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)
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.
"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...
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!!! :)
As a huge fan of this series I was excited to pick it up on audio book. I should have listened to the sample. They had no business casting her to read this. I can hear her reading Jane Austen but not this. They really needed a younger, fresher sounding voice to read this book.
A great story ruined by the narrator. She speaks with an annoying affectation, and sounds as if she were reading to children. Perhaps she was trying to imitate the speech of the heroine -- but this doesn't explain why her delivery was so devoid of emotion. In all, very distracting. I'll avoid this narrator in the future.
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.
This is a good story but I wish I would have read it instead of listened to it. The narrator uses such a whiny voice throughout the book that it gets annoying. I've listened to so many great narrators, it can make a huge difference in the entertainment quality of the book.
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.
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?
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.
"The Hunger Games"
The narrators voice is incredibly annoying, not enough emotion in her voice at all. Very flat and grating. Such a shame as there is over 10hours of her talking but I'm not sure if I can listen to the whole book!! Great story ruined by the narrator who puts no passion into her narrating. Such a shame, very disappointed.
I never did understand the need to squeeze book (or any other media or art form) into genres such as 'Young Adult' or 'Teen'. I am 48 years old and thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Potter series. A such is the same for The Hunger Games. A well written (and in this case narrated) book I have just finished Part 1 of the Audio Book and am looking forward to the second part.
"Brilliant & addictive."
I love this trilogy and have collected the books in all formats, paperback, kindle e-book & audio, as well as having the film on blu-ray.
Covering a wide variety of social, economical & political issues, as well as having the added edge of believability in this age of reality television, The Hunger Games has me hooked from beginning to end no matter what format i use. (i have the series in paperback, kindle e-books & audible audiobook)
The writing itself is gripping, engaging and fast paced and the narration flows very well.
The characters are well rounded and the relationships between them are strong and well developed.
I have been listening to audiobooks from a very young age and although i have my old favourites that have grown up with me as well as some new favourites, this series definitely ranks in my top 5 listens.
I am fairly new to dystopian fiction and haven’t read many in books in this genre but i have compared this trilogy to my other favourite dystopian trilogy, Divergent by Veronica Roth.
I am huge fan of the 'Young Adult' genre, although the genre title always amuses me as you couldn't find another category that spans a much wider customer base than the title suggests.
From Harry Potter to Twilight, Narnia to Divergent this series holds its own in a very competitive genre and will be a firm favourite with readers of all ages.
"Loved the book so much more than the Film"
It was the publicity surrounding the release of the DVD that got me interested in listening to this book, What a great decision that was, the book is very well read and had me gripped from the moment it began.
I sped through the story in a couple of days, it was a truely captivating with the characters coming alive in the mind.
The story of poverty and oppression has been done before but this seemed so refreshing to have it done so well, I am really looking forward to the second and third books that I also have downloaded from Audible.
Today I watched the DVD and whilst it was enjoyable it did not do the book justice.
But this is a review of the book and as such it is a 5 star cracker of a story.
"good book shame about the reader"
I enjoyed the story but didn't like the reader. Very unconvincing when she had to do male voices. Also a lot of mispronounciation even allowing for the differences in American and English. Would have been better to have had several readers. Am not going to listen to the sequels for this reason. Have bought them on Kindle.
I wasn't sure what to expect but I loved it, I have listened to over 100 books and would rate this in my top 5!
"Great book, robotic reading."
This is a fantastic story, full of drama, action and excitement, as well as a very well written main character who you instantly become attached to, despite her prickly personality. The book is clearly read, although the woman's voice was difficult to listen to, to begin with. She is quite robotic and doesn't inject much life into the characters, she sometimes misjudges the tone or idea behind some of the speech. However you soon get so wrapped up in the story that you forget about this and it only becomes a minor irritant every now and again!
"Ok for kids, but wow, the narration is appalling."
Firstly let me comment on the story and then I will move on to the real crux of my review, the narration.
I was persuaded by various friend that "no, Hunger Games isn't a children's book it is really good" and "It makes some really good points about politics and stuff". So let me clear this up. Hunger Games absolutely is a children's book and that is no bad thing. I found much of it, especially the politics and characterization, clunky and obvious but that is my own fault as a 40 year old man for listening to young adult fiction. I can easily see how the story and it's heroine would appeal to a younger audience with less jaded and sophisticated tastes.
So I don't want to focus on the simplistic and implausible World Collins has created nor the one dimensional nature of all the character who are simply there to fit one narrative purpose rather than plausible figures to understood and engaged with. The book is fine for what it is but doesn't have the appeal to a grown up audience of say, Philip Pullman.
What is not fine is the narration. As a fan of Star Trek, TNG, I was amused to note that Caroline McCormick was the actress who played the minor role of Minuet in the TV series. The role was basically a hologram with whom one of the characters fall in love. I had assumed at the time that the flimsy nature of the character was intentional as reflecting that she was the creation of a holodeck not a real person with real feelings. Having listened to Carolyn McCormick's narration of these books I am forced to assume that Minuet was the absolute limit of her acting abilities and she is simply incapable of imparting the emotional depth of a sun dried puddle to her performances.
Her reading of this book is truly extraordinary in it's awfulness. Very nearly enough to make me give up on the book altogether. Her attempts to portray different characters are risible and she barely seems to understand the text she is reading - and this is not a complex text after all. It was of no surprise to me to learn, on consulting IMDB, that Minuet still marks a career high water mark for McCormick even thirty years on.
So, in summary, Hunger Games is a perfectly passable kids book but not one that any self-respecting adult should be recommending to their peers. That, however, should be moot since the narration makes the whole experience traumatic for the listener.
This was the best book I have listened to in a year (and I listen to a lot). The scenario was well described and story moved along at a sharp pace. The plot was unpredictable and interesting. Recommended.
Great book! I enjoyed it so much, an exciting story!
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