The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1)

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1)

by Suzanne Collins

Paperback(Large Print)

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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 is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594135873
Publisher: Gale Group
Publication date: 03/26/2012
Series: Hunger Games
Edition description: Large Print
Pages: 483
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Suzanne Collins is the author of the groundbreaking Hunger Games trilogy for young adults: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. She is also the author of the picture book Year of the Jungle, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, and the New York Times bestselling Underland Chronicles series for middle-grade readers, which started with Gregor the Overlander. Suzanne lives with her family in Connecticut. You can find her online at

Read an Excerpt


When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. My fingers stretch out, seeking Prim’s warmth but finding only the rough canvas cover of the mattress. She must have had bad dreams and climbed in with our mother. Of course, she did. This is the day of the reaping.

I prop myself up on one elbow. There’s enough light in the bedroom to see them. My little sister, Prim, curled up on her side, cocooned in my mother’s body, their cheeks pressed together. In sleep, my mother looks younger, still worn but not so beaten-down. Prim’s face is as fresh as a raindrop, as lovely as the primrose for which she was named. My mother was very beautiful once, too. Or so they tell me. Sitting at Prim’s knees, guarding her, is the world’s ugliest cat. Mashed-in nose, half of one ear missing, eyes the color of rotting squash. Prim named him Buttercup, insisting that his muddy yellow coat matched the bright flower. He hates me. Or at least distrusts me. Even though it was years ago, I think he still remembers how I tried to drown him in a bucket when Prim brought him home. Scrawny kitten, belly swollen with worms, crawling with fleas. The last thing I needed was another mouth to feed. But Prim begged so hard, cried even, I had to let him stay. It turned out okay. My mother got rid of the vermin and he’s a born mouser. Even catches the occasional rat. Sometimes, when I clean a kill, I feed Buttercup the entrails. He has stopped hissing at me.

Entrails. No hissing. This is the closest we will ever come to love.

I swing my legs off the bed and slide into my hunting boots. Supple leather that has molded to my feet. I pull on trousers, a shirt, tuck my long dark braid up into a cap, and grab my forage bag. On the table, under a wooden bowl to protect it from hungry rats and cats alike, sits a perfect little goat cheese wrapped in basil leaves. Prim’s gift to me on reaping day. I put the cheese carefully in my pocket as I slip outside.

Our part of District 12, nicknamed the Seam, is usually crawling with coal miners heading out to the morning shift at this hour. Men and women with hunched shoulders, swollen knuckles, many who have long since stopped trying to scrub the coal dust out of their broken nails, the lines of their sunken faces. But today the black cinder streets are empty. Shutters on the squat gray houses are closed. The reaping isn’t until two. May as well sleep in. If you can. Our house is almost at the edge of the Seam. I only have to pass a few gates to reach the scruffy field called the Meadow. Separating the Meadow from the woods, in fact enclosing all of District 12, is a high chain-link fence topped with barbed-wire loops. In theory, it’s supposed to be electrified twenty-four hours a day as a deterrent to the predators that live in the woods — packs of wild dogs, lone cougars, bears — that used to threaten our streets. But since we’re lucky to get two or three hours of electricity in the evenings, it’s usually safe to touch. Even so, I always take a moment to listen carefully for the hum that means the fence is live. Right now, it’s silent as a stone. Concealed by a clump of bushes, I flatten out on my belly and slide under a two-foot stretch that’s been loose for years. There are several other weak spots in the fence, but this one is so close to home I almost always enter the woods here.

As soon as I’m in the trees, I retrieve a bow and sheath of arrows from a hollow log. Electrified or not, the fence has been successful at keeping the flesh-eaters out of District 12. Inside the woods they roam freely, and there are added concerns like venomous snakes, rabid animals, and no real paths to follow. But there’s also food if you know how to find it. My father knew and he taught me some before he was blown to bits in a mine explosion. There was nothing even to bury. I was eleven then. Five years later, I still wake up screaming for him to run.

Even though trespassing in the woods is illegal and poaching carries the severest of penalties, more people would risk it if they had weapons. But most are not bold enough to venture out with just a knife. My bow is a rarity, crafted by my father along with a few others that I keep well hidden in the woods, carefully wrapped in waterproof covers. My father could have made good money selling them, but if the officials found out he would have been publicly executed for inciting a rebellion. Most of the Peacekeepers turn a blind eye to the few of us who hunt because they’re as hungry for fresh meat as anybody is. In fact, they’re among our best customers. But the idea that someone might be arming the Seam would never have been allowed.

In the fall, a few brave souls sneak into the woods to harvest apples. But always in sight of the Meadow. Always close enough to run back to the safety of District 12 if trouble arises. “District Twelve. Where you can starve to death in safety,” I mutter. Then I glance quickly over my shoulder. Even here, even in the middle of nowhere, you worry someone might overhear you.

When I was younger, I scared my mother to death, the things I would blurt out about District 12, about the people who rule our country, Panem, from the far-off city called the Capitol. Eventually I understood this would only lead us to more trouble. So I learned to hold my tongue and to turn my features into an indifferent mask so that no one could ever read my thoughts. Do my work quietly in school. Make only polite small talk in the public market. Discuss little more than trades in the Hob, which is the black market where I make most of my money. Even at home, where I am less pleasant, I avoid discussing tricky topics. Like the reaping, or food shortages, or the Hunger Games. Prim might begin to repeat my words and then where would we be? In the woods waits the only person with whom I can be myself. Gale. I can feel the muscles in my face relaxing, my pace quickening as I climb the hills to our place, a rock ledge overlooking a valley. A thicket of berry bushes protects it from unwanted eyes. The sight of him waiting there brings on a smile. Gale says I never smile except in the woods.

“Hey, Catnip,” says Gale. My real name is Katniss, but when I first told him, I had barely whispered it. So he thought I’d said Catnip. Then when this crazy lynx started following me around the woods looking for handouts, it became his official nickname for me. I finally had to kill the lynx because he scared off game. I almost regretted it because he wasn’t bad company. But I got a decent price for his pelt.

“Look what I shot,” Gale holds up a loaf of bread with an arrow stuck in it, and I laugh. It’s real bakery bread, not the flat, dense loaves we make from our grain rations. I take it in my hands, pull out the arrow, and hold the puncture in the crust to my nose, inhaling the fragrance that makes my mouth flood with saliva. Fine bread like this is for special occasions.

“Mm, still warm,” I say. He must have been at the bakery at the crack of dawn to trade for it. “What did it cost you?” “Just a squirrel. Think the old man was feeling sentimental this morning,” says Gale. “Even wished me luck.”

“Well, we all feel a little closer today, don’t we?” I say, not even bothering to roll my eyes. “Prim left us a cheese.” I pull it out.

His expression brightens at the treat. “Thank you, Prim. We’ll have a real feast.” Suddenly he falls into a Capitol accent as he mimics Effie Trinket, the maniacally upbeat woman who arrives once a year to read out the names at the reaping. “I almost forgot! Happy Hunger Games!” He plucks a few blackberries from the bushes around us. “And may the odds —” He tosses a berry in a high arc toward me.

I catch it in my mouth and break the delicate skin with my teeth. The sweet tartness explodes across my tongue. “— be ever in your favor!” I finish with equal verve. We have to joke about it because the alternative is to be scared out of your wits. Besides, the Capitol accent is so affected, almost anything sounds funny in it.

I watch as Gale pulls out his knife and slices the bread. He could be my brother. Straight black hair, olive skin, we even have the same gray eyes. But we’re not related, at least not closely. Most of the families who work the mines resemble one another this way.

That’s why my mother and Prim, with their light hair and blue eyes, always look out of place. They are. My mother’s parents were part of the small merchant class that caters to officials, Peacekeepers, and the occasional Seam customer. They ran an apothecary shop in the nicer part of District 12. Since almost no one can afford doctors, apothecaries are our healers. My father got to know my mother because on his hunts he would sometimes collect medicinal herbs and sell them to her shop to be brewed into remedies. She must have really loved him to leave her home for the Seam. I try to remember that when all I can see is the woman who sat by, blank and unreachable, while her children turned to skin and bones. I try to forgive her for my father’s sake. But to be honest, I’m not the forgiving type. Gale spreads the bread slices with the soft goat cheese, carefully placing a basil leaf on each while I strip the bushes of their berries. We settle back in a nook in the rocks. From this place, we are invisible but have a clear view of the valley, which is teeming with summer life, greens to gather, roots to dig, fish iridescent in the sunlight. The day is glorious, with a blue sky and soft breeze. The food’s wonderful, with the cheese seeping into the warm bread and the berries bursting in our mouths. Everything would be perfect if this really was a holiday, if all the day off meant was roaming the mountains with Gale, hunting for tonight’s supper. But instead we have to be standing in the square at two o’clock waiting for the names to be called out.

“We could do it, you know,” Gale says quietly.

“What?” I ask.

“Leave the district. Run off. Live in the woods. You and I, we could make it,” says Gale.

I don’t know how to respond. The idea is so preposterous.

“If we didn’t have so many kids,” he adds quickly.

They’re not our kids, of course. But they might as well be. Gale’s two little brothers and a sister. Prim. And you may as well throw in our mothers, too, because how would they live without us? Who would fill those mouths that are always asking for more? With both of us hunting daily, there are still nights when game has to be swapped for lard or shoelaces or wool, still nights when we go to bed with our stomachs growling.

