Sparrow’s review of The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) > Likes and Comments

Comments (showing 1-50 of 174) (174 new)    post a comment »

message 1: by Linda (last edited Feb 06, 2009 06:55PM) (new)

Linda Sounds wild,would I like it?

message 2: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow I'm not sure. . . You should give it a try. It might be too violent or scary.

message 3: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow I can't wait for Catching Fire!!! Eeeek!

message 4: by Ian (new)

Ian Yeesh. I don't know if this review turns me on or turns me off to the book. Meredith, I notice you have the book in your "young adult" category, which for the most part contains books that are not my cup of tea. Would you equate The Hunger Games with those other books in terms of writing style, intended audience, etc.?

message 5: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow It is definitely a YA book. Have you read Battle Royale? I loathed that one, but they're very similar stories. It's the good ol' Lord of the Flies premise. Battle Royale is more of a pulp/anime version.

I hate to be sexist, but it's my experience that men tend to not cross over to identifying with girl protagonists as easily as women cross over to identifying with boy protagonists. Obviously, that's not always true with every book or every reader, but in this case I could see the first-person narrative and present tense making it more of an issue for a male reader. Also, it's mostly an adventure. The adventure is based on the dystopian setting, but Collins doesn't go very far with developing the world. I prefer that, but I can see how someone who likes the sci fi/fantasy style of creating alternate universes might find it too simplistic. I'm not sure if that answers your question. I'm kind of comparing it to Ender's Game in my head. Where I think that book is classified as YA because it is about kids, but is really directed toward a more adult audience, I think Hunger Games is directed toward a high school audience, but contains some profound themes.

message 6: by Ian (new)

Ian I can't recall reading a first-person narrative from the point of view of a female protagonist. I've read several books written in the third person but generally from the point of view of a female protagonist and had no problem with those. Though, admittedly, they were written by male authors and I have to wonder how much of their portrayal of the female protagonist is a man's fantasy, so to speak.

message 7: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Exactly. That's what I usually hear from men. I don't really feel one way or the other about it, but it is interesting. I think gravitating toward books that are more directed toward your gender could be smart in the sense that they would be more relatable, or it could be limiting. I don't know. There's that "male-identification" thing in gender studies, where women believe that doing things in a more "masculine" way is better, and that might be where more willingness to identify with a male protagonist comes from. I don't even know if it's actually true that women are more like that, though, or if it just seems like it to me. Male-identification seems like a bad thing, but seeing other perspectives seems like a good thing, so who's to say?

message 8: by Ian (new)

Ian My wife likes to burp and fart in a "masculine" way. I'm not sure if it's "male-identification" or if she just really gets a kick out of burping and farting.

message 9: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Who's to say that's masculine?

message 10: by Ian (new)

Ian Excellent question. Now I'm the one who's being sexist.

My wife does, however, state that she takes pride in making more impressive bodily function noises than most men she knows.

message 11: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Ah, a healthy competitive spirit - another lovely feminine quality. :)

message 12: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow wow. that was odd and inappropriate.

message 13: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yes, flagged one of them. I figured one was enough. Just about to delete. Thanks, Abigail!

message 14: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Kind of funny, though (not the comments, just that someone would do that).

message 15: by Ian (new)

Ian Hi Meredith ... I know I've been out of touch on GR the past couple of months so you probably don't remember me. And I have reasons for being gone but basically I've just been a bad GR friend and I need to own up to it :)

Anyway ... I'm thinking of buying The Hunger Games for my 13-year-old niece but wanted to get your opinion first. She's a smart girl who loves to read and aspires to be a writer someday, but she's also somewhat sheltered by her hyper-conservative parents. So I guess a couple of factors are making me hesitate before buying this book for her. First, do you think 13 is too young? And second, would this book be too much of a shock to a sheltered 13-yr-old girl, or do you think it would make a good introduction to real-world books (i.e., books where the protagonist has bigger problems than which book of the Bible to read after she does all her homework and before she goes to bed early like a good girl)?

The other issue is whether I might piss off the hyper-conservative parents by getting her this book ... but that's for me to worry about ... though you can feel free to comment ...

