This was a very enjoyable read! I had heard several of my friends talk about it, but knowing it was aimed towards young adults I didn't pick it up. Then I thought it might make a good gift for a friend's daughter but I didn't want to give it to her without reading it first (to make sure it wouldn't be too frightening). Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. I rushed out and got the next two books as soon as I finished the first!
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Reviewed by Megan Whalen Turner
If there really are only seven original plots in the world, it's odd that boy meets girl is always mentioned, and society goes bad and attacks the good guy never is. Yet we have Fahrenheit 451, The Giver, The House of the Scorpion—and now, following a long tradition of Brave New Worlds, The Hunger Games. Collins hasn't tied her future to a specific date, or weighted it down with too much finger wagging. Rather less 1984 and rather more Death Race 2000, hers is a gripping story set in a postapocalyptic world where a replacement for the United States demands a tribute from each of its territories: two children to be used as gladiators in a televised fight to the death.Katniss, from what was once Appalachia, offers to take the place of her sister in the Hunger Games, but after this ultimate sacrifice, she is entirely focused on survival at any cost. It is her teammate, Peeta, who recognizes the importance of holding on to one's humanity in such inhuman circumstances. It's a credit to Collins's skill at characterization that Katniss, like a new Theseus, is cold, calculating and still likable. She has the attributes to be a winner, where Peeta has the grace to be a good loser.It's no accident that these games are presented as pop culture. Every generation projects its fear: runaway science, communism, overpopulation, nuclear wars and, now, reality TV. The State of Panem—which needs to keep its tributaries subdued and its citizens complacent—may have created the Games, but mindless television is the real danger, the means by which society pacifies its citizens and punishes those who fail to conform. Will its connection to reality TV, ubiquitous today, date the book? It might, but for now, it makes this the right book at the right time. What happens if we choose entertainment over humanity? In Collins's world, we'll be obsessed with grooming, we'll talk funny, and all our sentences will end with the same rise as questions. When Katniss is sent to stylists to be made more telegenic before she competes, she stands naked in front of them, strangely unembarrassed. They're so unlike people that I'm no more self-conscious than if a trio of oddly colored birds were pecking around my feet, she thinks. In order not to hate these creatures who are sending her to her death, she imagines them as pets. It isn't just the contestants who risk the loss of their humanity. It is all who watch. Katniss struggles to win not only the Games but the inherent contest for audience approval. Because this is the first book in a series, not everything is resolved, and what is left unanswered is the central question. Has she sacrificed too much? We know what she has given up to survive, but not whether the price was too high. Readers will wait eagerly to learn more.
Megan Whalen Turner is the author of the Newbery Honor book The Thief and its sequels, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. The next book in the series will be published by Greenwillow in 2010.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Released 2 yrs ago (4/23/2012 UTC) at -- By Hand or Post, Ray/ring, Rabck in Springfield, Missouri USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I'm pleased to be handing this book out to encourage reading worldwide today for World Book Night.
World Book Night is a celebration of reading and books which will see tens of thousands of people share books with others in their communities across America to spread the joy and love of reading on April 23.
I hope the person I give this to will enjoy it!
Congratulations on catching this book. I hope you enjoy it. When you finish this book, please journal again and share what you thought about the book. Then, please pass it along for somebody else to read. You could give it to a friend or leave it someplace, like a school, restaurant or wherever you think it might find a reader who'll love it! It would be great if you'd join. Then you could track where your books go. If you do want to join, I'd love it if you would use ALRESCATE- - that's me-- as the name of the person who referred you.