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22 August 2010

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins


It seemed like a crazy idea to go from reading The House of Mirth, a classic novel about gossip and drama in New York's high society in the 1900s, to a young adult dystopian novel in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins -- I was so afraid because I don't normally read Young Adult novels (well, I mean, other than Twilight) and I was worried that the hype would be better than the book.  But, my good friends, I must admit it was even better than all the hoopla that has swirled around this series!  It was absolutely fantastic!

Katniss is sixteen-years-old and lives in District 12, the poorest of the twelve total districts that was born out of "a place once known as North America."  The Capitol is a rich and wealthy thriving city that controls the districts and runs The Hunger Games every year, which is televised through every district.  It's a requirement to enter your children into the Reaping, a raffle that randomly selects one boy and one girl from each district between the ages of twelve and eighteen to fight to the death in The Hunger Games.  And every year 
along with all of the other districts, District 12 will see two families close their windows in sadness and fear after the Reaping, fearing for the survival of their child who was selected to fight.  The winner of the games receives wealth and food beyond all imagination for the rest of their lives, but the losers -- the losers are killed by each other's young hands in the "arena," which changes every year.  It's designed by the Gamemakers and one year could be a desert, or another year the 24 participants could be dropped in the middle of mountains and woods.  It's then up to these kids to survive in the wilderness and literally take each other out.  And it's also required television viewing for all districts to watch this awful "sport" live, to effectively remind them that the Capitol has that much control over their lives.

Seriously, how twisted does all that sound?  I don't normally read Young Adult or dystopia (though my book reading schedule is changing a bit with The Handmaid's Tale read along with
Hey Lady over at Classic Reads Book Club), but I literally got so caught up in Katniss and Peeta and their moral and physical battles, not to mention love, that I literally did nothing all evening and finished this story last night, annoyed that all the bookstores were closed and I couldn't get book two in the series, Catching Fire, until this morning.  I mean, I had to wait twelve whole hours!!  What??  Noooo!!  I can't wait!  I watched terrible TV last night, tossed and turned, then got up bright and early to be at the store literally 5 minutes after it opened so I could dive right into book two.  
Suzanne Collins' writing is easy to read and was thoroughly full of action, rebellion, love, and ethics amidst the bizarre Capitol propaganda and laws.

Tuesday is the big day for the final book in the series Mockingjay to be released, and I cannot wait!


Happy Reading!

Coffee and a Book Chick



26 comments:

  1. You've really been infected with the Hunger Games virus, then! Wow. Now I just hope you will be able to get Mockingjay the day it comes out...

    I loved the books too and so did my son (13). My other son (11) is now reading The Hunger Games. We all seem to be a little infected.

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  2. Ok. I guess I'm going to have to pick these up. I've resisted long enough.

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  3. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I haven't read Hunger Games, and hadn't even considered it...but when you mentioned The Handmaid's Tale, which I loved...and thought about it, it occurred to me that both are from that similar "dystopian" genre.

    I may have to reconsider!

    It was the YA part that was putting me off....

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  4. It took me a long time to give into the Hunger Games. But it was such a good book, I'm glad I gave in.

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  5. Wow! Sounds awesome! I love your enthusiasm for these books, because I have them sitting on my shelf waiting to be read and now I am super excited to start reading them! YAY! Thanks!

    By the by, love the new look of your blog!

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  6. @ Leeswammes -- It's addicting! I bought Catching Fire yesterday and finished it last night! Ready for Mockingjay tomorrow!

    @ Picky Girl -- Yes, definitely read Hunger Games and let me know what you think. My husband's reading it right now, so I can loan you mine when he's done if you don't come across it anytime soon!

    @ Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow -- Thanks for swinging by as well! I must admit, YA books, dystopian novels...not normally my thing, but reading The Hunger Games, albeit disturbing, really got me caught up in it!

    @ Chris -- I'm with you, I took forever as well, but I do not regret it now!

    @ Nadia -- Thanks so much!! I'm getting a blogover (blog makeover) in a couple of months by a *real* professional, so I'm getting to play around with Blogger's templates and designs until then. And let me know what you think once you read The Hunger Games -- I picked up Catching Fire yesterday and finished it last night!

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  7. Before getting my hands on The Hunger Games at everyone's recommendation last year, I'd never even heard of "dystopia" -- and, like you, I was hooked! I devoured it over the course of a day or two and, thankfully, only had to wait a few weeks for Catching Fire to be released. Can't wait for Mockingjay tomorrow!

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  8. I haven't read this yet - I think I'm letting the hype get the best of me. I'm glad to see it exceeded all the hoopla!

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  9. You're smart to have waited until the third one's about to come out, thereby saving yourself the boring nuisance of suspense. I sometimes avoid trilogies until all the books have been written. :p

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  10. @ Meg -- I can't wait!! My husband is going to get it for me since he has the day off!