“I never want to have kids,” I say.

“I might. If I didn’t live here,” says Gale.

“But you do,” I say, irritated.

“Forget it,” he snaps back.

The conversation feels all wrong. Leave? How could I leave Prim, who is the only person in the world I’m certain I love? And Gale is devoted to his family. We can’t leave, so why bother talking about it? And even if we did . . . even if we did . . . where did this stuff about having kids come from? There’s never been anything romantic between Gale and me. When we met, I was a skinny twelve-year-old, and although he was only two years older, he already looked like a man. It took a long time for us to even become friends, to stop haggling over every trade and begin helping each other out.

Besides, if he wants kids, Gale won’t have any trouble finding a wife. He’s good-looking, he’s strong enough to handle the work in the mines, and he can hunt. You can tell by the way the girls whisper about him when he walks by in school that they want him. It makes me jealous but not for the reason people would think. Good hunting partners are hard to find.

“What do you want to do?” I ask. We can hunt, fish, or gather.

“Let’s fish at the lake. We can leave our poles and gather in the woods. Get something nice for tonight,” he says. Tonight. After the reaping, everyone is supposed to celebrate. And a lot of people do, out of relief that their children have been spared for another year. But at least two families will pull their shutters, lock their doors, and try to figure out how they will survive the painful weeks to come.

We make out well. The predators ignore us on a day when easier, tastier prey abounds. By late morning, we have a dozen fish, a bag of greens and, best of all, a gallon of strawberries. I found the patch a few years ago, but Gale had the idea to string mesh nets around it to keep out the animals.

On the way home, we swing by the Hob, the black market that operates in an abandoned warehouse that once held coal. When they came up with a more efficient system that transported the coal directly from the mines to the trains, the Hob gradually took over the space. Most businesses are closed by this time on reaping day, but the black market’s still fairly busy. We easily trade six of the fish for good bread, the other two for salt. Greasy Sae, the bony old woman who sells bowls of hot soup from a large kettle, takes half the greens off our hands in exchange for a couple of chunks of paraffin. We might do a tad better elsewhere, but we make an effort to keep on good terms with Greasy Sae. She’s the only one who can consistently be counted on to buy wild dog. We don’t hunt them on purpose, but if you’re attacked and you take out a dog or two, well, meat is meat. “Once it’s in the soup, I’ll call it beef,” Greasy Sae says with a wink. No one in the Seam would turn up their nose at a good leg of wild dog, but the Peacekeepers who come to the Hob can afford to be a little choosier. When we finish our business at the market, we go to the back door of the mayor’s house to sell half the strawberries, knowing he has a particular fondness for them and can afford our price. The mayor’s daughter, Madge, opens the door. She’s in my year at school. Being the mayor’s daughter, you’d expect her to be a snob, but she’s all right. She just keeps to herself. Like me. Since neither of us really has a group of friends, we seem to end up together a lot at school. Eating lunch, sitting next to each other at assemblies, partnering for sports activities. We rarely talk, which suits us both just fine.

Today her drab school outfit has been replaced by an expensive white dress, and her blonde hair is done up with a pink ribbon. Reaping clothes.

“Pretty dress,” says Gale.

Madge shoots him a look, trying to see if it’s a genuine compliment or if he’s just being ironic. It is a pretty dress, but she would never be wearing it ordinarily. She presses her lips together and then smiles. “Well, if I end up going to the Capitol, I want to look nice, don’t I?”

Now it’s Gale’s turn to be confused. Does she mean it? Or is she messing with him? I’m guessing the second. “You won’t be going to the Capitol,” says Gale coolly. His eyes land on a small, circular pin that adorns her dress. Real gold. Beautifully crafted. It could keep a family in bread for months. “What can you have? Five entries? I had six when I was just twelve years old.”

“That’s not her fault,” I say.

“No, it’s no one’s fault. Just the way it is,” says Gale. Madge’s face has become closed off. She puts the money for the berries in my hand. “Good luck, Katniss.”

“You, too,” I say, and the door closes.

We walk toward the Seam in silence. I don’t like that Gale took a dig at Madge, but he’s right, of course. The reaping system is unfair, with the poor getting the worst of it. You become eligible for the reaping the day you turn twelve. That year, your name is entered once. At thirteen, twice. And so on and so on until you reach the age of eighteen, the final year of eligibility, when your name goes into the pool seven times. That’s true for every citizen in all twelve districts in the entire country of Panem. But here’s the catch. Say you are poor and starving as we were. You can opt to add your name more times in exchange for tesserae. Each tessera is worth a meager year’s supply of grain and oil for one person. You may do this for each of your family members as well. So, at the age of twelve, I had my name entered four times. Once, because I had to, and three times for tesserae for grain and oil for myself, Prim, and my mother. In fact, every year I have needed to do this. And the entries are cumulative. So now, at the age of sixteen, my name will be in the reaping twenty times. Gale, who is eighteen and has been either helping or single-handedly feeding a family of five for seven years, will have his name in forty-two times.