Thanks, Meredith! Any advice would be appreciated!

message 16: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Hey Ian! Of course, I remember you, I just saved your wife from defamation at the hands of the enthusiastic commenter, who I deleted above. :)

If I could, I think I would assign this book as reading to 13-year-old girls. That's not to say she'll necessarily like it, but I would think it's a good bet. It's really adventurey and not overtly political at all. If I taught an 8th grade social studies class, I would use it as an intro to global issues, just because I think Collins does such a good job at simplifying major political problems, without even pointing out what she's doing. I really don't think, though, that if you didn't have those issues in mind you would even make the connection. It's pure story. I think that's a good thing about it, because I don't think you change people's minds by yelling at them to change their minds. I think it's better to show an example.

Also, of all the female roll models in teen books I can think of (and admittedly I can only think of four right now, because my brain is mush from civ pro final this morning), I think Katniss is the most inspiring. There's always Buffy (not book, but still), but that is way more adult, and probably wouldn't go over too well with the parents.

I said above to Linda that maybe it was too scary, but she read it and loved it. (I'm not calling you a 13-year-old girl, Linda, if you're reading this :) ) I think I just freaked out a little bit at this one part for some random reason, because no one else has seemed to have that reaction.

The way you describe your niece is exactly how I was raised (if you also throw the word "crazy" between "hyper-conservative" and "parents"), so sometimes I have a little bit of a radar for Things Invented by Satan. I don't think this would fall in that category. It's just post-apocalyptic, so no magic, monsters, or Mao. Plus, it's on sale at grocery stores, so easy shopping! Okay, I don't know why I had to write such a long comment to respond to this question. Maybe practice finals have made it impossible for me to answer stuff in under 750 words. *sigh*

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Ian & Meredith!

I just read this not long ago - review still not written - and it was teh awesome. I find that the hyper-conservative get much more worked up about sex than violence, but results vary, and this is v. tame in the sex department. Compulsively readable, too. 13 seems a perfect age to encounter this, but 35 wasn't bad either.

message 18: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow I'm glad you liked it! I wondered what you thought! Can't wait for the review. Agreed about sex v. violence.

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

I reeeeaally liked it - but I'm still grappling with some stuff, and I haven't had an aha! moment where I know what to say yet, which puts it squarely in the amazing category. I just picked up Gregor the Overlander from the library, and I'm looking forward to diving in...thanks for the recommendation.

message 20: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow I always try really hard not to just review books that I hated, but it's soooo much easier to get my brain around them. Saying what I like about a book always sounds tinny and not good enough. I'm better at making faces about what I like.

Gregor's different, but also wonderful. I might read them again over winter break.

message 21: by Ian (new)

Ian Thanks for saving my wife ... I noticed your comment above "wow. that was odd and inappropriate." and I was wondering what that was all about. And I appreciated the issue-spotting, IRAC-reminiscent answer to my question ... remember that's what I do for a living, too, so it works for me. I think I will buy Hunger Games for my niece and see what happens. I was also thinking of getter her Beautiful Creatures. I don't see that in your reading list but do you know anything about it?

And for my nephew, who is ten, I was thinking of Peter and the Starcatchers, which is in your reading list. If you don't mind spending a few more minutes helping out an old GR friend, what can you tell me about that one?

"... sometimes I have a little bit of a radar for Things Invented by Satan. ... It's just post-apocalyptic, so no magic, monsters, or Mao. ..."

Boy you have my sister-in-law and her husband pegged ... sometimes I don't know what they fear more, magic, monsters or Mao. Probably Mao.

Oh hey and sorry to bug you in the middle of finals ... 1-L finals were about ten years ago for me and I do recall what they were like ...

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

It really is so much easier to do the hatecast - boy, it's so much fun to put the knives in - and I don't want to do The Hunger Games a disservice.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Ian wrote: And for my nephew, who is ten, I was thinking of Peter and the Starcatchers,

I just bought this for my ten year old nephew! I haven't read it, but it looks pretty sparkly.

message 24: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow I was worried I was writing some kind of weird IRAC! I'm ruined. No problem about the finals. I'm taking the night to not think about law before I start studying again tomorrow.

I haven't read Beautiful Creatures. Just from reading the synopsis, I'd think you'd be in danger of crossing the sex line there. Also, the "curse" thing might bring up a minor lecture on witches. Never fun. But, I'm not sure, though. I haven't heard anything about it. I'll probably wait on that one until the high school girls tell me it's a must-read.

