I didn't when it was a series that completely took over my life for a short while. But recently I've been thinking about posting something in this review space and after just watching the second film (which I think was amazing and better than the first), now seems like as good a time as any to talk about why I love Katniss and nearly everything about this series.I gave this book four stars back in 2011 and I'm going to leave that rating as it is because it's an indicator of my thoughts at the time (though they slightly differ now) - thoughts which were influenced by having just finished the fantastic, horrifying, brutal and unforgettable Battle Royale manga series. I don't think it was the best time for myself and Katniss to find one another when I had so much beautiful insanity to compare the book to, but it still managed to have such an effect on me that I instantly told every friend and family member to read it. Coming back to this now after having spent the last couple of years being bombarded with dystopian YA, I appreciate what Collins has achieved a whole lot more. I appreciate the strength of Katniss as a heroine who commands our attention and holds our love whilst still being what some would consider unlikable; I appreciate the balance of beauty and horror that Collins delivers on every page, treating us constantly to both the darkest despair and rays of hope; and I also - amazingly - appreciate the love triangle. Love triangles seem to have chased me and hunted me down with every YA read I picked up over the last two or three years - my dislike for romance instantly becoming doubled by the introduction of yet another boy with beautiful eyes. But Katniss, Peeta and Gale worked for me. They convinced me, held my interest and made me cry. The love triangle worked because it's outcome wasn't obvious, because we all wondered and hoped and worried. Because, either way, I was always going to be half happy and half sad.Katniss still remains for me everything that a female protagonist should be. Or a female hero, at least. She fights for the ones she loves, she's brave and doesn't need to be saved. But neither is she a one-dimensional smiling poster-version of a heroine. She falls, she fails, people get hurt because of her and she has to live with that. We love her and yet she's antisocial, awkward and moody. She loves other people with all her heart but she's not much of a team player. In short: she's a complex portrait of a young woman that doesn't fall into any neatly defined boxes or categories. Now, perhaps, authors have since tried to recreate her. But she's still one of the first and best.I know another review of this book isn't needed. I know you've all probably read it anyway. Or never will. But this isn't really for anyone else; it's a reminder to myself of why this book deserves its hype and why I need to remember to come back to it again and again between the new (and hopefully amazing) YA books I'll be reading in the future.
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  • Manny
    January 1, 1970
    SOME BOOKS I ALREADY OWN WHICH I PLAN TO FINISH BEFORE BUYING THE HUNGER GAMESJohn Lanchester, Mr. PhillipsMargaret Atwood, Oryx and CrakeSteven Weinberg, The First Three MinutesJean-Jacques Sempé, Le Petit NicolasMerritt Ruhlen, The Origin of LanguagePernilla Stalfelt, Le petit livre de cacaHubert Reeves, L'univers expliqué à mes petits-enfantsGustave Flaubert, Trois ContesDominique Lambert, Un Atome D'UniversJean-Pierre Luminet, L'Invention du Big BangFrancis Collins, The Language of GodBen Ma SOME BOOKS I ALREADY OWN WHICH I PLAN TO FINISH BEFORE BUYING THE HUNGER GAMESJohn Lanchester, Mr. PhillipsMargaret Atwood, Oryx and CrakeSteven Weinberg, The First Three MinutesJean-Jacques Sempé, Le Petit NicolasMerritt Ruhlen, The Origin of LanguagePernilla Stalfelt, Le petit livre de cacaHubert Reeves, L'univers expliqué à mes petits-enfantsGustave Flaubert, Trois ContesDominique Lambert, Un Atome D'UniversJean-Pierre Luminet, L'Invention du Big BangFrancis Collins, The Language of GodBen Marcus, The Flame AlphabetDominique de Saint-Mars, Lili est harcelée à l'écoleMichel Brice, Love-TéléphoneC.M. Kornbluth/Jordan Park, ValerieSnedwick P. Philebius, clownfuckerTroy NeNuthe, Troy DeNuthe's World of Ice CubesCarroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our TimeIan McEwan, SolarDominique Lambert, L'itinéraire spirituel de Georges LemaîtreGilles Brulet, haïku, mon nounoursHelge Kragh, Cosmology and ControversySimon Singh, Big BangAlison Bechdel, Invasion of the Dykes to Watch Out ForArthur Koestler, The SleepwalkersBertrand Russell, Religion and ScienceMatthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett and Reginald Adams, Inside JokesZep, Titeuf, Tome 3: Ça épate les fillesAlan Guth, The Inflationary UniverseHelge Kragh, Higher SpeculationsHubert Reeves, La première secondeJim Holt, Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective StoryStephen Hawking, The Grand DesignJohn Lennox, God and Stephen HawkingImmanuel Kant, Universal Natural HistoryPierre Probst, Pouf le chaton bleuDominique de Saint-Mars, Max et Koffi sont copainsThomas Wengelewski, 99 Classic Movies for People in a HurryDominique de Saint-Mars, Max décide de faire des effortsRoger Hahn, Le système du mondeA.D. White, A History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in ChristendomLars Saabye Christensen, BeatlesTomi Ungerer, Les ChatsPaul Steinhardt and Neil Turok, Endless UniverseDominique de Saint-Mars, Max adore jouerTomi Ungerer, OrlandoWilliam Paley, Natural TheologyRené Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, Asterix chez les HelvètesFrançois Lelord, Le Voyage d'Hector ou la recherche du bonheurHelge Kragh, Matter and Spirit in the UniverseCharles Darwin, On the Origin of SpeciesC.S. Lewis, MiraclesM.J. Nicholls, A Postmodern BelchFred Hoyle, The Origin of the Universe and the Origin of ReligionAnna Benson, CAlan Lightman and Roberta Brawer, OriginsDominique de Saint-Mars, Max et Lili ont des pouvoirs magiquesFabrice Bonvin, OVNIS: Les agents du changementFred Hoyle, Frontiers of AstronomyMiles Kington, Let's Parler Franglais Again!Tristran Davies, Wallace & Gromit: The Lost Slipper and the Curse of the RamsbottomsHerman Bondi, CosmologyLeonard Susskind, The Cosmic LandscapeJames Joyce, UlyssesHarry Blamires, The Bloomsday Book: A Guide through Joyce's UlyssesDavid B. Lentz, Bloomsday: The BostoniadGeorge