The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Book Review

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Cover of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

4 Stars

What’s left of North America has been divided up into 12 districts. Katniss lives in district 12, the poorest district. She’s learned to buck the system and hunt to keep her family alive. But one day something happens that leaves her thinking only of her own survival.

I was surprised by how much I liked this. Several of my friends have loved it, but this sounds pretty dystopic and I’ve realized that’s not my thing. But I decided to go ahead and give it a try after it was chosen for one of my groups’ monthly reads, and I’m so glad I did. The dystopia thing is there, but I was so busy rooting for Katniss to survive that I didn’t really even notice it too much. I was also worried that it would be horribly violent, but it wasn’t too bad. I’m probably about middle-of-the-road in terms of my tolerance of that kind of thing.

I really liked Katniss. She’s a born survivor–rough, tough, surly, fierce, and fiercely protective. She’s also pretty clueless about any kind of relationship and a big softy underneath that hard-as-nails exterior.

At times, I did feel like the author was manipulating the story just to get herself out of corners that she had painted herself into. But once I thought about it, that manipulation was absolutely in keeping with the situation in which Katniss found herself.

I was so caught up in this book that I hated the ending. I knew going in that this was the first in a series, but it still felt like a huge cliffhanger. It was really probably the only place she could end this installment, but I’m chomping at the bit for the next one. Luckily, I don’t think I have too long to wait.

Reviewed August 11, 2009

Banned: According to Marshall University, The Hunger Games series has been “banned or challenged for being anti-ethnic, anti-family, insensitivity, offensive language, occult/satanic influence, and violence.” Um, did we all get the same version of the book? Where did most of these come from? Anti-family? Is there a better sister anywhere than Katniss? The rest of it–wow. Just wow. Who reads these and comes up with this? It is violent, but it isn’t as violent as it could be. I firmly believe, with many others, that this novel is a warning about where our obsession with “Reality TV” could lead us. Suzanne Collins is making a point. I’m seriously just sitting here shaking my head.

Friday Flashback Reviews, a feature at The Introverted Reader

Friday Flashback Reviews are a weekly feature here on The Introverted Reader. These are old reviews I wrote on GoodReads. Thanks to Angieville and her Retro Friday Reviews for the inspiration and encouragement!

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  1. I can see where some might find this book too violent for their child to read (I do think most teens could handle it) but the other reasons really make no sense with this book. I wonder if those who wanted to ban the book even read it.

    I loved The Hunger Games and agree that Suzanne Collins is trying to make a point about standing up for yourselves, reality TV, and becoming desensitized to violence among other things. I need to reread this book again!

  2. Loved this book and so glad you posted about it for banned books week! I have a ton of posts that went up this week about books and many giveaways. LOVE banned book week.

  3. I don't enjoy dystopian other but understood the hype. The manipulation part you would get more from the movie, go see it.

    You did enjoy it more than me but I still appreciated it.

    And anti ethnic and anti family, what total BS, I'm shocked by that.

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