I think I Capture the Castle is a really under-read teen book. It's not adventure, more domestic coming-of-age, so it might be more boring. I'm not sure. Does your niece love reading, or are you trying to seduce her into reading?

I adore Peter and the Starcatchers. I think Peter Pan is my favorite children's book, so for me to love something that uses the story says a lot, I think. I'm not super forgiving with inferior adaptations. I would make sure that your nephew has read Peter Pan first, but maybe that's just me being protective of it. I would hate for someone to think the Peter Pan story came second, or something. Nightmare! Peter and the Starcatchers is really wonderful, though. I listened to it on audio, and the reader was amazing, but I think I would have loved it either way.

And C - exactly!

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I have a sickness where I recommend Ursula K LeGuin books in all contexts, but A Wizard of Earthsea is just a painfully awesome - and secretly about Taoism! Mmmm, subversive YA goodness.

message 26: by Ian (new)

Ian Hi Ceridwen!

Okay, then Peter and the Starcatchers sounds perfect for my nephew. Thanks, guys :)

Meredith wrote: Does your niece love reading, or are you trying to seduce her into reading?

Is it okay if we don't use the word "seduce" in the same sentence as me and my niece? That really weirds me out. But I get what you're asking, and the answer is both. Yes she loves reading (at least, I think she does, as I only see her a few times a year but I know reading and writing are two of her favorite pastimes), and yes I'm hoping to "encourage" her to read stuff that's almost certainly of higher quality than what her parents are giving her.

I also agree about sex v. violence. I used to be a hyper-conservative myself, and in that youthful age I definitely was more bothered by sex. Funny, now that I've grown up to be an anything-goes libertarian, I'm much more bothered by violence. I won't include Beautiful Creatures in my Xmas package this year.

message 27: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Ian wrote: "Is it okay if we don't use the word "seduce" in the same sentence as me and my niece? That really weirds me out."

I'm definitely okay with that. Insert "scam" or "trick" into sentence. I probably need to read A Wizard of Earthsea, too. I've never gotten into LeGuin, but wanted to. I started The Left Hand of Darkness, but I can't push through the descriptions of cultures and languages in books like these. I think I ODed on Star Trek when I was 10, so if anything gets close to it I get a rash. If I had only known about moderation then . . .

Or maybe I was just in the wrong mood. I don't know.

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Meredith wrote: I've never gotten into LeGuin, but wanted to. I started The Left Hand of Darkness, but I can't push through the descriptions of cultures and languages in books like these.

That's cool; everyone's got their things, and their not-things. Changing Planes might be a good UKL gateway drug - is this an inappropriate metaphor?

message 29: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Added! Definitely looking for the gateway drug. Part of the fun of bookface is having books not-in-common with people, but it's more fun to like things than not to like things . . . most of the time.

message 30: by Ian (new)

Ian Okay, this morning my wife informs me that her sister's household is even more conservative than I had thought. My sister-in-law thinks Harry Potter is full-on evil and would never let her kids read something like that; apparently she can't believe we would even contemplate letting our kids read it. My wife said to think of my niece as a 10-year-old in terms of maturity. So Hunger Games is out of the question. (Fortunately, Peter and the Starcatchers gets the green light for my nephew!)

Keeping in mind a household that thinks Harry Potter is Satanic and has stunted their 13-yr-old's maturity level, do you guys have any recommendations for my sheltered niece?

message 31: by Ian (new)

Ian Okay, this morning my wife informs me that her sister's household is even more conservative than I had thought. My sister-in-law thinks Harry Potter is full-on evil and would never let her kids read something like that; apparently she can't believe we would even contemplate letting our kids read it. My wife said to think of my niece as a 10-year-old in terms of maturity. So Hunger Games is out of the question. (Fortunately, Peter and the Starcatchers gets the green light for my nephew!)

Keeping in mind a household that thinks Harry Potter is Satanic and has stunted their 13-yr-old's maturity level, do you guys have any recommendations for my sheltered niece?

message 32: by Robert (new)

Robert A visit from a social worker?

message 33: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Oh, I was already taking into account that HP is evil in my earlier posts (magic! remember?). That's a given. You didn't know that? Ha! Well, maybe at the pearly gates maybe you'll get off for mistake of governing law - but I hear St. Peter's not too big on that excuse, either.

