The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars to EACH book
Disclaimer: I'm tired and this post may or may not be riddled with errors.
I like to review books based on their own merit when they’re part of a series or trilogy, but in the case of the Hunger Games books, I decided to wait until I’d finished all three books before writing a single blog entry. Part of the reasoning behind this was because I was so involved, I devoured them so quickly, but partially because I was trying to keep up with my friend Pez. We read the A Song of Ice and Fire books in the same manner, casually checking each other’s progress and speculating on future events. As an aside, if you haven’t read George R.R. Martin’s books in that series, I advise you to stop reading this blog entry and go pick up A Game of Thrones, the first installment in the series.
Where were we?
Ah, yes. The Hunger Games. This trilogy consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. While I can safely say Catching Fire was my "least" favorite (though I cringe to assign it such a negative adjective), I couldn't really decide whether The Hunger Games or Mockingjay edged out the other. Absolutely everything in these two contenders seemed to me to be the opposite of what I expected to happen next. Surprises everywhere. I flew through the first book. I'd read about 15% the first night, and absolutely could not put it down the following morning, playing a game of chicken with the "Low Battery" pop-ups on my Kindle because I didn't want to put it down long enough to charge it. The second and third installments took me a bit longer because of some real-life delays.
If you've ever seen the movie Battle Royale (Japanese, with subtitles) you will absolutely adore these books, as it follows the same general plot, that of a group of teenagers thrown together by the government and forced to fight to the death in an arena-style matchup. Even if you've never seen the movie, but enjoy a good, unique thriller, theses book are a no-brainer.
I felt so much pain and empathy for Peeta’s longing for Katniss. I’m a sucker for a romance fraught with roadblocks, tension, and tears, but that is not by any means the primary content of these books. At no point does this unrequited-love-turned-possible-relationship overshadow the importance of the Games, the action and plot twists contained therein, or the author's subtle digs at the overly-controlling government that rules Panem with an iron fist, and changes the rules and aspects of the game for their own amusement or to play to the crowd and up the entertainment quota. There are a lot of moral and political undertones to these novels, too, but subtle enough to slip by subconsciously unless you stop to reflect upon them.
I'm excited to have a movie date with some incredibly wonderful ladies to see The Hunger Games when it comes out in theaters.
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