The Hunger Games: Best Lack of Sleep You Ever Had

After several pleading conversations from my friend, Annie, I went out and bought The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.   It sat on my bookshelf for awhile, not out of apathy, but let’s face it, there are always lots of books to read!  If I’m being honest, it only made the “next in line” list because it was a smaller paperback and I was traveling, not adding a lot of weight is good when you’ll be carrying this backpack around an airport for a couple hours.  And I have yet to purchase an e-reader; don’t hate me.  I started reading The Hunger Games on the plane ride home.  I was hooked by page four.

I’m not usually one to ignore the driver on a long ride home, but I did.  Joe and I had just come back from a fabulous week long vacation in Toronto, and instead of regaling each other with stories about our favorite visits and dishes, I was reading.  (I did put the book away when I saw him doing the droopy eye thing; I don’t want to die to get to the next chapter.)

The Hunger Games put me right back in excitement mode.  The story of a post-apocalyptic North America where only 12 districts remain intact, all ruled by one Capital.  To ensure no further outbursts or rebellion, the Capital created the Hunger Games.  Twenty-four must go, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district.  They will compete to be the last one standing, and the Capital will do whatever is necessary to see it’s a good show.

     Suzanne Collins did an amazing job with the pacing of this book, the story gives you normal world in the beginning, quickly sets up the problems for the people, shows you how the lead character, Katniss Everdeen, is a little rebellious, even in the beginning.  The games are quickly introduced and once she’s in the game, there’s no putting the book down.  I commend Collins for her writing; she reminded me of the Kurt Vonnegut, George Orwell, Aldous Huxley books I used to love reading as a teen.  And while many things occurred to terrorize the survival of Katniss, I never thought it was unbelievable in the world Collins created.  Her plot points and actions are well mapped together.

Collins found her niche writing for children television shows, including Nickelodeon.  Her biography is a bit outdated, but you can glimpse into how her mind thinks when she’s world building.  Her first series, The Underland Chronicles, tells the story of an 11 year old boy and his sister who fall through a grate in their apartment and end up in the Underland below the streets of New York City.  There, the boy is considered a warrior and his sister is worshiped by cockroaches.  Together they must win the battle against the rats to save their lost father.  See what I mean?  She’s a hoot!

The Hunger Games is set to be released on film in March 2012, but you’ll definitely want to read this book.  The next two in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, have been purchased and sit by my bedside.  I’m pacing myself, reading another book in between the series.  Although, if any of you read the blog review Ellie Ann Soderstrom did, you may second guess continuing the series.  While she too raved about the first book, she thought the next two were lacking in character growth for our leading lady, Katniss.  Don’t read Ellie Ann’s post unless you’re ok with spoilers!!!  I’m still planning to finish the series, and hoping I’m able to to see Katniss evolve as the battle takes on new levels.

“May the odds be ever in your favor!” –Effie Trinket, The Hunger Games

Have you read The Hunger Games?  What do you think of Suzanne Collins world building?  Are you prepared to have dreams that YOU are in the Hunger Games?  It is the leading side effect of reading this book.  Proceed with caution, and don’t sleep with your archery kit.

P.S.  Don’t miss the just released trailer for The Hunger Games!

36 responses

  1. I was just writing up my own review of The Hunger Games trilogy when I stumbled across yours! I too purchased the book and left it on my bookshelf for a couple weeks before finally picking it up to read it. It was seriously attention grabbing and I finished the whole series in the course of four days. I’ll definitely talk more about my take on it once I finish writing it, but it was a great read and I did have some twisted dreams about it afterwards…

    – Jane

    1. EVERYONE has been having crazy dreams after reading it; I find that really fascinating. Be stopping over at your blog to hear more!

      1. Just posted My Hunger Games review! 🙂

  2. Great review, Jess. I have yet to read this one, but it is in the TBR pile next to my desk. May have to move it closer to the top of the stack.

    1. You may as well, because you’ll finish it a day or two. Everyone that’s read it couldn’t put it down. Just read it and then you get to the others.

  3. Thanks for commenting on my blog! I love the Hunger Games and enjoyed the trilogy although the first book is the best. I’m excited for the film as the author is also writing the screenplay so hopefully will be a good adaptation!

    1. I heard that she’s writing it and that it made the process take longer or something, but I doubt that. I’m glad she’s doing it cause hopefully then the adaptation will be true. So exciting!

