THE HUNGER GAMES: a recommendation

I read a lot of popular fiction.  As a writer, I need to know something about books that are extraordinarily successful – i.e., what it is about them that makes millions of readers clamor to buy.  It was on that premise that I read “Twilight,” and loved it enough to read all four books more than once.  For the same reason, more recently, I read the “Fifty Shades” trilogy, and you all know how I feel about these.

I initially resisted “The Hunger Games.”  Actually, that’s not entirely true.  I tried to read it, but stopped soon after Katniss volunteered to take her sister’s place as the Tribute from District 12.  The plotline upset me.  I mean, children fighting to the death?  I have trouble watching reality TV, and this is reality TV taken to extremes.

But my son read all three books and loved them.  And my daughters-in-law read them and loved them.  And my BFF read them and loved them.  And there were all those millions of readers – and then the movie!

So I picked up the book again and pushed through it this time.  I’m not sure if I can say that I loved it.  I’ve never been a big one for dystopia, and violence just isn’t my cuppa, so to speak.  I do think it was very well written, and it certainly has action and drama.

But I’m still unsure.  Have you read it?  Did you love it?  Hate it?  Why on either score?  Please tell me; I need to know.

And the movie, should I see that?  Have you?

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  1. Pat on May 27, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Is there a release date yet for Sweet Salt Air?

    • Barbara Delinsky on May 29, 2012 at 6:01 am

      I’m just finishing writing it, Pat, so it’ll have to be 2013. Boy, does that sound a long way off, but my publisher can’t start work on its end until I finish on mine. I’ll let you know when we get an exact date, so please do check back.

  2. melissa on May 29, 2012 at 6:51 am

    I haven’t read them yet – I think I probably will eventually though! Have to see what all the hype is about! 🙂
    Can I ask something about the new release ‘oldies’ – I can’t seem to buy them, are they only available in the US/to US patrons?

    • Barbara Delinsky on May 29, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Melissa, they’re only available online — i.e., as e-books. Is that the problem?

  3. Denise on May 29, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Hi Barbara,

    I too tried to read “The Hunger Games” but the violence involving children was too much for me. I stopped in the middle and gave them back to my friend who lent them to me. In saying that though, I was “forced” to watch the movie and I kind of get the appeal, but I hope to not see anymore.

    However, I have started reading “50 Shades of Grey” and am loving it! I can see what the fuss is about and I enjoyed your blog post about this trilogy.


  4. melissa on May 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    Hi Barbara, no, I buy from Amazon often and they download straight to my phone. I bought Together ALone last week and thoroughly enjoyed it. But the new ones listed, eg The Scent Of Jasmine, First Things First – when I get to the listing, it says “Not Currently Available” and “pricing not available”.

    • Barbara Delinsky on May 30, 2012 at 6:09 am

      That’s so weird. I can access them on Amazon from here. I asked my editor yesterday, and she said they should be available to everyone. Perhaps try again today, and if you still have a problem, send a query email to Amazon Customer Service? I’m so sorry you’re having this problem.

  5. Tasha on May 29, 2012 at 6:41 pm

    I understand how you feel. I did read the books and I did fall in love with the characters. To be honest, after I finished Mockingjay, the final book in the trilogy, I immediately read The Passions of Chelsea Kane. It was a great book for decompressing. I can’t imagine living in a world where mothers are silent while their children are chosen to kill each other. Small town romance along with a little mystery sounds much better to me.

    Love your books,

    My old BD books are falling apart. Do you know when you’ll have the Dreams trilogy available on e-reader??

    • Barbara Delinsky on May 30, 2012 at 6:12 am

      The Dreams trilogy may be one of those that’s fallen through the holes of who-owns-ebook-rights neverland. I may be able to get the rights back, but not yet. Keep checking back, Tasha. I won’t forget!

      • Tasha on June 1, 2012 at 11:01 pm

        Thanks for getting back to me. That trilogy was my first experience with you as a writer. I am also a New England girl. Born and raised in Boston, now living in Braintree. I went on to read many other books. Some are old favorites (Within Reach, The Summer I dared). Some I could only read once because they were too sad (Together Alone, Shades of Grace). I think the best thing about your writing is that you show that being/being seen vulnerable is an advantage to yourself as well as to the ones who love and could love you. The settings in your book also seem so familiar to me. It’s comforting even if I’ve never been there.


  6. Dana Britt on May 31, 2012 at 6:12 am

    I, too, resisted the craze over The Hunger Games–it just didn’t sound all that interesting to me. I’m not a fan of dystopia and violence at all, I rarely read books along such lines

    That being said, I did read the first book. While I do see why some might like it, I am not compelled to read any further in the series or to see the movie. It just isn’t up my alley.

    Happy Thursday 🙂


  7. Sandi on May 31, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I listened to the Hunger Games trilogy and I believe that’s the only reason I got thought them. I would have been happy leaving it at The Hunger Games. Didn’t really like Catching Fire and in fact until the huge cliff hanger had decided to stop. Did power through and listen to Mockingjay. Not my thing either but at least in audio it was worth my time and helped ease my commute.


  8. Charlotte on June 8, 2012 at 3:51 am

    I loved the Hunger Games, its enough to get you thinking and keep you thinking long after you’ve finished the books – thats the sort of literature young adults need these days.

    The colour of the yarn at the top of your blog page is gorgeous – what is it because i would love to try it?

    • Barbara Delinsky on June 8, 2012 at 6:26 am

      Isn’t that yarn color gorgeous? It’s “Merincash Fingering” sock yarn, hand dyed by my friend Debbie Smith, who owns my local yarn store. I did modify the color a bit for the blog header, but if you shoot her an email at, she would be able to look at it and tell you if she has something close. Hope this helps, Charlotte!

      • Charlotte on June 8, 2012 at 6:37 pm

        It is very beautiful, unfortunately i’m based in the UK so i don’t think i’ll be able to get any (postage, customs etc) but i will send her an e-mail. Thank you so much for replying – the knitting connections within your books were the initial reason i read them – very glad i did now.

  9. b on June 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I read the first Hunger Games because students liked it…it is a middle school book…I do not like them at all…however am an English teacher and a NANA and do not like that type of book.
    As to your older books-have downloaded some on Kindle-good.

  10. Tammie on September 12, 2012 at 7:06 am

    I have read the trilogy of the Hunger Games, I too was surprised at the plot of the stories, but once you got into the characters you wanted to know what happened next. I don’t agree with what took place, but on a fair note there are other books and movies that are worse. I did watch the movie as with all movies they don’t show or explain in detail like the books do. I believe its a personal choice in whether you either read them or even finish them when started. I also believe that this series is one that will get our young readers into reading again.

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