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Group Reads Discussions > November '10 BotM: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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message 1: by Kathleen (last edited Nov 02, 2010 03:08PM) (new)

Kathleen Burket (kathleengigicompany) | 20125 comments Mod
Please post comments and discussion here for the November '10 Book of the Month:

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, #1)  by Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, Book 1) - Suzanne Collins

(Selected by Sam, Liz, Colleen, Natasha, Kathleen, Kami)

message 2: by Sam8 (new)

Sam8 | 1857 comments I just finished listening to this.

An excellent book and big pout on my face as the next book isn't available via my libraries' Overdrive for me yet. GRR!!!!!

Will write my review later.

message 3: by Wendy T (new)

Wendy T I thought this book was excellent.

message 4: by Sam8 (new)

Sam8 | 1857 comments Loved this book, I started out on listening to it on audio but it expired on me before I could finish and ended up reading the last half of the book. The reader for the Audio books is really fantastic and I heard her voice for the remainder of the book while I read the ending.

Set in a future where USA/Canada has disappeared and a new world has a emerged. Katniss lives in District 12 which is the coal mining district. Her family is poor and she keeps them fed by hunting and using the catches for trade for her family.

Every year the Capital does a draw where 2 teenagers from each of the Districts are choosen to go to the Capital and play in a Survivor type television game called the Hunger Games. The main differance is that the players aren't booted off the island. They are "killed". The winner is the last one standing. Katniss's younger sister is originally drawn but Katniss volunteers to take her place.

This book was awesome and had me totally sucked in. The book reminded me of Lord of the Flies and I wouldn't be suprized that it will become part of the highschool reading curriculum in the future similar to how LOTF was when I was in school.

I look forward to the next book and just waiting for it to become available at the library.

message 5: by Kathleen (last edited Feb 07, 2011 09:18AM) (new)

Kathleen Burket (kathleengigicompany) | 20125 comments Mod
I completed The Hunger Games (Hunger Games, Book 1) by Suzanne Collins in two days and have already started Catching Fire, Book 2. Completely agree with Sam that this book is a destined to become a classic. I was so impressed that I have nominated Suzanne Collins as Author of the Month for December 2010.

In the ruins of what was once North America, exists the nation of Panem; made up of a capital, located somewhere in the Rockies, and 12 outlying districts. There were thirteen districts, but one was destroyed in a rebellion against the Capital. Every year the Capital orders the districts to provide two tributes, one male and one female, to the Hunger Games. Tributes are young people between the ages of 12 and 18. Tributes are forced to fight to the death. The winner's district gets all the food that they can eat for the next year. The others continue to live with hunger that often results in starvation and death.

Primrose Everdeen, twelve year old sister of Katniss Everdeen, is selected by lottery as the District 12 female representative to the seventy-fourth Hunger Games. Sixteen year old Katniss volunteers to take her place.

Horrific, compelling, and believable story of a totalitarian government that has so much control over their citizens lives that twenty-four young people can be forced into an adversarial, malefic contest in which only one young person can survive. I just could not put this story down. Disturbing, fascinating, and perhaps one of the most important books for young people in this decade. A must read for adolescents and adults.

message 6: by Lisa S (new)

Lisa S (kasey_k_fan) I read this a couple of weeks ago and I didn't like it at all. I just couldn't get past the fact that kids were killing kids just to feed their family.

message 7: by Julia (new)

Julia | 11667 comments Kids were killing other kids because their society demanded it of them. Is war so different?

It's a terrible society, but it's supposed to be.

message 8: by Lisa S (new)

Lisa S (kasey_k_fan) I understand that Julia, I just couldn't get over that fact. Catching Fire was a different story though. I actually liked that one.

message 9: by Julia (new)

Julia | 11667 comments Lisa,

Have you read Mockingjay yet? What do think of it? I loved it-- as much as one can love a dystopia, that is.

message 10: by Lisa S (new)

Lisa S (kasey_k_fan) No Julia, not yet, but I will.

message 11: by Kristie (new)

Kristie | 166 comments I love the whole series!!! My least favorite was Mockingjay but I still LOVE this series. It's depressing the way that they have to live and that The Capitol thinks that it is fun to watch kids kill each other. But Ms Collins created a world that will be a classic, no questions asked. I'm re-reading The Hunger Games and I'm loving it just as much as I did the first time around, if not more.

message 12: by Gina (new)

Gina (ginrobi) | 3325 comments Mod
I read this back in September. Here's my review:

**Spoiler Alert!** If you plan on reading the book, you may not want to read my review. ... Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you.