You can see why someone like Madge, who has never been at risk of needing a tessera, can set him off. The chance of her name being drawn is very slim compared to those of us who live in the Seam. Not impossible, but slim. And even though the rules were set up by the Capitol, not the districts, certainly not Madge’s family, it’s hard not to resent those who don’t have to sign up for tesserae.

Gale knows his anger at Madge is misdirected. On other days, deep in the woods, I’ve listened to him rant about how the tesserae are just another tool to cause misery in our district. A way to plant hatred between the starving workers of the Seam and those who can generally count on supper and thereby ensure we will never trust one another. “It’s to the Capitol’s advantage to have us divided among ourselves,” he might say if there were no ears to hear but mine. If it wasn’t reaping day. If a girl with a gold pin and no tesserae had not made what I’m sure she thought was a harmless comment.

As we walk, I glance over at Gale’s face, still smoldering underneath his stony expression. His rages seem pointless to me, although I never say so. It’s not that I don’t agree with him. I do. But what good is yelling about the Capitol in the middle of the woods? It doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t make things fair. It doesn’t fill our stomachs. In fact, it scares off the nearby game. I let him yell though. Better he does it in the woods than in the district.

Gale and I divide our spoils, leaving two fish, a couple of loaves of good bread, greens, a quart of strawberries, salt, paraffin, and a bit of money for each.

“See you in the square,” I say.

“Wear something pretty,” he says flatly.

At home, I find my mother and sister are ready to go. My mother wears a fine dress from her apothecary days. Prim is in my first reaping outfit, a skirt and ruffled blouse. It’s a bit big on her, but my mother has made it stay with pins. Even so, she’s having trouble keeping the blouse tucked in at the back.

A tub of warm water waits for me. I scrub off the dirt and sweat from the woods and even wash my hair. To my surprise, my mother has laid out one of her own lovely dresses for me. A soft blue thing with matching shoes.

“Are you sure?” I ask. I’m trying to get past rejecting offers of help from her. For a while, I was so angry, I wouldn’t allow her to do anything for me. And this is something special. Her clothes from her past are very precious to her.

“Of course. Let’s put your hair up, too,” she says. I let her towel-dry it and braid it up on my head. I can hardly recognize myself in the cracked mirror that leans against the wall.

“You look beautiful,” says Prim in a hushed voice.

“And nothing like myself,” I say. I hug her, because I know these next few hours will be terrible for her. Her first reaping. She’s about as safe as you can get, since she’s only entered once. I wouldn’t let her take out any tesserae. But she’s worried about me. That the unthinkable might happen.

I protect Prim in every way I can, but I’m powerless against the reaping. The anguish I always feel when she’s in pain wells up in my chest and threatens to register on my face. I notice her blouse has pulled out of her skirt in the back again and force myself to stay calm. “Tuck your tail in, little duck,” I say, smoothing the blouse back in place.

Prim giggles and gives me a small “Quack.”

“Quack yourself,” I say with a light laugh. The kind only Prim can draw out of me. “Come on, let’s eat,” I say and plant a quick kiss on the top of her head.

The fish and greens are already cooking in a stew, but that will be for supper. We decide to save the strawberries and bakery bread for this evening’s meal, to make it special we say. Instead we drink milk from Prim’s goat, Lady, and eat the rough bread made from the tessera grain, although no one has much appetite anyway.

At one o’clock, we head for the square. Attendance is mandatory unless you are on death’s door. This evening, officials will come around and check to see if this is the case. If not, you’ll be imprisoned.

It’s too bad, really, that they hold the reaping in the square — one of the few places in District 12 that can be pleasant. The square’s surrounded by shops, and on public market days, especially if there’s good weather, it has a holiday feel to it. But today, despite the bright banners hanging on the buildings, there’s an air of grimness. The camera crews, perched like buzzards on rooftops, only add to the effect.

People file in silently and sign in. The reaping is a good opportunity for the Capitol to keep tabs on the population as well. Twelve- through eighteen-year-olds are herded into roped areas marked off by ages, the oldest in the front, the young ones, like Prim, toward the back. Family members line up around the perimeter, holding tightly to one another’s hands. But there are others, too, who have no one they love at stake, or who no longer care, who slip among the crowd, taking bets on the two kids whose names will be drawn. Odds are given on their ages, whether they’re Seam or merchant, if they will break down and weep. Most refuse dealing with the racketeers but carefully, carefully. These same people tend to be informers, and who hasn’t broken the law? I could be shot on a daily basis for hunting, but the appetites of those in charge protect me. Not everyone can claim the same.

