Thursday, March 15, 2012

Review: The Hunger Games Audiobook

The Hunger Games Audiobook Edition
by Suzanne Collins

Read by Carolyn McCormick

publisher: Scholastic

release date: October 1st, 2008

intended audience: Young adult

source: purchased from Audible

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Review: Okay. Let me have it. I can hear the collective gasp of my blog readers saying, "What?? You're just reading this now??" Believe me, I'm asking myself why it took me so long to get to this book. After hearing amazing review after amazing review for this entire series, and telling myself again and again to fit it in, the day finally came. And though there may have been some underlying worry that it wouldn't live up to the hype, I can happily say that that worry was squashed within the first few chapters. Really, what can I even say that hasn't been said before? This story is amazing. I was gasping, crying, cheering, cringing, and shaking my head in utter awe. It's completely horrifying and shocking and heart-wrenching and exciting and gruesome and heroic and in all these mind-blowing things is still manages to be just a little bit romantic...all these things are just wrapped up into one extremely compelling tale.

I am actually really happy with my decision to listen to this one on audiobook. The reader, Carolyn McCormick, did a fantastic job. The intonation and intensity of her voice was perfect for the feel of the story and each character really came through. Another great thing about listening to this on audiobook: I know if I had read it, I wouldn't have been able to help speeding through it. I can only imagine that the Hunger Games in print is absolutely unputdownable (made up word? Maybe. But you know what I mean.) . With the audiobook, it self-paces the story. I was able to savor it and get caught up in the really intense scenes without tearing through them.

Even if you've already read the books, I highly recommend giving the audiobooks a listen.

As for the movie...VERY excited now. And just a little nervous, because this stunning book is a lot to live up to. Also, a lot of story is told in Katniss's internal voice, so we'll see how well that transfers to the big screen. I do think it was very well cast, though! I actually love the casting of Cinna, who was one of my favorite characters. I don't think I'll be able to help going to see it on opening weekend! I'm bringing plenty of tissue, because I know as soon as I see "certain" characters, I'm going to be a freaking sniveling mess.

Thanks to everyone who has ever recommended this! Its quite a reading/listening experience!


  1. I honestly never thought to listen to this one. I listened to Delirium by Lauren Oliver on audiobook, and I have to say, the experience was way better than reading the print copy. So I'll definitely see if my library carries an audio copy of THG. I love that you incorporated the narrator into your review.

  2. I don't usually listen to audiobooks, but I think this would be a great way to reread it. It's better late than never!

  3. I'm glad I'm not the only one who enjoyed the audiobook. A lot of people have said Carolyn McCormick is too old to narrate for Katniss, and I suppose her voice does sound a bit too old, but at the same time, it works somehow. I think it's because, as you said, it is so expressive that you can tell she really invested her whole heart and soul in being Katniss.

  4. Great point about the audio keeping you from speeding through! I've read this but totally want to listen to the audiobook so I can freshen up on the story.

  5. OHHHHHH I will have to listen to the audio version now!!

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  8. I'd like to try this out someday. :) Recently getting into audiobooks. xD