  4. After watching the trailer and reading your blog, I’m buying it. Thank you, Jess.

    1. You’re going to like it!!! It’s a really suspenseful read. Joe would look at me and be like “you’re face is all contorted!” I was so into the story. LOL

  5. Your review reminds me why I loved this trilogy. I inhaled the first two books before the third was released and had a long wait for the final segment. (I’m eagerly awaiting the movie release.) I can’t wait to hear what you think about the next two books. Read on! – Valerie

    1. Hi Valerie! Nice to see you again! How goes the work in progress?

  6. Great review Jess! The Hunger Games trilogy has been making its way around my family – we’re spreading the addiction one family member at a time! I haven’t read the third book yet as its in another family member’s hands, but I can’t wait to get to it! Katniss Everdeen is one character I will never forget.

    1. Hmm, you’ll have to check out Ellie’s post and tell me what you think about Katniss’ evolution through the series. I’m curious now. As soon as I finish Wicked I’ll move on to Catching Fire!

  7. For lack of anywhere else to inform you: I nominated you for The Versatile Blogger Award! For the details: The Versaltile Blogger Award

    1. *Squeal* Thanks Amanda!!!

  8. I haven’t read it yet- but with everyone telling me how good it is I really need to.

    1. Alica, I’m telling you, you really need to. 😛

  9. Hi Jess! Great review. What is it about this book that is unputdownable? Maybe the amount of life threatening situations? Or…maybe Peeta? Lol. Idk, but it was great.
    And thanks for the shout out for my review of Catching Fire & Mockingjay. I’m looking forward to hearing what you think of them.

    1. I don’t know what the magic ingredient is! You’re siding Peeta, huh? I think I’m a Gale kinda girl, but I’m not done with the series, maybe you know something I don’t.

  10. I haven’t read The Hunger Games yet, but it’s on my list!

    1. With how much you love vampires and werewolves and um, boys, something tells me you’ll like where this books takes you too!

  11. I hadn’t heard about this book/series until now. It sounds like the author is very creative (thanks for including some bits about her background.) I’m glad you were able to put the book down until you made it home safely 🙂

    1. I’m shocked you haven’t heard of it yet! My friends had been pressuring me to pick it up for months, and I was eh, I don’t know…I’m so glad I did! And yes, putting the book down for a bit was good in the event it prevented a traffic accident and sudden death.

  12. The book is sitting on my nightstand, just waiting to be read! Like you, I’ve been busy with other books – but I plan to dig into it soon. Can’t wait for the movie, either. Jennifer Lawrence is an amazingly talented young woman.

    1. I agree, I’m pumped she’s playing Katniss.

  13. I was actually sent this for a book swap and I couldn’t get into it – sounds like I should give it another shot though!

    1. Yah, I was totally iffy at first, but I’m guessing from your love of sci-fi that you’d get into the writing. Try it again!

  14. I’ve totally been ignoring this book. I can’t read EVERYTHING people say is amazing and I already have 5 books sitting in line at home. I like this genre in general but for some reason I’ve been hard pressed to find a book I can get into. BUT I’m starting to feel like I’m missing out so I will have to throw this in the rotation sometime soon, definitely before the movie.

    1. I know how you feel. I have The Kitchen Daughter sitting next to my bed in the rotation, and have been meaning to get to it ever since your review. You be patient with me, I’ll be patient with you. LOL. So many books, so little time.

  15. I’m with a bunch of these other peeps in that it’s in my TBR pile but I haven’t read it (even though it’s swept through my critique group like wildfire). I’ve got to move it up!

    1. It’s pretty dang interesting!!!

  16. It’s not my usual genre, in fact I’ve never read anything apocalyptic, not into any sort of scifi, fantasy or paranormal (Man! That makes sound dull!) but after reading everyone’s response, maybe I should check it out. You have my interest piqued. But it will be awhile, since I have, no lie, 23 books on my shelves waiting to be read. Writing really gets in the way of my reading. 😉 Great review, Jess!

    1. I think I could match your list of books to get to. I’ll get through them all eventually. But that’s also why I think next year one of my vacations should just be a reading getaway. lol

  17. Thanks for this recommendation Jess. Sounds like the sort of thing that I’m really into at the moment (Vonnegut may have changed my reading habits FOREVER).

    I’ve literally just this minute purchased it on Amazon (will need to amend that future reviews post!). Even more interesting is the fact that it’s being made into a movie – I like to get in there first to read the book, and it sounds like it will adapt to the big screen fairly well.

    Thanks again!

    1. If you love Vonnegut as much as you say, check out his short story Harrison Bergeron. Very similar themes to The Hunger Games. And it too was made into a movie starring none other than Lord of the Ring’s Sean Astin!

  18. […] My review of the book  and author research can be found at The Hunger Games: Best Lack of Sleep You Ever Had. […]

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