Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 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 12 and 18 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 weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
©2008 Suzanne Collins; (P)2008 Scholastic Inc.
"[The Hunger Games] is a violent, jarring, speed-rap of a novel that generates nearly constant suspense... I couldn't stop reading." (Stephen King, Entertainment Tonight)
"I was so obsessed with this book that I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn't have to stop reading... The Hunger Games is amazing." (Stephanie Meyer)
"Brilliantly plotted and perfectly paced." John Green, (New York Times Book Review)
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I listened all 11 hours and 14 minutes of this book in one sitting! Seriously.... Onnneee SIITTTIIINNGGGG!!!!!! I have never done that to an audiobook before. Heck I have had audiobooks that are 3 - 5 hours long that took me a week! This book took me one day and I bet if I had the actual paperback I would have finished this book in about half the time. Why? It was downright addictive!
My only drawback, as almost everyone else has stated, is the narration. It wasn't horrible by any chance, it was done very well actually. It is obvious that Carolyn McCormick who voiced Katniss does know how to deliver a great performance. With that being said though, a better choice could have been made to voice her. Someone younger or at least sounded younger could probably have done a better job. Carolyn McCormick did though did a very good job irrespectively.
The story, the story is where this book shine! Any book that can bring me back to a 15/16 year old me spending all day/evening/night engrossed in one book deserves my utmost praise. In fact when I was watching the sun rise as I finished the closing minutes of the book (I stayed up all night listening to the book) I couldn't help but chuckle wondering what my mother would say if she knew I was still sacrificing sleep for the sake of a good book, lol. It was action packed with a fair amount of surprises. Had some gut-wrenching moments and you just plain get to start loving and bonding with each character. The ending of the book leaves you downright begging for more though and I literally am just gearing myself up for another assault on Book 2 in this series. I can see another all nighter looming ever so closer in my future...
It is not unusual these days to find a book written for the young adult that has appeal to an older audience. Some of the best fiction these days is in the young adult genre. The Hunger Games falls into this category. Katniss and Peeta are District 12 children, aged 16, who are selected to participate in Panem's annual hunger games. 22 other tributes/contestants are also drawn - 12 boys and 12 girls between the ages of 12 and 18. The objective for the tributes is to be the last one standing. The objective of Panem is to remind all districts that they may not rebel against the Capitol. The book is about the games themselves. If the reader is looking for a fast paced, action driven, gory, bloody plot, this is not the book. The violence of the games is not masked by Collins, but she treats it in a PG13 way, alluding at certain events that cause the deaths of the tributes. After all, it is written for the PG13 audience, not for the mature adult. But certainly a young adult sees and hears far worse on the evening news. The action of the book is far more about strategy, problem solving, critical thinking, relationship building, and the wisdom, or not, of rebelling and why. These are the common themes that young adults face in the teenage years. But they are couched in a plot that contemporaries can relate to. This cleverly created book is well written with good character development. It is respectably read by McCormick and easy to follow. I highly recommend it to anyone and have purchased it and the sequel (the final book in the trilogy will be available in print 8/2010) for two young adults I know. I have also recommended it to my adult friends, who were quite puzzled by my droopy eyes all week as I stayed up until 2:30 or later in the mornings reading the book. Although they know I am a voracious reader, they recognized this as a highly unusual book that fully engaged my attention.
Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.
I'm so glad that I finally succumbed to reading this after the whole series was published so I could start Catching Fire immediately! That's exactly what I had to do, and I'm sure that will be the case with Mockingjay. I resisted reading this because I was afraid it would be far too dystopian, science fiction, and YA for me (I'm well into my 50s), but Collins has managed to write a series that will appeal to the intended audience and adults as well. The Hunger Games has a taut, dramatic and thought-provoking storyline, but it also deals with much bigger questions of celebrity, morality, justice, and humanity. I used to work in a middle school library and I'm debating returning for a visit to make sure as many students (and staff!) read this as possible. The premise of the book itself is horrifying, but I hope that it will provoke thoughtfulness about the striking similarities between Panem and our own culture.
I have listened to hundreds of Audio books, in a variety of category's, so much so that I am never able to stay within my 2 credits a month. I have never written a review for a book before, but I never decide to listen to a book without heavily considering what the reviews have said about it. I find that the reviews by other listeners are almost always spot on and are very reliable. That is why I felt compelled to review this book.
The hunger games violates all of the rules I have set as criteria for selecting a book. I rarely listen to a series of books and I am not usually a big sci-fi fan. Additionally I am weary of books geared towards young girls, as I don't want to waste a credit on something like Twilight. When I saw that this book had been given almost five stars by over 2000 people I knew it deserved a closer look. When I read the synopses I was skeptical especially since I had just finished Decision Points by George Bush, and was looking for something similar. When I noticed that every single review on the first page was enthusiastically positive I could not resist.
The reviews set the bar high, and the book itself not only met but exceed my expectations. This book and the entire trilogy had me completely absorbed. At certain points in the book I found myself yelling at the characters, at other times I was stopped dead in my tracks and dropped my jaw in shock, and finally I even cried. As I neared the end of the last book I had regretted ever listening to them at all. I loved these books so much that I am now disappointed that the journey is over. I now have to begin the search to try and find an audio-book capable of filling the void left in my life by life by Katniss Everdeen and Suzanne Collins
If you love books, and love to get wrapped up in an amazing story that will have you looking forward to every opportunity to listen, Then you need this book.
