The Hunger Games

Where's this book been?
by Suzanne Collins | Teens |
ISBN: 9780439023481 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 6/10/2023
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, June 10, 2023
I got this book at a local thrift shop's by-the-pound sale - quite a deal! - and was glad of another release copy. It's the book on which the 2012 film was based, and has apparently become quite popular {wry grin}. The main plot, randomly-selected kids chosen to fight to the death as a mix of public entertainment and a reminder of government control, reminded me of several earlier works, from the Greek legend of Theseus with its tribute/sacrifice to the Minotaur to Stephen King's The Long Walk to the 1999 novel Battle Royale (which inspired a live-action film and a manga series). There's even a hint of Shirley Jackson's "The Lottery". This book puts its own spin on the idea, to very good effect!

A key difference from the books I mentioned: participants in these games may receive benefits during the game from "sponsors", something that not only affects the course of the games but that allows some degree of communication, of sorts, between the competitors and the families and friends they left behind. [Another factor is the ongoing media coverage, much of which the competitors are allowed to see during the games; heroine Katniss uses this to her advantage a time or two.]

The majority of the story has to do with the difficulties of life in this world, of the resilience of Katniss in her attempts to support her family, and with the challenges of the games themselves, whether physical, strategic - or the more heartbreaking ones of whom to trust and for how long. I found myself liking Katniss, even when she wasn't being all that likable - her situation excused a lot of her behavior - and her abilities in woodcraft, herbalism, and hunting made her a far-from-helpless heroine. The other main characters were appealing as well, including some of the Capitol folk involved with the games - it was clear that not all of them were content to see so many young people forced to die for entertainment value. Hints of discontent and possible rebellion laid groundwork for later books, I imagine; in this one, it lent depth to the story.

It's difficult to set up a plot like this, where the whole point is that people are being forced to kill innocents just like themselves, and to keep the main characters sympathetic even though they do wind up killing - and to depict the joy at each success while not forgetting the cost, but I think it was achieved here. I'm glad I read this one!

[There's an extensive TV Tropes page for the series, with a link to a separate page for the film. Interesting info, but beware of spoilers.]

Released 3 mos ago (6/10/2023 UTC) at Little Free Library, PACH Outreach in Pepperell, Massachusetts USA


I left this book in the Little Free Library; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

** Released for the 2023 Movie challenge. **

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