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2010 Book of the Month Reads > November: "The Hunger Games (Hunger Games #1)" by Suzanne Collins

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message 1: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
For discussions concerning November's book of the month The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.


message 2: by Cari (last edited Sep 21, 2010 05:59PM) (new)

Cari (carikinney) This is a great book! I read it over the summer. I think those who read it for November will have a fun time discussing it. I'm not sure how much I'll jump into this one since I read it already because I do want to pick up the other November book - Lemon Tree - and read that one. I've heard some good things about it and I haven't read it yet.


message 3: by Lady (new)

Lady (bestnewfantasyseries) | 5 comments Really looking forward to this book and the discussion..

LE


message 4: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
I'm looking forward to The Hunger Games. I've been hearing great things about it! I'm not sure if I will get to The Lemon Tree: An Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East because I've been slow/backlogged with my reading, but I placed a hold on it just in case.

Look forward to discussing it with you LE. :) Anyone else planning to participate in the discussion?


message 5: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 26 comments I can't wait to talk about the Hunger Games in November!!! I heard that the series was great!! I might participate in the discussion in November, if things don't get too busy for me!


message 6: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "I can't wait to talk about the Hunger Games in November!!!"

I can't wait either! I requested a copy of the book, which I just picked up today. It's only a 1 week rental, though! So, I'm going to have to try and read it really fast...that or just send it back and place another hold on it, lol!


message 7: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 26 comments I just ordered The Hunger Games today too Adrianna!!! So, hopefully, I'll be able to read it soon!


message 8: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (last edited Oct 03, 2010 06:45PM) (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "I just ordered The Hunger Games today too Adrianna!!! So, hopefully, I'll be able to read it soon!"

Let me know when you get it, Ronyell. I've already started the discussion a little early since my book is due back next week Tuesday. I'm going to place myself on another hold list and try to track where I left off.


********

Lady Ellen said: I just finished it. So without adding spoilers, I'm curious what anyone found was the reason that the book was so darned compelling? I read it in 2 sessions..which for me, who is a "bee to flowers" is incredible. Any thoughts?

Well, at first I wasn't that excited about the book. The beginning was a bit slow, and I was having difficulty picturing the setting. I kept having visions of The Running Man film, lol, or strange pieces of memory from when I read The Giver as a child.

One of my friends also told me that the plot sounds a lot like a Japanese film he saw called Battle Royale, so that turned me off a bit. I like more original ideas/plots. It did compel me to add that film to my viewing queue.

As I kept reading, it picked up. It helps that the main character Katniss is well-developed and likable. Having a first person narrator is difficult to pull off if the main character isn't likable.

****SPOILER (from chapter 2)****

Things started to get exciting when Katniss stepped in for her younger sister (predictable). What I didn't expect was the "love interest;" I'm guessing he's a love interest since Gale was initially described as an older brother type figure. Since then, I've been wanting to read more of the book. :)


message 9: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Additional comments through chapter 7 (SPOILERS)

The setup is still a little slow for me. It makes sense that there would be all sorts of ceremonies and training before the children actually get to the competition, but I'm ready for the real action. I almost feel like we are only hitting the icing of the cake, so to speak.

I was impressed with the entrance District 12 made with their costumes, and I do like the new designer Cinna. I'm looking forward to learning more about the history of Panem, District 13, Haymitch, and the mysterious pin that Madge gave Katniss (assuming it's the image on the cover). There's a lot of mystery to this futuristic society, and I'm sure the author has much to reveal in the trilogy.

I'm not sure if I will get a chance to comment again before I have to return the book. I haven't decided yet if I should invest in the trilogy. I will see how I feel after I'm done with the first book.

Currently, I'm really busy planning my husband's birthday party, so reading is taking a back seat for a while.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

This does not sound like my type of book at all but I've read that it is an easy read so I am up to the challenge! I'll check to see if my library has a copy tomorrow!


message 11: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Krista wrote: "This does not sound like my type of book at all but I've read that it is an easy read so I am up to the challenge! I'll check to see if my library has a copy tomorrow!"

Great to see that you are going to give it a try, Krista! You can always stop reading it if it doesn't engage you. I agree that it is an easy read.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Well I searched my library's catalog and its checked out and on hold. I went ahead and put a hold on it but there is no telling when I will be able to check it out. Hopefully the person in line before me will read it fast because I am not interested in the Lemon Tree!


message 13: by Athira (new)

Athira (Reading on a Rainy Day) (readingonarainyday) Krista wrote: "This does not sound like my type of book at all but I've read that it is an easy read so I am up to the challenge! I'll check to see if my library has a copy tomorrow!"