OK, you are like me... you are reading this to see if you should use a credit! Yes, yes, yes! I was leery at first because I'm 53 and it was young adult... and a gruesome premise!!!! Hmmmmmmm! But it's so worth it! I read the criticisms of the narrator but don't feel she was bad at all! Our county is doing a promotion to get everyone in the county to read the same book. You get to vote for the book online! Of course, the classics were on there like "Great Gatsby", but they did have two new ones like "The Book Thief" (definitely get this one, too) and "The Hunger Games". I was torn between the two, but voted for "The Hunger Games" because I think it will grab young readers! GO USE YOUR CREDIT!!! :)
This may be listed as a book for adolescents, but as a 33-year-old woman who isn't generally fond of Sci Fi, I can assure you that this novel is a terrific listen for ANYONE. I would award it more stars if I could. I am an avid fan of audiobooks and have had difficulty pausing many of my listens from audible, but I absolutely had to listen to this one nonstop - no choice. I literally paused my life for this book.
From the opening scenes in the dystopic former U.S. where 16-year-old Katniss has to grapple for her family's survival on a daily basis to the heart-stopping scenes in the arena in the Hunger Games, the action never lets up. The strategy and conflict involved in the brutal gladiator-style combat are stark relief to the story of Katniss herself and her unlikely ally - and love interest - Peeta. The narration, while at first a little off-putting because it doesn't sound like a 16-year-old girl, turns out to be spot-on and a perfect complement to the story.
In short, I can't recommend this book highly enough. I'll probably listen to it again before too long. I usually listen to crime novels and historicals, but this book easily outpaced the most nail-biting crime novel I've ever read. Use your credit - get it, get it now.
First I'd like to say that I have now read all 3 Hunger Games novels and loved them all. I had to read them on my kindle because I simply couldn't stand this narrator. Her voice absolutely grated on my nerves. I was only able to make it through 1 chapter before her babyish rendition of Katniss turned me off completely.
I loved the story, but Carolyn McCormick's voice nearly ruined it for me. When she tried to do a little girl's voice, it sounded cartoonish and it grated my nerves. It was awful. When she tried to make the characters' voices sound surprised, she over played it and startled me each time. It sounds like she should be doing children's books.
If she is the voice for the rest of these books, I'll buy the paperbacks instead.
I use audiobooks to keep myself awake on my 40 min drive to work. If I start dozing, the book gets ditched. I am not a re-reader of books. In order to get a rating of 5 on "story" a novel needs to be engaging and be novel-study worthy (unless it is so entertaining, I listen to it again). I don't review books that I don't finish.
I read The Hunger Games before I endured the pain of this audio recording. I could not put the paper copy down, but I had a difficult time listening to it on audio. It saddens me to think of the first-timers who will miss out on the full experience of The Hunger Games because of the inappropriate voice used to portray Katniss! Read this one on your own first!
For being targeted at a YA audience, this book is surprisingly brutal, but in a good way. There is violence, murder, betrayal, and everything else inherent in a gladiatorial fight to the death. That said, "The Hunger Games" was absolutely riveting. Collins does not pull any punches in saving beloved characters from horror and pain, and she also occasionally pulls the rug out from under your feet. In true series preparation the ending ends on a cliffhanger, making me drool for book number two...
I recomend it to anyone. I could not help pondering over this story long after I had finished it. I was surprised at the thought that entered my mind how far would I go to stay alive?Or, how far would I go to keep someone I loved alive?
"Engaging insight in a new world."
I have only just finished this and am reading the next books, I can absolutely see myself revisiting these in the future, after say a few years, because I am sure to miss the well-drawn characters and want to be in their company again.
A part totally omitted from the films – mutt mutations near the end of the games which shake Katniss to her core – this was the first taste of solemnity in the story. One must read the books to appreciate this and other aspects of the world created in the series.
I fell in love with Katniss as a flawed character and with Peeta as his own separate entity – in the films he comes across as unlikable and as having some kind of sinister agenda, whereas in the books he is the exact opposite. It seems a simple thing, but the different voices employed by the actress added to their characteristics, and she channelled each character well.
It certainly was! I listened to the whole thing in a matter of days, eager to move onto the next one and to finally be at the point I am now – reading Mokingjay before seeing the film – a treat!
I had it on overnight and had to rewind in the morning – that made for some interesting dreams!
I happened to see the first movie and found it mediocre. As a fan of the Japanese novel turned movie with a similar theme, Battle Royale, I instinctively joined the “this is just a Battle Royale rip off” brigade. I could see little originality in the film’s story.
After watching the second film and finding the plot somewhat hard to follow I came to wonder whether the books held some extra charm the film was missing. The films are fast paced therefore I deduced that indeed there were myriads of intricacies in the books that had to be left out to preserve space for action. They obviously leave a lot of the backstory and personal viewpoints of Katniss out, and it is these that turn a “Battle Royale rip off” into something so much more.