Gamow, One, Two, Three... InfinityRichard Swinburne, Is There a God?Sylvia Day, Bared to YouDominique de Saint-Mars, Max se fait insulter à la récréDominique de Saint-Mars, Max veut etre délégué de la classeDominique de Saint-Mars, Nina a été adoptéeHeather Busch and Burton Silver, Why Cats Paint Tomi Ungerer, The Three RobbersPierre-Simon Laplace, Exposition du système du mondePaul Davies, God and the New PhysicsBill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly EverythingNorman Lindsay, The Magic PuddingPhilipp Koehn, Statistical Machine TranslationSean Carroll, From Eternity to HereE. Nesbit, The Story of the AmuletPaul Davies, The Mind of GodEdward Eager, Half MagicBrian Clegg, Before the Big BangMary Leunig, A Piece of CakeGuy de Maupassant, Pierre et JeanThomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific RevolutionsLucretius, On the Nature of ThingsOlga Grushin, The Dream Life of SukhanovE.W. Barnes, Scientific Theory and ReligionWilliam Shakespeare, Pericles, Prince of TyreRudy Rucker, MathenautsPhilip Pullman, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel ChristMikael Niemi, Populärmusik från VittulaAlbert Einstein, The Meaning of RelativityPatrick Lapeyre, La vie est brève et le désir sans finIain M. Banks, MatterLee Smolin, Time RebornGuus Kuijer, Het boek van alle dingenAbraham Pais, Subtle Is the Lord: The Science and the Life of Albert EinsteinRobert Jastrow, God and the AstronomersComtesse de Segur, OursonGeorge Gamow, Thirty Years that Shook PhysicsTerry Pratchett, The Last ContinentHelge Kragh, An Introduction to the Historiography of ScienceHeinrich Hoffmann, Der StruwwelpeterItalo Calvino, Si par une nuit d'hiver un voyageurTove Jansson, Komet im MumintalWilliam James, The Varieties of Religious ExperienceRichard Feynman, The Character of Physical LawSir Thomas Heath, Aristarchus of SamosOtto Neugebauer, The Exact Sciences in AntiquityCarlo Rovelli, The First Scientist: Anaximander and his LegacyArthur Berry, A Short History of AstronomyDavid Foenkinos, La délicatesseDavid Wallace, The Emergent MultiversePeter Byrne, The Many Worlds of Hugh Everett IIIKevin Werbach, For the WinGalileo Galilei, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World SystemsAlexander Unzicker and Sheilla Jones, Bankrupting ScienceIan Bogost, How to Do Things with VideogamesPierre Pevel, Les Lames du CardinalCordelia Fine, Delusions of GenderVictor Stenger, God: The Failed HypothesisDavid Berlinski, The Devil's DelusionAgniya Barto, ИгрушкиSomenath Mithra, Science and MankindThomas Lewis, Fari Amini and Richard Lannon, A General Theory of LoveJim Baggott, Farewell to RealityDominique de Saint-Mars, Max n'aime pas lireFrançois Lelord, Hector et les secrets de l'amourRichard Burton, The Arabian NightsRichard Panek, The 4% UniverseGeorge Smoot, Wrinkles in TimeVictor Stenger, The Fallacy of Fine-TuningMartin Rowson, F*uckHjalmar Söderberg, Doktor GlasRichard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on EarthG.R. Reader, Off-TopicDominique de Saint-Mars, Lili veur faire une boumOgden Nash, Custard and CompanyLouis Gautier-Vignal, John Updike, Roger's VersionHermann Weyl, Philosophy of Mathematics and Natural ScienceJean-Marie Bruson, Musée CarnaveletAndri Pol, Inside CERNMark J. Solomon, On Computer Simulated UniversesDominique de Saint-Mars, Lili veut être une starImmanuel Kant, Critique of Pure ReasonJules Verne, Paris au XXe siècleÅsa Larsson, Svart StigDominique de Saint-Mars, Max et Lili en ont marre de se dépêcherJulia Herschensohn and Martha Young-Scholten, The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language AcquisitionCapt. W.E. Johns, Biggles in AustraliaAntoine de Saint-Exupéry, Der Kleine PrinzRichard C. Tolman, Relativity, Thermodynamics and CosmologyP.J.E. Peebles, Physical CosmologyAlice Munro, Dear LifeJim Baggott, HiggsHeather Amery, First Thousand Words in GermanDavid Deutsch, The Fabric of RealityMax Tegmark, Our Mathematical UniverseShan Sa, La joueuse de goMark J. Solomon, The Evolution of Simulated UniversesHermann Weyl, SymmetryTed Nield, Incoming!Anita Loos, Gentlemen Prefer BlondesStuart A. Kauffman, At Home in the UniverseGilbert Adair, The Act of Roger MurgatroydNigel Calder, Violent UniverseIris Fry, The Emergence of Life on EarthFred Hoyle, Home is Where the Wind BlowsJane Gregory, Fred Hoyle's UniverseMatty Millard, In That Other DimensionKatherine Freese, The Cosmic CocktailRoland Omnès, Philosophie de la science contemporainePierre Cormon, Le traîtrePhilip K. Dick, Clans of the Alphane MoonJacques Monod, Le hasard et la necessitéPlato, CharmidesPhilip K. Dick, The Ganymede TakeoverGeorge Andrey, L'histoire de la Suisse pour les nuls (tome 1)Plato, LysisPlato, LachesPlato, ProtagorasMaxine Eskenazi, Crowdsourcing for Speech ProcessingDominique de Saint-Mars, Lili trouve sa maîtresse méchanteDominique de Saint-Mars, Lili se dispute avec son frèrePlato, EuthydemusKarl Ove Knausgård Min kamp 1Grégoire Delacourt, La première chose qu'on regardeDavid S. Atkinson, The Garden of Good and Evil PancakesKarl Ove Knausgård Min kamp 2Michael Frayn, The Human TouchThomas Nagel, Mind and CosmosRose Lagencrantz, Tjejtjusaren och de tre HelenornaFrancesco Marciuliano, I Could Pee on This: And Other Poems by CatsKarl Ove Knausgård Min kamp 3Frans G. Bengtsson Röde OrmKarl Ove Knausgård Min kamp 4P.J.E. Peebles, Principles of Physical CosmologyBrian Clegg, GravityKarl Ove Knausgård Min kamp 5Daniel Dennett, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural PhenomenonHarold J. Morowitz, The Emergence of Everything: How the World Became ComplexCurtis White, The Science DelusionLeonard Susskind and George Hrabovsky, Classical Mechanics: The Theoretical MinimumJohn Sladek, The New ApocryphaJesse Kraai, Lisa: A Chess NovelRandall Munroe, What If?Alice Munro, RunawayRichard Rorty, Philosophy and the Mirror of NatureMassimo Pigliucci, Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation ProblemKarl Ove Knausgård, Min kamp 6Leonard Susskind and Art Friedman, Quantum Mechanics: The Theoretical MinimumJohn C. Whitcomb and Henry M. Morris, The Genesis FloodDavid Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human UnderstandingDavid Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of MoralsTrevor Johnston and Adam Schembri, Australian Sign LanguageJens Bjørneboe, Bestialitetens historieMichel Brice, L'exécutriceRobert Oerter, The Theory of Almost EverythingStella Rimington, The Geneva TrapScott K. Liddell, Grammar, Gesture