You may enjoy it, Krista. I didn't think it was my kind of read either. After finishing this book, I still had reservations. But after thinking about it for some time, and understanding the message the author really meant to convey, I appreciated it even more.


message 14: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Krista wrote: "Well I searched my library's catalog and its checked out and on hold. I went ahead and put a hold on it but there is no telling when I will be able to check it out. Hopefully the person in line bef..."

There were a ton of holds on The Hunger Games at my library, so I ended up purchasing a copy, lol!


message 15: by Cari (new)

Cari (carikinney) Here's a few questions to kick things off with The Hunger Games. Feel free to post some thoughts on these questions, or use them to spark some discussion about other topics or events in the book.


1. Do you think the courage of a teenager can/cannot make an impact on society?

2. The Hunger Games is written in first-person, present tense. How does this affect the story?

3. In what ways is Katniss well prepared to be a contestant in the Hunger Games?

4. There's physical violence in this story that some readers might find horrifying. A Time Magazine reviewer wrote that the violence is not a cheap thrill in this book, but rather a symbol of something deeper. Do you agree or disagree?


I will post some more questions next week.


message 16: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Thanks for posting a start for the discussion questions, Aerin.

Here are some preliminary answers based on what I've read so far (minor spoilers follow, indicated before you hit that section):

1. Of course I think the courage of a teenage can make an impact on society. I'm not sure what kind of a teacher or inspiration I would be to others if I didn't feel that to be true. In relation to the book "The Hunger Games," it's apparent that both Katniss and Peeta are trying to make a difference for their district, although so far it looks like they are going about it different ways.

(minor spoiler)

When Katniss and Rue hook up to form an alliance at the end of 15, it shows that they are again trying to make a difference. They don't want to play the game like other years. The Career Tributes are not the only ones who can work in teams.

2. I actually wish the book wasn't written in first-person. We are seeing the story from Katniss' eyes, which is supposed to make it feel more immediate and form a connection between reader and heroine. We are becoming part of her story. I just find that a first person narrative can be rather limited, and it gets a little redundant when the same things are focused on by the person telling the story.

For example...minor spoiler...

Is Peeta betraying me? Does he like me? What about Gale etc.

These things have been said over and over again...and I just get bored with the repetitions. Personally, I think it's very hard to create a first person narrative that reads well, and I'm not sure that Collins is succeeding yet. I'm going to withhold all judgement until I am done with the book. It's at least better than Twilight's narrator, lol!

3. Katniss is well prepared to be a contestant because she was forced to by the district/society she lives in. She has known the pangs of hunger and survived. She knows how to hunt. She is trained to not trust anyone...she seems perfectly suited for the games as compared to her younger sister.

4. Personally, I'm surprised that the book isn't more violent based on the content. The author is doing a fantastic job of making sure the killings happen off-screen; having the game announce those that have died via the sky is a nice touch. I think I'm just used to adult book violence as compared to teen book violence. Plus, I find the idea of the games more horrifying than anything I've read thus far...if that makes sense. It reminds me a little of "Lord of the Flies."

I agree that the violence is a symbol for something deeper...not sure what that might be yet.

Anyone else have comments to these questions?


message 17: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Cross-posting a discussion we are having at Yahoo Cafe Libri that I thought others would enjoy. :)

**********************

Great answers, Justina, and no spoilers! YAY! ;)

I like the thoughts you raised with Question 1. I forgot to consider the society that Katniss lives in.

In regards to question 2, you said "...Katniss' independent nature and complete lack of need for other human beings makes him look very weak and I am not a fan of weak men in literature. Some may note that we did not get a chance to know any other character's in the book. I think this is an important tool for the young adult writer. I believe that as a teen we are very egocentric and the first novel feeds this and makes for a popular book series. And in a book where the only way to survive is for all others to die, I personally did not want to know anyone too well."

All great points! Perhaps some of my disdain for a first person perspective is that it feeds the egocentric vision of the world that teens already struggle with in their everyday lives. Because we only see the society through Katniss, Peeta comes off as weak, which I presume is not really the case. It's just a clouded/incomplete vision of him because Katniss is limited in her understanding of others. Plus, maybe the author didn't want us to get to know a lot of the players because they were going to die. I actually think that would have been a valuable addition to the book despite the fact that it would be really depressing to get to know the characters and then have to let them go.

Hope you don't mind if I cross-post our discussion to the other versions of Cafe Libri. This is very enlightening!