The world created in these books is entertaining to read about but can also verge on depressing at points.
The books portray the intricate world of “the Capitol”, “Panem”, “Mokingjays”, and “Trackerjackers”, and I became engrossed in this world which is so different to our own, yet so prophetically similar.
I’ve read the first two books which the films keep to rigidly, whilst omitting what turns the story magical.
I’ve just begun the third book and have actually gone through almost all of the trilogy in a matter of weeks. It truly is one of those stories you miss when it’s over. I highly recommend this book and this series.
"Better than the film"
It’s nice to see a film adaptation that has stuck quite closely to the book
Story – 3.5/5
I found the book to be very entertaining. In fact, if I was to rate it on my enjoyment of the story alone, it would have gotten a 4.5/5. There were, however, a few things that some readers may want to consider before reading:
None of the ideas are very innovative – in fact it is very reminiscent of “Battle Royale”. What it does do well though is allow a brutal concept such as a blood bath to the last survivor and make it accessible for a younger audience. This does have the knock-on effect of things being over-romanticised, and not necessarily realistic of human behaviour overall.
The little details make this book easier to enjoy, such as the sponsors, the various districts each having their own characteristics, family histories, and the sci-fi elements like genetic mutations etc. Not all of these details are fully portrayed in the film.
I didn’t find the love elements of the story very convincing, and found this to be quite annoying at times as a consequence, but this didn’t detract too much from the story overall, so don’t let it put you off.
I had watched the film first, and found the book more enjoyable, so I would recommend those who enjoyed the film to still give this a go. The extra little details that they don’t have time to include in the film will give you a better feel for the world they are living in.
Performance – 3.5/5
Carolyn McCormick was my first female narrator. For some reason I have always steered away from them, as I have always felt more comfortable with a man doing female voices over a woman doing male voices. She did an excellent job with all of her voice acting though, and as the narration was done by the female lead, she suited the story very well
She created a good atmosphere throughout the story and helped to portray the fear and sadness of the whole situation. I did feel that she portrayed a lot of the younger characters as a little too whiney by over elongating and over emphasising some words. This may be a fault of the writing though, and not the narrator.
Overall – 3.5/5
"Stay with it."
Ripping political yarn
The performance starts really quite poorly, it sounds like someone reading out loud in GCSE class, but once the story gets going so does the performance. Get past the first five minutes and the performance is rather good.The other issue is that the chapters don't appear as seperate tracks on my ipod, meaning that if I press the wrong button, I have work out how far through a five hour reading I've got and then spend a long time forwarding the audio until I get to the right point. Which is frustrating,
"The Hunger Games review"
I would recommend the audiobook, fantastic story
The others in the trilogy, a great idea.
NO! Please please please have an english version. The American accent was awful and so hard to understand.
Many many moments
"Didn't like the story line or the narration"
I don't think so.
If you like things that are disturbing, you'd probably enjoy this!
No, I didn't enjoy it.
Not for me, although I think it's a love it or hate it type story.
"Got this for my daughters first audiable book"
Thrilling ..brilliant ..excellent
Her voice was very theatrical had a lot of passion behind it ..it had me Engadged ..
Totally recommend this book it's so good.. nail biting it had me in the edge of my seat and the ending is the best!
"Book 1 of 3"
Once you get used to the accent this is a very enjoyable audiobook. The story takes you into another world and you empathise with the characters. You don't necessarily like the main character, she is flawed, which makes the story easier to identify with.
I have gone on to listen to the other two books in the trilogy after listening to the first.
The story is detailed to enable you to enter their world and experience the exciting and tragic events that take place.
The narrator can at times be a bit too 'girly' which contrasts with the main character.
"great way to get kids reading the books"
I have recommended this to a friend because my son would not try the books, but had the audio and went on to read the books straight through
fast moving, lots of action, female hero, good questions about love and violence
sounded just right
all the deaths of the competitors ar emoving
great well worth the money
"Well narrated, involving story, easy listen"
About in the middle. Not usually the genre I listen to, but it was easy listening while walking.
I thought it was much better and a bit darker than the blockbuster movie. More involving as the Catlin's rhoughts were better described and that gives a rounder understanding of the story.
Clear and understandable, it lacked a bit of pathos but was overall good.
Teens grow up fast and handle murder and death better than expected.
Easy to listen to and great for long walks.
I have not read the book print version I would like to think it was word for word accurate with the print version. I prefer audibles as I recline or am flat on my back due to condition so audibles are far better for me as holding a book used to be hard and often lost grip an smacked self on face with books.
This is a superb first story, full of drama, action and excitement, a very well written character who you instantly bond with, despite her edgy persona.
The narraters voice was offputing to start with there was little in passion in the voice sort of constant robotic like tone in the characters, she sometimes gets the tone or thinking behind some of the speech wrong too (perhaps if she listens to Stephen Fry she would learn a lot). However you get enthralled in the story that you forget about this niggle but every so often it reappears.
Sadly no I am not the best for long periods listening so I do short burts mainly and can take me weeks sometimes to finish a read
Cant wait to start the 2nd book now.
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