Reviews

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

freddybingsu's review against another edition

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adventurous dark sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0


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mirandawoolf's review

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5.0

Could not put it down!

iamapierce's review

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medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

2.5

strawberrylatke's review

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adventurous dark emotional inspiring mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

lauragreifner's review

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1.0

Never before have I been so eager to finish a book so that I could come online and write a scathing review of it.

A few caveats: I generally prefer high/epic fantasy to post-apocalyptic dystopian spec fic, so I didn't realize how not up my alley this would be. Also, perhaps more importantly, I didn't read this book. I listened to the audiobook, which I don't normally do, and I think that probably colored my experience because I was too impatient for the format and the reader's voice was distractingly grating, especially when she tried to approximate male speaking voices.

That being said, this book and the two sequels were recommended to me by a close friend whose opinion I respect, and I literally could not believe how bad it was after she told me the series was "addictive". I mean, everyone loves this series. I thought it must have some redeeming qualities. I'm still looking.

In contrast to other reviewers, I didn't think it was overly violent or graphic. That's kind of the point, and honestly after all the hype I kind of thought it wasn't graphic enough. I was expecting a little more. No, my problems with this book are so numerous and diverse I decided to make a list. (SPOILERS)

1. The premise itself was completely unbelievable. Twenty-three children are chosen to die every year, and no one protests because of a group mentality?? Please. The backstory of the District 13 rebellion was slightly interesting, and I think we'll hear more about it in the upcoming books which I will never be reading, but I couldn't buy a universe where parents allowed this to go on. Which leads me to another problem: the completely one-dimensional characters. Katniss and her family and friends good and brave. Peeta's mom selfish and mean. All tributes save Katniss, Peeta and Rue bloodthirsty and primitive. Everyone from the Capitol a buffoon. Etc. Collins' world is just not fully fleshed out. Do the districts have voting rights, and representatives? Why is some technology super advanced, such as genetic engineering, but then transportation seems about the same, and they're still eating most of the same foods as we do today?? This is supposed to be hundreds of years into the future. And yes, I got the US/developing nations dichotomy symbolism. Still doesn't hold-- helicopters and trains would have advanced a lot more if medicine and biology have.
2. It's derivative, which I know most modern speculative fiction is, but come on. This was totally Twilight set inside Battle Royale, and yes, the comparisons are deserved. Plus, Effie is exactly Dolores Umbridge. Don't deny it.
3. Speaking of denial: be what you are. If you're a teen romance, own it. I feel like the Hunger Games is claiming to be the anti-Twilight because Katniss is supposedly an action hero. Well, she's self involved, kind of a downer, and only acts out of absolute necessity. She's Bella Swan with a bow and arrow. Doesn't make this book any deeper or more feminist than Twilight-type crap.
4. Speaking of Katniss? I hate her. I didn't find a single character in this book compelling, but I really hated being saddled with her POV. She's only slightly less of a Mary Sue than Bella, and she's constantly making herself into this martyr. She HAD to buck up and support her family from the age of 12, she had no choice but to hunt in the woods... but then when the gamemakers want to know what she can do, she acts all innocent and incompetent. PLEASE. Plus, I don't believe her relationships with anyone. WHY does she love her sister so much? We barely see them interact. Same with Gale. WHY does Peeta love her? And HOW ON EARTH is anyone so oblivious to multiple boys being in love with her? That's not being uninterested in romance, that's being moronic.
5. I really hate being patronized, and I felt like Collins thought her audience was just too dumb to live (which, if they're eagerly reading this series, they may be.) I UNDERSTAND CONNECTIONS/SYMBOLISM. YOU DON'T NEED TO EXPLAIN THEM TO ME TIME AND AGAIN. Example:
"Unfortunately, the packet of cookies hits the ground and bursts open in a patch of dandelions by the track. I only see the image for a moment, because the train is off again, but it’s enough."
Right, you had told us that you saw a dandelion right after Peeta gave you the bread that enabled you to reclaim your life or whatever. This makes you think of that. Got it.
"Enough to remind me of that other dandelion in the school yard years ago…"
Yes, we know what dandelion you were thinking of already. There aren't like, multiple significant dandelions in your life. And what's with the ellipses? We're not preparing for a flashback, are we? Oh crap.
"I had just turned away from Peeta Mellark's bruised face when I saw the dandelion and I knew hope wasn't lost."
YES WE GET IT STOP EXPLAINING JESUS GOD ALMIGHTY
6. This is like, the schmaltziest book ever. Some passages between Katniss and Peeta were so cringe-worthy I almost damaged my ipod. While cringing.
7. There's absolutely no suspense because it's told in the 1st person. So pretty much, we know Katniss lives. If I'm supposed to care about anything else, well, I didn't.
8. The plot often seemed inconsistent and arbitrary-- the rules change so both Katniss and Peeta can live, then when they take advantage of that, the rules change back because "the capitol is angry" or whatever. Honestly I couldn't believe the capitol was so genre-blind.
9. The economic system of this country, with its diverse areas and iron-clad divisions, makes no sense and would be completely unsustainable.....

And I'm going to stop there because I have a full-time job.

noveen's review

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5.0

Good book. Will review after completing trilogy.

crazy61's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced

4.25

optimus_reim's review against another edition

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adventurous fast-paced
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

aliciamarvinetz's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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jawno's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0