Anyway, Gale and I agree that if we have to choose between dying of hunger and a bullet in the head, the bullet would be much quicker.

The space gets tighter, more claustrophobic as people arrive. The square’s quite large, but not enough to hold District 12’s population of about eight thousand. Latecomers are directed to the adjacent streets, where they can watch the event on screens as it’s televised live by the state. I find myself standing in a clump of sixteens from the Seam. We all exchange terse nods then focus our attention on the temporary stage that is set up before the Justice Building. It holds three chairs, a podium, and two large glass balls, one for the boys and one for the girls. I stare at the paper slips in the girls’ ball. Twenty of them have Katniss Everdeen written on them in careful handwriting. Two of the three chairs fill with Madge’s father, Mayor Undersee, who’s a tall, balding man, and Effie Trinket, District 12’s escort, fresh from the Capitol with her scary white grin, pinkish hair, and spring green suit. They murmur to each other and then look with concern at the empty seat.

Just as the town clock strikes two, the mayor steps up to the podium and begins to read. It’s the same story every year. He tells of the history of Panem, the country that rose up out of the ashes of a place that was once called North America. He lists the disasters, the droughts, the storms, the fires, the encroaching seas that swallowed up so much of the land, the brutal war for what little sustenance remained. The result was Panem, a shining Capitol ringed by thirteen districts, which brought peace and prosperity to its citizens. Then came the Dark Days, the uprising of the districts against the Capitol. Twelve were defeated, the thirteenth obliterated. The Treaty of Treason gave us the new laws to guarantee peace and, as our yearly reminder that the Dark Days must never be repeated, it gave us the Hunger Games. The rules of the Hunger Games are simple. In punishment for the uprising, each of the twelve districts must provide one girl and one boy, called tributes, to participate. The twenty-four tributes will be imprisoned in a vast outdoor arena that could hold anything from a burning desert to a frozen wasteland. Over a period of several weeks, the competitors must fight to the death. The last tribute standing wins.

Taking the kids from our districts, forcing them to kill one another while we watch — this is the Capitol’s way of reminding us how totally we are at their mercy. How little chance we would stand of surviving another rebellion.

Whatever words they use, the real message is clear. “Look how we take your children and sacrifice them and there’s nothing you can do. If you lift a finger, we will destroy every last one of you. Just as we did in District Thirteen.” To make it humiliating as well as torturous, the Capitol requires us to treat the Hunger Games as a festivity, a sporting event pitting every district against the others. The last tribute alive receives a life of ease back home, and their district will be showered with prizes, largely consisting of food. All year, the Capitol will show the winning district gifts of grain and oil and even delicacies like sugar while the rest of us battle starvation.

“It is both a time for repentance and a time for thanks,” intones the mayor.

Then he reads the list of past District 12 victors. In seventy-four years, we have had exactly two. Only one is still alive. Haymitch Abernathy, a paunchy, middle-aged man, who at this moment appears hollering something unintelligible, staggers onto the stage, and falls into the third chair. He’s drunk. Very. The crowd responds with its token applause, but he’s confused and tries to give Effie Trinket a big hug, which she barely manages to fend off. The mayor looks distressed. Since all of this is being televised, right now District 12 is the laughingstock of Panem, and he knows it. He quickly tries to pull the attention back to the reaping by introducing Effie Trinket. Bright and bubbly as ever, Effie Trinket trots to the podium and gives her signature, “Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!” Her pink hair must be a wig because her curls have shifted slightly offcenter since her encounter with Haymitch. She goes on a bit about what an honor it is to be here, although everyone knows she’s just aching to get bumped up to a better district where they have proper victors, not drunks who molest you in front of the entire nation.

Through the crowd, I spot Gale looking back at me with a ghost of a smile. As reapings go, this one at least has a slight entertainment factor. But suddenly I am thinking of Gale and his forty-two names in that big glass ball and how the odds are not in his favor. Not compared to a lot of the boys. And maybe he’s thinking the same thing about me because his face darkens and he turns away. “But there are still thousands of slips,” I wish I could whisper to him. It’s time for the drawing. Effie Trinket says as she always does, “Ladies first!” and crosses to the glass ball with the girls’ names. She reaches in, digs her hand deep into the ball, and pulls out a slip of paper. The crowd draws in a collective breath and then you can hear a pin drop, and I’m feeling nauseous and so desperately hoping that it’s not me, that it’s not me, that it’s not me.

Effie Trinket crosses back to the podium, smoothes the slip of paper, and reads out the name in a clear voice. And it’s not me.

It’s Primrose Everdeen.