and Meaning in American Sign LanguageZachary Treisman, A Young Person's Guide to the Hopf FibrationAuguste Dick, Emmy Noether, 1883-1935Mary Beard, Confronting the ClassicsMadeleine Bourdouxhe, La femme de GillesMichel Houellebecq, SoumissionAlan Lightman, Einstein's DreamsRoberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin, The Singular Universe and the Reality of TimeCharb and Zineb, La vie de MahometPhilippe Geluck, Le Chat, tome IPhilippe Geluck, Le Chat, tome IIPhilippe Geluck, Le Chat, tome VIIPhilippe Geluck, Le Chat, tome VIIIPhilippe Geluck, Le Chat, tome IXPhilippe Geluck, Le Chat, tome XVIHjalmar Söderberg, Den Alvarsamma LekenMarion Fayolle, Les coquinsAntoine de Saint-Exupéry, El PrincipitoMarjane Satrapi, Persépolis IntegralDwight E. Neuenschwander Emmy Noether's Wonderful TheoremGeorges Simenon, Les fiançailles de M. HirePierre Larousse, FemmeRebecca Goldstein, Plato at the GoogleplexDonal O'Shea, The Poincaré ConjectureNaomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, Merchants of DoubtÉric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du CoranAgnar Mykle, Lasso rundt fru LunaPeter Woit, Quantum Theory, Groups and Representations: An IntroductionAgnar Mykle, Sangen om den røde rubinAlan Lightman, The Accidental UniversePlato, The DialoguesRamamurti Shankar, Principles of Quantum MechanicsHarold McGee, On Food and CookingCharles Babcock, Management Strategies for the Cloud RevolutionHermann Weyl, Theory of Groups and Quantum MechanicsGeorge Andrey, L'histoire de la Suisse pour les nuls (tome 2)But I imagine I'll get to it in due course. I just don't see what the rush is.
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  • Lyndsey
    January 1, 1970
    Oh no. You've awakened the beast. It's Jackniss!!Yeah. So maybe Matthew Fox from Lost isn't exactly the person you had in mind when you thought about who they might cast as Katniss in The Hunger Games, but I was inspired to create that after I saw this site called Jackimals. You might want to wait to visit it, though, because it can suck you in like an unexplained time warp flash.I was also inspired to create the Jackniss after I read a discussion that deeply disturbed me.Somewhere, possibly on Oh no. You've awakened the beast. It's Jackniss!!Yeah. So maybe Matthew Fox from Lost isn't exactly the person you had in mind when you thought about who they might cast as Katniss in The Hunger Games, but I was inspired to create that after I saw this site called Jackimals. You might want to wait to visit it, though, because it can suck you in like an unexplained time warp flash.I was also inspired to create the Jackniss after I read a discussion that deeply disturbed me.Somewhere, possibly on Goodreads, I read that someone thought the Lost writers should get involved in writing the Hunger Games script. What!?!? Forget the genius Suzanne Collins, let's give it to the guys who left the greatest mystery in all of TV history completely unexplained. Don't get me wrong. I love Lost and appreciate it greatly, but they really explained nothing in terms of the plot. But don't even get me started on that - Circuits overloading. Bzzzt. *sparks*Both Lost and Hunger Games are great character stories, but Hunger Games needs plot. It cannot do without. That's obviously not going to happen since Suzanne has already written the script, but just play along for a second.Here's how I think it would go...Katniss is being chased by one of the mutts who suddenly turns into the smoke monster, which gobbles her up in flashes of lightning and the sound of mechanical teeth grinding while playing a flashback of her life in the District. It quickly chokes her back up realizing she's a candidate to replace Jacob but she's in such shock from the experience that she lays down and dies, with a stunning close-up of her eye closing. Roll credits.Now, if you haven't read The Hunger Games yet, I won't even try to justify why you should. You just should. This is just one of those books that someone says "This book is AMAZING." Then, you take their word for it and read it.And seriously, WHY haven't you read it yet?This is the kind of book that is so awesome in a completely thrilling and demented and emotional and shocking way that it makes you want to bang your head against the wall while throwing fairy dust in joy. Two things that I have done in the past, but never before at the same time. That's how powerful this book is.After that, it makes you want to cry. Cry like a little baby. Like a little baby in it's crib. Then scream. Scream like a frikkin banshee with a frikkin laser beam on it's forehead.Before I read this, I had a friend who told me that this book was 100 times better than Twilight. (I'd say that it's actually more like a gorgonzolazillion times better and don't ask me the exact amount that represents. Let's just call it "To infinity and beyond.") She also said that it was going to be an even bigger phenomenon than Twilight. I was like "Hah!" Let's face it, it can get ridiculous with the Fangirl mobbing and the crying. But I concur. I think this WILL be bigger than Twilight and obviously better. Maybe even Oscar worthy. I certainly hope so, anyway.I know that I said I wouldn't try and talk you into reading this book but I honestly can't help it. I'm not sure that I'm doing a great job at it, though. Let's try a little visual aid.Here is an artist's rendering of our heroine, Katniss Everdeen:And here's the gorgeous young lady who has been cast. Jennifer Lawrence.She may not seem like the spitting image of the girl from the book, but there is such a thing as hair dye and dirt. And and there is Photoshop, of course. So here is a pic that someone made and posted online of Jennifer as Katniss. It may change your mind.And this side by side.All right, besides the oversized cartoon eye, she is pretty damn close. Well, I'm convinced. How bout you?As if that wasn't enough, you can see some examples of what Jennifer would look like in the many outfits of Katniss: HEREAlso, here's the artists version of Peeta, our hero.I know that a lot of people would disagree but, to me, this guy is Peeta.And just so everyone knows - The Hunger Games is currently on sale for just 5 dollars on Kindle.Download it HERE .I'm not sure how long the sale will last, though. I already own the book but I am seriously considering buying the Kindle edition just for the hell of it. This is absolutely one of my all time favorite books!!
