The Hunger Games Series
By Suzanne Collins
I decided to review this series as a whole because much like the Harry Potter books, once you start this series, you won’t want to put it down. In fact, not since Harry Potter has a young adult series grabbed my attention quite like this one.
There are some spoilers below. I tried to keep the descriptions brief so that I don’t give away too much, so forgive me for the short descriptions!
Background: Set in the future, the nation of Panem took the place of what was once known as North America. The Capitol rules Panem, made up of the Capitol and 12 surrounding districts, with an iron fist. Each year, the Capitol reminds the districts of how powerful they are by forcing each district to send a boy and girl (drawn by lottery) to fight – for survival, for a better life for their district, for love – in the annual Hunger Games. Only one tribute will survive.
The Hunger Games: In the first book in the series, we follow the representatives from District 12, Katniss and Peeta, in their quest to win the Hunger Games. Trained by the only living Hunger Games victor from their district, Katniss and Peeta enter an uneasy alliance as they fight for survival and for a better life for their district.
Catching Fire: Katniss and Peeta return to District 12 heroes – not only did they win, but both got to return home, a first in the history of the games. However, the Capitol (the creepy President Snow, in particular) is furious with Katniss for ensuring their dual victory. Both are forced to return to the arena, along with former winners from the other districts, to once again fight for their life.
During all of this, it becomes increasingly easy to get immersed in the two subplot lines of the book: a Katniss-Peeta-Gale (Katniss’s best friend) love triangle and a the beginnings of what may become a revolution against the Capitol.
Mockingjay: Mockingjay is the final book in the trilogy and the battle for Panem unity and for the Capitol (yep, gave that away). Anyone who survived the all-stars Hunger Games of Catching Fire is pretty much messed up, despite being considered the face of the revolution. Will the Capitol survive? With the districts and survivors be defeated? Read it and find out! (Hey, I’m trying not to have too many spoilers! So that’s it, that’s all you get for the last book.)
Recommendation:Love the plot line – so creative. I really couldn’t put this series down. My one complaint with the series (and I felt like this with parts of Harry Potter as well) is that some of that characters in this last book got a bit whiny, especially as the trilogy progressed. Maybe it’s something about young adult books, but certain characters really grated on my nerves in the last book. Or maybe it’s just me.
However, that being said, I’m so glad I read this series (and no, there’s no way not to finish it once you get started). I would absolutely recommend this book to teenagers and adults alike. If you’re a Harry Potter fan or don’t mind sci-fi / futuristic books, then this is a must read. If you dislike these genres, then skip it.