Chapter 1, from THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins © 2008 Suzanne Collins. Used by permission of Scholastic Inc. All rights reserved.

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The Hunger Games: Training Days Strategy Game 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 50349 reviews.
theReader278 More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There's really not much to say other than I just read a book that was equal part disturbing and completely compelling. I can't even say how much this book effected me, both emotionally and physically. (I bought a bow and arrow set. No kidding.) I think this is a book that will stick with me for a very long time. Caution: It's violent and a lot of parts are very unsettling, but if you can get through it, it's really an amazing read. Opens your mind, for sure. I can't wait for the sequel.
Sarah_R More than 1 year ago
When I got my copy of the Hunger Games as an advanced, I devoured it in less than a day. It's one of those "can't put down even if it's 3 in the morning" type of books. I knew, quickly, it would be a recommendation I'd offer to ANYone looking for a great, new teen read. What I liked most about the book is its premise: in a maybe-distant-not-distinguishable future, Katniss, our heroine, finds herself participating in the ultimate reality TV show--a fight to the death. For teenagers in Katniss's world, a lottery could send them to the Capitol to fight in these Hunger Games, where the victor is the last teen standing. With a little romance, humor among the carnage, and an interesting new future set up, Collins' first book of the Hunger Games series is unforgettable.
Balina More than 1 year ago
The hunger games is definitely a must read. I have enjoyed reading this book from start to finish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely and completely love this book! It's exciting and thought-provoking and all-over amazing. It is a bit brutal at times, but overall it's simply fantastic! A must-read!
Irishmanreader_111 More than 1 year ago
I have never heard of this author but i have to say Suzanne Collins knows how to write a book. The book kept me on edge of my seat. The characters are real and easy to relate to. The ending is werid but i have heard Suzanne is coming out with two more bokos for this series. I highly recommend this book to any age.
theokester More than 1 year ago
To those unfamiliar with the plot of this's set in the future after the general downfall of American government. The country is now divided into specific Districts, each of which is responsible for producing a certain type of good or service for the good of the nation and especially for the good of the Capitol. Our main character (a teenage girl named Katniss) is from District 12, where they are responsible for coal production. Because of an uprising, the Capitol has instituted The Hunger Games. These "games" take place each year and each district is required to send two teenage participants aged 12-18, one male and one female. The participants, called tributes, from each district are taken to a previously undisclosed location and required to fight to the death. The last tribute alive is declared the victor and returns to his or her district not only with the honor of winning, but also with the reward of being financially "taken care of" for the rest of their life.being put up in a great home and provided with money, food, etc to ensure their comfort. Our protagonist, Katniss, becomes the female tribute from District 12. The premise itself is an intriguing combination of a number of elements I've seen and enjoyed from other books and stories. The system of selecting the tributes reminded me of the short story The Lottery. The general layout of Districts and order of government reminded me of a variety of 'end of days' books. The fight to the death concept reminded me of ancient Roman gladiators or other similar events where participants are required to kill each other at the whim of the controlling government. While these elements were familiar, the way they were put together made the story fresh and enticing. The language was fluid and engaging. The target audience is teenagers or young adults, so I expected a fairly easy read. At the same time, the author didn't "talk down" to the reader in any way or pull her punches. On the contrary, she accepted the reader as an equal by providing a quick, smart, tight narrative. I loved the juxtaposition of the poor and degrading District 12 alongside the decadent effulgence of the highly modern Capitol. Truly it was as amazing to the reader as it was to Katniss just how different the two disparate areas were. It also spoke well to the hypocritical and contradictory nature of those governing the land. A theme that became a strong thread in the book. The intrigue and potential conspiracy or collusion was a lot of fun to follow along and was very compelling to me. I was hoping for more of it, but the man vs man battle of the games didn't provide a ton of opportunity for this. I expect a bit more plotting and scheming in the next book. The actual Games was a fun adventure. The preparations leading up to the games were rather interesting as each tribute was presented to the world and then trained and prepared to fight to the death. I loved following Katniss through the strange terrain. Again, we were pulled back into a non-futuristic world as the kids ran through forests, streams and mountains. At the same time, we were frequently reminded of the high-tech society whether through the projections in the sky or the high-tech gadgets and medicine provided to the kids. One of my favorite elements was near the end when Katniss encounters the muttations. I really liked the depth and intrigue of those creatures. If you can'
EireLady More than 1 year ago
The Hunger Games is the best book I have read in a very long time. And I never would have expected it! Unfortunately, I judged the book by it's cover in the beginning. It looks a bit bland and emotionless, but now it makes much more sense! It grabs you and pulls you in. I ate it up in just a few hours last night because my eyes were glued to it. The story is so unique that it's hard to predict anything. And that is very rare these days!
As a reader, I felt every single emotion that the main character, Katniss, was feeling. There was never a boring stretch or dull moment in the whole book. Expertly woven, and containing some very deep and complicated human decisions, this is a read that I will soon be experiencing again. It is nothing like you would expect, and well worth it. I recommend this book to everyone! Read it now!
JujuBerry More than 1 year ago
Very, Very Highly Recommend this book. My 13 year old son kept telling me to read it. He was half way through the book and kept saying how great it was. I had nothing else to read one night so I started to read. Figured I would read a chapter, the most two and tell him I tried, but didn't really like it.... turns out I end up finishing the book before him because I could not put it down.
vickytren More than 1 year ago
Excellent storyline. read it in less than 24 hours.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a book that is hard to put down, I could not help myself and would read late into the night. its a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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TonyCito More than 1 year ago
i mean WOW ... the best book i ever read soo far!!!! u have to read it!!!!!!
Lindsey_Miller More than 1 year ago