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  • Morgan F
    January 1, 1970
    THIS BOOK IS JESUS.
  • Nilesh Kashyap
    January 1, 1970
    My ‘The Hunger Games’ week 23rd march- movie is released24th march- I read this review and end up watching excellent trailers, Later I downloaded the excerpt and kind of liked the first chapter25th march- I am a proud owner of the book. Yay!26th to 27th march- I started reading the bookThis is how I thought it would go:Once I would start reading it, I would just be sucked into it and finish the book remaining awake until early hours of morning, with my bloodshot red eyes.This is how it went:I s My ‘The Hunger Games’ week 23rd march- movie is released24th march- I read this review and end up watching excellent trailers, Later I downloaded the excerpt and kind of liked the first chapter25th march- I am a proud owner of the book. Yay!26th to 27th march- I started reading the bookThis is how I thought it would go:Once I would start reading it, I would just be sucked into it and finish the book remaining awake until early hours of morning, with my bloodshot red eyes.This is how it went:I started it and was immediately sucked into the book but then around midway I started losing interest. I fell asleep and had horrible dream (credit to graphic violence). Next morning I finished it owning to its fast pace. This book is special: This is my first dystopian novel. I was very much excited about it since it was my introduction to a new genre. I would like to thank this book for such amazing description of dystopian world. The book: This is a kind of book which probably everyone has read including their dogs, cats and birds too!So there is no need to hide the spoilers but as warning-**SPOILERS AHEAD**This book started brilliantly and within few pages sucked me into it. The world building part is brilliant. Introduction to districts, new society, people’s life, the rules, the reaping, and yes ‘The hunger Games’. It is fast paced with simplistic writing. These are all good things. The best part kids are starting to read the books.But that’s where the good things end.Suzanne Collins created the opportunity (golden ones) and one by one she destroyed it. But still most of the people are enthralled by the book as it eventually came out. But I’m not.So I’m going to tell very explicitly what I didn’t like... Using the first person perspective and thus losing the chance to give depth to any character This story has been told through the eyes of Katniss Everdeen, she just doesn't give a damn about anyone else except her family so naturally the other characters are too shallow and one dimensional.Many people just love Peeta and Katniss but I don’t like either of them. All I knew about Peeta was that he liked Katniss from age of five, saved her twice and is now in love with Katniss, rest is mystery.About Katniss, she does a lot of thing (infact she does everything in the book) but never has a second thought about them, never reflect over what she has done, eventually no attachment with the character.People tend to like Rue, Peeta, Cinna because these are few characters that spent time with Katniss, but (again)no character has depth.One more outcome that I feel from other reviews is that Katniss is definitely heroine of the story but why make other 10 kids villain. While Cato and Clove make their kill they become monster but when Katniss makes her kill, it has to be justified as revenge for killing Rue and pity killing of Cato.This book is all about KATNISS, KATNISS and KATNISS... Very predictable plot The plot is so much predictable that I was surprised after every 10 or 20 pages (I’m not out of my mind) because the story would turn out exactly how I would guess. First I thought that maybe my mind is highly synchronised with Collins’s mind but later on reading other reviews it turned out the plot was predictable. Missed opportunities This could have been much more interesting novel. Where did it all go wrong? As I’m writing, everything wrong in story to me looks like is outcome of first person perspective.--I would have felt much more connected to the games had it contained a bit of background information of every important tributes. Despite the killings being graphical, I didn’t felt sad for their deaths.--When Katniss makes her first kill, she moves over to do other things (because Rue is dying). But later when she realises that it was her first kill, still she doesn’t reflect over it even for a minute. Killing other human has effect on the killer, until and unless killer is sociopath, moreover here the killers are kids. Instead of giving insight to their mind the story flatly moves ahead with killing and ending the games. It doesn’t make me think I read books because I enjoy it and because they push my mind to a new level of thinking which benefit me. This book made me think only about, why I didn’t like this book when whole world is enjoying this. No further thoughts beyond that.Maciek’s thought on this book: “The Hunger Games reads like a bag of chips, meaning you can devour it in several short bites but it will leave you unnourished and aside from gas, it won’t have much effect.” FOR ALL THIS 2 STARS(**)In many reviews people come out with most lame excuse (defense) I have ever heard- IT’s A YOUNG-ADULT NOVELAs for other books in the series, I will definitely read them but I’m not in hurry or excited with this prospect. I will read it someday, probably before second installment of the movie.To put a perfect end to ‘The Hunger Games’ week28th march- I watched the movieMovie turned out pretty good, much better than I had anticipated. As I watched the movie it seemed that novel was written with movie in mind. Few minor changes, like in the end President Snow shown thinking representing its start of story unlike novel which ends. Some scenes are breath taking, too much violence. Acting by Jennifer Lawrence is good (she turned out better than Katniss in the book). I liked the movie, rated it 7/10.This review is inspired by Maciek’s review and Brian’s review.P.S. The kind of reviews and comments I have seen makes me think this book is being followed like religion and my review will sound like blasphemy to them. But I can’t help it, I tried to be honest.
