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Friday, December 17, 2010

Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games

The first book in the Hunger Games series was the first ever book to have blown my mind away - and so far, the only one. I was never big with love triangles, so each time I stumble upon its Goodreads page and read its summary, instead of being tempted to read it for the otherwise interesting description, my automatic response was to take a step back and look for other interesting books.

I wouldn’t have bought the first book if it weren’t for my dementia, really. As I was browsing the books in my local bookstore, I accidentally stumbled upon The Hunger Games. I felt like I saw it before, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I decided that it was among my wishlist – the ugly cover aside - and single-blindedly bought it instead. I didn’t recognize it to be the book I kept distancing myself from until I finished it.

The Hunger Games was a lot like Battle Royale. Both were thrilling, exciting and asthma-inducing – some of the reasons why I came to heart the two so much. The most apparent thing that separated this two though, is that THG has a lot more into it than just kids killing each other off. THG flowed smoothly despite of its complicated plot. The characters had a lot of flaws but in a way, it just contributed to the genius of the book

Catching Fire
I loved Katniss's voice. I never found her annoying. I loved how smart and strong and yet, naive and vulnerable she is. She was only 16-years-old when she was forced to a killing spree against other kids. And at age 17, she was forced to take upon a lot of responsibilities even an adult would have an impossibly hard time to meet. Responsibilities that when not handled properly, will cost the lives of thousands. So with that, I understand why her character seemed a bit unstable. She was a teenager who wanted nothing but to bring food to her family's table. She hated the Capitol, but never thought of rebelling against it. She only wanted a normal life. But one thing led to another and before she knew it, Katniss was doing exactly those things. She was used without her knowledge; lied to by the people she trusted. I give her credit for not going deranged.

One of the most talked about topics THG fans often debate about would be the love triangle. And I admit, the thought of who's going to end up with Katniss brought me some sleepless nights as well. I was on Team Gale until Peeta showed up. I found his baking skills quite sexy, lol. The two were complete opposites. Peeta was a baker, a painter, and a blond whereas Gale was a hunter, a fighter, and dark-haired. Gale and Katniss had a lot in common, and the fact that they were childhood friends made them a perfect match for each other. Peeta, on the other hand, while he's someone you can't call a fighter, he has the awesome ability of using words to reach people's minds. And hearts. I loved that he could make sense of the things people don't make sense of. And all with just a few words. He was awesome like that. I've read a lot of debates about those two, all opinions seemed reasonable. But, the moment Collins hinted who Katniss was going to choose, I couldn't agree more. I decided that Collins was a genius.

Despite of what most people think of Mockingjay’s ending, I think it was the most perfect way to end the series. It wasn’t the least bit OOC in the book way. Though, I can’t deny that it disappointed me as well. However, after giving more thought into it, I realized that its bittersweet ending is the best ending a book like THG can have. A horrible ending wasn’t an option, but a too happy ending seemed totally unlike it either. I loved what the ending implied: The wounds might have healed, but the scars will always remind them of the horrible past the games have brought upon them. Perfect!

However, the ending wasn't the only disappointing part of the book most people think. And on that, I agree with them. Being a story about war, it's not unlikely that characters would die. I was disappointed and frustrated. I weeped when the most unlikely people you think would die were the ones who did. But it only made the book become more realistic. The characters' lack of time to grieve for them was what made their death's impact on me so strong. I felt like I had to mourn for them instead.

How ironic is it that The Hunger Games trilogy has all the qualities in a book I'd love to hate: characters die and love triangles with no certainty who'd win the girl's heart. Who knew that this would be my all time favorite series? I totally didn't see that coming.

So, to all people who haven’t read the series yet, but plan to, the only advice I can give you is buy all the three books first before reading the first. Trust me, the cliff hangers will make you really hanging - figuratively.

Buy the Box Set: Book Depository / Barnes & Noble / Amazon

About the Author:

Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.
Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find...? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part series, The Underland Chronicles.

Suzanne also has a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power.
She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

The books she is most successful for in teenage eyes are the Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books have won several awards, including the GA Peach Award.

Visit the Author: Website




Aleetha said...

one of my unputdownable books.

So, In which team are you?

Two Bibliomaniacs said...

Thanks for the follow! I'm about a week away from starting this series and soooo excited. I could only skim your review with one eye open but after I'm finished with the books I'll read the whole thing...

Sniffly Kitty said...

How does it even make sense to have a team Gale when he was shot down so brutally? I would be team Gale, but Collins didn't even give him a chance!

As a side-note, I'll take a virtual cupcake ^.^

Sniffly Kitty
Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books
New Meme: Third Sentence Thursday!

Mithee (The Deranged Book Lovers) said...

@Aleetha: I'm on Team Peeta!

@TwoBibliomaniacs: Sorry about that! I'm so not good with writing spoiler-free reviews. *headdesk*

@Sniffly Kitty: I think Gale has his own fair share amount of fans though. And I think he's got his chance in Mockingjay. *drowns Sniffly with assorted flavored virtual cupcakes* :D

Read for your future! said...

Great reviews. I loved this series.

Sakura Sandra said...

I love this series too and I'm glad I didn't know about it/get into it until all three books were already out, because I read them one after another as well. I'm one of the few that liked Mockingjay just as much as the first two though, so I guess that's where I stand out. I gave all three books 5 out of 5 stars and I wouldn't change a thing personally. My only regret is that the series is over and no matter how many books claim to be similar, none of them have given me the same feeling or the same atmosphere. Divergent was really good for example, but really not the same in tone, atmosphere and even the setting was wildly different if you ask me. I love forward to more gritty, action-based dystopians that will surely follow suit after the Hunger Games though. I hope some of them can stand up to the comparison. :)

-Sandra from http://sandrathenookworm.blogspot.com

Sakura Sandra said...

Oops, I LOOK forward ***

Unknown said...

I read and reviewed Battle Royal a while back, then someone suggested I read The Hunger Games. I have yet to get around to it, though. It does sound interesting, but I just haven't been in a hurry to read it. Sounds like I'm a bit like you before you read it.

Nikita said...

I bought this book a few days ago because I must have it at home. I love The Hunger Games. I read it many times. Really good review. :) And I am team Peeta too. :D


Vendula said...

This series, is absolutely amazing! It's new and original.. :) For now, it´s the best series for me. :)

TheReadingOwl said...

That's it. I'm gonna go and order The Hunger Games trilogy RIGHT NOW! I can't wait anymore!

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