The Hunger Games in 140 characters or less

I’ve heard much ado lately about The Hunger Games. From “ZOMG I’m so excited it’s coming out this week!” to “If you don’t read these books, I’ll haunt you in your dreams after I die.” (or something like that – I paraphrase.) I haven’t read the books, although I probably would if I had more than 15 minutes to myself and Draw Something didn’t exist. Basically, y’all are speaking another language.

A few weeks ago, I was perplexed about The Hunger Games, so I asked my Twitter people to give me a short summary in 140 characters or less. I got the following.


  • “World’s gone to sh*t, US is very diff & govt orgs annual competition for survival. 1 contestant lives.” —@1chicklette
  • “24 teens battle to the death for the capitol’s entertainment. Girl volunteers for sis. Pisses of govt in process.” (@Beckles85)
  • “teenagers fight to the death for their district to win food etc” @MrsMonologues

I was still curious. Rather than turning to Wikipedia for my short summary of the Hunger Games, per use, I turned to my Facebook fan page, which is not only fun, but educational. I posed the same question, but gave them more space to expand. My fans, of course, rose to the occasion:

  • “Post-apocalyptic story where Big Brother has taken over & it’s up to a group of teenagers to save the country after fighting each other to the death a la Running Man style.” -Natalie,  My Crazy Busy Life
  • “Kids from districts surrounding the capitol are chosen to fight to the death as punishment for the various districts’ past rebellions against the capitol, to remind the districts what will happen if they try to rise up again.” – Leigh Ann, Genie in a Blog
  • “Complete awesomeness.” – My friend Susie who doesn’t have a blog but probably should
  • “To me the series was the love child of the books 1984 and The Twilight Series.” – Jessica, My Time as Mom
  • “Teens fight to death, love triangle ensues. Better than Twilight, worse than Harry Potter.”  - JMJE, Making Stuff is Fun
  • “Children fight to the death in a dystopian future. Revolution ensues. My alternate description was ; flippin’ awesome” – Kristin, Taming Insanity
  • “In a dystopian future world, a wealthy tyrannical Capitol keeps its people separated into starving districts, all working to feed the Capitol’s wealth. As part of the districts’ punishment for a past rebellion, each district is required to give two children annually in “tribute” to fight to the death in an arena, and all are required to watch and celebrate these Hunger Games. Naturally our heroine, Katniss, begins a new rebellion against this system that plays out over 3 books.”  - Alyssa, Near Normalcy

For you visual learners out there, allow me to provide you with a word cloud summary — suitible for framing or printing out as a crib sheet for the midnight showing of The Hunger Games with your BFFs to whom you’ve lied about reading the books because you know they will brow beat you if they knew the truth. You shouldn’t lie to your friends; it’s not nice.

The Hunger Games word cloud in 140 characters or less.

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So there you have it. If you’re not familiar with The Hunger Games, I’ve schooled you with a short summary of the Hunger Games with the help of these lovely ladies. Now you can pick up that US Weekly instead of reading the books.

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37 comments to The Hunger Games in 140 characters or less

  • I haven’t read books and now feel all caught up! I love the board you created!

  • Is it wrong that I’m kind of judging all of the people who are just now jumping on the Hunger Games bandwagon? I read the books a few years ago.

    And? In order to coerce my boys to read a book, I promised if they read it & liked it then I would take them to the midnight premier. I’m not above bribery.

  • Ha love the word loud. I had another Facebook friend ask about HG a few days after you on FB. Too bad I couldn’t have just sent her the word cloud.

  • KLZ

    Hold the phone. People are LYING about having read these?? Excuse me, I have some haunting to do

  • I’m shocked you haven’t read them. Regardless of the movies I would highly recommend them. I waited until the 3rd came out last summer and bought them all. Finished all 3 in a week. So good!

  • thank you for this because I gotta say the movie trailers don’t tell you d*ck about the movie. P.S. What’s up with the lazy ass parents/adults letting teens fight to the death??? As you can see I’m on the fence about reading this series…. maybe I”ll pick one up and read it this summer and watch the movie on pay-per-view. Let me know if you find time and what you think girl – you’re blunt and to the point :)

  • One of my favorite aspects of the HG series is that the heroine is the badass; unlike Twilight (where Bella is a clutzy victim who needs constant rescuing), Katniss is the true hero.

    She is always as strong, smart, competent and loyal as the two male characters who love her – if not more so.

    So I was thrilled that both my daughter and my son read the books and loved them. Loved. Strong women rule.

    We are going to the midnight showing on the 23rd.
    Can’t. Wait.

  • yep, these all seem accurate to describe the books.

