Rated Reads

The Hunger Games (book 1)

by Suzanne Collins

Rated: Moderate

The future is always a bit different and scarier than the present. The United States of America eventually is destroyed and replaced by the country of Panem, whose Capitol is surrounded and supported by 12 Districts. A 13th District had existed, but the revolt was brutally put down and the district’s remains left in smoking ruins. As a reminder to the rest of the Districts that the Capitol is in charge, every year it holds a Hunger Games, a “Survivor”-like contest that is a fight to the death for one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district. The 24 “tributes” are selected at random and placed in an arena where the whole nation watches the bloody battle progress on television.

Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year-old girl from District 12, steps in to replace her 12-year-old sister when her name is drawn to go to the Games. She finds out for herself just how terrifying it is to fight, to survive, to make the toughest choices of all. Suzanne Collins’ novel is gripping. It explores themes of ethics and philosophy, of politics and bureaucracy, in a terrifying adventure story that is unfortunately not too far off from the fare available on our television sets today. The Hunger Games is a thrilling, thought-provoking read for youth and adults alike.

Rated: Moderate. Language use is very minimal: only about two mild occurrences. The level of violence earns this young-adult book its moderate rating: some of it is fairly disturbing. The scenes are sometimes a bit gory and a bit detailed, but not over-the-top. It is just the fact that these young people are forced by their government to fight each other to the death that is the most disturbing. Would probably just earn a mild rating if aimed at adults.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for more than 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

10 Responses to The Hunger Games (book 1)

  1. […] same things that were said about The Hunger Games still apply to the sequel: it’s still gripping, still fascinating, still totally […]

  2. […] page-turner for me. It wasn’t completely predictable (yay!) and it gripped me the same way The Hunger Games did — all teenage characters having to live adult lives. The stakes are high, and Dashner had me […]

  3. […] Hunger Games and Catching Fire, this book is gripping. Page-turning, intense, and best read in one sitting, […]

  4. Ashlyee says:

    I would give it a very HIGH rating for kids. Too disturbing. Only for much older teens.

  5. […] novels are taking over the young adult book world. Since Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, readers have developed an insatiable appetite for these dark and thrilling stories. Possession, […]

  6. […] became acquainted with Suzanne Collins and her work when I read The Hunger Games, and, boy, was that a treat. Even though she wrote this series WAY before The Hunger Games, I […]

  7. […] early in the game thanks to all the ways I stay connected in the publishing world. In the case of The Hunger Games, I heard about it on Stephenie Meyer’s website. I have found that Ms. Meyer has quite good […]

  8. […] the factions), recruiting people, trying to understand what the Ultimate Purpose is here. Much like Katniss, Tris spends the book trying to recover from Bad Deeds She Did, though she’s a much more […]

  9. […] enjoyed Prodigy in the same way that I enjoyed The Hunger Games. The beginning of the book was a little slow, but once the pace picked up, the book was much more […]

  10. […] I’m not sure I ever felt the way she did about the officials. Unlike, say, President Snow in The Hunger Games. (Yes, comparisons are inevitable.) I do think, on the other hand, that it’s a tighter, more […]

  • The Hunger Games (book 1)
  • by Suzanne Collins
  • Rated: Moderate
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: