Group Read: The Hunger Games
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Some of us have decided on another group read and would love anyone else who is interested to join us :)
The book is Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and discussion would start on July 28th.
We also thought it might be fun to pick some questions from Scholastic's discussion guide site:
The site does contain spoilers though so we should probably wait until we are finished with the book to pick actual questions.
I think that about sums it up...but let me know if I forgot anything :)
I finished last week and can not wait to discuss. I really love this book!
I don't think there is a limit to how many postings a thread can have either, although once a thread gets really long I know it takes longer to load (for some people).
Sorry if this isn't the question you were asking!
I've read Catching Fire, too! We should maybe discuss that elsewhere so as not to give anything away, though, hehe.
I just got Hunger Games on CD which is not as good but was what I could get soonest. I'm not in far just listening to the first chapter
In many ways, I wish that she had ended the book as a single title, (even though I am excited for the next book) because I think a heroic sacrifice would have made it a stronger book and I feel that the need of the publishing industry to create franchises influenced this decision - or at least that is how it read to me and in that it made it a weaker book.
I cringed and loved the creation of the werewolf creatures of the other contestants and wonder if this will be explored in the next book; it was so heartbreaking that the little girl Kat had befriended was transformed so radically and so heartlessly.
The love story kept second place to the adventure and I liked that, but felt that Kat's disengenuousness was a little overdone. I feel that the choice between the two boys is going to take a lot of space in the next book and while I like a little romance with my stories, I like it to be blended with other things.
I loved the childhood connection between the two contestants - those loaves of bread really echoed done through the years.
So, what did others think?
I also thought it would have been better to conclude the adventure in one book, and as for the werewolf things I hope Katniss will somehow be able to use that technology against the Capitol.
About the romantic part, I have a feeling that either Gale or Peeta is going to die in some heroic way. I also have a hunch that Gale is going to hate Peeta's guts, at least at first. I hope the romance aspect does not take up to much of the book.
>36 Anastasia169: I agree. I wish the book had only been one book. I think it's a good bet the next book will focus a lot on her love triangle. I think that there really isn't a need for her to feel so conflicted about Gale and Peter. She and Gale are only friends. I also agree that how oblivious Catnis is to Peter's love for her is unrealistic. How can she not tell he is completely in love with her? I knew right from the start. I also had the same reaction to the tribute wolfs. They shocked and horrified me. Watching Ru savagely attempt to murder Catnis was terrifying and sickening.
I also think the love triangle will be a big deal but I'm not sure how Katniss will handle that... she seems pretty naive' in that area of her life. It was hard to believe she thought Peta was just playing the game? I loved him.. he is so sweet.
>39 love2rdinNH: I know a few people who were able to snag ARC (advanced review copies) of Catching Fire and have already read it. I do believe there will be some romance triangle action BUT from the little I have read - I think there is going to be much more political conflict that affects Katniss and her family - and some type of drastic and / or surprise ending? Maybe?
I agree that the ending with the tribute wolfs was a little over the top. I know it was a 'game' but it played out a little too long for me. Rue as a wolf? Heartbreaking!!
I know that Peeta was in love with Katniss from the start - even if she thought it was just a game. I think part of her loves him also, but she won't let herself really love anyone anymore I think.
I wrote a longer review on my blog if anyone wants to see it -- http://redhousebooks.blogspot.com/2009/07/review-hunger-games-by-suzanne-collins...
I also have a few links to other bloggers who are giving away ARC copies of Catching Fire!
I too was totally creeped out by the muttations at the end. They were awful.
I hope the second book does take on the political conflict more than the love triangle. Katniss will have to deal with her actions at the end. It will be interesting to see if she and Peeta (yes 38 it really is Peeta) get all the rewards for winning like they are supposed to get.
I loved how strong Katniss is. I hope that continues and she doesn't get all love sick!!!
I think Suzanne Collins does a great job building the action and the suspense. I couldn't put The Hunger Games down!
Oh god. Not again. Maybe I'll just wait until the next book comes out to read it. I hate it when books end on cliffhangers.
Action packed, battling seemingly impossible odds and a budding romance. All good stuff!
I too, wished it'd been tied up in a single book. That said, I'm very much looking forward to Catching Fire. Can't wait.
Oh, and on the romance side, I'm kind of down with Katniss being unsure. I'm not convinced she loves Peeta. She might, but I'm interested in how things pan out with Gale. She left her district not having felt anything more than friendship for him, but that was largely because she was so opposed to the idea of love and what it leads to (marraige, children, children being send off to die) that she never allowed herself to entertain the thought of Gale being anything other than what he was.
I think that now, having survived the game, she is more open to the idea of love. She mimicked being in love with Peeta to survive the game, and I don't doubt that while playing at being in love she did develop true feelings for Peeta. But, it also opened her up to possibilites she previously closed herself off to. Hence, my interest is where things go with Gale.
Oh, and number 36, I loved the past about Peeta, Katniss and the bread. Such a good device to tie them together.
I don't mind the fact that the book is going to be a series. I think the author intended it that way - the full story has yet to be told.
I think the clear writing as well as the good plotting helped make this book an enjoyable read - her writing had heart and lyricism, but also flowed along well.
What do you think is the cruelest part of the Hunger Games? What kind of people would devise this spectacle for the entertainment of their populace? Can you see parallels between these Games and the society that condones them, and other related events and cultures in the history of the world?
I think the dead tributes being turned into those wolf creatures is a pretty cruel twist, but I also think the way the kids have to survive in some of the districts by placing their names in the ballot extra times to get food for their families is pretty cruel too.
I think the people in charge are saddistic control freaks who see the games as their only way to keep the populace of the districts down and scared of reprecussions. It wouldn't work nearly so well if it wasn't a televised entertainment event.