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  • Tessa
    January 1, 1970
    I sat down to this book prepared to be captivated in its pages. But I was disappointed. I was always expecting that finally the author would show her genius and knock me off my feet. But it never happened. Yes, it was exciting and entertaining. But it wasn't a truly great book. I could not stop comparing this to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Like Fahrenheit 451, it was a dystopian novel set in the future, but Fahrenheit 451 had significant symbolism on every page, paragraph, and even half the I sat down to this book prepared to be captivated in its pages. But I was disappointed. I was always expecting that finally the author would show her genius and knock me off my feet. But it never happened. Yes, it was exciting and entertaining. But it wasn't a truly great book. I could not stop comparing this to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Like Fahrenheit 451, it was a dystopian novel set in the future, but Fahrenheit 451 had significant symbolism on every page, paragraph, and even half the sentences. I was so scared because it was so life-like and realistic. I could see how undeniably prophetic Bradbury was and how we are slowly, ever so slowly, slipping closer and closer to that world. I saw the similarities of the worlds; I felt inspired to stop us from falling into that trap too. But The Hunger Games never provoked me to think or inspired me to act. It was like a roller-coaster. You get on and momentarily take an exciting spin. But that's all. You're just taken there. You're not drawn in. You don't have to do anything. You just sit there and your stomach flops over and over as opposed to your mind working, thinking, puzzling, imagining. The writing style wasn't even good, and the grammar was actually quite poor. What really annoyed me about the writing style was that I knew paragraphs before if something exciting was going to happen. Just the way that Suzanne Collins wrote blew away the whole surprise and shock of an attack. I ended up asking, "So what?" She could have awoken the reader to real problems by showing us what could happen if we don't take action. But she never really got to the point. She focused instead on entertaining us, on giving us a sob story. There was so much potential in this book. What I'm trying to say is that there was so much that Suzanne Collins could have done to make this book a masterpiece like Fahrenheit 451. But she just didn't. I do want to read the next book though. I'll take another ride on the roller-coaster.
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  • Buggy
    January 1, 1970
    ~SO THIS IS WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT~THE HUNGER GAMES is a fantastic, breathless and somewhat brutal read that once you start you simply can’t put down again. Initially I had no idea what this book was about or what to expect in terms of YA writing, it had just been recommended to me by so many people and had such a buzz surrounding it that I had to find out for myself why. Well let me say I was not disappointed and have now joined the legions of Suzanne Collins fans in awaiting her next insta ~SO THIS IS WHAT ALL THE FUSS IS ABOUT~THE HUNGER GAMES is a fantastic, breathless and somewhat brutal read that once you start you simply can’t put down again. Initially I had no idea what this book was about or what to expect in terms of YA writing, it had just been recommended to me by so many people and had such a buzz surrounding it that I had to find out for myself why. Well let me say I was not disappointed and have now joined the legions of Suzanne Collins fans in awaiting her next instalment. Written along the lines of Stephen King’s The Long Walk or Orwell’s 1984 (I may be aging myself here) this story still feels very original and sucked me in completely with its modern day Survivor-esque retelling. The Hunger Games is the ultimate in reality TV, suspense, scripted realism, romance and survival that you should not miss.Set in a post apocalyptic future (although we frustratingly never learn the why's, how’s or even when of this future.) This new communist-type America known as Panem has been divided into a Capital and its 12 districts. We follow 16 year old Katniss as she struggles to keep her starving family alive, hunting and gathering with her best friend Gale. Unbeknownst to her these are valuable skills as the annual hunger games are about to begin. Each year these games require two children from each district who are chosen based on a lottery system for compulsory participation. These televised games are then broadcast throughout Panem (with mandatory viewing) as the 24 contestants fight each other to the death, leaving just one victor at its violent conclusion. It’s kind of like Survivor but instead of being voted off the island you have to kill your competitors. When Katniss’s younger sister is chosen as the female contestant from their district Katniss volunteers to take her place. Then together with Peeta the other lottery winner they travel to the capital and begin preparations for the opening ceremonies and ultimately their death in The Hunger Games. Oddly this has been written without paragraph breaks and I have to admit the first part of it dragged for me, as Katniss is groomed, clothed, and schooled by her entourage within the capital. However as soon as the games begin, lookout! By this point in the story you have become attached to several key characters and its then that you realize things can’t end well as there will be only one winner. Over a period of about 2 weeks and against overwhelming odds we watch 24 victims dwindle as they struggle to survive. Simultaneously avoiding and hunting each other they form alliances, face hunger and mind numbing thirst, mutant animal attacks, friendship, love and ultimately a distrust of everyone as Big Brother raises the stakes to keep the audience interested. This is an exciting book that will keep you up late into the night and resonate with you long after you’ve finished. Cheers
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  • Huda Yahya
    January 1, 1970
    يمر الوقت لأعرف وأتأكد أن هذه الثلاثية من أفضل التجارب القرائية التي مررت بها في حياتيفهي لم تكن أبدا مجرد رواية فانتازيا استغل نجاحها لاصدار جزئين تاليينوإنما هي قصة ثورة من نوع جديدفيها الاثارة والمتعة والفانتازيا والابهار والرومانسيةأي التوليفة الكاملة بل إنني أرى أن الجزء الأول كان الأقل من ناحية أدبية بحتةفقد شعرت طوال القراءة بأن كولينز تحاول صياغة رواية ولكنها تفشل في بنائها مرة تلو الأخرىوهذا هو سر منحي هذا الجزء ثلاثة نجوموما إن شرعت في قراءة الجزئين التاليينحتى وجدتني أقول أخيرا فعلتيه يمر الوقت لأعرف وأتأكد أن هذه الثلاثية من أفضل التجارب القرائية التي مررت بها في حياتيفهي لم تكن أبدا مجرد رواية فانتازيا استغل نجاحها لاصدار جزئين تاليينوإنما هي قصة ثورة من نوع جديدفيها الاثارة والمتعة والفانتازيا والابهار والرومانسيةأي التوليفة الكاملة بل إنني أرى أن الجزء الأول كان الأقل من ناحية أدبية بحتةفقد شعرت طوال القراءة بأن كولينز تحاول صياغة رواية ولكنها تفشل في بنائها مرة تلو الأخرىوهذا هو سر منحي هذا الجزء ثلاثة نجوموما إن شرعت في قراءة الجزئين التاليينحتى وجدتني أقول أخيرا فعلتيها يا سوزانفمهارتها في بناء وسرد روايتها اتضحت وبرزت أخيرالتنتج ما جعلني أعطيها الخمس نجوم كاملة