The Hunger Games Trilogy – Book Review

 

I just finished reading The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins.  This trilogy consists of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.

I’ve decided to write about the trilogy as a whole, mostly because they all go together (obviously) and because I don’t know if it’s possible to read the first one and not want to find out what happens to this story and its characters.  So if you haven’t read them, or haven’t read all of them, please note that while I will attempt to do a spoiler free review, there may be a detail or two that slip out.  Due to this, proceed with caution if that sort of thing bugs you.

So this story takes place in the ruins of what was once North America.  It is now called Panem.  It consists of a capitol city surrounded by 12 districts.  District 13 was formerly the nuclear district, but it was completely destroyed during the “Dark Days.”  The Capitol is a big, beautiful city, where there is tons of food.  The districts themselves range from fairly prosperous to destitute.  Each district is responsible for producing something, mostly to sustain the Capitol.  The whole thing is presided over by a sneaky, evil President Snow, whose main goal seems to be crushing the poor, hardworking people of the districts to a pulp all the while getting out of them whatever he can.

Our story centers around Katniss Everdeen.  She is a 16 year old from District 12, who upon the loss of her father in a horrible accident, and the subsequent mental condition of her mother is forced to become the head of the family, which now consists of her, her mother, and her beloved 12 year old sister, Prim.

Katniss is a hunter, and sustains herself and her family on what she is able to hunt down in the woods with her best friend Gale, who just happens to be totally hot.  They hunt together, though hunting is illegal, she manages to sneak under the fence and meet him in the woods where they hunt and gather to trade and make enough to keep their families alive.

Every year, the Capitol holds The Hunger Games, where each of the 12 surviving districts must reap one boy and one girl starting at the age of 12 to participate.  It is said to be a reminder of the Dark Days.  Really it is just a reminder of the power that the Capitol holds over everyone.  The tributes that are chosen by a draw are put into an arena, in a variety of different conditions.  Past years have been a complete wilderness, an arctic wasteland, etc.  The tributes are made to basically fend for themselves and kill off everyone else.  The last one standing is the victor, and is given all kinds of money, food and a new house.  Everyone else is…well….dead.

On reaping day, Katniss steps forward to be a tribute in the games when her little sister Prim has her name drawn.  She is joined by Peeta, the bakers son, whom she has a history with even though they have never spoken.

Thrown into this situation, Katniss does what she does best – survives.   She manages to outwit the gamemakers and survive, all the while severely pissing off President Snow.

Due to a series of events, she manages to unwittingly become the face of the rebellion against the Capitol, which has been going on underground for a period of time.  There are rebels everywhere, where we least expect them, and there is extensive planning to overthrow President Snow and the Capitol, and restore freedom to the citizens of Panem.

This is a really great story.  It’s supposed to be geared toward young adults, but I really think anyone would enjoy it.  It’s fast paced enough to keep you interested, with a series of plot twists to keep it exciting.  You get drawn in to the character of Katniss, wanting her to survive.  She is, by the end of this trilogy very emotionally scarred.  What she has been through would make it impossible for her not to be.  She is lucky to have people behind her that are unwavering in their devotion and trust of her.  She would not have made it through the way she did if she didn’t have them.

There is also a love triangle in this book.  It’s not really an intense love triangle, as I get the feeling that she would do just fine without either guy.  But she does have a deep love for both men, and they each suit her and fulfill her needs in different ways.  At the end I perhaps wasn’t entirely pleased with the way this triangle turned out, but I understand that based on her character, things turned out in the way that they were supposed to.  There…is that cryptic enough for you?  Not giving away anything!

Overall, I really enjoyed this series.  I literally couldn’t put it down.  I went from one book to the next without stopping.  The first and second book do tend to leave you hanging just a tiny bit, so you may want to have the next book handy when you finish them.

My score – 5/5 stars.

Have you read this trilogy?  Did you like it? Love it?  Hate it?  Please let me know in the comments, I’d love to discuss.

 

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