Monday, February 21, 2011

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins review and WoWO Meeting

Personal Rating: 5 Stars
BookClub Rating: 4.8 Stars

The story of the Hunger Games is an amazing tale. The time is sometime in the distant future, the place is Panem, what we now call North America but is no more. Thi
s is the story of Katniss Everdeen and the people who surround her and become a part of her life. In first person, we dive into the thoughts of this 16 year old girl and we are not disappointed. The Hunger games happen once a year where each of the 12 districts of Panem hold a lottery to choose one girl and one boy to fight for food and provisions for their poor district. The games are televised and the basis of the games is reminiscent of the Running Man (where the players are children).

This book is labeled a young adult science fiction novel but it is so much more than this. I can't imagine one person I know who would not enjoy this book, it was amazing. I found myself anxious while reading; not being able to wait for what is to come. I would dream about it at night and be utterly absorbed in thoughts of it during the days while not reading it. I picked up this novel for WoWO book club read and The Ladies of the WoWO met to discuss the hunger games this month with great success!

We had a Hunger Games themed dinner with the discussion and then played our own WoWO Games. As usually this synopsis of the discussion contains spoilers:

We felt that having the book written in first person, present tense from Katniss' perspective made it more exciting and we really liked it as a group. We felt that Katniss was well prepared to be a contestant in the hunger games because she is already a hunter, provider and a survivor, so these things make her more resilient in the games. This survivor instinct also helps her face adversity throughout all of Panem, knowing she'll get in trouble if she speaks out against the country in any way.

We discussed how the tributes see the games verses th
e others and how the careers are treating the games as fame and glory "when they win" versus the others who go in thinking they will die and just try to survive as long as possible. Although Katniss was given advice from Haymitch to stay out of the cornucopia, she decides to rush in because she is enticed by the bow and arrows. We all felt that she couldn't ignore trying to get it no matter how dangerous it may have been and at least she was able to get the backpack.

We all felt tha
t her survival instinct and her knowledge of nature were her most important skills in the hunger games. She is highly intelligent and intuitive, very street smart and she knew what to do to get what they needed (from the wild or from the sponsors). We all felt a great respect for Peeta. He had integrity and he didn't want the games to change him and turn him into a monster, like they have done to others in the past. he was determined to stay true to himself, and he managed to do that and did not have to kill anyone in the games.

We all agreed that Peeta joined with the careers to protect Katniss. The Careers wanted to use Peeta to get information on Katniss, so for a while it seemed like they could use each other for survival as long as they don't find out the Peeta is only there to protect Katniss, not help the careers. I have to admit I was shocked at first when I saw Peeta with them and wondered what his game was and was glad to see that he was just protecting her.

We all loved the relationship between Katniss and Rue. Besides companionship they did a lot to protect each other. Rue saved Katniss fr
om the careers by warning her and showing her the tracker jacker nest. Katniss may have owed her from that point but it was a deeper connection than that for Katniss and Rue.

We all felt that Katniss started to fall for Peeta by the end of the book... even though she was confused about her feelings, there was something there for her. We all agreed that for Katniss to act in love with Peeta was the right thing to do because surviving is key. Even though there ended up being consequences, they are alive at the end of the book an
d that was the point to it all. A tribute never really wins the hunger games because they have to live with what they did to survive and from seeing how the experience affected Haymitch, its not easy to live with.

Some of our favorite scenes were:

  • When Katniss volunteered to go to the games instead of Prim.
  • When Rue helped Katniss with the tracker jackers
  • When Katniss covered Rue with flowers and then District 11 sent the bread to her.
  • When Foxface was hiding in the cornucopia and already knew of the land minds.
  • When Peeta announced that he loved Katniss and then the chapter ended, adding to the suspence of it all.
  • In the end with the berries, when the capital was tricked.
Some of our favorite quotes were:
  • Peeta's Quote: "...I w ant to die as myself.. I don't want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I'm not."
  • The song of the Mockingjay.
Some of the characters we related to were:
  • Rue
  • Peeta
  • Katniss' mother
However it was a landslide on the favorite character: Katniss by far (there was one vote for Rue).

In future books we would like to see Katniss' mother be a more developed character and we want Katniss to choose between Gale or Peeta. We have 4 members of team Peeta and 3 for Team Gale and 1 for both Peeta and Gale. (I'm definitely on team G ALE!)

Now on to the pictures of our Feast:

We had a food representing every district in Panem and the Hunger Games:

District 1 is luxury its so we had candy watches and Rings as well as our drink to toast the beginning of the games.

District 2 is weaponry so we had Pretzel balls for bullets.
District 3 is electronics but they have square bite sized rolls as well, so we had the rolls.
District 4 is fishing, so we had fish shaped crackers and snacks.
District 5, 6 and 9's industry is unknown so we had a special bread representing these districts.
District 7 is lumber so we had pretzel rods as logs
District 8 is textiles, so the tablecloth represented this district
District 10 is livestock so we had a nice beef stew
District 11 is agriculture so we had an apple cake to represent this district:

District 12 is coal, and we had candy coal to represent District 12
District 13 is said to be destroyed so we had an empty plate for 13

We also had Goosling Legs and Nuts and Berries to represent the wild of the Hunger Games:

(Lori Eating a Gooseling leg)

Here is a group of the girls eating the feast:

(Colleen, Louise, Linda, Myrta)

Let the games begin, May the odds be ever in your favor:

We played a few games, they were all timed and the one who gets the furthest in 60 seconds was the winner:

Don't blow the joker:

(Lori testing out Blow the joker) - it was a dud and we decided not to play it.

Pencil catch:
(Tricia scaring us all with her crazy grab!)

Apple Stack:

(Linda stacking apples)

(Louise - the applestack winner with 5 apples stacked)

Cup stack:

(Peggy Stacking her cups with confidence)

(Myrta restacking after a tumble)

(Colleen a stacking fool)

The WoWos all together:
(Louise, Lori, Linda, Colleen, Myrta, Faith (me), Peggy and Tricia)

As stated above our final rating was a 4.8 for the group and we decided as a group to have our next meeting be the continuation of the series. Both Catching Fire and Mockingjay will be discussed at the next book club meeting on May 4th, so make sure you check back for the review.

No comments:

Post a Comment