The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Okay this another combination review post. I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum for those only interested in the first book.

Publisher: Scholastiv

Page Count: 374

Rating: 5/5

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, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district 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 weigh survival against humanity and life against love. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling The Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

It took me forever to actually grab a copy of this book, mainly because I figured it would be yet another overrated series that had little to no plot and 2 dimensional character. It wasn’t, not in the least. It acutally lived up to everything that was said about it and in some ways completely surpassed it.

This is one of the few dystopian novels I’ve read and the others have been relatively dull. It’s always someone constantly spouting about politics or talking about how horrible their life is thanks to the government. The plot involved with those is usually lacking but is bolstered by all the complaining. So I was expecting much of the same here. So yes the government is corrupt and cruel, and the people are subjected to harsh living conditions and the whims of the Capital. However it seems this government has a creative way of keeping their people industrious and in check. First they have districts which specialize in some sort of product and they live accordingly. Secondly they have The Hunger Games, which is a brutal competition between representatives from each district. Which ever wins earns the food and money that the districts desperately need. There is a harsh reality to these ‘games’ though, the competitors who lose don’t walk away. The main character Katniss Everdeen, is somewhat of a no nonsense girl who is striving to take care of her mother and sister in the desolate District 12. This girl is tough and the very meaning of ‘badass’, but she’s not so tough that she’s invincible or perfect. Each character in this book manages to pull an emotion from you whither it’s a simple smile or complete disgust, and the character development and reactions are believable as well.

This is a very quick paced book and after the first few chapters you’ll be drawn in because the world is so different and no harsh detail is spared. It’s separated into three sections which helps give you breathing time because things move at a steady pace in the first section, but they definitely pick up in the second section. Like I said before it’s a harsh story and I was a little surprised at the violence, it wasn’t overly gory or horror story violent but if you don’t like stories where there are quick, blunt and sometimes include heart wrenching deaths don’t read it. It’s rare that a book literally surprises me but this one did it over and over again.

Publisher: Scholastic

Page Count: 396

Rating: 5/5

Suzanne Collins continues the amazing story of Katniss Everdeen in the phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy.Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

So after I finished the first one and directed my boyfriend’s mom to it she immediately made me borrow this one.  I love having someone with the same taste in books.

Anyway, this one starts right where the first one leaves off and you hit the ground running. In a way the pace really helps you to understand just how Katniss is feeling throughout this. One moment you’re relaxed and fairly calm, and the next you’re on edge and anxious because you’re life is in danger again. I personally think that it makes the story that much more enjoyable because it has that ability to pull you into the story and make you feel the actions and emotions. It also matches pace with the first one so the story doesn’t feel uneven. The plot has an interesting twist to it as well that I wasn’t expecting at all. The harshness of the world is still there of course and so is the violence, so there is absolutely not loss in the gritty nature of the first.This like the first also has clear character development as well. I really enjoyed how Katniss becomes a sort of idol even though she did nothing but try to survive, I also enjoyed learning about the other contestants like Finnick who has such a raw story that I immediately adored him. As the book continues you realize just how these Games take their toll on people and how much acting goes into helping them survive both in the arena and out.

The ending will definitely leave you wanting more and I suggest having Mockingjay near by when you finish.

Publisher:  Scholastic

Page Count: 390

Rating: 5/5

My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans — except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay — no matter what the personal cost

Ah so this is the last one! I must admit that the fact that this was only a trilogy made me sad, even though I know having this as a full length series would get old. Despite my whining about the length of the series I felt that this ended the series perfectly.

I think it goes without saying  that this is just as quick paced as the other two. Which with the last book in a series you kind of don’t want entirely because it means that it comes to a close quicker but to me it didn’t subtract from the story at all. This one gives you more breathers throughout it but they don’t last for terribly long before you are launched right back into the action. This once again uses the power of surprise to it’s full extent and like the first I had to stop reading and ask myself if that really just happened. The ending itself  seemed to fit perfectly, at least to me, but the events leading up to it were somewhat surprising. The emotion factor works full force in this one as well and by the end you’ll feel as relieved, sad, and drained as Katniss does.I think that it’s a good thing that these stories are as blunt as they are, it’s rare that a book truly makes you feel some of the terror and adrenaline that is happening. Which is exactly what I experienced. As for how the Gale vs. Peeta thing turned out, I have to say I approve. It just made more sense in the end to have the two that ended up together be the way they are.

I managed to read each book in a matter of two days each and I was sad to see them over with. The definitely have a re-read value in them and it can be recommended to most readers. But like I said before it’s not for the light of heart at all, you probably shouldn’t let your young kids read them either. I’d wait till about 15 or 16 for these particular books just based on the violence and storyline.

This entry was posted in Book Reviews (2011) and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

  1. Pingback: Best Reads of 2011 | In Libris Veritas

  2. Suz Reads says:

    I loved the Hunger Games series! I didn’t read them as fast as you did but they still flew for me because I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next in the story. I was sad to get to the end of Mockingjay because I knew it was the end of the series but I can relive them a little by chatting with people about them! Thanks for this great review!

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