JANE & CARIN

In a short blurb? We talk books.

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger GamesTitle: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars for the trilogy as a whole

Description: 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.

Review: In one word? Unputdownable (Okay, so maybe that’s not really a word. But still). I started reading it on my commute to work on Tuesday, finished it that night. I started to read Catching Fire on Wednesday, finished it that night. I started Mockingjay on Thursday, finished it Friday afternoon. I read like there was no tomorrow! I was captivated by Collin’s story and she successfully immersed me into her dystopian world where children are killed left and right as a show for others’ enjoyment. Somehow predictable, but the action was so great, that you just had to keep reading. I will also mentioned that the first was my absolute favorite, the third being my least (in terms of plot and character development, but once I thought about the themes… it more than made up for it). But can I just say that Katniss is the most bad-ass character, the opposite of Bella Swan.

Concepts I found interesting: the control and power a government exerts over its citizens, the dark side of human nature (i.e. the fascination of watching other suffer and die horrific deaths for entertainment — think The Lottery), and the after-effects of children that have been through horrific ordeals and war.

The fact that Collins chose to write such concepts and how for a YA audience fascinates me. The Hunger Games draws the reader in with fast-paced action and details with the idea of the all powerful Capitol behind the Games. Catching Fire explores the aftermath of the Games and demonstrates how deeply rooted that the Capitol’s power goes. Mockingjay is taking an idea, running with it, and not necessarily getting the outcome you envisioned. There is definitely a message that comes across from the books, and Collins does it in an entertaining way that makes you want to keep reading.

The funny thing was that I had this book on my To-Read pile for awhile, but never got around to reading it. Since I work at a book publishing company, I am swarmed with a huge selection and usually pick out books based on how the first page grabs me. I wasn’t convinced by the synopsis or even the first page so it took a backseat for quite some time. Little did I know that after one chapter into The Hunger Games, I would be flipping through the pages. I definitely recommend it and I think there are some interesting ideas if you look at the overall concept of the series as a whole. There’s definitely a larger picture to be seen and you see it grow as you go from The Hunger Games to Catching Fire to Mockingjay.

And of course, The Hunger Games is being turned into a movie. I’m not thrilled with some of the casting, but am hopeful since Suzanne Collins herself is penning the script. Some cool links that talk more about the book turning into the movie:


The Bottom Line
: The Hunger Games has the best story and character development. Mockingjay is lacking in those departments, but give you the most to think about in terms of overall themes and outlooks. Catching Fire is a mix of both, story but also starts revealing the bigger picture.

Have you read The Hunger Games? I would love to hear your take on it!

– Jane

P.S. The viral site of the Capitol is live! Check it out!

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6 comments on “Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy

  1. Jess Witkins
    September 1, 2011

    Ok, I’m excited to read the next two because Ellie’s review and yours are very different. She thought Katniss was too much like Bella, and you think polar opposites. I can’t wait to finish them. We may need to all have like a Hunger Games twitter party when the movie comes out. I’ll bring the goat cheese and poppyseed bread. 😉

    • Jane
      September 1, 2011

      I can probably attest to why she thinks there are similarities between the two! I just think Katniss’s mindset in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire is always about surviving and doing whatever it takes to protect the ones she loves, of course referring to Prim. In Bella’s case, it was always just fixated on Edward as opposed to her family and what not. I think once we get into the heart of Mockingjay, Katniss breaks down and becomes more Bella-esque (which was one of the reasons I didn’t enjoy Mockingjay)… but like I mentioned above, I want to say its because of trauma? Definitely a debatable issue! I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll just leave it at that. Please let me know what you think after you’re done! And can I just say that i LOVE the idea of a Hunger Games twitter party? I can definitely get into that 🙂

  2. Geetanjali
    September 2, 2011

    The Hunger Games was definitely ‘unputdownable’! I completed the trilogy in 3 days as well. And I’m not sure why, but it reminded me very much of The Giver by Lois Lowry. Maybe it’s because they’re both very well crafted analogies.

    Also, I didn’t think Katniss was in the least bit like Bella. To me the Hunger Games and Twilight are on completely different levels.

    • Jane
      September 2, 2011

      Great comparison! I actually did think of The Giver as well as I was reading it. The Elders and Snow/Gamemakers held powerful positions that affected the whole society… while Katniss and Jonas were the ones that shattered the Utopian appearance of it. Have you read the two books that came after The Giver? I read Gathering Blue ages ago but never got to the last one… I think I may have to go pick it up!

  3. Geetanjali
    September 3, 2011

    I haven’t managed to read Messenger either 😦 Gathering Blue was nice tho it didn’t quite stack up to The Giver.

  4. Pingback: The Hunger Games Book to Movie Adaptation « JANE & CARIN

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This entry was posted on September 1, 2011 by in Book Reviews, Jane, Young Adult and tagged , , , , , , .

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“I think it makes more sense to write what you don’t know. To write what makes you uneasy, what you wonder about, what keeps you awake at night."

— Lois Lowry, at the BEA Children’s Book and Author Breakfast

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