BOOK HUNGRY: hunger games

who says you have to be crowded into the living room/kitchen/dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the founding members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, karla nellenbach, alyson peterson, cynthia reese, elizabeth ryann, and myself. here’s the deal. we pick a book to read. we discuss via email. we post a review on our individual blogs on the same day (3rd thursday of the month). we link to each other. done. i know, genius. click on each one of their names (above) and it’ll take you to their review. browse. enjoy.

side note to all readers: if you’ve read the book, jump in on the conversation. comment away. if you haven’t read the book, go out and buy a copy, you ninny. and then come back and comment. if you’d like to become a full time BOOK HUNGRY member, contact one of us and we’ll get you set up. no need to have a blog. we can post for you. it couldn’t be easier. and it couldn’t be more fun.

and now, the inaugural selection of the BOOK HUNGRY is:

HUNGER GAMES by suzanne collins.


there’s really only one this to say about this book. IT’S AWESOMESAUCE with a side of geniusbutter.

i’m not a person who likes to read spoilery reviews, so i’m going to do my best not to write one. it’s a good thing this book is so very easy to talk about in general terms. the overarching themes of rebellion, submission, individualism, reality, romance, team work, technology, and survival are so effortlessly incorporated into the plot and the characters that one can’t help but talk and talk and talk some more about katniss and Panem and peeta and gale and haymitch and cinna and effie and rue and thresh and cato and the arena and the muttations and and and…

the world building is so full and rich and believable and scary and real that it’s easy to dive into the story and swim around in it. the districts. the Capitol. the laws. the people. the audience. the families. the friends. the employees. the leaders. the rebellion. oh yes, there are hints of it. you just have to listen carefully for the whispers.

then there’s the romance…if you can call it that. it’s more of a very tangled relationship that might or might not involve one or two boys (peeta and gale) and one very determined young lady (katniss). suzanne collins handles the budding love story with ease. nothing ever feels forced or unnatural but all very real and confusing and complicated and exactly how relationships in real life unfold. even though they’re surrounded by horrific events, this tiny thread of love floats along complicating things. again, how very lifelike that is. what starts as a crush ends up becoming a power play between katniss and the capitol. i mean, come on. as if just talking to boys when you’re a teenager isn’t hard enough, but being stuck in a place where every single person is ultimately trying to kill you (on national TV) and on top of that having to deal with do i like this guy or that guy? and yet, collins stays true to katniss and to the story. the romance aspect is never overpowering for the sake of drawing in a particular type of audience.

and, in fact, the unusual thing about this love triangle is that while i know people who are team gale and others are team peeta (me), pretty much EVERYONE falls under the category of team katniss. she’s so strong and vivid and awesome that, honestly, she’ll be okay no matter which boy she ends up with. or, even if she ends up alone.

one of the things i find most fascinating (and slightly infuriating) about this book/series is that everyone has the same initial reaction upon hearing the premise (futuristic and dystopian and gladiatorial) and/or seeing the jackets. “ugh” or “are you sure it’s good?” or “that sounds terrible.” or “no thank you.” to which both elizabeth and i have said “Do you trust me? Am I not smart? READ THIS. NOW. Don’t hesitate.” and every single person who’s picked up this book has been blown away by the writing, the characters, the intensity, the reality, the plot, the love, the horror, and the drama of this time, this place, this world, which fuels real life emotions and THAT’S what everyone can relate to. and then that person will recommend it to a friend who says, “ugh, that’s so not my thing.” and the cycle continues. happily.

well done, suzanne collins. well done. i’m so glad you were flipping channels that day and got stuck between the news covering the war and a reality TV show. thank you for your imagination and writing skills and this book, this series.

note:

is the second book. and it’s available now.

is the third and final installment and it hits shelves on August 24th. that’s in, like, 5 days! excuse me while i go set up my tent outside of the bookstore.

p.s. to all my loyal readers, YES, this is taking the place of my normal friday post. unless something grand happens. in which case, there shall be a post. it’s ONE BIG, GIANT SURPRISE. will i post friday? won’t i? you’ll have to check back and see. *insert evil laughter*

//

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20 Responses to “BOOK HUNGRY: hunger games”

  1. Linda G. Says:

    Okay, I guess I really am going to have to read this…

  2. Patty Says:

    Applauds!

