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!!! :)
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
"The Hunger Games"
The nearest book I read years ago, but 'almost' similar was Lord of the Flies, where you see children turn against each other - but in very different circumstances!
I didn't really think I would enjoy the book but I couldn't stop listening! I think it exceeded my expectations and will make a controversial discussion for my book club.... as it was recommended to us and we will review it in July!
"never too old"
I'm 54 and loved this. So not just for teenagers. I've always been a fan of science fantasy and this world is remenicent of other creations and sill retains its own character. I have ordered the next part as my next month's download.
"My first Audio Book and I loved it"
I have just finished listening to The Hunger Games and I have to say I loved it. The narrator, Carolyn McCormick brings to life this absolutely amazing story and I can't wait to listen to the next part and see where Suzanne takes the story.
"loved it!!! cant wait to see the movie"
this is a must read! loved it from the start, I felt the writing was similar to the harry potter books, very well written and had me interested from start to finish. Now looking forward to the movie, have been told that it has stayed true to the book. happy listening !!
"Beware, for 13/14 year olds !"
Well written and plotted for young readers; for an adult the plot is thin, shallow and superficial. Teenage angst and 'what will people think of me?' aplenty. It will no doubt make a great teen-film, with photogenic stars who will quickly become celebs. I am not the first to draw parallels with "Lord of the Flies", but the lack of depth betrays any true comparison.
It's all very well to want to avoid false labelling and pigeon-holing but if the style demands it, as it does here, own up to it as an audible for kids production,with which it, correctly, introduces itself .
"Let the games begin."
The first book of the series introduces Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant heroine of the trilogy, and the cold, authoritative society in which she exists. I liked Katniss as a protagonist. She's a strong, tomboyish sort of figure who is a fighter. Growing up under the rigid control of the Capitol has turned Katniss into a girl who has learned to depend on her own wits and instincts for the survival of herself and her family.
One of the most disturbing facets of our heroine's personality, is the fact that killing really doesn't seem to be particularly difficult for her. I found this aspect of her difficult to warm to. Yes, she has learned to hunt in order to be the provider for her family, but there is little refection on what a huge leap there is between snaring a rabbit or shooting a stag, in comparison with taking the life of another person.
Entering the Arena with Katniss is Peeta, a boy who once saved her life through an act of selfless generosity in a world where such kindness is rare. Peeta is a far more likeable character than Katniss at times. As well as being the least selfish of the characters, he is also warmer, cleverer and wilier. It is his wisdom which prompts his pre-game strategies which he hopes will keep both himself and Katniss alive. I don't want to get overly-spoilerific, so I won't say more.
What I will say is that this is a book which will appeal to both female and male readers. There is both the brutality involved in the Games, and a complicated love-triangle (between Katniss, her best friend Gale, and Peeta) which begins in this book and which is sustained well throughout the series. It's not a soppy sort of romance, as such a thing would be incongruous within the austere darkness of war and oppression, but it is touching.
I loved the first book in this trilogy. In The Hunger Games, a cold and bitter world is created through cleverly spartan prose. Katniss' voice is captured in a first-person narrative which will leave you breathless.
I would've give it a six, though. But still, having that book presented as being from Audible Kids still doesn't sound right to me. It may be just me, but as I've recently seen death this book is somewhat raw to me.
"Lord of the Flies, Battle Royale"
The book is greatly fun and well paced however it does not tread any new ground. I would recommend the book for early teens and hope this would entice them to read Lord of the Flies, and develop an interest into Orwell, Wilde and Fitzgerald for better understanding of society and its flaws.
"Needs editing, unoriginal but entertaining."
This is not a novel that will ever make it onto the literary masterpiece list, however it does remind you uncannily of Running Man with Schwarzeneggar and a little bit of Takeshi's Castle. The story is not particularly original but it will satisfy the Twilight crowd. It's entertaining, the character becomes endeared to you and you end up caring what happens to her. The prose style isn't very interesting, but the narrator is decent and there is a good sense of tension created, despite the predictability. I enjoyed it and it did make me want to listen in for longer. Certainly better than the film and character development is decent.
Other reviewers have said it all. I listen to a lot of audio books and this has got to be one of the best ever!
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