    @ Bermudaonion -- I'd be interested to hear what you think of it; let me know if you decide to give this one a whirl!

    @ Jenny -- Well, I must admit, the waiting worked wonders, but it was by no design on my part! I kept seeing the books at the store, and I hadn't even read the back of the book or read any reviews on it. So, it wasn't until recently that I started really paying attention to it, and then I just decided to get a copy -- I am so thankful I did and I don't have to have that agonizing months of waiting -- I'm only waiting one full day and then the final book will be in my hands tomorrow!! :)

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  11. I've never heard of this book but it sounds great. I do like it when I start reading a series after a few books have already come out so I can read them all at once. Nothing worse than having to wait a year for the next installment!

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  12. I just bought this one for Rocketgirl for her birthday, and I think she'll loooove it. Catching Fire didn't capture me quite the same way, and I ended up laying it aside. I need to pick it back up and knock it out to get to Mockingjay.

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  13. I have such a soft spot for young adult lit. I guess my love of Sweet Valley High just never left me :-)

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  14. @ Connie at SogniESorrisi -- Yes, it was well worth it to wait until now when the final book comes out tomorrow, thank goodness! I would have gone nuts! :)

    @ Andi -- I agree with you on Catching Fire and I was wondering if it was just because I had just finished Hunger Games the day before. One thing I can't stand right now is just how Peeta always needs to be saved! Argh! I mean, come on, does he always need to be helped?? Sheesh! :)

    @ Anna at NewlyWed, Newly Veg -- Thanks so much for stopping by! Oh, my - Sweet Valley High, I do remember those books! And yes, I was into them! :) The Hunger Games is definitely very different though, so just be aware of that if you pick it up!

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  15. *laughs* Your description of waiting to get your hands on book 2 sounds exactly like me when I was reading the first three Twilight books (cliche I know!) - I couldn't even sleep, and I certainly didn't want to go to work!

    I've got my copy of Mockingjay coming from TBD soon, and I know better than to start it on a weekday - I'll dedicate a Saturday to it I think. I liked this first book a tad better than #2, mostly because it had a tighter plot and better momentum, while #2 seemed a bit like re-hashing. Still good though :)

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  16. Yay, you loved it! The first two books far exceeded my expectations - they are brilliant! Mockingjay comes out here this week too and can't wait to get my mitts on it.

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  17. @ Shannon at Giraffe Days -- I was all over the Twilight series, too! And I felt the same way regarding Catching Fire -- still good, but...not quite the same as The Hunger Games. Definitely more re-hashing, doing the same thing, etc. I'll be flying out to Boston tomorrow, so my flight will be dedicated to Mockingjay, can't wait!!

    @ The Book Whisperer -- I am all set to be on my flight tomorrow and reading Mockingjay!! I am so excited!! Are you Team Gale or Team Peeta? :)

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  18. i LOVED this series and am getting the last book on my kindle today. i can't wait another second to even get to the store. :) glad you drank the kool-aid!

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  19. @ Nat at Book, Line, and Sinker -- Oh, yes, I drank the kool-aid on this one and have been sucked in! I've got a flight to Boston today and I have my Mockingjay book just waiting for me!! :) My husband kindly went to the store to pick it up first thing yesterday (okay, I made him go!!). :)

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  20. 12 whole hours?! I'm afraid I have little sympathy as I read The Hunger Games very soon after it came out and have had to wait over a year (2 years?) for the final one in the series to come out. It is great that you loved this one and I congratulate you for waiting for them all to be released before starting on this one. Let's hope that Mockingjay is as good as Hunger Games :-)

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  21. @ farmlanebooks -- Oh, my goodness -- 2 years?? Aagh... I never would have lasted, would have driven me nuts! :) And I'm not as far along in Mockingjay right now since I'm with family in Boston, but I think I might be able to get the necessary time in to finish it today! The first 100 pages is fantastic!!

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  22. I also gobbled down Hunger Games and enjoyed it immensely. Having been able to get to Catching Fire, but I look forward to it. Glad you enjoyed it so much.

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  23. @ Jenny Girl -- I am about 100 pages into Mockingjay; I would have been finished by now, but I'm visiting family in Boston and have been caught up with that! I'm trying to sneak a few minutes here and there to read it! Let me know what you think of Catching Fire -- I liked it, but feel that The Hunger Games was much better, so I'm interested to hear your thoughts!

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  24. Woohoo!! A convert! I can't get Mockingjay until I get a job. ARG. But at least it's good motivation ;)

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  25. @ Amanda -- It's a fabulous novel so far!! I am back from a family get-together and am ready to tackle it!

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  26. The Hunger Games is a series that I picked up this month and I'm a third of the way in to Mockingjay as it currently stands.
    While they are all good, so far The Hunger Games are my favorite. I wrote in my own review a little bit about the characters in the novel and while I like Katniss, Peeta and Gale, I found that Foxface was my favorite! :p

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