In a short blurb? We talk books.
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!
P.S. The viral site of the Capitol is live! Check it out!