I'm going to try and finish through chapter 20 later today. I'll probably post more comments come Monday or Tuesday. Not sure if I will jump right into Book 2 or not. I want to finish "The God of Small Things" and "The Girl Who Played with Fire."


--- In cafelibri@yahoogroups.com, "Justina" wrote:
>
> Hello-I am going to answer some questions I have seen in the post, but just to warn you I have finished the book, but will keep my questions about the topic and first part of the book unless otherwise noted with spoiler.
>
>
> 1. Can a teen's courage to impact a society. This question seems simply on the surface. Yes-of course any person with courage can impact a society. But my first thought is MY society. If a teen offers a sibling a kidney-that is courage and yes, the good deed gives us hope and admiration. But however, we live in a society where (in theory)we value life. In Panem, life is not valued. The simply fact that in order to eat you must enter your child's name into the selection for the hunger games proves this. I believe that Katniss's volunteering to go in for Prim would indeed be seen as couragous and in my vision of society it makes all the difference. But in Panem it really just doubles the odds. The games are a celebrated yearly event and having a volunteer makes it more fun and interesting. This is extremely disturbing to me, but how truely lucky was Prim to have a sister with such wit and skill to take her place.
>
> 2.I liked the book being in first person. I didnot through out the book ever really trust Peeta and am anxious to read book 2 to see if I am right. But in his defense, Katniss' independent nature and complete lack of need for other human beings makes him look very weak and I am not a fan of weak men in literature. Some may note that we did not get a chance to know any other character's in the book. I think this is an important tool for the young adult writer. I believe that as a teen we are very egocentric and the first novel feeds this and makes for a popular book series. And in a book where the only way to survive is for all others to die, I personally did not want to know anyone too well.


message 18: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
SPOILERS (read up till chapter 20)

I see where the idea that Peeta was weak arose. In Part 2, he is completely helpless and must rely on Katniss. I liked the clever way that he was able to stay alive with the camofluage, but realistically, it seems he would have bled out. I figured the Career Tribute had hit a femeral artery, so I was actually quite surprised to find him alive still. I guess there was no point to changing the rules if he wasn't going to survive with Katniss.

I do think his whole love angle was his way to give the Capital a finger, so to speak. He did make a difference by forcing the people to change the rules of the game so two could survive.

I agree, Terri. The first person narrative does take away the suspense and surprise. It's very rare that the person narrating the story dies...unless they were dead to begin with.

I do appreciate the lack of graphic violence, especially when I think about teens reading this. She very skillfully describes the deaths without too much blood or gore. For instance, I knew Rue was going to die, but I didn't see the mini-funeral that Katniss was going to do.

Some minor complaints about the book are its predictability. I don't mind too much, though, because the story is compelling enough without it. And there are still a few surprises left to be discovered I'm sure.

Yeah, a lot of people seem to find "Lord of the Flies" dry reading. Perhaps it's because there is no first person narrative and the POV shifts around between all the different characters. It's easy to get lost.

I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to copy and paste this discussion to the other sites. Really compelling conversation. :)

--- In cafelibri@yahoogroups.com, Terri Estey wrote:
>
> I'm not sure I would agree with the statement that Peeta is weak. In some ways
> he's behaving quite strong by defying the rules and looking out for Katniss. Is
> his professed love for her a game? Or does he really have feelings for her? I
> haven't decided. I can't help but note that he did give her the loaves of bread
> back in District 12--something his mother would undoubtedly beat him for had she
> known. Why would he risk that? Was he doing it to defy his mother? Or is he
> merely doing it out of compassion? Compassion for others seems to be lacking in
> the district.
>
>
> The one thing about first person narrative that I keep coming back to is that
> since we are reading everything from Katniss perspective I'm not afraid that
> she's going to die. After she is the story. Without her there is nothing. So,
> in a way that kills any suspense for me. It's just a matter of "when" the
> others will die. Of course I have reached a point where there is a twist to how
> MANY will die. Interesting...
>
> I'm glad that the author hasn't gotten into graphic violence--I'm don't need to
> read all the gory details. My imagination is already working overtime on that
> note.
>
> I did think of Lord of the Flies as I was reading this. I smiled when I read
> that you, Adri, loved Lord of the Flies. I remember reading it along with my
> son when he was in the 8th grade. I found it to be stiffly written (older
> style) and often found it hard to distinguish who was talking at different
> points in the book. I also found the whole premise deeply disturbing which I
> believe it was meant to be. Would our society truly turn into such chaos? Are
> we truly savages? Even children? Perhaps in some ways it would be easier for
> children to regress to that state as their world is so self-centered.
>
>
> These questions were brought up in The Stand as well by one character who was a
> sociology professor--he was my second favorite character. I loved reading about
> his theories on society.
>
> I guess if you are hungry enough, thirsty enough and in a survival mode you
> would almost have to become uncivilized or you wouldn't survive. As my sister
> says, "You may grow a garden, but if you don't have a gun when society falls
> apart--you won't be eating." Scary thought.
>
> Terri


message 19: by Cari (new)

Cari (carikinney) A few discussion questions were posted last week. Here are the rest of them. Discussion questions are posted around the 10th of the month for each book selection. Feel free to answer any, all or none. Members may also use ideas from the questions to spark extra discussion about the book.

Remember that discussion questions may contain spoilers.

-------------
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

5. How does Katniss' feelings about Peeta evolve over the course of the book?

6. Did your perception of Peeta change over the course of The Hunger Games?

7. Why do you think fire is an appropriate symbol for Katniss?

8. Do you think the glamorization of the Games and the treatments of its stars before they are sent off to die is a reflection of anything in our modern society?

9. Besides the Hunger Games, what other ways does the Capitol control the districts and their people? What are some signs of resistance both from the districts and within the Capitol?

10. The Hunger Games are meant to dehumanize the tributes. In what ways do some tributes resist this and show compassion for others?

11. What is the significance of the mockingjay pin that also appears on the book's cover?

12. What character or plot points were left undeveloped in this book that you believe will be exploited in future books in the series?

13. What was the most tension-filled moment for you to read in The Hunger Games?

14. What do you think is in District 13 (if you haven’t read books 2 or 3 yet)?


message 20: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
I decided to read more of the book to offer some comments. I'm enjoying the faster pace now that I'm nearing the end. The beginning was too slow, and the first person narrative felt "clunky," a bit difficult to describe. Now it is less noticeable because I am caught by the pace.

SPOILERS......

Be weary if you have not read this far in the book (through chapter 23)

SPOILERS......

I was not surprised by Rue's death. I knew it was going to happen. I liked the funeral, the flowers, and the singing. It was a subtle way to snub her nose, or her middle finger, at the Capitol. Very covert...reminded everyone that these children are human, that there is sadness when they die, not just excitement or the thrill of a kill.

Both this event and Peeta's romance caused the change in the rules, which was also not a surprise. I knew that Peeta was going to have to survive because of how much we are getting to know him. Plus, he is going to end up causing a wedge between Gale and Katniss when they return home alive (more drama for books 2 and 3). Even Rue was a superficial character with only minor details given to make us morn her death. If she had not been so small and fragile like Katniss' sister, we probably wouldn't have felt anything when she died. The distance between the readers and the side characters makes it easier for us to handle their eventual deaths.

I'm still annoyed by this fact, especially since we met Thresh. I want to know more about the other characters even if they are eventually going to die. I feel cheated by these superficial glosses of their identities. It bugs me more than the predictability of the book.

It's interesting that singing is coming up as an important point as we draw nearer to the end. I know it was hinted at with the birds, but I was surprised to learn that Katniss' father used to sing to her. Was this detail mentioned at the beginning somewhere?

The singing was used to send Rue to "sleep," aka to death. Her singing was the reason that Peeta fell in love with her...I love the childhood memory of her singing in class, and her references to the singing helped save her from Thresh, along with her kindness to Rue.

The emphasis on singing reminds me of children's lullabies and rhymes. It reminds me of happier times, innocent times, and even the Disney musical cartoons. I wonder if it's supposed to hearken the reader to how life might have been like before The Hunger Games.

Part of my problem with this book is that I feel like there is so much more the author could do with this material, but it's all falling a little flat or superficial. I'm trying to find good quotes to remember the book by, and I can't find too many that stand out. Right now, I'm settling for some mediocre ones just so I can have a quote list for the future. Anyone have some memorable quotes they want to share?

Maybe more of the details are revealed in the second or third book. I'm still having fun with this read and will probably rate it a 3 or a 4, but I just keep wanting more. Maybe it's just high expectations/standards.


message 21: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Aerin wrote: "A few discussion questions were posted last week. Here are the rest of them. Discussion questions are posted around the 10th of the month for each book selection. Feel free to answer any, all or ..."

Here are my responses to the rest of The Hunger Game Questions:

Here are my answers to the questions (SPOILERS IN MY ANSWERS):

5. I'm not sure they actually do evolve that much. She begins to see him more as a friend and less as a rival. She also becomes determined that they both should live. She doesn't know what her feelings are for him, so this question is still a bit difficult to answer.

6. A little. I admire him for being willing to die for love. I also see him as incompetent in comparison to Katniss or the little bit we know about Gale. Personally, he's less desirable as a spouse for life than Gale is.

7. Because Katniss is red hot. ;) J/K! Because like a fire, she is difficult to quench. Plus, she sparks a revolution from her actions in the arena.

8. I agree with Terri's assessment of this being like sending and receiving heroes of war.

Here is what Terri said:

"I'm interested to hear what someone says about the Mockingjay pin because
half-way through the book I couldn't remember what it symbolized or why it was
given to Katniss.

Did my opinion of Peeta change? I was pretty sure from the very beginning that
he had feelings for Katniss, the story of the bread cemented those thoughts. I
did, however, grow to admire him more as the story evolved. He risked a lot for
her. I remember at the opening ceremonies when Katniss wasn't sure if he was
playing her or not when he shook his head to say don't go in to the cornucopia,
run--I wasn't sure if that was a trick or not. But after I thought about it, I
realized how could it be a trick? What would he gain from tricking her? She
would have died and I knew by then that he didn't want that to happen.

As for question #8, I can only compare it to our soldiers. They are seen with
great honor before they go off to war. In war they are changed forever from its
brutality, just as Katniss was changed from the games. We also learn daily of
the wounded or killed on the news, just as they saw it flashed across the sky.
We do not want our soldiers to die, so in that way we are different. (I hope in
more ways than that.) But our soldiers MUST kill in order to survive. The last
one standing, in effect, wins. They are honored as heroes when they return
(which they should be). Horrible to even think of us sending soldiers into
battle are anything like the games, but it's what came to mind immediately for
me when I read that question."

9. They control the government, food rations, where the resources are sent, where the people can and can't go, etc. Obviously people are rebelling against the Capital, most apparent when Rue's district send her the bread meant for their fallen comrade.

10. Thresh is the prime example. He refuses to kill Katniss when he has the chance. Katniss also lines Rue's body with flowers as if she is preparing her friend for a real funeral. Finally, when Katniss puts her arch-nemesis Cato out of his misery.

11. Aerin answered this question already.

Here is what Aerin said:

"Madge gave the mockingjay pin to Katniss. The significance behind it goes
back to the genetically engineered bird the Capitol made - the jabberjay.
It was designed to spy on people because jabberjays could repeat
conversations. When rebels discovered this, they started giving false
information to the birds to sabotage the goals of the Capitol. The Capitol
realized they had been tricked and stopped using the birds. However, the
jabberjays mated with mockingbirds and produced a new species called the
mockingjay. When Madge gave Katniss the pin to wear, Katniss says something
about it being a slap in the face to the Capitol.

It was also her father's favorite bird. Wearing it made her feel closer to
him. When Cinna starts having Katniss wear the pin every time she goes into
the arena, it becomes the district token or symbol. It becomes a symbol of
resistance or rebellion to the Capitol.

12. The love triangle between Peeta, Katniss, and Gale. I'm also curious about what kind of revolution Katniss has started.

13. The final battle between Katniss and Cato as well as the Romeo and Juliet sequence between Katniss and Peeta (this all occurs in the last 15 or so pages).

14. Probably the ruins of another society. I also suspect rebels might be hiding out there. There is also the possibility that the Capital is hiding a secret there.


message 22: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (last edited Nov 21, 2010 09:32PM) (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Here are some final thoughts on the book that I posted at the Yahoo Cafe Libri group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cafelibri

I was leaning toward a 4 rating, but I've dropped it to a 3. I enjoyed the
story, but it wasn't fantastic writing or unique ideas.

SPOILERS (unless you have finished the book)*******************

I didn't like how it ended either! What a cope out! It didn't bug me that things
were left "in the air like that." What bugged me was how Peeta and now Gale in
Book 2 are treating her. She was playing a game; she got to know Peeta through
that game. She already had feelings for Gale, and Peeta obviously knew this
because he hinted at the idea of there being "no competition" for her attentions
while they were in the arena. I assumed he was referring to how she spent so
much time with Gale. After all they went through, make-out sessions, surviving
death, Peeta losing a leg...and then he won't talk to her? COME ON!! I am so
tired of weak men treating strong women like that. Katniss should be admired for
what she accomplished, not ostracized by those who supposedly love and care for
her. I know it's part of the drama for Book 2, but it just irks me to no end
when women are made to self-doubt their choices like Katniss is and will be
doing in book 2.

