Title: The Hunger Games | Catching Fire | Mockingjay
Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Published: October 2008 | September 2009 | August 2010 by Scholastic
Synopsis for the first book in The Hunger Games trilogy:
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 steps forward to take her sister's place 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 will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Why I Read this Book: I was part of the small group of people who had yet to read these books. I don’t know what I was waiting for exactly but once the movie came out, I knew I had to jump on them. So I did. Finally. Now I can proudly shout from the rooftops that I HAVE READ THE HUNGER GAMES! And I have totally book bullied my in-laws into reading these books.
What I Liked: From the moment we meet Katniss, I connected with her. I was on her side and will forever be in her corner. She’s put in one helluva position and comes out a winner, in more ways than one.
The premise for this trilogy is pretty disturbing. It’s kids killing kids in a ‘fight to the death’ tournament. If that, in itself, isn’t an indicator of how dark and dreary these books are, I don’t know what is. But as disturbing as it sounds, the author did a good job of not overwhelming the reader with blood, guts, and gore. The shock value is that this, the actual Hunger Games itself, is considered to be a form of ‘entertainment’ for the people in the Capitol. And that blows me away.
The world building was phenomenal. It was so rich in detail and the author has mastered the craft of showing this world she created without an overuse of words. Here’s an example of this clear and concise word magic I’m speaking of:
The stew doesn’t taste bad, but there’s a certain sliminess that’s hard to get around. Like you have to swallow every bite three times before it really goes down.
These books were fascinating and occupied all my spare time. Sure, there were parts that made me raging mad – like when the Hunger Games officials added a new rule only to later retract it – and made me want to throw my Kindle against the wall. It was infuriating but I was totally engrossed in the story.
What I Didn’t Like: Am I the only one who finds Peeta's name amusing? He's a baker, he bakes bread. Peeta. Bread. Peeta (pita) bread.
I had some issues with Mockingjay. It’s not that I didn’t like that book, because I did, but I had some problems with it. Three specific problems to be precise. I’m going to be vague to avoid spoilers.
- The character who dies at the Capitol – are you freaking kidding me?!! After all that has happened, after all everyone has been through, and that character dies?!! This, I wasn’t prepared for. At all. I was prepared for (and expecting) other characters to die (whom end up surviving the entire ordeal) but I wasn’t prepared for this death. I cried and I was pissed.
- The way the [important event that takes place but shall not be named to prevent spoilers] ends is … inadequate, to say the least. There was a huge void there for me.
- The ultimate ending. There’s a decision that’s made and I feel like that the person who should have made that decision was robbed of that. It felt like the character robbed of that decision settled with what was decided.
Gale is mine. I am his. Anything else is unthinkable.
“Real or not real?”
“Katniss will pick whoever she thinks she can’t survive without.”
Overall Impression: The Hunger Games trilogy was an emotionally draining read but an incredible one at that. I had dreams about these books and the characters from the moment I began reading it. It just has that haunting affect that bleeds into your mind and lingers there. Even weeks after I finished reading the trilogy, my mind was still abuzz. I couldn’t get it out of my head. I give 5 frogs for The Hunger Games, 4 frogs for Catching Fire, and 3 frogs for Mockingjay. And just for the record, I'm Team Katniss because at the end of the day, it’s all about her.
Brianna’s Overall Rating for the Trilogy: