I forget how I got into these books a couple of years ago, but they are honestly one of the best series I’ve ever read! No, I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I will not be commenting on it at this point. Based on the reviews and all the flames that are going on about the characters being a particular race such as from this website which discusses it, I’m not sure if I even want to go or if I should just wait until it comes out on DVD.
Back to the books; they’re amazing! I’ll start off by addressing that yes, the plot is very similar to the Japanese novel Battle Royale. Both books are about young teens that are chosen to destroy one another until only one contender is left.
Hunger Games is a dark trilogy that follows the life of Katniss Everdeen, District 12 member, as she goes through the yearly Hunger Games Tournament. Katniss Everdeen is by far one of the best role models I’ve seen for girls in books. She’s definitely no Bella Swan. Katniss is a rude, harsh, bold girl who does what she wants, regardless of the consequences. And yet she has a soft side that cares deeply about those close to her with a passion to do anything to help someone out. Katniss is a more proactive character than most of the females we see in books. She’s not willing to play nice with anyone, and she stands up for herself and what she believes in. If any girl needs a hero, it’s Katniss Everdeen.
The story is written perfectly for the genre it’s written in, dark suspense novel. Suzanne Collins has mastered the art of suspense by dropping a bomb on the reader at the end of almost every chapter, without making it monotonous. The amount of thought she put into the thirteen districts, the back story and the thousands of characters are clearly shown throughout the book in a concise way that makes it easy to follow. These books can easily be read in a weekend, if the time is devoted.
A co-worker of mine was telling me how the first book could be a stand-alone from the series, which I completely disagree with. Even though the first book is more introductory, and the major themes don’t come until the second and third, the book’s ending leaves you hanging as to what will happen next. How could someone stop reading?? It’s not a cliffhanger, but things are definitely not tied up neatly at the end of the book.
As mentioned, the first book was more of an introduction to the world. Why is there a Hunger Games? Who are the major characters? Where are we and what’s the history of the place? We watch Katniss go through the Hunger Games and get a feel of just how deadly this tradition is and why it’s so crucial to the culture.
Book two goes deeper into the history of the Hunger Games with the introduction of what’s called the Quarter Quell, the 75th anniversary of when the Districts rebelled against the Capitol and the Hunger Games began. There’s even more action in this book as we go back into the arena, and the storyline becomes much more complicated with the addition of rebels who wish to end the Hunger Games for good.
Book three is an all out war between the Districts and the Capitol. The book deals with more politics than any of the other books and shows that your teammates might not really be teammates at all. There’s less violence and more struggle within the major characters, but it’s still an enjoyable read.
I’m trying not to give too much away because I really, really think you should read these books! I also don’t want to spoil them too much if anyone who’s reading this hasn’t gotten through the next two books. It’s definitely an awesome read, please don’t let the movie deter you from reading them!