There was much that was predictable about this book, and I also think it's a
little silly that she thought Peeta was playing the game too. That kid would
have been dead early on without Katniss to fight for. He is so not the
hunter/survivalist that Katniss is.

Yes, I was bothered too, Terri! You weren't/aren't alone.

I did take a sneak peek at book 2, and I can't believe how stubborn Gale is
being.

VERY MINOR SPOILER

He refuses to take any of her money for himself and his family, so now he's
working in the mines like Katniss' father had to do. That fool is going to get
himself killed all because of some wounded male pride. What happened to the good
old days when the men fought for the women they loved? :-P

I don't know if my book has the quote from King, but I agree. That is really
high praise!

*****

In response to:

>
> Well I just finished The Hunger Games. The last five chapters made me want to
> keep reading it until I finished it. I would give it 3 1/2 stars. I thought
it
> was written very well and I liked it much more than I anticipated. I will
read
> the other two books whenever I can get a hold of them (there's a long wait
list
> on PBS).
>
>
> I will say one thing though....
>
>
> SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER
>
>
>
>
>
>
> I didn't like how it ended. I know it's a series--but I hate it when they
leave
> everything up in the air like that. I didn't feel there was much resolution
to
> the story. We now know that Peeta loves Katniss (big surprise, NOT!) and that
> Katniss isn't sure how she feels. Understandable because, as she says, they
> WERE strangers at the beginning of the games. And then there's the whole
thing
> she's got going with her hunting partner (can't remember his name right now).
> Gale? I didn't like it that I the whole Capital not being happy with her
wasn't
> really resolved either. I'm pretty sure they are not through with her yet.
>
>
> I guess what really bothered me is that she could not see how Peeta really
felt
> about her all along. I mean, does she need to be hit over the head? Sheesh.
> He risked his own life to save hers, what greater love is there than that?
>
> So the ending left me feeling annoyed. I don't know if anyone else was
bothered
> by it. I'm just glad I didn't read it before the other two books were already
> published. This is why I DON'T like series books.
>
>
> I did notice that on the back cover there's a quote from Stephen King saying
> that he was pretty much hooked from the beginning. That's pretty high praise
in
> my opinion. :)
>
> Terri


message 23: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca (scribbleorca) | 9 comments I'm hiding behind a very VERY large piece of impregnable something...

How do people manage to stomach the premise that is this dystopia - kids killing kids? I was so sick after reading the first chapter...I couldn't do anything for the rest of the day. No matter what messages may have been in the book - how are people able to put themselves in this world and read about it?

I'm a gutless wonder, I know....


message 24: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
G N wrote: "How do people manage to stomach the premise that is this dystopia - kids killing kids? I was so sick after reading the first ..."

G N, you're not a gutless wonder (playfully swats at you).

I think it depends on the mindset of the individual reading the book. For me, it's easy to separate the fact that this is fiction from reality. I went in with this mindset: It's not real. Thus, it was easier to not be disturbed by the premise.

Even knowing this, part of me understands that atrocities can and do happen in real life; just look at the children who are stolen from families in African countries to be recruited for border wars. So, to refuse to read something purely because it is scary, offensive, depressing, etc. does me more harm than good--the age old saying that "ignorance is bliss" dissipates once the truth is realized.

Finally, I would say that I'm able to handle the topic purely because I've read worse. Even though the premise is horrible, the way the killings/deaths were handled was actually rather tactful. The author didn't describe the gory scenes in great depth (there really only being one at the end of the book) and kept the material age appropiate for teenagers. I see this book as being similar to Lord of the Flies but not as well-written.

I would love to hear others' thoughts on this question! Great piece of discussion, GN! Thanks for putting it out there for us all to debate. :)


message 25: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca (scribbleorca) | 9 comments Thanks for answering, Adrianna. I'm keen to hear what everyone else thinks.

Funny you mention Lord of the Flies. We had to watch it as a movie at school - I think I lasted 5 minutes before exiting the classroom. And the same thing happened with The Elephant Man; although it is a different type of story, for me it all depicts suffering.


message 26: by Catherine (new)

Catherine  Mustread (cuiblemorgan) | 50 comments G N and Adrianna, I also have some difficulties with the concept of this book, as you said, kids killing kids. As Adrianna says it is fiction, and not only that but fantasy science fiction set far (?) in the future. Made me wonder if we'd feel different if she were battling against animals or some fantastical creatures -- that would certainly be more "comfortable". But it also makes me think of ancient gladiators and also modern war -- where we watch bombs explode, etc. on TV not to mention other types of violence on TV or film. Mostly I think of this book as a survival story -- which I like.


message 27: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Good points GN and Catherine. I guess I see it as more of a survival story too.

