The Hunger Games trilogy: Impossible to put down
January 4, 2012 5 Comments
Given its ‘young adult’ tag, The Hunger Games trilogy didn’t really appeal to me, but I’d heard a lot of chatter of late, and the preview for the movie piqued my interest, so I decided to give it a try. Let me just say, Suzanne Collins wrote it well enough that they would appeal to any age group. Over the Christmas break I began reading The Hunger Games, and two days later I’d finished the next two in the series, Catching Fire and Mockingjay – the books are that addictive.
The story is told from the point of view of Katniss Everdeen, a 16-year old from District 12, in the country of Panem. It takes place sometime in the future in a post-apocolyptic world where Panem is a large country spreading across North America. It is ruled from the central city called the Capitol which also oversees 11 other districts which produce various goods to feed the main city.
To give a bit of an outline of what you’ll find in the first book, the Hunger Games is an annual tournament where a boy and girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are drawn from a pool in each district and sent to compete in a battle televised for all of Panem, but for the pleasure of those in the Capitol. The games are yearly reminder that the Capitol rules the district and it is meant to quell any thoughts of rebellion that may arise.
The first book’s main focus was the Hunger Games, and as a standalone book it was great. As I moved on to Catching Fire and Mockingjay the overarching story developed into a society on the brink of collapse and eventually a full-on rebellion against the Capitol by the Districts. Expanding the story gave it so much more depth, and made it into one that dealt with the problems in this broken society, and not so much about the games themselves.
When it comes to the characters, Collins’ writing brings the cast to life. Each one, especially Katniss, Peeta and Gale, has a distinct personality and throughout each story you see how those personalities come into play. As with every novel that I love, each of the main District 12 characters have a solid back story so you get a sense of what made them who they are. They’re supported by many other characters from across Panem, and though there are many to keep track of, it rarely gets confusing.
The one thing irked me the most was what that after spending so much time leading to the final showdown in Mockingjay, the conclusion read as if it was point form notes to let everyone know what happened and how the characters fared. It didn’t do the story justice to rush through the end like that and it left a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth.
All that being said, I still enjoyed the story overall and would recommend it to everyone who’s a fan of the dystopian theme a la 1984 or Brave New World. I give The Hunger Games a 5/5, Catching Fire 5/5, and Mockingjay 4.5/5.
What did you think of the trilogy?
Before you go, check out the trailer for the movie, which is coming out in March and starring Jennifer Lawrence: