The Hunger Games (Book Review) – Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games is the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. It is already a top seller and will soon be released as a motion picture, being one of 2012’s most anticipated releases.

The Hunger Games takes place in the nation of Panem, in a post-apocalyptic United States. The state is divided into twelve districts, each of which is specialized in a trade, all centered around the Capitol. Each year, the Capitol holds The Hunger Games, an event to remind all twelve districts of their submission to the power of the Capitol. Why? A few years prior, there were thirteen districts with District 13 starting an uprising against the Capitol. The revolution failed and District 13 was eradicated and so arose The Hunger Games, whose is quite simple: a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are selected as tributes through a lottery to represent their respective district in The Hunger Games. The  total of 24 candidates will then battle each other to the death, as all 12 districts are forced to watch their sons and daughters getting killed and killing. The winner gets a life of ease, which in the harsh world of Panem is almost tempting enough to enter the games. Some districts actually train their youngsters for the games.

Katniss Everdeen and Gale Hawthorn are best friends from District 12. They also have their names in the lottery more than once as a way to get food to their hungry families. Their chances for getting selected are rather high. But both their names are not drawn. Instead, Katniss’ sister, Primrose, is selected – with her name being in the lottery once. In a burst of courage, Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place. Gale is also not selected and instead Peeta Mellark is chosen as the male representative of District 12. Together, Katniss and Peeta are taken to the Capitol where they will try their best to build an image that will help them while inside the games, not knowing that there’s way more going on behind the scenes than they know and that the slightest “wrong” move on their part will cost them dearly.

The Hunger Games is probably one of the most riveting books you might read. The action goes on at breakneck pace, not leaving any dull moment for you to take in what has passed or think about what might happen. You cannot let the book down before finishing it. I had to learn this the hard way with a major exam coming up and finding myself reading this book instead of my anatomy textbook.

Don’t let the fast pace undermine the book’s value, however. The book is perfectly paced. It doesn’t linger on sequences more than it should and, seeing as it’s a book about life and death, it doesn’t dwell on details that are irrelevant to the ultimate goal of its characters: survival. The text may become violent at points, but it remains hypnotizing and chilling.

Simply put,  it is one of those books, which are immensely suspenseful, that will get glued to the palm of your hand and refuse to let go until you turn the last page, only finding out that the story has not been fully resolved and you’ll have to read the second book, Catching Fire, to know what happens next. And before you know it, you have that book in your hands and you’re at it again. The Hunger Games takes you aboard its cycle and doesn’t let you go. Even the love triangle, which the author tries to set up, becomes irrelevant to you as a reader with everything else going on in the book.

At the end of the day, The Hunger Games, despite being totally rooted in fiction, has strands of real-life intertwined in it. There’s humor, there’s treason, there’s death, there’s love, there’s life, there’s loss, there’s pain. All in a couple hundred pages. A must-read, definitely.


45 thoughts on “The Hunger Games (Book Review) – Suzanne Collins

  1. I just finished reading this about 2 weeks ago, and it is by far one of the most addicting books I’ve ever read! I had a VERY difficult time putting it down. And now that I’ve read it, I cannot wait for the movie to come out. It is going to be amazing!


  2. Coming from a combat veteran view with 3 kids that were potentially going to read these books, I very much enjoyed the first 2 books. I understand that life is not full of happy endings and knew that these were edge books a bit more than the Harry Potter series. The last quarter of the book was so upsetting to me… possibly because I understand PTSD and how it effects everyone around you. The writing was magnetic and well done. I guess I just don’t know why young teens need to be trying to understand the reality of war. With Prim dying and being in a place where she had no business being… The character of Peeta built in the 1st 2 books being taken and Katniss forever wearing a scarlet letter of war in her appearance. I don’t know… the last quarter was just very difficult for me to read.


    • I salute your sacrifices. And I can see why this would seem like a difficult read.
      The author’s father was actually in the air force, that’s how she managed to write some of the “armed” details of the novel with this much detail. So it might be why it hit home.
      Nevertheless, thank you for reading my review and I’m glad you enjoyed the book.


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  4. You are So Right! I read the first book in 10 hours and finished the whole trilogy in 1 week!
    This series is fascinating! i really wish there was another book to read :/ I can’t wait for the movies ( all three hopefuly) to come out ! 😀
    PS : i’d give it 10/10 :p


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  8. I was a little bit put out by the whole find-out-on-the-final-pages-that-it’s-going-to-end-with-a-cliffhanger thing, actually. It seemed to me that The Hunger Games could have worked perfectly well as a standalone book, but a publisher or an agent saw dollar signs in a potential young adult franchise, so convinced Collins to tweak the ending and extend the plot. That said, I still enjoyed reading the first book (not enough to go out and read the second and third, but still enjoyed it well enough). I’d happily encourage teenagers to read it, as it seems to have a lot more depth and provide a lot more food for thought than other young adult fiction on the market in recent years. Thanks so much for sharing your review, it was great to read your thoughts! 🙂



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