غير منقوصة وأضعها على قائمة مفضلاتي كذلكالثلاثية كما أصبح يعرف الجميع بعد تحويلها إلى سلسلة الأفلام الشهيرة التي تحمل نفس الاسمهي ديستوبيا غارقة في الفانتازيا ومعطرة بشخصيات مرسومة بحرفية عالية وأحداثها لن تبقيك ساكنا لاغراقها الغير طبيعي في الخيالولتماسها مع الواقع السياسي في كل زمان ومكان::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::كاتنيس،، الموكنجاي،، الطائر المحاكي،،الفتاة المشتعلة بالنيران،،صاحبة الأسهم النافذةتلك الشخصية التي أبدعت في رسمها وترميزها سوزان كولينزهي مفتاح الرواية ومحرك أحداثها الرئيسيوهي التي بقت في مخيلتي بملامح جينيفر لورانس الشديدة الموهبة وهي التي تتعايش معها ومع حكاياتها وآلامها وقصص غرامها وشجاعتها طيلة الثلاثيةهناك عشرات الشخصيات التي لا تنسى أبداوكل واحدة مرسومة كما قلت بدقة وتفرد ودرامية عاليةكلها تصارع ونصارع معها في عالم مخترع فيه من العجائب ما يذهلكومن القسوة والاذلال ما يثير حفيظة أعتى أعداء الثورة والحريةفالنظام هنا أعاد العبودية والقهر كأشد ما يكوناوأعطيا للظلم والاستبداد معان جديدة فلا مجال للرحمة هناإنها وحشية بربرية مزينة بالورود البيضاء النفاذة برائحة الدماءأنا تمتعت وانتشيت وسعدت بقراءة هذه الثلاثية التجارية الشهيرةوأرشحها للجميعفهي أفضل من سلسلة الأفلام بمراحل
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  • Jamie
    January 1, 1970
    Well this book lived up to a lot of the hype that surrounds it. While the name and cover still do not grab my attention the story, once started, did.This book is written in first perspective, from the heroine's aspect. Her name is Katniss Everdeen. She starts off in her home, a simple, poor area of the land. She is the provider for her mother and sister with her hunting skills. To protect her younger sister, she is sent to the capitol, along with local boy Peeta, to 'participate' in the annual H Well this book lived up to a lot of the hype that surrounds it. While the name and cover still do not grab my attention the story, once started, did.This book is written in first perspective, from the heroine's aspect. Her name is Katniss Everdeen. She starts off in her home, a simple, poor area of the land. She is the provider for her mother and sister with her hunting skills. To protect her younger sister, she is sent to the capitol, along with local boy Peeta, to 'participate' in the annual Hunger Games.These 'games' are fights to the death, aired and shown to the capitol and all 12 districts under its control, in a survival arena of sorts. The book shows, throughout the story, a somewhat futuristic dystopia society. The tributes (Katniss, Peeta and others in the game) are given basic weapons (bows, spears, clubs) and the district where Katniss is from uses herbs and eats basic foods (squirrel, wild turkey, etc) but the capitol has voice command room service, automatic hair dryers, and a camera/screen set that tracks and shows the tributes (no matter where they go) to the viewers. It is an interesting combination.There is a 'romantic' setting as well. Katniss and Peeta are to appear as a united team to the people. Peeta even admits to liking her during his interview. So a setting for 'star-crossed lovers' is created. However, Katniss has various feelings toward Peeta throughout the book and its very realistic and understandable, especially when there is possibly another guy back home. Yet while there are time I can relate to her, at the same time several of her thoughts want to make my roll my eyes or drop my head onto a desk. While she is survival smart, she is not people smart. She can't socialize and cannot read people worth a darn. While it is annoying at times, it is also endearing and has created a unique character.Overall, very good book. 4 1/2 stars is my official opinion, but I will give it 5 since I can't do halves. Its a constant pace of survival, and action with just the right touch of romantic possibilities. I look forward to the next book.
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  • Maggie Stiefvater
    January 1, 1970
    "The Most Dangerous Game" meets Survivor. I loved it: deft characterization wrapped tightly around this lean, brutal plot that absolutely grabbed me and hung on. This was one that I started reading in the morning and snarled at all comers until I had finished it in the evening. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can' "The Most Dangerous Game" meets Survivor. I loved it: deft characterization wrapped tightly around this lean, brutal plot that absolutely grabbed me and hung on. This was one that I started reading in the morning and snarled at all comers until I had finished it in the evening. HIGHLY RECOMMEND.***wondering why all my reviews are five stars? Because I'm only reviewing my favorite books -- not every book I read. Consider a novel's presence on my Goodreads bookshelf as a hearty endorsement. I can't believe I just said "hearty." It sounds like a stew.****
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  • Richard Derus
    January 1, 1970
    ***UPDATE 15 April 2014*** I've now seen the movie...yes, watched the movie of the book I didn't like...and it made less sense than the book! But it was really pretty to look at.Pearl RuledRating: 1* of five (p81)What was I thinking? I don't like books about teens. Well, that's not entirely true...I am not a Serial Killer is about a teen boy who's sure he's the evilest thing ever born, is told from his PoV, and yet that gets darn close to 4 stars. I don't like books about teen girls. Well, that' ***UPDATE 15 April 2014*** I've now seen the movie...yes, watched the movie of the book I didn't like...and it made less sense than the book! But it was really pretty to look at.Pearl RuledRating: 1* of five (p81)What was I thinking? I don't like books about teens. Well, that's not entirely true...I am not a Serial Killer is about a teen boy who's sure he's the evilest thing ever born, is told from his PoV, and yet that gets darn close to 4 stars. I don't like books about teen girls. Well, that's not entirely true, either...Deathless is told from the PoV of a teen girl in a magical struggle for her life, and yet it got four full and eager stars.So why didn't I like this book?Because the whole thing is a cynical exercise in marketing a product that has elements the publisher recognized as hot and trending: Strong teen girl; dystopian setting; children in battle for their lives. Sound familiar? Think Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and forward. Same situation. Female hero. Technology not magic. No humor, ungraceful writing, and cold business calculation set it apart from the Potter books.I don't know Ms. Collins, and I impute no impure motives to her. She might very well have written the story dearest to her heart, for all I know. But I do know, and have for quite some years, publishers. This is a product promoted to fill a gap in the line-up, like the Chrysler 200.Awful. That it succeeded so well is depressing. That it's so unquestioningly lauded is either life-sappingly grim or suicide-inducingly terrible. In a country where free speech is ever under attack (hence the First Amendment, and laws supporting it...no one legislates the safety of a thing unquestioned), we waste our collective breath lauding a second-rate industrial product, a foolish simplistic ramshackle pastiche of better books that, in a better world, would merit only silence and oblivion.Shame. Shame. And more shame on me for adding to the chorus.If in a minor key. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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  • karen