What an incredible book!!!

Collins creates an alternate world where North America is no longer as it stands now. Divided into 13 districts, each has their way of life. Not liking the powers that be, a rebellion had been formed, and squashed, which explains how District 13 no longer exists. Now new rules make just about everyone's lives absolutely miserable. Poor, starving, people do what they need to stay alive - and pray they don't get caught.

Katliss Everdeen, 16, is one of those people. After her father had died in the coal mine explosion, she has done what she needed to do to keep her family alive. Her father had taught her well. She hunts, she barters, and does what she can.

And then enter the Hunger Games, created after the rebellion. It was Capitol's way of keeping the people, the Districts, under their thumbs, a constant reminder that - look what we can do. We can take your children and make them kill each other. Rise against us and it will become infinitely worse for everyone. Children from the ages of 12 to 18 are at risk, male and female alike. Thrown into a situation where it becomes kill or be killed, and be the last person standing - the victor, do whatever is necessary to stay alive. At the age of 12, their name is entered once. At 13, twice. 14, three times, and so on, until their 18th year. After that, no more. Obviously, the older you get, the more at risk you are. A catch to that: say you are poor and starvation is knocking on your door. As an adolescent between the ages of 12 and 18, you can exchange your name for tesserae, which is worth one meager year's supply of grain and oil for one person. And the entries are accumulative. Your names from the year before, from each tesserae, stays in that ball, until your final year. And this just raises the stakes - your name could be next.

This year, Katliss's sister, Prim, turned 12, and her name had been entered, but only once. And yet... her name was pulled. Out of desperation and panic, Katliss volunteers herself, to take her sister's place.

Already nervous, anxious and fearful, her heart sinks to her stomach when the boy's name is called. Peeta Mellark's name is pulled from the boys' ball. The baker's son, he had risked a beating at the age of twelve and stole to stale loaves of bread and gave them to a starving Katliss. She had never spoken to him, before or since, but she was always grateful for that small act of kindness. And then reality hits - only one victor, one person can win. How is she supposed to be able to kill Peeta, the first person to give her that small act of kindness.

From District 12 to the Capitol, it's an experience no one will ever receive - unless their name is pulled from that ball. From rich foods to clothes and costumes, from training and judging and scoring, Katliss takes it all in, no matter how much she abhors it, no matter how much it twists her stomach. She has to, for reprecussions would fall on her mother and sister and the rest of her district.

And then the Games begin, and it is all about survival. (I won't go into details - except to say there are times were you become furious and times where a box of Kleenex is handy.) Strategy comes into play, and some of it leaves Katliss's mind reeling. It seems the strategy is that Peeta is supposed to be in love with Katliss. Yet, she doesn't know if it's real or not. Then an announcement sounds - rules have been changed. The two people from the same district can both be the victors, if they are the last alive. Now Katliss is determined - she won't have to kill the first person who showed her an act of kindness. They can both live, and both go home.

More twists, fighting, trying to stay alive. And just when they believe they make it, another twist occurs that makes your own stomach drop, your heart rip out, and you may have to put the book down to wipe your tear-filled eyes.

And just when Katliss thought the "star-crossed lovers" strategy was simply that, strategy, it turns out, Peeta wasn't lying. She doesn't know what she feels, but she is warned. Play it up, cause both of their lives depend on it.

**An incredible book, one of the best YA novels I've ever read. I think it surpasses Twilight!**

The story sucked me right in from the beginning, and quickly became an unputdownable book. If you are a YA fan, this book is a definite must-read and a book for your "keeper" shelf.

Those who know me know I'm not big on YA novels. Because they are written with young adults in mind, the dialogue isn't quite adult. The scenes aren't adult. I have a hard time putting myself in that frame of mind to really enjoy it. But I have to admit, this one sucked me right in. While it's YA, I personally feel that the violence may be a bit much for younger YA. However, my niece is going on 12, and she's loving it, so what do I know? *shrug*

The violent scenes are just that - violent. But, even though they are quite violent, it's so well written that you are literally in the characters' shoes. You feel what they feel; hope, fear, adrenaline, loss, sadness, anger... the author pulls them out of you, no matter your age.

The characters are superb! You get a feel for what their lives are like, what they go through, how they live, what they feel. You become the shadow over their shoulder, watching and hearing everything they do, right there in the story with them.

You root for them, and root hard. Then you hit the end of the book and immediately want to grab the second. So, ladies and gents of all ages, make sure you have Catching Fire on hand. Like me, you'll regret it if you don't, LOL!

message 13: by Julia (new)

Julia | 11667 comments Really nice review, Gina.

(Tiny nitpick: her name's Katniss isn't it?)

message 14: by Kristie (new)

Kristie | 166 comments I just finished re-reading it and this is how I feel.


This is one of those books that I will be able to read over and over again without getting bored. Everything from the districts to the Capitol is masterful. Great imagination that Suzanne Collins has.

She also created great characters. Everyone from Katniss to Peeta, Rue, Cennia, Haymitch, Effie, Ceasar, Presidant Snow - everyone had such personality but yet were so different, that I got sucked right into the storyline and cried when Rue was killed and couldn't stand people like Foxface or Cato, who Katniss didn't like either.

This book, series, is going to be one of the classic's that people will talk about for years.

message 15: by Kathleen (last edited Nov 30, 2010 11:21AM) (new)

Kathleen Burket (kathleengigicompany) | 20125 comments Mod
The totalitarian government of Panem continues the manipulation and subjugation of its citizens in Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. This book is divide into three distinct parts, the post-game events of the seventy-fourth games in which Katniss was the winner, events associated with the selection and training of the tributes for seventy-fifth games, and the actual seventy-fifth, or Quarter Quell games. Every 25 years the games are called a quarter quell and the Capital devises a unique twist to the games. This quarter quell's twist delivers an insidous blow to Katniss, destroying the already fractured sense of security that her earlier win provided.

There are enough cliffhangers left at the end of the this book, as with the second act of any good three act play, to make the third book a must read. The chilling last sentence of the book will remain with you for long after you have completed this story. As compelling as its predecessor with noble sacrifices and ignoble waste of human life. Thought-provoking, controversial story that will be discussed and argued about for many years to come.

message 16: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (bookniblet) | 41 comments Gina wrote: "I read this back in September. Here's my review:

**Spoiler Alert!** If you plan on reading the book, you may not want to read my review. ... Okay, but don't say I didn't warn you.

What an in..."

I would second you in that this book surpasses Twilight!! I have only read a handful of YA novels... I think I enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed The Giver...

message 17: by Natasha (new)

Natasha (bookniblet) | 41 comments Kathleen wrote: "The totalitarian government of Panem continues the manipulation and subjugation of its citizens in Catching Fire (Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Game..."

I can hardly wait!!

message 18: by Sam8 (new)

Sam8 | 1857 comments Catching Fire just came in on my overdrive account this week so I hope to get into this weekend.

message 19: by Kristie (new)

Kristie | 166 comments Just to warn you, make sure you have Mockingjay on hand once you finish Catching Fire. I thought I was going to die having to wait.

message 20: by Sam8 (new)

Sam8 | 1857 comments Actually the both came available so I should be good. :-)

message 21: by Kathleen (last edited Nov 30, 2010 04:21AM) (new)

Kathleen Burket (kathleengigicompany) | 20125 comments Mod
** spoiler alert ** ** spoiler alert ** ** spoiler alert ** ** spoiler alert ** ** spoiler alert **

I believe that it was in the aftermath of the French Revolution when writers first wrote that revolutions "eat their young." To me, there isn't a more apt description to the faith of our protagonists. In Mockingjay (Hunger Games Trilogy, Book 3), Katniss finds herself in District 13 along with the surviving members of District 12. District 13 has survived by building a multi-level underground city. The citizens of District 12 finally have enough food, but find their every move regulated to the point that their schedule is inked on their forearms daily in an ink that will break down by day's end so that a new schedule can be inked the next day.

District 13 is behind the rebellion and sees the perfect symbol of the revolution in Katniss. A deal is brokered that she will serve as the Mockingjay in exchange for the lives of the other victors, including Peeta, being held prisoner in the Capitol. The deal lasts until it appears that the districts are winning, at that point the only value that Katniss has to President Coin of District 13 is to serve as as a martyr to inspire the final push into the Capital.

I don't want to provide too many spoilers, but to review this book I have to say that Katniss survives. I think that she made the correct decision on whom to execute on the balcony in the final scene in the Capital. Her decision reflects what Haymitch told her in Book Two, know who really is the enemy. The foundation of new country would have been as flawed as that which existed under the Capital.

Katniss' decision is the action that will enable the people of the districts and the capital to choose their own destinies. The price for being the Mockingjay, the decisions, and the losses that Katniss faces creates in her a horrific case of post-traumatic stress syndrome that continues for many years after the events of Mockingjay. As a reader, I hoped that sometime after the final epilogue, her mental health will have improved. Regrettably, I suspect that it won't. And such in the price of war on our heroes, our children, our youth.

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