Review: THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins

TITLE: The Hunger Games 
AUTHOR: Suzanne Collins
GENRE: Young Adult, Sci-Fi, Dystopia, Apocolyptic
September 14th, 2008 - Scholastic Press


(Courtesy of GoodReads)

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The 'tributes' are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature. 


Winning means fame and fortune. Losing means certain death. The premise of THE HUNGER GAMES didn’t seem that interesting for me. There was a lot of hype about it. (I’m anti-hype.) But I decided to give it a try anyway. I was surprised. I really thought it would hate the idea of a game of life and death between children. The writing is first person narrative by Katniss. Her little sister’s name is drawn to participate in the hunger games. She is protective of the sweet little thing and mindlessly volunteers in her stead. (I would have been the scared sister, not the protective one.)

The story tells of a world that has been nearly swallowed by the ocean. America is under new management and only the land around the Rockies is above water. There are 12 poor districts ruled by the rich Capitol. The Capital maintains control over the other districts who provide them coal, crops, fish and other such things from each area, by forcing their childrens name to go into a drawing each year to participate in the Hunger Games. They draw two names from each district. They are placed in an enormous dome in the wilderness forced to fight to the death—with cameras watching. Children gladiators—a bit scarey.

I anticipated it being gruesome and it was but the main character is genuine and worth the time invested in this novel. It reads really quickly but left me wanting more with the cliffhanger at the end. (Don’t worry, no spoilers, and it’s not what you think!)


I'd rate it at a 4. Very Goodd. It was worth the time but the violence was a off the hook! This is a YA Novel but the violence is rather ghastly. But of course, I’m a grown up and I’ll be reading the next in the series!


This is a young adult novel but has the violence level of a rated “R” movie. The movie came out and is actually rated “PG-13” but the killing of children really makes it all that much worse. I just thought I’d warn you! But maybe reading it is easier than seeing it on the big screen. 

More Books by Suzanne Collins:

The Hunger Games Trilogy: