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Publisher's Summary

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.

Critic Reviews

"[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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    31,853
  • 4 Stars
    11,319
  • 3 Stars
    2,887
  • 2 Stars
    674
  • 1 Stars
    484

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    23,270
  • 4 Stars
    9,265
  • 3 Stars
    3,116
  • 2 Stars
    716
  • 1 Stars
    485

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    26,716
  • 4 Stars
    7,734
  • 3 Stars
    2,085
  • 2 Stars
    452
  • 1 Stars
    308
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Donga
  • Monhegan, ME, USA
  • 03-23-12

Held Me But I Wished It Commited to a Statement

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Without revealing any plot: I give credit for an unpredictable ending, but it lacked payoff. It didn't commit to either an emotional or political stance. It just kind of wimped out, which made me reluctant to read the next book.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Her voice randomly emphasized words in sentences that didn't make sense to me, and distracted me from the plot. I disliked this narrator compared to others I've heard in audiobooks but this could just be my personal taste. I think I dislike female narrators which seems personal and unfair.

Do you think The Hunger Games needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

I went in knowing there were two more books published.

Any additional comments?

I went into this book knowing it was very popular, had two sequels published and a movie coming out soon. I didn't like the narrator but the plot held me and was original enough to keep me interested. The female lead character impressed me. The book touched on political and emotional topics worth pursuing, but didn't commit, and this disappointed me especially in a young adult book. I'm interested to see if the movie changes improve on this.

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  • anthony
  • lower lake, CA, United States
  • 03-23-12

An adult recommended this book to me

Yes, an adult recommended this book, I would even call this person very grown up (these titles not being equal in my opinion) and responsable. So I can only infer that our tastes are quite different. Therefore my review of this book and the small portion of the second in the series that I could force myself to listen to, is of course only my opinion. And we all know about opinions, and opinions are not like elbows.
I thought the book was childish to the point of a fourteen year olds daydream. The heroine, and all the rest of the characters were shallow and seemed to be only partly developed, again it felt like I was reading some adolescents daydream.
The narrator spoke in baby talk, I'm sorry I hate writing that, but that's what it felt like. Maybe the narrator felt she was telling the story to children, and maybe that's the whole problem I have with the book. It's a kids book. If you don't want to read a dopey kids book, use your credits on something else.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hope Fueled Heroism and Humanity Feed the Games

Wow! What a creative mind Suzanne Collins has! To have woven this story of a future world that has created a perpetual punishment as payback for a past uprising and revolt, is just too fantastical to believe. Yet, we have the Hunger Games-a systematic and gruesome duel to the death.

Through the eyes of Katniss Everdeen, we experience first hand the wonder, marvel, horror and desperation of tributes that represent each of the twelve districts of Panem (the country which has evolved from the ruins of America). While my five star rating reflects how much I was drawn into the story and the plot's ability to keep me engaged, I am ashamed to admit the depraved, and inhumane premise of the story could capture my attention so thoroughly while simultaneously repulsing me with its wickedness.

But, enough about my internal conflict. The real story is found in the characters. The hopeless helplessness of their plights linger long after they're gone. The innocence and single-mindedness seem entirely appropriate given the circumstances. The blossoming romantic conflict adds a strand of tension that provides relief when your nerves are frayed by the deluge of gore and grit. Wishing for an outcome that we know is impossible keeps us on the emotional roller coaster that is the glue to this series.

Because, of course, the story doesn't end when the competition finishes, we know that there will be more. While we know the victor, we don't know if the promised bright future is really as gleaming as the games producers promise. If you love fantasy and drama intertwined with the bravery and introspection of the young, the Hunger Games will certainly exceed your expectations!

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  • Cheryl
  • Belle Ewart, Ontario, Canada
  • 03-22-12

Excellent story line

What did you love best about The Hunger Games?

Excellent plot line to story

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hunger Games?

Arriving at the capital and seeing it for the first time

What three words best describe Carolyn McCormick’s voice?

Listening was easy

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I wasn't surprised but was unhappy when Roo(not sure how her name is spelled) died & Catnice held her in her arms.

Any additional comments?

The writing of the story was not well done. However I believe this book is written for a younger crowd and if so the writing is very suitable. The plot is excellent and I will listen to the other 2 books in the series.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent book more on the mature side

What did you love best about The Hunger Games?

Audio book narrated beautifully.
You will bond with one or more charachters people in the book.
If your kid reads this book, he will most likely read the second and third; know they will have real-world stuff in here, down to imagry reflecting ethnic cleansing.

What other book might you compare The Hunger Games to and why?

Very unique book. Back-end politics like Star Wars , teen romance and WWII Europe history. Strange mix.

What about Carolyn McCormick’s performance did you like?

Consistent.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The bread scene stuck in my head. Sienna's quiet responses.

Any additional comments?

When I got through with the first two books.... I still think Dad didn't get killed in the mine! I was expecting him to pop up and say,

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  • Lesia
  • Winona, MS, United States
  • 03-22-12

Surprising narration--There's a reason

Have you listened to any of Carolyn McCormick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I am pleasantly surprised at McCormick's performance. As Katless, I was wondering why...well, you'll just have to see for yourself. If I told you, you will practically know how the trilogy ends.You don't want that, do you? Of course not! Astute listeners will understand what I'm referring to--promise. In retrospect, I understand why she narrated the way she did. McCormick reads it with passion and is true to the action, passion, pain and angst the book holds. It will hold you,too. You will not want to put down this book until the end.

Any additional comments?

As dystopian novels go, this is definitely clear. I, and others so I'm told, was bored with the beginning, but understood its purpose. Be patient, you will be rewarded. I've given four stars because of the initial response to the novel. Between the narration and the plot, things will not come together until you complete the trilogy. And trust me, you will want to complete the trilogy. Only then will you bang the heel of your palm against your forehead and say,

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas
  • Boulder, CO, United States
  • 03-21-12

Wrong narrater for the story

The narrator is a middle-aged woman, the heroine is a teenage girl. The narrator reads very clearly but a first-person story needs a narrator who sounds like the character.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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great book, annoying narrator

Would you listen to The Hunger Games again? Why?

I love this story but I can't bear another second of listening to this narrator and since she's the narrator for the other two books I'm buying the paperbacks.

How could the performance have been better?

This narrator's performance was artificial, grating, and way too intrusive.

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  • Carla
  • Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 03-21-12

great book, annoying narrator

Would you listen to The Hunger Games again? Why?

I love this story but I can't bear another second of listening to this narrator and since she's the narrator for the other two books I'm buying the paperbacks.

How could the performance have been better?

This narrator's performance was artificial, grating, and way too intrusive.

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  • Jennifer
  • IOWA CITY, IA, United States
  • 03-20-12

Fantastic!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes, it was a fast paced read and was thrilling yet character development was good. Would recommend to everyone.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hunger Games?

The berries

Have you listened to any of Carolyn McCormick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was emotionally involved in this book and could not stop listening. I wanted to laugh and cry.