The Hunger Games Trilogy: A Book Review
What The Hunger Games is About
It can be a little difficult to summarize in just a few words what Suzanne Collins novel, The Hunger Games, is all about. Basically, it's a story set in a post-apocalyptic world where The Capitol rules over each District under the strict demands of an overly indulgent upper class and a totalitarian President Snow. In the midst of the least important District 12, where coal miners work to the bone and the population faces starvation and death on a daily basis, stands Katniss Everdeen, the girl who stepped forward when her baby sister, Prim, was called to partake in the Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games is about more than just an arena full of children gladiators brought out of the ranks of each district. Each pair of girl and boy from the dozen divisions are representative of the power The Capitol has over their hometowns. No matter how much they desire to live in peace since the long-dead District 13 rebelled and perished, they will always be reminded of their misstep in obedience with the yearly sacrifice of their own children. Only one can survive the games.
When the annual event arrives yet again and the names are chosen, the last person Katniss expects to be called is Prim. Shocked, her first instinct as protective older sister is to take Prim's place and join the games, risking her life and the welfare of her family that depend upon her ability to hunt in order to survive.
Her journey brings her into a tangle of lies, deceptions, politics, love, and violence. The novel holds a grip on the reader as it takes you through the games and into a life that becomes much more complicated that Katniss could have imagined. When the novel ends, it seems a fitting final scene for the novel, and you could not expect there to be more to the story, until you delve into Catching Fire.
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About Catching Fire
At the beginning of The Hunger Games, when Katniss makes one of her first real big public appearances in The Capitol, she appears as the girl who caught fire, alight in an outfit that seems to be aflame. Little did she realize the importance of this outfit as she learns that her actions in the arena have set a spark to the ideals of revolution in the districts. Eventually, Katniss' actions are about more than just participating in the Hunger Games, and more about being a symbol people can look to for hope.
Although Katniss is still torn between her love for Gale and for Peeta, she is forced into an engagement with Peeta in order to maintain appearances and save face for her actions. Otherwise, all that she loves will be killed. The loss of control over her life seems to have reached the breaking point until she finds out that she will be sent to the arena yet again.
Unlike the first time, this next visit to the Hunger Games is totally different, not only because of the change of scenery and competitors, but also in its outcome. If you thought you raced through the first book in this trilogy, you will be surprised how fast you turn the pages for this second addition to the story as Catching Fire becomes more of a novel about survival than its predecessor.
For more on dystopian fiction:
- Dystopian Fiction: From H.G. Wells to Suzanne Collins
Some of the most memorable novels fall under the dystopian genre. Find out just what a dystopia is, its history, and some examples.
The End of the Hunger Games Trilogy
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What is Mockingjay About?
Mockingjay is about the final fight between our hero, Katniss Everdeen, and the forces working against her and all that she cares about. Now that the Hunger Games are over, the real revolution begins. Katniss has grown from the girl who caught fire to the mockingjay, a symbol of the revolution and inspiration for those who have lost hope. As everything around her seems to crumble to dust and stone, Katniss is faced with the challenge of keeping a strong demeanor and raising her voice against President Snow despite her desire to curl up and cry.
Full of just as much action as the first two novels, this third one is another page-turner but is full of much more emotional conflict as Katniss has to decide who she loves and what matters to her most. Everything has been building up to this novel and so it becomes more intense as the pressure builds. Mockingjay may surprise you as it is about more of an internal struggle for our hero, Katniss, with an ending that you will either love or hate.
More to Come
Of course, if you've already read these novels, the next thing to be really excited for are the movie adaptations. I'd been told to read these novels for months and I finally gave in once I saw the preview for the first film, The Hunger Games (released March 23, 2012), and realized that they were more than just another overrated romance like Twilight.
Unlike those novels, which I didn't dislike until the movie adaptations came out and were overly fawned upon, The Hunger Games is much more in depth into complications beyond love and acceptance, although it covers those too. Amongst other things, the trilogy also brings up questions about governmental control and the possibility of a future limited for generations to come because of the actions of today.
The trilogy is an easy read for those of us who read quite a bit but it still tells a great story that will keep you hooked from beginning to end. As much as people liken it to Twilight, it is nothing like that series so, if you're a twilighter, don't get your hopes up, and, if you're not, then maybe you're in luck.
Let me know what you think once you finally get your hands on Suzanne Collins' amazing trilogy!
© 2012 LisaKoski
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