The Hunger Games: Book review - level 2

The Hunger Games: Book review - level 2

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Do the preparation exercise first and then read the article. If you find it too easy, try the next level. If it's too difficult, try the lower level. After reading, do the exercises to check your understanding.

21

They say it's the new Twilight, but better. Have you read The Hunger Games?

A Literary Success

The Hunger Games is a very successful book for young readers by the American author Suzanne Collins. It was published in 2008 and has sold millions of copies around the world. It is the first book for young readers to sell more than a million electronic copies. It has also been translated into 26 different languages. The Hunger Games is also now a very successful film. It made 152.5 million dollars in its first weekend in North America alone!

A Fight to the Death

The story takes place in the future, after the destruction of North America. The country is called Panem. There are twelve poor districts governed by the rich Capitol. The Capitol dominates the nation. Each district has to produce different things for the Capitol. District 12, where the story begins, provides all the coal for the country. There used to be a thirteenth district in the past but they rebelled against the Capitol and were destroyed.

The Hunger Games are an annual event. The Capitol uses them to punish the districts for rebelling. One boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 are chosen from each district to fight in a battle, in which only one person can survive. The chosen teenagers are called “tributes”. The whole country is forced to watch the games on television.

The heroine is Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen-year-old girl. Her father worked in the mine but he died in an accident and now she has to provide food for her family. She hunts in the woods around district 12 with her friend Gale, using a bow and arrow. When her younger sister, Prim, is chosen as one of the tributes, Katniss volunteers to go instead. The other tribute from District 12 is a boy named Peeta.

Where did the idea for The Hunger Games come from?

One night in 2003, Suzanne Collins was changing between channels on TV. It was at the time of the US invasion of Iraq. The only programmes she could find on TV were ‘reality’ programmes of young people competing to win a million dollars and news programmes about the war. Suzanne says that the two things started to merge together in her mind and the idea for The Hunger Games came to her. She has always found news programmes of wars upsetting. When she was a child, her father was a pilot in the US airforce and he fought in Vietnam. It was a very frightening experience for her.

Another important inspiration for the book comes from Suzanne’s love of Greek mythology. When she was a child, one of her favourite stories was Theseus and the Minotaur. In this story the city of Athens is ruled by Crete, but the Athenians rebel. As a punishment, Minos the king of Crete forces the Athenians to send seven boys and seven girls to Crete every year. The young people are thrown into the labyrinth and eaten by a monster that lives there called the Minotaur. But one of the youths, named Theseus, fights the Minotaur and kills it.

Too much violence?

As The Hunger Games has become more popular, some parents in the US have complained about the violence in the book. However,  Suzanne says that she was becoming very worried about how much violence we see on TV nowadays. She wanted to show people where this could end up in the future. She is also concerned about the amount of reality TV we watch. “We put too much of our lives on TV,” she says. “And we are becoming desensitised because of this. It’s OK not to care about a sitcom, but when it’s real tragedy, that’s different. It’s real life and it’s not going to go away when the advertisements come on.” She said that writing about the deaths and violence in the story was the hardest thing for her to do and she hopes it will make people think about what they watch in future.

Brendan Dunne

Total votes: 636

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Discussion

Have you read any good books recently?

Comments

AzulM's picture
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16x

I have read the series of "The Hunger Games". I didn´t love it too much as other persons but I liked. And I saw the first film, I will see the second soon. I love read, my currently reading is the first book of "The Lord of the Rings".

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128 users have voted.
MagentaUnicorn's picture
270x
3x

I haven't read the book but I watched the film and I loved it!
I really love reading books...but the bad thing is that if I read a book and after I watch the film based on it I get so dissapointed, I don't know why but books make it much more magical than films most of the times...my imagination flyies while I'm reading.

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105 users have voted.
Ahtram's picture
3117x
24x

I LOVE reading... I like ' The Hunger Games', but I think that the first part of the trilogy was the best...
Any good books? Of course, Ursula Le Guin and her The Earthsea Trilogy, Der Traum von Troja ( in German, by Henry Stoll ) and ' The Lord Of The Rings' - J.R.R Tolkien :))

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109 users have voted.
mary_me5's picture
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11x

Yes of course. i love reading very much. But i don't have much free time to read them and i am so worried about it. I've recently read Stefan Zweig's novels. I love this novelist very much. His novels have a big influence on me .

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170 users have voted.
fatmira n's picture
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177x

yes i read books especialy in winter...Last week i finished reading THE HEART
Now i am reading another books
I like it because there are interesting thing

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123 users have voted.
MartinaaS's picture
219x
1x

Yes!
Last month I finished reading "The Shadow of the Wind", by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Whole story is very complicated, because it's like Babushka doll: Every story told by one character carries the other story told by another character. Everything starts in Barcelona, and the year is 1945. Young boy Daniel wakes one dawn realising that he can't remember his mother's face. Daniel's mother died when he was only 4 years old. That dawn, his father takes him to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, huge secret library. There, he finds a book that he has never heard of before, written by author who was completely unknown: The Shadow Of The Wind, by Julian Carax. As Daniel's life goes on, he discovers the mistery of young Carax, his conections with powerful Aldaya family and strange bond that conects Julian with Daniel himself. This is a book worth of every single second I spent reading it, and I would really reccomend it to you.

" And keep your dreams. You never know when you might need them. "- Miquel Moliner

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170 users have voted.
LadyBookworm's picture
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10x

Yes! Reading is my drug!
I have read "A thousand Splendid Suns" and I cried a lot... Poor Mariam!
I liked this book. It's a sorrowful story, but it's good for us to know about sad stories too. There are a lot of people who think books have to show only fiction, always fluffy unicorns or such a fictional thought that you can't even believe for a minute, but books are here to open our eyes to the reality.

"... In the books we can find all that exists, often in colors most authentic, truthful and without the pain of all that exists. Between life and books, my child, choose the books."
The book of Chameleons - José Eduardo Agualusa

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128 users have voted.
Sweet Raspberry's picture
650x
6x

Yes I have. I love read. But I stopped read so much, I don't know why...

But I am reading a book called:
"Snow white and the hunstman", and after I read I want to see the movie, because the book was writenn by the film.

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160 users have voted.
Simon's picture
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116x

Hi Sweet Raspeberry, the Snow White story is a very famous fairy tale. I hope you enjoy this modern version! I heard the film is really good. Keep on reading!

Simon (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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146 users have voted.