    Great post, Abby! I didn’t give the budding romance much attention, but you’re right, it was skillfully done.

    • abby mumford Says:

      there are so many things to focus on, and between all of our reviews, we did. which is why this book is so flipping stellar.

  3. Emily Says:

    Everything you said about this book is true. Its beautifully written and sucks you in. I think I read it in one sitting (to the amazement/laughs of my sister :P). Panem is a world full of terror and control and you can’t help but wonder what its like for Katniss to live in such a place. The book left me staring at the last page wanting more. It was suggested by my fine sister and instantly became one if my top 5 favorite book series of all times :)
    Great Job Abby!!!
    <3
    -E

    • abby mumford Says:

      i distinctly remember that it was christmas time. i handed you the book. you looked at the jacket and handed it back to me and said “yeah, i’m not into this type of book.” i handed it back and said “just read it.”

      and now look, you love it as much as i do! yay for my perseverance. and your willingness to listen to every single thing i tell you to do. well done, little sis.

      • Emily Says:

        Yes I remember that moment but chose to ignore it because I felt my love for the book/excitement for the characters eclipsed that dark dark moment of insanity. Thanks again :) you got me hooked. And for the record I ONLY do what you say when it comes to books because face it, you’re an expert. But everything else I question. :D

      • abby mumford Says:

        ok, fine.

  4. adriana Says:

    Linda, yes! Please go read it!!!

    Abby, great review, and great job being nonspoilery! The only thing I would add is about the pacing — the pacing is so perfect! There are moments when the tension builds and everything speeds up, then things slow down in all the right places, then gather momentum again. But it’s so perfect that the entire time you’re biting your nails and you can’t wait to turn the page! It’s all happening in real time, and we’re right there in the moment, experiencing things at the same time that Katniss is experiencing them. Ohmygod is it Tuesday yet??? We have a date, right? 8:30 at the bookstore?

    • abby mumford Says:

      the pacing! you’re right. there are too many good things to talk about with this book. i was bound to leave something out. that’s also what’s so cool about all the other reviews, they cover what i missed.

      and yes, 8:30am tuesday AM. you’re on!

  5. Kelly B Says:

    What a great review. What I loved about Collins portrayal of Katniss is while she was warrior strong, her sixteen year old heart felt the conflict between Peeta and Gale and just for clarification I am firmly Team PEETA!

    • abby mumford Says:

      thanks! and yes, you’re right. what collins did with katniss is perfection. she’s a mix of both adult (taking care of family) and teen (which boy do i like?) in world where survival is a minute by minute struggle.

      and yes, i too am team peeta.

  6. Elizabeth Says:

    I love this book so much. We really are so smart, aren’t we? ;)

  7. Elizabeth Says:

    P.S. Your review may have convinced me to reread it again…

  8. Cynthia Reese Says:

    Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for strong-arming into reading this book! And I loved the way your review highlights the romance … I think Collins handles it with a deft touch indeed!

    • abby mumford Says:

      you are very welcome for the suggestion. and thank you for the review compliment. there were so many angles i could have taken, it was hard to choose just one!

  9. Karla Nellenbach Says:

    AWESOMESAUCE with a side of GENIUSBUTTER! ahahah! I LOVE that! and so true :) Can’t wait till tomorrow!

    • abby mumford Says:

      sometimes, you have to start a review (about a dark book) with some funny. that was my intent. glad it seems to have worked.

      and yes, tomorrow’s the big day. holy cow! can’t wait!

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