The Hunger Games Trilogy
By: Suzanne Collins
374 – 391 – 390 pages
I finally read The Hunger Games, and now I feel silly for putting it off for so long. I wasn’t expecting much from the series, largely because I have a tendency to be extremely prejudiced against YA books. When the first movie came out I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about, and after a significant period of procrastination, I got around to reading the first one. These books are amazing. I got completely sucked in and that really doesn’t happen often. First person narratives are always more compelling, but there was a simplicity to it that made the words fly by. There were no super fancy phrases or big words to distract from the story. While I had my doubts about Katniss before reading the series, I found that I really loved her character. I feel like our personalities are a bit similar, so I could sympathize with her reactions and decisions. The rest of the characters were no less captivating, my favorites being Cinna and Finnick, and rounded out the story very nicely. You know a book is good when you wish you could somehow spend time with these people in real life.
Part of what made the characters so wonderful, was real emotion. None of the characters were too cool to freak out and fall apart, and given the horrible things they go through their powerful emotions are more than justified. There is some pretty heavy stuff in these books. Truly horrible things happen, and not everyone survives, in fact quite a lot of people die, but their deaths drive home the point of the story. As with most dystopian tales, this story is a warning. Part of what makes it so powerful is how easily our world could become something like this.
The theme of the Games persists throughout the series, and I really liked those parallels. The game never really ends, and that really tied all three books together. I was happy with the balance of the ending. It ended as happily as it could have without diminishing the impact of the tragic events before it.
This is a powerful story and an important one. I couldn’t stop reading, and the books moved quickly. Every chapter ends with some insane turn of events that easily propels you forward. You may want to keep a box of tissues handy with this one, but for every sad moment there is a kind or inspirational one to balance it. I absolutely loved this series, and I think you will too. Until next time…