Collins has created a gripping epic of a story, which is an arguably darker combination of the already dark stories 1984, Lord of the Flies, and the short story The Lottery. I certainly couldn't put the book down from beginning to end, however I found myself thinking the text was very dark and not suitable for younger readers. In fact, I was reminded of stories like The Bluest Eye, which is a text involving children as the main characters, but is often banned from various school reading lists and regarded as a book not suitable for kids. That disclaimer aside, this is one of the better books that I've read in a while, and it certainly deserved all the press and awards that it's received. I'm sure that several production studios will consider it for a film, which is bitter sweet in my opinion. This would make a great movie, but it would be incredibly dark. On the literary front, this is a perfect example of a dystopian society, which is the best kind of science fiction. Also, what makes any good science fiction novel really good is the subtle or not so subtle hint that all of the terrible things going on in the story are palpable at some level. It seems a little farfetched that our society could turn into this, but it's not far from where Rome was just before its fall and the degradation of art and culture had reached its limit with rampant incest and duels to the death in the Coliseum. Even now, reality TV is not a far cry from the gladiator games. How long will it be before we want to be entertained by watching people compete by killing each other? However, what makes this book amazing, in my opinion is that Collins has taken a relatively original idea (possibly pulling from sources like the Japanese film Battle Royale) and really flushed it out in a phenomenal way. The great travesty with science fiction and fantasy books is that many of the authors have great concepts, but are terrible writers, leading them to flood the market with books that have great elevator pitches, but are, in reality, not that great. Contrary to popular belief, I don't think that Collins has given us a truly original story, but what made Chaucer and Shakespearre so great, among other things, is that they took well-known stories and rewrote them with their literary genius. The way that Collins writes the story through the eyes of Katniss creates empathy for the reader, and makes the dark world tangible and the characters she's interacting with three-dimensional. Katniss is always believable in every action and decision, making her a reliable narrator, and therefore, making the other characters reliable as well. In doing so, the story's underlying messages are communicated clearly and effectively, showing our own society a mirror of itself and what it can become if we don't start moving in a different direction. I recommend this book to all readers 14+. The other books in this series so far are Catching Fire (book 2). -Lindsey Miller,
mscuttie828 More than 1 year ago
i listen to books at work instead of music because is makes the time go fast. well time went too fast while listening to The Hunger Games. it had me at the first cd. i didn't want to answer the phones at work. i would listen in the car going home. this book was GREAT!! i actually listen to the book twice. i can't wait for the next two books.
LexiL More than 1 year ago
The Hunger Games is an amazing adventure book that will kept readers wanting to flip page after page. The author, Suzanne Collins, published this book in October of 2008. In the nation of Panem, lives a girl, Katniss. She lives in district twelve, one of the small places surrounding the capital. Of all the districts, her's is the poorest one, which is a disadvantage to her and her family. Every year all of the districts come together for an event called,"The Hunger Games." The Hunger Games require all districts to participate by selecting one girl and one boy to fight against all other districts and each other. They are put in a remote area and for many days they are to survive by being the last one standing. In my opinion I thought this was one of those books that you never wanted to abandon. It was a really well written and detailed book. There was so much adventure that you could visualize every moment. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to be kept on the edge of their seat and explore an imaginary world.
Hop_Frog More than 1 year ago
Now I'm ok with finding parallels between novels but to call the The Hunger Games the next twilight simply because of the popularity behind the two, doesn't count. They're nothing alike. The Hunger Games for one, is a good read. There is actual plot development and heart to it. twilight was practically a wet dream (how many times must bella make it a point to praise edward for his beauty?) and was as exciting as watching the grass grow. The Hunger Games swept me away from the first chapter. I love how self sufficient katniss is and The obstacles theyre forced to face in the arena (dehydration, fires, wasps, etc.) takes you away. A real page turner. Here's hoping I will like Catching Fire just as much.
Melhay More than 1 year ago
I almost did not read this book because of the idea of people hunting people, let alone kids being forced to do this. So, I have to thank Krista for convincing me to read this book. If it was not for her I would not have picked this book up at all. Once I started reading this book I realized it is not as harsh as I had anticipated, which I am thankful for, and was not able to put it down. (I read this book of 374 pages in two and a half days, which is extremely fast for me.) Most of the book is not even set in the actual arena of the fighting. This book is more of the survival of Katniss and Peeta who are on the defensive and trying to stay alive. There is no cannibalism nor is it gory or brutal. I am very glad I did not pass this book up any longer. I know there is a lot of talk of this book currently, which may be due to the second book recently being released. So with all this amazing praise I had to read it. Which was also a fear to me that with all the hype I would have higher expectations and the book would not measure up. Well, the book exceeded my expectations tremendously. Let me just say the praise is well deserved. You meet Katniss here in the beginning right away. She sneaks past the fence around District 12 ment to "keep the animals of flesh eating out" and the citizens are not aloud to go outside the fence. Katniss has a spot she sneaks out and meets her friend Gale to hunt. See, they don't get caught or in trouble because the Peacekeepers of the city look the other way, as they like to eat meat too. Katniss has been trained at a young age by her father to hunt, and this is what Katniss has done to help keep her family alive after her father passes away in a mine accident years before. Also, in the beginning you learn of the history of Panem, and how the Capitol has a gripping control over the 12 different Districts. As a lesson for trying to over throw the Capitol years past the Hunger Games came to exist. All the people are forced to have their children entered in the contest starting at age twelve through to eighteen, no matter stature or standing in the District. However, the poor children could very well have more entries than the richer. See, if the family is in need of food rations the child can enter an extra name in the drawing for this and you can do so for each person in your family. So with Katniss, she has a sister and a mother along with herself - this would be three more entries along with the one for this year. Oh yes, the entries are cumulative, so they carry over each year. That would get scary after a while. On the day of the drawing all the people of the District are required to be there to witness this, and as a reminder. Katniss is shocked when her twelve year old sister who only has one entry gets picked as the girl to go to the games. What would you do for your sister? Would you sacrifice yourself to take her place? Well, that is just what Katniss does, volunteers to go in her spot. I am surprised with the extent the Capitol goes to, to try and make this an exciting game to watch. The Capitol actually seem to enjoy this. The publicity the winners of the drawing get is unbelievable. There is lavish foods, complete make-overs, parades, and interviews. They are treated like royalty. People chant for these poor kids and bet on them. All this before they are sent to the arena to fight for their lives. The suspence is held through this section and there are peaks and valleys thro
Jess443 More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book, different from anything else I've read. It is the first of a series, and I can't wait for the next book to come out. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about different worlds/realities.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Words cannot describe how good this book is! TO DIE FOR!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend told me i had to read this series and i'm so glad i did. I loved the way the story line was presented through out the book. I recommend reading The Hunger Games you wont be sorry!
Nadia521 More than 1 year ago
This book was absolutely amazing! I promise you it made my heart stop at some point. Once they got into the arena, I couldn't stop reading! I stayed up till 2 am on a school night to finish it! (Don't tell my mom please)

