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Monday, November 22, 2010

Thoughts on The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games: Book 1The Hunger Games: Book 1 by Suzanne Collins

You maybe have heard of this one? I must have checked The Hunger Games: Book 1 out of the library 6 times before Trish threatened to disown me if I didn't read it already.  So I read it already.

I'm not planning to completely summarize this one, enough of you have read it or read about it and I'm sure you'd all scan that and move on, right?  The pitfall of being the last person on earth to read a book, you know. Even Mike read it and the sequels before me.

So what we've got are a handful of teenagers who are locked in an artificial environment and forced to kill each other. I am pretty sensitive to books where anyone dies, let alone kids, so I had a really hard time picking it up. So I gave it to Mike, who loved it, and to my friend Shawna, who loved it, and you already know that Trish loved it. With all that love, how could I not read it already?

And I loved it too. Big surprise. If you're putting off reading it because you're worried about all the teenager death, don't. It's handled really well and isn't horrifyingly off-putting. The circumstances are horrible, yes. It's a view into a world that none of us want to live in at all, but the deaths are handled well and shouldn't turn you away. I love that Katniss was both appalled at the game and managed to both play it well and still be believably surprised by some of the turns it took

I did not come away from it just dying to read the sequels (Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) and Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) ) like many people did.  I do have Catching Fire here from the library, and there's a decent chance it'll get read before the move, but I wasn't burning to get my hands on it.  I really think it could have easily stood alone with a slightly different ending.

Did you read The Hunger Games? Before or after everyone on earth read it?  I've heard that it's a commentary on where our country is headed, do you think so? Is something like this even remotely possible? How about without the death, just the reorganization of the country and the extreme poverty? Were you dying to read the next one?

The Hunger Games: Book 1
Suzanne Collins
Scholastic Press
384 pages

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  1. My hubby's read the whole trilogy, but I haven't even started it yet. I've been putting it off because I've seen it compared to Battle Royale which I didn't like at all.

  2. Wow, I had no idea you hadn't read it yet!

  3. I've read the whole trilogy and loved it. I don't think we are headed in this direction as a country. Read Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony-a much easier dystopian novel that could take place. I read the first Harry Potter much later than everyone as well.

  4. This isn't at our library, and I keep forgetting to request it.

  5. I finally jumped on the Hunger Games bandwagon back in August/September, horribly late in the game for a recently-former librarian!

    I love dystopian literature, but I also fear it a little, mostly because, no matter how improbable the situation may seem, you have to realize that humanity has the ability to sink to some major depths. (Wow, that was a really long sentence) Part of what I love about dystopian literature is that it gets us thinking and talking about the things that COULD happen if we let things get too out of control.

    Could I see this happening? Sure, if the people aren't careful and don't keep the government in control. Do I hope to all heaven it never does, anywhere? Absolutely, because this is one frightening scenario.

  6. People's attitudes (and obsession with) reality tv scare me sometimes... and make me think that a world like the one in The Hunger Games is a possibility. I try not to think about it too much!

  7. I was dying to read the sequels .. but I think you're right, I think it probably could have stood alone with a slightly different ending. I never really thought of what the book was trying to say about our society. I probably should have though :)

  8. I read HUNGER GAMES long before the hype and loved it. I'm glad I did, too, because excessive hype over a book or series tends to make me shy away because of the whole expectations thing.

    I still haven't picked up MOCKINGJAY though!

  9. Haha! I think the disowning bit came more from you checking it out repeatedly and NOT reading it. I liked this one--enjoyed it a lot--but didn't LOVE it. Although I did enjoy it enough to listen to it again in hopes of actually reviewing it. But like you...not dying to read the next two (though I own them both).


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