Now, a book like Schindler's List will have me bawling and feeling sick to my stomach. That film also hits me hard every time I've viewed it. The Hunger Games just doesn't feel real to me when compared to something from our history like WWII.


message 28: by Scribble (last edited Dec 02, 2010 12:31AM) (new)

Scribble Orca (scribbleorca) | 9 comments But it is easier to deal with oblique reference than explicit description or visuals, isn't it? If we consider The Lemon Tree there is a comment about soap making (I can't remember the exact page number and I should dig it out for reference). While chilling, it simply flags atrocity as opposed to rubbing it in my face.

I suppose I'm an ostrich. I know it happens/has happened in reality (and will continue to happen). But the question I ask is: whether being made aware of atrocity through fiction actually leads us to change that which perpetuates atrocity around us? Or is it a kind of sensationalisation of a terrible and painful topic which gives us the sense of experiencing atrocity without motivating us to change?

I admit that part of my problem is that I didn't grow up with television/cinema etc. There is an argument that we are desensitised to violence because we consume it as part of entertainment - I don't know if this holds true as I have neither TV/video/newspapers/radio etc. (So I really do try to live as an ostrich!). I find that whether it is real life or stylised fiction I cannot witness either without feeling physically ill. I'm not able to make a rational/emotional disjunct between fiction and reality (there's a picture that keeps popping up on my thread from a review of the book Zombies and Unicorns. And like a 5 year old kid, I have to shut my eyes until I've scrolled far enough that it won't appear. It's complete farce, of course. But I can't look at it).

This isn't to say that I didn't participate as a child in our annual slaughter of chickens for Christmas dinner. However, by the time I was fifteen, I decided to be vegetarian, so in answer to Catherine, violence of any kind, towards any sentient being, I find unnerving and distasteful. It is an extreme position, but I think it is what fundamentally leads me to avoid being a passive spectator.


message 29: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 26 comments Thanks for the questions Aerin! Here are my thoughts:

1. Do you think the courage of a teenager can/cannot make an impact on society?
I think that the courage of a teenager can make a huge impact on society because especially in the world of politics, the young minds should speak up against laws that could either hurt the people or cause prejudice against other people and because some of the younger generation want to see change rather than deal with the same routine over and over again, the voices of teenagers can easily make a difference on how society should be run.

2. The Hunger Games is written in first-person, present tense. How does this affect the story?
Well, it helped the audience see the story from Katniss' point of view on the events and therefore, we were able to actually feel what she is feeling in her situations.

3. In what ways is Katniss well prepared to be a contestant in the Hunger Games?
Katniss was well prepared for the games because she had enough knowledge about her surroundings to survive and also, she used to hunt for food all the time in the forest, so that gave her an advantage in hunting and being cautious of her surroundings.

4. There's physical violence in this story that some readers might find horrifying. A Time Magazine reviewer wrote that the violence is not a cheap thrill in this book, but rather a symbol of something deeper. Do you agree or disagree?
I agree because it's a possibility that this story was pointing at the fact that humankind is not always friendly and some humans or creatures would hurt one another just for the fun of it.


message 30: by Ronyell (last edited Dec 19, 2010 06:24AM) (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 26 comments 5. How does Katniss' feelings about Peeta evolve over the course of the book?
At first, Katniss didn't trust Peeta because she had trouble trusting her mother and therefore, it caused her to not trust anyone. But as the book goes on, Katniss starts to care about Peeta and tries her best to take care of him.

6. Did your perception of Peeta change over the course of The Hunger Games?
Yes, because at first I thought he was just tricking Katniss into thinking that he cares about her, but it turns out that he actually does care about her and I started to like his character much more as the book goes on.

7. Why do you think fire is an appropriate symbol for Katniss?
The fire symbol is very appropriate because it symbolizes that passion that Katniss has in winning the games and therefore, fire sort of symbolizes the passion in people.

8. Do you think the glamorization of the Games and the treatments of its stars before they are sent off to die is a reflection of anything in our modern society?
In a way yes, because this sort of treatment happens in the way that celebrities are being treated in Hollywood. It's like people would praise their good work on either their acting or their singing. But sometimes when the celebrities are too successful, then the paparazzi would tell some lies or expose the celebrities' personal lives to the public and sometimes their reputations would be ruined because of what the paparazzi said about them to the public.

