I picked up a copy of The Hunger Games on a whim last summer. Less than one week later, I had plowed my way through all three books. It’s no secret that I love young adult books – Harry Potter and Twilight, anyone? – but this was the first series I had come across with a dystopian edge. In honor of the movie coming out this Friday, I thought it was about time I shared a review!
Read these books if you enjoy action, adventure, a little romance and, most interestingly, a somewhat bone-chilling view of a “future” world. As my sister-in-law put it, these books are 1984 dystopia meets Lord of the Flies savagery, with a thoroughly modern twist. They also reminded me a lot of the gladiator games, which the author herself has said was an inspiration. What I found most enjoyable was the amount of detail Suzanne Collins uses. She is incredibly effective at creating her own world, much like Hogwarts or any other fictional place where anything goes and unlimited things can happen. I always find it impressive when an author is able to paint a broad and vivid picture of what she has created, and Suzanne Collins is no exception. The reader is thoroughly transported to “Panem” every time they pick up the book.
The Hunger Games trilogy is told from the perspective of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl who lives in “District 12,” one of the (formerly) 13 districts that make up the nation known as “Panem.” Panem is essentially what is left of the continent of North America in the future, after the current world has been destroyed. It also has a Capitol, a rich and luxurious city by comparison to all the districts, that exudes power over the entire nation. To punish the districts for a previous rebellion, the Capitol forces one boy and one girl from each of the remaining 12 (the 13th was destroyed during the rebellion) to participate in the “Hunger Games” each year. The Games are televised for the entire nation to see. Its participants, called “tributes,” must fight to the death in a dangerous arena until only one remains. As you can probably guess, Katniss ultimately becomes one of the tributes through a series of unfortunate circumstances, and the books take off from there.
There is a fair share of violence and gore that comes along with games that fight to the death, but the book also has a lot of both humorous and sweet moments. The character development is incredible – you will come to know names like Peeta, Gale, Haymitch, Cinna and more. Her creativity with these names – have you ever met someone named Cinna? – gives you a peek into the creativity of the entire series. The three titles are The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.
If you haven’t read The Hunger Games trilogy yet, I recommend doing so immediately. I know that several of you mentioned them in my book giveaway, so I’ll be very excited to hear what you think once you finally do read them.
Have you read The Hunger Games trilogy already? If so, what did you think?