Brutality has been a spectater sport throughout history, though not necesserily always to the death. The games mostly reminds me of how the Romans entertained the people by throwing Gladiators into the ring with lions. If I remember correctly the gladiators were mostly slaves who happened to be conquered warriors who lived or died at the whim of the Emporer. In the Hunger Games the people of the districts are little more than slaves for the Capitol who entertains it's people in the same way, the main differences being that the "tributes" are chosen out of a ballot rather than the capitol choosing a specific candidate and they are children not warriors.
I too, was a little confused at first, as far as the whole love thing went at the Games. Peeta did seem like a very kind person (the whole bread and beating thing) but then I just thought he used it to his advantage. Especially when he teamed up with the Careers!! I was so confused, but when he fought Cato to let Katniss go, it hit me. :) I also feel Katniss is just protecting herself. That's why she doesn't just fall for him. She cares for him, I think almost as much as she does for Gale, but she's just not that open with her feelings.
I'm not very good at giving reviews. So I guess I just couldn't put it down, because I wanted to know what was going to happen. It's wonderful that Katniss is so strong. Each tribute however, had their strengths, and I think that was a good aspect in the story. Especially Rue, she did remind me so much of Prim from the beginning.
Alright, now I'm rambling. >57 BookLizard: they didn't really explain what those werewolf creature types were at the end. It was just the other tributes. That was a bit much. So all in all, wish I could get my hands on an ARC of Cathing Fire!! I'm ready for our next group read :)
I believe the wolf creatures to be some sort of gene splicing experiment using a huge amount of DNA from the tributes and mixed with wolves. This makes sense to me based on what we are told of the society and its science and there weren't any other fantasy elements in the books - the world was built on science rather than magic imo.
To 48, i think it was so hard to put down cause it was so real. The author did an excellent job of creating a world that is completely realistic and she describes it so well that I had to keep reminding myself not to worry because it wasn't real.
First of all, I don't feel like making it into a series makes it weaker. I think that's because I don't see this as the story of two teens who win the Hunger Games one year -- I see it as the story of two teens who manage, eventually, to put an end to the Hunger Games for good. And I don't think they could have done that in one book. If Katniss and Peeta can't bring about a revolution that will address the inequalities between the districts and the Capitol and put a stop to the Games, there's really no point to their story -- the two of them would just spend the rest of their lives mentoring the District 12 tributes, most of whom would still die.
I'm interested to see where the romance goes in the next book. I don't think Katniss loves Gale, but I think Gale might love her. I think that might be what he was about to say to her when they were saying goodbye. Remember, he's two years older than she is, so is probably closer to the point where he's thought about marriage and the future. I also think that Peeta was really disillusioned there at the end, thinking everything Katniss did was for the cameras, so if she does realize that she loves him, she will have to work hard to convince him of that.
I actually have a Catching Fire ARC, but I'm hesitant to read it if it ends on a big cliffhanger. Come to think of it, my brother read the Underland Chronicles by this author, and said she ended almost every book of that series on a cliffhanger, so it seems to be the way she operates.
You make some really good points foggidawn...but I'm with luv2read on this one...I can't wait for Catching Fire either!!
So, since school is starting and we have about a week and 1/2 to go for Catching Fire...is it going to be our next Group Read?!? :)
No - but now that you mention it it tugged at my grey brain cells, and I went and googled it. I found it disturbing that a nation would allow this to happen, and wondered if it would in the 'real' world today. I am afraid the answer would probably be yes.
> I cringed and loved the creation of the werewolf creatures of the other contestants and wonder if this will be explored in the next book; it was so heartbreaking that the little girl Kat had befriended was transformed so radically and so heartlessly.
Oh I so agree - I found this to be heartrending - a very (and I am going to use the word again) disturbing twist.
The book was an 'A' read for me - and I have Catching Fire on order.
blue, while you are waiting you might want to check out Maria Snyder's Study series. Features another strong female, Yelena. All three are already published!
As for whether Kat will end up with Gale or Peeta, Kat's naivete seems forced and overdone and one of the few parts of the book I didn't like. I don't mind the love triangle, but one of the first things girls are taught, both implicity and explicitly is about sexual power. I'm not saying they get it right away, but the culture they are showing is basically us after a disaster and Kat doesn't seem believable here. Again, my only criticism of a book I loved.
That she is still so naive in Catching Fire bothered me a little more.
And again, the country versus city aspect of it doesnt make a difference to me as country people get married as well - and perhaps younger because the work to survive is even more arduous. Further, the other characters in the book are well aware of the potential of all of Kat's relationships even those in her peer group. Not to mention that young people are taught about the courting customs and the importance of marriage and teamwork in their cultures and again, all of the other characters seem to be aware of these norms. All except Kat, in an annoying, overdone innocence and simplicity that surely doesn't match the pragmatism of a girl who hunts to keep her family fed. (Oooooh, she simpers, I just can't imagine either Gale or Peeta having any feelings for little me.) That girl would be well aware of just what both Gale and Peeta could bring as potential partners and she would be aware not just because of any romantic feelings, but because of very practical considerations as well. Pragmatism Kat certainly brought to the arena.
This is why it didn't work for me; her naivete felt forced and like a conceit of the author's. Again, my only real criticism of a book I loved, but it grated while I read as it didn't seem to fit the rest of the character or the rest of the society portrayed.
The cover for the third Hunger Games book has been announced!
Release date: August 24, 2010
I've actually known some teen girls Kat's age in the same situation, with the same situational blindness. I agree that there's a level of naivete there, but I don't think it's unrealistic.
While many girls are definitely alert to the first sign of flirting or interest from a guy, there are girls who are not, and in fact are blindly so - especially if it comes from a guy she considers a good friend and may be frightened of losing in that role.