The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Narrator: Carolyn McCormick
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Publisher: Scholastic Audio
Release Date: 10/1/2008
Length: 11 hours, 14 minutes
Format: Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Genres: Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult
Challenges: N/A
Source: Borrowed
Purchase: Audio CD | Digital Audiobook
Rating: ★★★★★

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I tried so hard to stay away from this book. It was so popular and I had not yet begun to embrace raved-about books like this. When I read the synopsis I thought it sounded awful. Once I got invested in listening to audiobooks I decided to give it a listen because I’ll listen to anything. I was blown away. I had expected something much different. I had pictured more obvious brutality in a gladiator-type arena. I expected to hate it. This book had the exact opposite effect. I loved it. I can’t get enough of this story.

The plot and characters drive the story together. There are so many twists and turns that I sometimes felt like I may squeal with giddy, dorky joy. I love suspense and twists. How on earth could I not enjoy this book? There’s something very original about the story too. I’ve certainly never read anything like it before. It was so refreshing to have a young-adult novel that wasn’t about vampires or werewolves (though I will admit I read a lot of those). It’s also refreshing to have a heroine who has more things to worry about than her love life with said vampires or werewolves. Katniss has more important things going on, like living to see another day. Though romance somehow always finds her, it’s honestly the last thing on her mind. It’s wonderful!

Katniss is the type of person I wish I was. She’s determined and driven. She stands up for herself in the face of almost certain death, something I would never have the guts to do. I’m all talk, but Katniss is all action. She does what she has to do to survive and help her family survive. Peeta is gentle. He’s the sensitive type, of course, which I will admit may not be the best thing for Katniss. I love Peeta anyway though. He isn’t the brash type of person to force his adoration on Katniss. He’s subtle and patient. It’s a quality I love. Gale is a character I never got invested in. I’ve been on the forums at Goodreads where girls argue over who’s side they’re on (Peeta or Gale) and though I stay out of these arguments, I have to say I don’t understand the attachment to Gale. I just didn’t get attached to him. There wasn’t enough of him in the story. I guess that’s really my only complaint since he’s supposed to be the childhood love or whatever.

As far as the Carolyn McCormick goes, she’s definitely too old to be Katniss. I’ll never understand why they do this. It’s not that hard to find a narrator the right age. She did an okay job. Not one of my favorites.

There’s not much more I can say about this book. I recommend it to anyone, young or old.

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3 Comments

  1. I am so glad that you were not disappointed, because this book is pretty fantastic! =)
    However, if you plan on pursuing this series, it’s hit or miss if you think they are just as good or not quite as good. Just warnin ya! But they are still worth the read, anyhow. =)

    Reply
  2. I love this book. Can’t wait for the movie tomorrow!!

    Reply

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