The only thing they would have a problem with in Hunger Games is if it's too scary. I really can't think of anything else Evil in it. Oh, I just googled it and "church" and this one church's website said to talk to your kids about "rage" if they read the book. Again, the scary thing, I think.

You could also go with Suzanne Collins' kid series Gregor the Overlander, which is wonderful. It's a little more on the magic line, because it has some fantasy characters - but the trick with that is pointing out that it's like Tolkien, who was a Christian. The bummer about that is that the boy's the main character. Still fun for a girl, though.

There's always Kate Dicamillo, too. I really love her, and she just came out with a new book. I haven't read it, yet. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is always a good gift, I think. They're the kind of books that I think someone could really read at any age.

I still put I Capture the Castle on the table. It's by the same author who wrote 101 Dalmatians, and I really love it. I have a friend who loves that book and spends six hours on a Sunday at church and wouldn't let her boyfriend hold her hand. She's not 13, but still some similarities?

Or, a classic, maybe? Sense & Sensibility? Jane Eyre?

The problem I think you run into in that situation is that (in my opinion) those restrictions are also partly based in marketing tactics, so you're kind of limited to buying at your local Christian Supply. I don't necessarily think it's as explicit as that, but I think it's what it is. I ODed on Christian romance right after my Star Trek phase, and I can't abide the books, but I have a friend who really loves the book Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers. You'd probably get by with that one (maybe too grown up?)

You could always give her Harry Potter. :) Good luck!

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

I take back the LeGuin recommendation - I have a very unsubtle understanding of the ins and outs of these sort of restrictions, and it's just chock-full of magic - no sex & not much violence though!

Have you tried Phillip Pullman? He's got a lovely series called His Dark Materials - all about the church! Now I'm just being snarky; let me wipe away my tears from laughing about what a horrible recommendation this is.

This is super old-school, but I LOVED Madeleine L'Engle at that age. She's Christian, although Catholic, and I think sometimes the evangelicals think the Catholics are worse than the dirty atheists. But again, I don't have a nuanced appreciation of all the religious in-fights. The Arm of the Starfish I really loved, but it's been 20 years since I read it.

message 35: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow I think L'Engle's probably a good bet! I didn't think of her. I think my heart literally stopped for a second when you said Pullman. Don't his books get printed with a skull and crossbones warning just because of this type of situation?

I keep looking for the Golden Compass in hardcover, because I love it so, and everywhere has the other two in hardcover, but not that one. That's just a random complaint that I'm glad to be able to file somewhere.

message 36: by Eh?Eh! (last edited Dec 12, 2009 12:10PM) (new)

Eh?Eh! Ooh, I had the super-conservative religious mother who regulated my reading, too! I found that the cover art and title were very important - if they don't specifically mention magic, demons, witches, wizards, the word "evil," then it was golden. However, she didn't always think to read the back/inside cover blurb so I could get away with more than your niece might.

I wish I could provide some recommendations but it's been so long since I was up on young adult books. I liked the author Tamora Pierce, always very strong young women as the main character. I think the first book of her Song of the Lioness series emphasized knighthood instead of magic.

message 37: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Yeah, I was super-persuasive with my parents and pretty much read whatever I wanted to, whether they liked it or not. I even had my mom reading the evil HP, based on the argument that the story is not essentially about magic in a real-life, Christ-hatin' way, but more about the basic struggle of good and evil.

I'll also whip out the good ol', "Well, if you're afraid to even read/watch it, hasn't Satan already won?" Then, they would be like, "I'm not afraid, I just prefer to set my mind on uplifting things." Then I could be like, "This is uplifting to me." See how I did that?

message 38: by Eh?Eh! (new)

Eh?Eh! Nice! I might have tried a less suave version of that but my parents were very focused - if they felt they were losing the 'discussion' then they would put up the brick wall of "I'm the parent, my way." Wow. I wish I had thought up that Satan-win angle. You have lawyer-ly blood.

message 39: by Ian (last edited Dec 12, 2009 01:01PM) (new)

Ian M & C -- you guys are great. Thanks for the additional suggestions; I will look them over.

I had already put Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility in my Amazon cart thinking I couldn't go wrong with those. Then my wife texted her sister to make sure they didn't already have those books ... her sister's response was "no thanks, we already have both of those movies." When my wife clarified that we were specifically asking about the books, her sister said we need not bother buying books because my niece "already reads for her English class."