    January 1, 1970
    allow me to be relevant for a moment: oh my god, this book is outstanding!! it is all good things; battle royale, blood of heroes (one of the best movies ever made - dont argue with me), and all the best elements of this survivalist gary paulsen jag i am on. it kept me up way past my bedtime last night, because i could not stop reading, even though my eyes did not want to be awake. and now we veer, as ever, into the personal. this book is my comeuppance. i suppose it is factually my second comeu allow me to be relevant for a moment: oh my god, this book is outstanding!! it is all good things; battle royale, blood of heroes (one of the best movies ever made - dont argue with me), and all the best elements of this survivalist gary paulsen jag i am on. it kept me up way past my bedtime last night, because i could not stop reading, even though my eyes did not want to be awake. and now we veer, as ever, into the personal. this book is my comeuppance. i suppose it is factually my second comeuppance. i used to be a sneerer at grownups reading harry potter and twilight and all the stuff that is supposed to be for the kiddies, and was disgusted by the infantilizing of our adults tastes. and then i decided to take a teen lit class this summer for my mls degree, so i could have a class with greg before he graduated. i figured it would be easy reading and not too challenging and a nice way to spend my summer; getting A pluses and hanging out with my friend. but of course, after i had read a few books from the syllabus, we realized that we had signed up for the wrong class, and all the teen books i had been reading (and for the most part enjoying) were not for our class. and the books i was actually supposed to be reading were for much much younger readers. and then i was disappointed that i wouldnt be reading all those teen books after all. first comeuppance: regretting mocking teen fiction because now i have to read actual books for babies, which is so much more infantilizing. and now, my second comeuppance, i read this book and its not on either of the reading lists, and i dont even know if i can use it for this 10-book annotated bibliography because it might be for too old of a reading age, but i dont even care. i am now an adult who reads teen fiction. i have to reevaluate everything i thought i stood for. i still wont read harry potter, because i am stubborn, but i might have to sneer a little less at others. and that,i assure you, that is going to hurt.come to my blog!
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  • Brandi
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, I know you're looking at my rating and wondering what's wrong with me. For one thing, this book's gotten at least 4 stars from everyone else. For another, everyone seems to think that it's the best book of the year. I won't dispute what everyone else has said about this book, because it's not a complete disaster. It's just that it's one of the worst novels I've ever read. The story begins great. I love the dystopian setting, even if it is a bit unrealistic. Katniss is a great prota First of all, I know you're looking at my rating and wondering what's wrong with me. For one thing, this book's gotten at least 4 stars from everyone else. For another, everyone seems to think that it's the best book of the year. I won't dispute what everyone else has said about this book, because it's not a complete disaster. It's just that it's one of the worst novels I've ever read. The story begins great. I love the dystopian setting, even if it is a bit unrealistic. Katniss is a great protagonist - although, I'm getting tired of reading books where the main characters have just the right skills (say, archery) to persevere right through to the end. It's rather cliche by now. But other than that, the author really sets the scene and develops her characters well. I have to say that my favorite part (I'm sure it's almost everybody's favorite part) occurs when Katniss shoots her arrow in the judges' direction. It was a great move, even if she didn't think so (which I found surprising - why did she cry over it? She must have known it would score her more points with the judges). It was during the actual competition that the book hit a rift and sunk into a landslide. No offense, but none of it was appealing to me - the wasps, the romance, the danger. Everything, from Katniss's first spring into the trees to the final scene when the remaining two tributes defy the Games, was unnecessary and revolting. It's not the murders that disappointed me; I went into the story knowing that at least twenty people would die in the book. No, what truly revolted me was that the competition was meant to be entertaining - not just to the vain audiences in the corrupted society, but to us readers, as well. So much of it was written in a way that we would find it appealing... imagine, finding death appealing. To be fair, I know that the book is supposed to serve as a warning, and in some respects, I think it did. But then I remember everyone recommending this book to me ("It's good, you've got to read it!" "It's so cool!" "You'll love it! It has adventure and suspense!") and it makes me sick. I am in no way trying to insult the author (who obviously has talent) or the people who love this book (many of whom are my friends), but I can honestly tell you that I would never recommend this book to anyone without regretting it. To me, it's like one of those shows that medieval people used to put on, where a person would be trapped in a cage so that a tiger could kill him in front of a laughing audience.
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  • James
    January 1, 1970
    5 stars to Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. Such a popular series, so many people have read it or watched the movies... do I really need to do a review? But since I've put it in my top 20 favorite books, isn't there an obligation to review it? YES Let's make it simple... it may be young adult, and it may be fantasy, but neither of those facts matter when you have a set of richly flawed characters, a plot that is an absolute play on "survival of the fittest" and imagery so vivid it jumps off 5 stars to Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games. Such a popular series, so many people have read it or watched the movies... do I really need to do a review? But since I've put it in my top 20 favorite books, isn't there an obligation to review it? YES Let's make it simple... it may be young adult, and it may be fantasy, but neither of those facts matter when you have a set of richly flawed characters, a plot that is an absolute play on "survival of the fittest" and imagery so vivid it jumps off the proverbial page.You can't not read it. You may not absolutely LOVE it, but it will capture your attention in many ways. About Me For those new to me or my reviews... here's the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you'll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I've visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.
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  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    What was once North America has been reduced, by what we are not told. The new country, Panem (as in the “bread” part of Rome’s Bread and Circuses, or supposedly, Pan-America) is not exactly a fun place to live. A decadent Capitol rules over 12 subservient, worker districts. Katliss is a 16-year-old who lives with her depression-incapacitated mother and her 12-year-old sister, Prim, whom she loves more than anything. She lives in the coal-producing District 12, a sooty place in the former Appala What was once North America has been reduced, by what we are not told. The new country, Panem (as in the “bread” part of Rome’s Bread and Circuses, or supposedly, Pan-America) is not exactly a fun place to live. A decadent Capitol rules over 12 subservient, worker districts. Katliss is a 16-year-old who lives with her depression-incapacitated mother and her 12-year-old sister, Prim, whom she loves more than anything. She lives in the coal-producing District 12, a sooty place in the former Appalachia where life expectancy is as bleak as the food ration is small. She learned hunting skills from her late father and supplements her family’s meager ration with game, hunting frequently with her 18-yr-old friend Gale. Suzanne Collins - from fictiondb.comHearkening back to ancient Greece, as a way of demonstrating its dominance over the twelve districts, every year each district must send one male and one female between the ages of 12 and 18 the Hunger Games. Contestants, or tributes, in the very Rome-centric nomenclature of the book, are selected by lottery, but one can get food for increasing the number of entries one is willing to submit. This is not necessarily a lottery you would want to win, as the Hunger Games contest is a gladiatorial battle to the death. Joining an ancient form of barbarity with a more modern version, the contest is seen by the nation on television, gussied up with all the pomp and circumstance of the World Cup, Superbowl and World Series combined, with the degrading intrusiveness of reality television.Primrose Everdeen gets the bad news - from Jabberjays.netWhen the unlucky Prim is selected, Katliss offers to take her place, joining the muscular baker’s son, Peeta. They are transported to the Capitol, dressed up, interviewed on TV, offered training in several forms of combat and sent out there to do or die. The rest is their ordeal, which includes having to succeed not only with physical skills such as strength and agility. In addition to the need for cunning in figuring out how to best their competitors, they have to figure out how to please the television audience, among which are sponsors who might send them much needed goods during the game. Katliss is caught not only in a brutal contest with the other tributes, but in a confusing battle with her own adolescent emotions. What are her feelings, really, for her male counterpart from District 12, Peeta, and for her hunky bff Gale back home (team Gale vs team Peeta anyone)? How can she express her rage at the operators of this horror for their inhumanity? Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta - from ABC NewsThis is a fast-paced and engaging read, even for one who is waaaay past the target YA demographic. I quite enjoyed reading the book, hated putting it down. Collins offers characters one can root for, with enough inner conflict and complexity to matter, well some of them, without it being overbearing, or slowing down the story.Ok, I liked the book. But I had a niggling concern early on. When I began reading, I wondered if there might be a political agenda at play. The “Capitol” is clearly the evil tyrant here, with the oppressed working people living in dread of their overlords. Had this story been published in the early-to-mid 20th century, one might presume that the “Capitol” stood in for the fascism of Germany, Italy or Spain, or the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union/Russia or China. However, given the political climate of the twenty-teens, in which cynical forces of the right seek at every opportunity to portray government of any sort as the personification of evil, one must wonder if the author subscribed to the notion. I confess to not having read her prior work, so lack a basis there, and the interviews with Collins I read offer no insight. So, I am not saying that this is so, just that the portrayal made me wonder. I will read more of Collins’ work and look into the subject some more outside pages she wrote, and if I find anything definitive I will update this entry.PS - Subsequent to writing the above, I read the following two Hunger Games books. I posted a review of Catching Fire in 2013, and while I did read Mockingjay I never got around to reviewing it. While I no longer feel a concern that Collins was consciously attempting to impart a stealth right-wing perspective, I still had a feeling that there was something else going on here. Thankfully, a GR friend, Kyra, offered a link to an article in The Guardian that articulated very clearly what my innards were only able to communicate with vague visceral discomfort. Here is the link. I suggest you check it out for yourselves. Here is another perspective if the subject is of interest=============================EXTRA STUFFAn interview on Scholastic.comNeat bit on Theseus and the Minotaur in an SC interview in the School Library Journal. I go into this a bit in my review of Catching Fire.The five part Time interview with Collins Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 SC’s site
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  • Kemper
    January 1, 1970
    When it comes to The Hunger Games, I feel like I’m walking into the ballroom in my tuxedo with a bottle of champagne in each hand only to find no one there except for a lone janitor sweeping up confetti along with a couple of people passed out under tables and there's only a bottle of crème de menthe left at the bar. In other words, I’m late to the party.Since I’m so tardy, I don’t think there’s anything I can add, particularly since YA isn’t my usual thing. So I’ll just give it four stars and n When it comes to The Hunger Games, I feel like I’m walking into the ballroom in my tuxedo with a bottle of champagne in each hand only to find no one there except for a lone janitor sweeping up confetti along with a couple of people passed out under tables and there's only a bottle of crème de menthe left at the bar. In other words, I’m late to the party.Since I’m so tardy, I don’t think there’s anything I can add, particularly since YA isn’t my usual thing. So I’ll just give it four stars and note a few things that stuck out for me:* I particularly liked the way that Collins portrayed the reality television aspect to the games. The idea that the smart contestants have to play a role in order to get public support even as they’re fighting for their lives was a good way to work some subtle points about the nature of watching people who know they’re being observed.* Collins also did a nice job of depicting the ‘hunger’ aspect of this. The descriptions of the food deprived District 12, Katniss’s constant struggle to literally put bread on the table, and then her fascination with the rich food of the Capital kept you aware of how food was always on her mind. It also had me constantly raiding the fridge. * This reminded me a lot of Stephen King’s The Long Walk (Written under his Richard Bachman alias originally.) in a good way. That story also featured young people competing in a brutal public contest that was orchestrated by the government for the amusement of the masses. This gave me the urge to reread it.* I’ve got a teenage niece who went through an unfortunate Twilight phase, but she came through unscathed and is a big fan of this series. I’m tremendously glad about that because I obviously prefer her using the tough and independent Katniss as a role model rather than Bella Swan. I’d rather see her running through the woods hunting humans with a bow-n-arrow rather than pining over pale losers.
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  • Jon
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 Stars
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