I read The Hunger Games last year after almost everyone on the planet has read it. I know, I’m a bit slow when it comes to catching up with what’s ultra trendy. Anyway, I wrote a quick blog post about it. A few days ago I finally got around to book 2, Catching Fire, and then just today to book 3, Mockingjay. Of course, I’m going to ramble about them here. Shall we?
About The Hunger Games
Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When her sister is chosen by lottery, Katniss steps up to go in her place. (source)
Book one definitely lived up to the hype. When I read it, I was like, whoa. It was quick, fast-paced, action-packed, engaging, super fun to read except for the scenes full of sweet romantic lovey dovey nothings, which were totally necessary to the whole story but didn’t make the book 100% cringe free for me. I first blogged about the book here. Wasn’t exactly a review, but it more or less reflected my down-with-the-sap feelings. I know, I’m a robot.
About Catching Fire
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. (source)
A few days ago, about a year after I read The Hunger Games, I finally got around to the second book, Catching Fire. I must admit that I had mostly forgotten how the first book felt in terms of writing, style, pace, etc. What I remember is that I really enjoyed most of it. I know I didn’t quite enjoy the sappy romantic stuff and I was glad that Catching Fire didn’t have too many of that. Similar to the first book, this second installment was a quick read. It was fast-paced, engaging, and emotional, too. It also felt like the middle of a trilogy. You know that feeling where the whole book is all about building up for that shocking ending to the series. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, but it makes the book feel incomplete because of the cliffhanger-ish ending. I was all, meh, when I got to the end, but I’m not saying there was a lack of twists and excitement. The whole trilogy is just chock-full of exciting shit. Also, the characters have all changed, grown, gone krayzay in some way, which was great, because it’s always the characters that make a book memorable for me and Katniss and the gang definitely made this unforgettable.
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. (source)
What did I think about the series?
I love it when a series or a trilogy ends with a bang and The Hunger Games definitely ended with a lot of explosions. I loved the action, the physical and mental battles, and the unraveling of the characters. What I mean by unraveling is that this book finally showed the kind of people that they were. It showed the devastating effects of the games on the tributes and victors. This final installment showed not only the strengths but also the weaknesses of the characters and I really appreciated the fact that Suzanne Collins didn’t hold anything back. This isn’t a series ender that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside. People lose everything. People get betrayed. They get killed. People were unraveling in mind and body. They were all going batshit crazy, I tell you.
Well, this book also had a lot of useless plot lines and scenes, too. I mean, a big chunk of what the characters were doing in this book felt totally unnecessary in the long run but I really enjoyed reading about the characters more. I think it more than made up for the second one and it certainly made for a great end to the trilogy.
From whoa after book one and meh after book two, I was all waah sniff sniff after book three. Right. And that’s how you review a trilogy, folks. By being weird.
If you haven’t read this trilogy yet, don’t wait a bajillion years. Gets it pronto!
I published the post above and went to Goodreads to read the reviews of Mockingjay and I found it funny that many didn’t like how Collins wrapped up her trilogy. Some were devastated. Some felt cheated. Some didn’t like the turn of events. Some missed the Katniss in the first book. Some thought it was disjointed and confusing. And here I was enjoying the krayzay, the shocking twists, the confusion, the devastation. I thought all that was just fitting, given the true violence of the whole Games concept. Maybe I just like the not so happy endings sometimes. Or maybe I just enjoyed how it all deviated from the first book. Irrational turn of events! Confusion! Chaos! Very entertaining.
I feel like I should throw my head back and do an evil laugh. Dammit, I’m Capitol scum.
So, what are your thoughts on The Hunger Games?
About the author
Suzanne Collins has had a successful and prolific career writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains It All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. Collins made her mark in children’s literature with the New York Times bestselling five-book series for middle-grade readers The Underland Chronicles, which has received numerous accolades in both the United States and abroad. In the award-winning The Hunger Games trilogy, Collins continues to explore the effects of war and violence on those coming of age. Collins lives with her family in Connecticut. (Bio from Amazon)