Monday, March 19, 2012

The Hunger Games

So I went out of town this past week for Spring Break, and decided to bring along a book for the flight and my three hour layover in Chicago.  Since I wouldn't have been able to really do the exercises in Transforming Body Image, I decided to take The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  I won this in a giveaway hosted by Dani at Pen to Paper back in November and really wanted to go ahead and read it before seeing the movie.

The Hunger Games is a sort of dystopian/post-apocalyptic story set in what was once North America, but after the war, is now the nation of Panem - a central capitol surrounded by twelve (previously thirteen) districts.  Each district is responsible for one duty in Panem, and the Capitol is in complete control of the citizens.  Each year, the Capitol hosts The Hunger Games, a televised battle royale reminiscent of the gladiators of ancient Rome, wherein twenty-four tributes - one boy and one girl - from each district is chosen at random to compete to the death in a chosen arena.  Katniss Everdeen wasn't chosen, but volunteered as tribute in place of her younger sister, Prim.  She has some potential advantage due to her experience hunting illegally in the forest outside her district, but the other tributes have their own talents as well, and conditions in the arena are carefully monitored and controlled, to keep the tributes on edge and to maintain some level of entertainment value for those watching from home.  Wits and strength are matched as one by one, tributes are eliminated.  Katniss will need to survive to win and return home to her mother and sister, but to do so will mean killing if necessary.  The winner of the Hunger Games is the last man standing, which means taking the life of her fellow District 12 tribute is a very real possibility.  Peeta is not only a boy she knows, but he and Katniss also have a history of sorts; will Katniss be able to make it through the bloody tradition with minimal blood shed?  Will district loyalty have to be compromised?  Will she even make it out alive?

I really thought I would get through maybe half of The Hunger Games on my way to Massachusetts, then finish the book on my way back home.  I'd brought my Nintendo 3DS to play games and watch some shows on Netflix, so I assumed I'd be reading just if the DS ran out of battery life.  Instead, I ended up reading all of it on the way there. Stephen King's quote on the cover of the edition I have pretty much sums up my own thoughts about this book - I absolutely hated when I did have to put the book away for boarding and migrating between gates and terminals.  The more I read, the more I needed to know what was about to happen next, and I was never disappointed.  With books that end up with as much hype as The Hunger Games has, it's always a concern of mine that it won't live up to the praise, but Collins absolutely delivers with this one.  I'm really bummed out that the other two books are sold out in the edition I need to match the one I have of this, because I don't want to wait to get more of the story.  I love the unsettling world Collins has created in Panem, and the characters who inhabit it.

For those of you who love the book and are looking forward to the movie, check out The Capitol to register as a citizen of Panem, get your district assignment and check out news about the film!  I was assigned as a plant security officer in District 5.  What about you?




Series Info:  What came before this book?  What's next?
The Hunger Games
* The Hunger Games (Book 1)
- Catching Fire (Book 2)
- Mockingjay (Book 3)

Film Adaptations:
The Hunger Games

See what others are saying about it, or buy it now:
Better World Books


Click the buttons to check out my progress on the challenges this book applies to!


  1. It's really good. I got through the whole series in about 5 days, could not put it down. The second book is even better. The third...I don't want to spoil. It's really great, but I don't like it nearly as much.

    Your book is much cooler than mine - I got the h/c box set for christmas, and it's really nice, but yours is so...distopian I guess.

    1. I like the cover of mine, too! It's actually the UK edition - I won it in a giveaway. :)

    2. Lucky you! I'm really curious to hear what you think of the other two :)

  2. Your review almost makes me want to go and read this.

    1. You should! If you know either of these, The Hunger Games makes me think of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery" + "Battle Royale."

      Also, I just saw the movie, and while there were a few things I would have liked done differently, overall I was not disappointed!

    2. I totally like the trailer and now I am even more inclined to read it. Can't watch the film before reading the book, can I?