I loved Katniss' character. She was so headstrong and just so...cutting edge. I don't know how else to put it, but she was really brave and knew her way around the woods. I thought it was kinda funny that SHE was the one taking care of the GUY.

But wow, she was good. And the storyline! Don't get me started! It touched me in some parts, I just felt like I was in there too, cause I felt kinda scared at times. I was so nervous to find out the ending. I mean, they only almost died every 2 pages!

Then the ending....No way, I'm just still shell-shocked. I hope the second one will be longer, and I still have so many unanswered questions.

*Sighs* Okay, that is all. LOVED THE BOOK! REALLY GOOD READ!
Marie_Stuart More than 1 year ago
I'm a person who naturally loves reading. I read all the time, and because I've read so many, I've become pretty good at sniffing out the stinkers. I was a bit leery about this one because everyone kept telling me it was the next Twilight. I didn't like Twilight in the least and wasn't exactly jumping at the chance to read a book that has been unjustly compared to that garbage. But when I finally read it, I was surprised at how much I liked it. I found myself liking Katniss, Peeta, Gale and Haymitch as well as many other characters Katniss encounters. This book was great and I couldn't put it down. I immediately went out and bought them all. I've read them over and over and can't stop talking to my friends about how great this story is. Many of them have been sick of listening to my praises and have decided to read the books themselves and have been pleased as well. I have yet to meet someone who has read these books and has not liked them profusely. It was great! You won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This Series should be required reading in school.