9. Besides the Hunger Games, what other ways does the Capitol control the districts and their people? What are some signs of resistance both from the districts and within the Capitol?
The Capitol controls whether or not the people should have provisions for their meals which leaves many people in each district going hungry. I think the scene where Katniss throws her arrows at the Capitol judges was a sign of resistance against their rule since they were acting rude towards her and she had to take matters into her own hands to get their attention.

10. The Hunger Games are meant to dehumanize the tributes. In what ways do some tributes resist this and show compassion for others?
Some of the tributes would help each other by giving the other tributes food or in Rue's case, warn Katniss about the wasps nest. Also, Peeta tried to protect Katniss by pretending to be with the Careers and making sure that they do not harm Katniss.

11. What is the significance of the mockingjay pin that also appears on the book's cover?
I think the mockingjay pin was meant to symbolize hope for Katniss as the songs that the mockingjays sings fills Katniss with new hope.

12. What character or plot points were left undeveloped in this book that you believe will be exploited in future books in the series?
I felt like the book should have gone into more depth about Katniss' feelings for Gale since it felt like Gale was just there to be apart of a love triangle even though we are not sure how Gale really feels about Katniss.

13. What was the most tension-filled moment for you to read in The Hunger Games?
There were many in the book, but the moment that was the most intense for me was when Rue was killed because I was getting so used to the friendly relationship between Rue and Katniss and when Katniss couldn't hear Rue's bird call and starts panicking about where she was, I was literally mourning with her since I really liked Rue myself.

14. What do you think is in District 13 (if you haven’t read books 2 or 3 yet)?
I think that maybe there might be another civilization that convinces Katniss to go up against the Capitol and take back what was rightfully theirs.


message 31: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
G N wrote: "But it is easier to deal with oblique reference than explicit description or visuals, isn't it? If we consider The Lemon Tree there is a comment about soap making (I can't remember the exact page ..."

Great additional comments about violence in general. This is indeed a tough question to answer...if there is one...


message 32: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "5. How does Katniss' feelings about Peeta evolve over the course of the book?
At first, Katniss didn't trust Peeta because she had trouble trusting her mother and therefore, it caused her to not t..."


Great answers to the questions, Ronyell!


message 33: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 26 comments Thanks Adrianna!! :D


message 34: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "Thanks Adrianna!! :D"

Welcome! Thanks for taking the time to answer them!


message 35: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 26 comments You're welcome!


message 36: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Any plans to read book 2 or 3, Ronyell?


message 37: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 26 comments Well, I was thinking about reading books 2 and 3 next year since I didn't buy the next two books, but maybe I'll check them out at the library!


message 38: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "Well, I was thinking about reading books 2 and 3 next year since I didn't buy the next two books, but maybe I'll check them out at the library!"

I've started Catching Fire. It's good so far. If you decide to read it, let me know. I'll add a topic as a side read/discussion in case you want someone to share comments with.


message 39: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 26 comments Alright! I'll read Catching Fire as soon as possible! :D


message 40: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Great! I'll create the topic for us now. It's located here on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/4.... I also created a thread for it on Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/60395/....


message 41: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 26 comments Thanks Adrianna!! Now we'll be able to talk more about this book series!


message 42: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "Thanks Adrianna!! Now we'll be able to talk more about this book series!"

Yup! Hopefully more members might be inspired to participate too!


message 43: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
RE: Roman References in the book

I read a review posted here that highlighted more information about the Roman influences: http://www.lunch.com/reviews/book/Use...

Specifically, Paul mentioned the legend of Theseus and the Minotaur. Did anyone else get this reference? Maybe it's alluded to later on with the Capital people as the Minotaurs...?

Here's what Wikipedia had to say about the legend (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theseus_...

Theseus and the Minotaur is a type of logic maze designed by Robert Abbott. In this maze, the player acts as Theseus, the legendary king of Athens who is attempting to escape the Labyrinth. The main difference between this and the standard type of maze, beyond the fact that it's set on a grid, is the fact that the maze is not empty. The minotaur is also there, hunting the player down, taking two steps for every one the player takes. While he is faster than the player, he's also quite stupid. His moves are always determined by checking to see if he can get closer to the player by moving horizontally, then he checks to see if he can get any closer by moving vertically. If neither move places him closer to the player, he will simply skip his turn.


message 44: by Adrianna, Owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Adrianna (adriannas) | 529 comments Mod
Found an interesting video on YouTube about how the Minotaur inspired Suzanne Collin's "Hunger Games" Trilogy. It relates more than I originally thought based on the history she shares here. The video is called "Suzanne Collins part 1 - Classical Inspiration."

Here's the url: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=...


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