Monday, May 21, 2012

The Hunger Games Trilogy By Suzanne Collins

I was reluctant to read these books at first, mainly because I believed them to be for younger readers only but after watching the film I realised that this was definitely not the case. So I ventured into The Hunger Games with an open mind and was taught my biggest lesson about reading: never judge a book before you've read it! The first two books I read quickly. They were exciting and new and I soaked up all the information like a sponge and wanted more. Low and behold Mockingjay, my last chance of having an adventure with Katniss and finally receiving closure on many questions. At least that was what I thought, but I was pretty disappointed with what I got. More on that later.

Now I'm pretty sure that most of you will already be aware of what the Hunger Games entails but just in case you don't I'll tell you a little about it. Set in a futuristic, dystopian society, we follow Katniss Everdean as she is thrown into the whirlwind that is the annual Hunger Games of Panem, the country that used to be North America. These Hunger Games are certainly unlike any game of monopoly or connect four that we played as youngsters. They involve taking one boy and one girl, between the ages of 12 and 18, from each of the 12 districts and forcing them to fight to the death. An even more extreme version of the ancient Roman gladiatorial games, since not only do they have to fight each other but they have to survive everything else the gamemakers throw at them, such as fireballs and mutant wasps. 

We are with Katniss through three books as she fights against the Capitol in order to free the districts from their reign and stop not only the Hunger Games, but the severe poverty that the Capitol allows. Through these books we witness a lot of violence and a lot of death, it is probably one of the most accurate accounts of a war in young adult fiction that I have read. Not everyone we like survives, which while disappointing, makes the story more believable.

I'm going to start by talking about the characters,(now there may be spoilers from here so if you haven't read it skip to the last paragraph), because I know this is a popular topic of conversation for this trilogy. I like Katniss, I really do, I think she does the best she can in the situation she has been put in considering that before the Reaping, she had been content with living the life she believed was ahead of her. She doesn't always do the right thing, I agree with that, but put yourself in her situation and think about whether you would have been able to get through all she did without making some mistakes. I started feeling sorry for her as soon as she was being made out to be some kind of player when it came to Gale and Peeta. I truly believe that she had absolutely no clue as to how she felt about either of them. She didn't have time for love while trying to stay alive and keep her family safe, so the boys pushing her to think about it all the time was bound to stump her. I didn't feel like she was doing it on purpose at all, even in the first book with Peeta, she didn't act as though she was in love with him for the sake of it or to hurt him. She did it because she thought she was playing the game he came up with.

Peeta was one that confused me. At first I didn't like him much at all, I felt as if he was a complete fake who may even turn against Katniss completely in order to win the games. I thought he would betray her. Oh, how wrong I was. About halfway through the first book I realised that this was not what was going on and I started to like him a lot and that stayed with me until the end of the trilogy. I rooted for him and hated what he went through in the last book. I didn't really feel anything for Gale...not at all. In fact I thought he ended up being kind of up himself a little and when he realised Katniss wouldn't return his feelings, he just gave up on her all together, even as a friend. He didn't even support her when she went home at the end of the last book.

Collins' writing is easy to follow, making all three books the kind that you can get through quickly, even if you don't enjoy what is happening in them. The description of this world that we will never know is brilliant and she doesn't sugarcoat things, which I love. Like I said before, the first two books were amazing and I got through them really quickly, the last book was a different story. The writing wasn't bad, it was the contents that was lacking. I really felt as if Collins' had gotten bored with writing and had decided to get the book over and done with as soon as possible. It seemed that for every major event that moved the story forward, Katniss was unconscious and therefore we didn't get the details of it until one of the other characters ghosted over it a little. And I was so gutted when we didn't get that final scene where Katniss finally decides on which boy she was going to pick. To be told, 'we got together' (not quite like that but near enough) was not enough for me. I was looking forward to the big moment where she really confesses her feelings since the first book and in the end all I got was a paragraph telling me who she chose. 

Overall, these books are still a must read as I'm sure most of you would agree. I read them on my iphone, but I'm still thinking about getting them in book form just to have them on my shelf for those re-read days. I am looking forward to watching the next two films, just to see if things play out the same way. I would definitely recommend these to anyone who was interested in similar books and I think it is a trilogy that most ages could read easily. If you've been wondering whether or not to give them a go, do it and if you've read the book, let me know what you think.

Books 4 Brains Rating:


tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

I've heard good things about this series. Glad you liked it.

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

oh yeah ... I blog at [Books and Blossoms]