Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Hunger Games

by Suzanne Collins
audiobook: 11.2 hours
narrated by Carolyn McCormick


*** About the Book ***

The Hunger GamesThis book has been written about many, Many, MANY times so since I'm behind on reviews I'm not going to recap it myself.  If you are not familiar with the plot please check out the summary at Amazon.com.


*** Why I Listened To It ***

The plot summary of this book did not interest me in the least.  Even the glowing reviews by so many bloggers didn't do the trick.  After all, I'm not really a fan of YA or dystopian books. But when two members of my book club - whose reading tastes are very similar to mine - both said I just HAD to read it, I gave in.  Sort of.  Actually I reserved the audiobook at my library and it finally came in after months of waiting.

Plus, I thought it would be fun to get caught up in all the excitement over the release of the third book in the series just a few days ago and this was the best way to do it. 


*** My Thoughts ***

I wasn't blown away. (Yes, I'm bracing myself for the fiery darts that are now coming my way.) I mean, it was okay, and it generally kept my interest, but I was really expecting more.  One of my book club friends who recommended this has the same feelings as I do toward Twilight so I really thought we'd be the same on this book a well.  Alas, that is not the case.

To be a bit more specific yet stay spoiler free, here are some random thoughts:
  • Katniss - I don't know why everyone loves her so much.  Yes she's tough, but she's also rather oblivious to what's going on with Peeta during the Games.  There were many times when I wanted to smack her and say "Hello?! What are you DOING?!"
  • Gale - I'll give him the benefit of the doubt since we don't find out much about him in this book.
  • Peeta - Ok, so ... he's nice, he's strong, and ... what?  I don't get what the fuss is over him (from other readers).  I did feel REALLY bad for him in regard to the situation with Katniss though.
All that said, I'll still continue with the series.  I mean, I didn't DISLIKE it, I just expected to be really into it and that didn't happen.


 *** Your Thoughts ***

I can't be the only one out there who wasn't blown away by this book, can I?! If you're like me, please let me know.  Also, does the series get better from here? *crosses fingers*

28 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Hey sweetie, I thought I would give you a heads up. This morning I received an email from your account. I think your email account has been hacked. It was about you needing $ :(

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Regarding your review: Reallllllly? I adore this book.

Bibliolatrist said...

I loved this book but still agree with you re: the characters. Katniss needs a smack all the way up to the end of the trilogy, so she doesn't improve much.

For me, it was an easy, fast read that kept me entertained and eager to know what happened. (I also read them on my kindle, since I didn't want *real* copies. So take my enjoyment with a grain of salt :)

Meghan said...

I have loved the first two books in this series, so I guess I can't really agree. =) I do however agree about Katniss. I'm rereading this now, and while I love it just as much, it amazes me how she can be such an idiot about how Peeta feels about her.

Heather J. said...

Juju - I'm so sorry about that! The hacker not only emailed all my contacts but also wiped out my inbox. :(

Bibliolatrist & Meghan - I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who feels that way about Katniss!

Trisha said...

I can't actually offer an opinion as I haven't read the series. *gasp* I know I'm the last person on earth, but I thought I'd wait until I could buy the whole set in paperback. :)

The Tome Traveller said...

I haven't read them either! I have been meaning to get to the first one, with all the Mockingjay buzz going on. It's not really my genre so I'm interested to see if I like them...

Carey

Heather J. said...

Trisha & The Tome Traveller - I though "I" was the last one who hadn't read these! I feel better now. :)

Shelley (Book Clutter) said...

I enjoyed this one but wasn't completely blown away. I think Katniss is just a refreshing strong female after Bella in Twilight, but she can definitely be pretty clueless! I just figure she has spent so much time focused on feeding her family and surviving that the ins and outs of romance are just foreign to her.
My main complaint about the book was just the structure of the plot. I get pretty bored when a story is just told from beginning to end. The second book I like better because it moves back and forth.
Sorry this is such a long comment! Sometimes I just can't stop myself!

Amy said...

LOL I wanted to smack Katniss, too. But apart from that, she has grit and the survival instinct and she volunteered for the worst thing on earth to save her sister...those are the reasons why people love her.

Peeta? smart, witty, strong, fierce, and loves Katniss unconditionally. He's the goodness in these books and I adore him.

PS sorry to hear about what happened in england.

Jenny said...

My husband and I both read this book and neither of us were blown away by it either. We thought it was just okay. I will say I thought Catching Fire was a lot better, but it might be because I feel like I already know the characters. I'm reading Mockingjay right now and am really enjoying it.

martine said...

I bought these for my girls after Twilight and we all loved them, had to rush out and get the second one as soon as they were done with the first, third came out this week DD1 is reading it as i type. I agree the characters are a bit irritating but I think it is the clever plot that I liked, it develops into something a bit more political in the second book, so we had lots of interesting discussions about dictatorships and so on, DD2 read Animal Farm as a follow up. The girls both agreed that it leaves Twilight standing, much better writing and characters and plot.
liked your honest review. I am always glad to see well written YA books, there is so much sentimental tosh out there.
thanks for sharing
martine

Alyce said...