  • This was a great idea and everyone seems to get the story! Quite interesting :) Can’t wait to see the movie, the books are awesome!

  • I’m not familiar with it at all either, but this makes me wonder why people love it so much and why my friends are whack.

  • My son read these books in a matter of days. I just can’t get into it. Eh. Oh well.

  • um. hello. read them now!!!

  • I was thinking about letting my oldest girl write her own post about the Hunger Games since she’s currently obsessed with it, but you did such a great job of summing it all up here :)

  • That word cloud is hilarious! Seriously, read the books. You won’t regret it.

  • These books were amazing. I could not put them down!!!

  • THANK YOU for doing this post – I don’t know what rock I’ve been living under, but I’d never heard of any of this until people were tweeting about how they “can’t wait for The Hunger Games.” I thought maybe it was a weight loss plan (Me: Why are you all planning to start a diet at the same time?) or some kind of race (Me: Naming your 5k marathon The Hunger Games in NOT enticing me to run.). I finally got that it was a movie when people started talking about camping out in front of movie theaters. Ah ha, now it makes sense! I know, I don’t get out much. The movie sounds cool, though – unfortunately the only books I get to read these days feature talking dogs or girls who turn pink from eating too many cupcakes.

  • I haven’t read the books either, and now I don’t need to. So many other books to read, you have to make tough choices. I’ve heard about how the heroine is a strong woman, and I’m all for that. Though teenagers killing teenagers sounds dire. Well, now that sounds like I better read one before I make a judgment. Or watch the movie.. Fun post!

  • I have all the books… well my daughter does but I don’t have time to actually sit down and read lately! The days are getting shorter or something.

  • OMG I love those books so much!

  • Okay, so I really liked the first book, but I was disappointed in the love triangle. In my opinion, there shouldn’t have been focus on that aspect of a teenager’s life, because given their circumstances it didn’t play out realistically for me. If a teenager was really put in that situation, I don’t know that they would have time to focus on love interests while trying to keep themselves alive. Now, before the games started, yes I can believe that your emotions would be confused and flustering because of what’s about to happen, you don’t know what to expect, you gravitate towards others who are in the same boat as you – but when they actually got into the games, while the love interest angle died down a little there were parts where it flared, and by the end I was just like, “Really?” Maybe I’m just biased because J.K. Rowling handled love so well in the Harry Potter series and they pretty much set the bar for children’s/YA lit for me, and if you can’t do it as good as Jo, it bugs me. But again, I could be totally biased.

    All in all, I was impressed with the story line, but my co-workers tell me the series goes downhill after the second book. I’m still interested in reading the last two books, though, and I want to see the movie.

  • Bwaahaahaa!! I have it downloaded on my nook, but haven’t started reading it yet. I hope I’m not disappointed.

  • Loved Hunger Games and my kids and I are addicted to wordles. Erin

  • I haven’t read The Hunger Games. Nor do I know if I will (you don’t scare me, KLZ!). All I know is that whenever I see people talking about these books (and movies) one thought comes to mind: Everyone everywhere is going to start naming their babies “Katniss.”

    The name is going to explode. Mark my words. So it has been written.

  • I agree with Kristin that The name Katniss will probably explode.

    Also, Jessica’s description of “a cross between 1984 and Twilight is pretty good. I also think it has echoes of the short story “The Lottery”, which I had to read in grade 8 and then gave me nightmares for a month. How that is good jr high reading is beyond me!

    Also? I regret that I wasted time reading these books. Disliked them intensely and really do not get the fuss.

  • Love the word cloud. Haven’t read HG. Maybe I will someday. But maybe now I don’t have to!

  • ah, us weekly. thank you, deeply. my week is done.

  • Kristin

    I haven’t yet read them, not do I intend to until I go on vacation. And now I have been sated for information. I love the visual aide. Perfection.

  • So glad you wrote this post as I’ve been very curious about The Hunger Games but honestly too lazy to read any of the books. This condensed version was just right :)

  • In a word: I LOVE THE WORD CLOUD! ok that was a few words. Still…it depicts the Hunger Games very well! I read the series last summer and couldn’t get enough. It’s not my usual genre AT ALL. I have no idea why I even bought it for my Kindle. I’m glad I did and thinking of reading it again before I see the movie. The trailers I’ve seen look AMAZING!

  • Doing the word cloud was brilliant. But somehow this summary wouldn’t make me want to read the novels at all if I hadn’t already read and enjoyed them! Perhaps, like all summaries, it misses why people love the books. The answer to that for pretty much any novel is going to be great story and/or relatable characters. In this case, it’s definitely both.

    • Amanda

      I definitely agree. I should probably just read them because there is something about the whole “teenagers fighting to the death” thing that bothers me!

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