Robert wrote: A visit from a social worker?

Robert, you don't know the half of it. I don't think the allotted 12,000 characters for this post gives me enough room to list everything my sister-in-law and her husband are doing wrong as parents (at least, in my humble opinion).

I think I'm going to get books for my niece and nephew anyway. They don't need more crap to play with. I'll just have to hope the kids will find their own motivation to read since their parents clearly aren't going to encourage anything resembling an intellectual pursuit. I don't see them enough to be effective (we're in NorCal and they're in SoCal). When the kids were younger my wife and I would host them at our house for a couple weeks during the summer. I think we need to start doing that again. The sad thing is that I really do think my niece actually loves reading and writing ... she's just not getting any parental support.

message 40: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Eh! - Yeah, you have to get the Satan argument in before the parent power wall goes up (in non-parent/child "discussions" it's the same as the Because-God-Told-Me-So Wall, but at least then you have the "fine, judge me, but you can't tell me what to do" argument). The only hope after the wall comes up with the parents is hiding the book under your mattress. That's no good, either, because if they do a prison-sweep of your stuff you're pretty much outta luck for next time.

Ian, again, good luck! I didn't realize it was so bad that they consider movies good substitutes. Then you don't have to think, right?

message 41: by Jen (new)

Jen I am going to chime in for no good reason, as usual...I too was raised in a super *fun* fundie home. My parents think that Pullman, HP, Wimpy Kid books are the devil and I'm sure are very displeased when my kids bring them along on a visit or talk about them. Lemony Snickett books are's the goth-like nature or something, I have no idea.

But my parents' radar might miss I Capture the Castle and it would probably pass inspection- it is great and like a coming-of-age Austen. That the writer also penned 101 Dalmatians and that the book is older and English might swing things even further in the a-okay way. I wish I had read it earlier, back when I was consuming large volumes of Christian crap romance (Grace Livingston Hill, Janette Oke...)and sneaking V.C. Andrews in at recesses.

message 42: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow Jen - ditto. I read I Capture the Castle last year, and absolutely loved it. Wished I had read it younger, but it was still perfection now. I completely agree that it's a coming-of-age Austen. Perfect description.

Lemony Snickett is a great other suggestion! Those are fun and silly.

message 43: by Jen (new)

Jen But to be really safe, L'Engle, Tolkien, and Lewis are obvious choices...I never read any Bodie Thoene but lots of friends did.

message 44: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow I read the Thoene. They're safe choices on the parent-pass, but I wouldn't recommend them. They're pretty emotionally manipulative, I think. I haven't read them since I was like 12, though, so I'm not totally sure.

message 45: by Robert (new)

Robert Of course Snicket is Jewish and the Jews killed Jesus...

message 46: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow No, that's not how it works anymore. Now Jesus was Jewish.

message 47: by Robert (new)

Robert Snicket might be ok, then - and the books are tremendously good.

message 48: by Jen (last edited Dec 13, 2009 06:56AM) (new)

Jen I've heard lots of Christian people liked The Giver but I haven't read it, so I don't know why they did.

If she was a bit older I would recommend Leif Enger's Peace Like a River. Mike Snyder also is pretty good- My Name is Russell Fink (haven't read Return Policy). He writes a lot like Coupland and Russo...If she were into a series- Stephen Lawhead has one on a Welsh retelling of Robin Hood- the second or third one won a Christian writing award my man was one of the judges for....

I would still stick with I Capture the Castle, though- check out the reviews on it; it is well loved.

message 49: by Ian (new)

Ian We ended up getting Peter and the Starcatchers for my niece and some crap for the nephew that he doesn't need but that he'll like for a day or so until he gets bored with it -- those presents, ultimately, seem to be least likely to cause any friction with the in-laws. I figure I could have gotten my niece and nephew some really good books, but the hyper-conservative parents would have been pissed, then they would have been less likely to allow their kids to stay with us next summer, thereby depriving us of the opportunity to be a good influence on some kids who desperately need some reasonable adult role models.

message 50: by Sparrow (new)

Sparrow I applaud your strategizing. The Koran and Origin of Species are better summer reads anyway.

« previous 1 3 4
back to top