I enjoyed the fast-paced plot and intensity of the games, then pairing that with Katniss's sacrifice and the romance aspect of the story - well it all appealed to me.

I didn't mind her cluelessness because she was in such an unendurable situation and not knowing who to trust.

Heather J. said...

Shelley - Katniss is DEFINITELY an improvement on Bella, that's for sure! But as for the structure, I actually appreciate a beginning-to-end story since it seems most books lately don't do that. :)

Amy - I'm going to give the rest of the series a chance ... maybe it will grow on me. (And that England thing? a hacker took over my email account - ugh)

Jenny - Good to know - that makes me hopeful for the rest of the series!

martine - Welcome to my blog - thanks for commenting. I love that DD2 read Animal Farm to go along with this book - what a great idea!

Alyce - It really wasn't a BAD book IMO, and I agree with you about her not knowing who to trust. I guess I was just expecting "more" ...

OpheliaZepp said...

boo hiss.

peeta is SO complex. when is he lying? when is he telling the truth? upon re-reading, trust me, you don't really know.

keep going...the finale is the best.

The Baileys said...

I contend that you read it wrong. Or listened to it wrong. Or...something. ;-)

Heather J. said...

OpheliaZepp - I knew you were going to say that. :) I do plan to read the rest of the series, but I'm not holding out much hope ...

The Baileys - Yeah, that must be it. (Do you sense the sarcasm here?! LOL)

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I really enjoyed the books but for me I think I am always still looking for that high I got from reading The Harry Potter books the first time around. They were so brilliant and I was so amazed with this author that I am always looking for my next fix....

yes..... book jonesing..... lets call it what it is. :)

That said - I did enjoy the character of Katniss for reasons that are mostly mentioned here, I like strong characters, and I loved that she took the place of her sister.

I also really like books that are out of the cookie cutter norm and I did find that here.

As far as reaching my Harry Potter addiction level? No, not even close. I am open to recommendations....

softdrink said...

I liked the first part of the book, but once they got to the Hunger Games I thought it could've used a good editing. Still, I read the whole series. And ended up feeling like they were just okay. Although Katniss bugged the @#$% out of me.

Heather J. said...

Sheila - I agree - I haven't found the same thrill as I got from the HP books either (unless you count the epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time - that blows HP out of the water!).

softdrink - I'm a bit worried about the next two books now ...

Marg said...

I loved this first book in the series, and found it incredibly difficult to put down. Catching Fire wasn't quite as good for me, but I have high hopes for Mockingjay. One good thing about not blog hopping for weeks is that so far I haven't been spoiled. I also took the very unusual step, for me at least, of buying both the first and third books in the series after having been given a copy of the second. I couldn't imagine not having a whole set of these books!

Heather J. said...

Marg - I've been avoiding all reviews of Mockingjay for the same reason - I'd hate to have the ending spoiled even if I'm not really into the series.

Michelle said...

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one. But we all know that not all books are for all people. :) I'll be interested to see if your thoughts change as you work through the other two books. If you do.

Anna said...

I liked this book more than you did, though I'm not sure why. Katniss does get on my nerves at times, but I can't help but like her. I lean toward Peeta when he's the focus and Gale when he's the focus, so I can't even decide who I like best. LOL

I'm reading Mockingjay right now and am enjoying it, though I wish I didn't have to be at work so I could finish it.

Heather J. said...

Michelle - I'll definite finish the series - I can't leave it open-ended like that!

Anna - Oh I HATE when I'm in the middle of a good book and then have to go to work. :( Maybe you'll be able to get a few chapters in during your lunch break ...

Amanda said...

I wasn't real big into either boy, but I really loved Katniss. I've read the book 4 times now (almost 5 - I'm rereading again) and a character like her just makes me so happy. She's so strong, focused, and fierce, with this glaring blindspot that doesn't allow her to see anything in others except those same traits she's comfortable and familiar with. She knows how to survive, but from the time she was eleven & had to take over for her family, she's never had a chance to process grief or learn to feel and deal with emotions. Someone like Peeta, whose strategy is not survival but selflessly helping her, she can't get her head around, which in some ways makes her look dumb, but if you really understand her, makes her look extremely vulnerable and childlike, in direct opposition to how grown up she is everywhere else. I loved her to pieces.

Amy said...

Amanda that's an excellent assessment of Katniss. And now I must go away before I ruin the books!

Heather J. said...

Amanda - You make a very good point re: Katniss. I'll try to view her that way when I get into the 2nd book. I guess I just hoped that I'd be more emotionally attached to this book - that's really my biggest problem.

Amy - Yes, please don't spoil anything for me! ;)

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