Author: Suzanne Collins Publisher: Scholastic Press Release Date: September 2008 Hard Cover: 384 Pages My Rating: 5
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling The Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.
BOOK TWO: CATCHING FIRE
Author: Suzanne Collins Publisher: Scholastic Press Release Date: June 2010 Hard Cover: 400 Pages My Rating: 5
Suzanne Collins continues the amazing story of Katniss Everdeen in the phenomenal Hunger Games trilogy. Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
BOOK THREE: MOCKINGJAY
Author: Suzanne Collins Publisher: Scholastic Press Release Date: August 2010 Hard Cover: 400 Pages
My Rating: 5
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins's groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.
I know I was a little late to join the band-wagon on these books. I had heard great things about them, read awesome reviews, and somehow they ended up in my "To Read" pile without every getting touched by anything but dust.
I wish I would have paid more attention to the hype. I am forever changed because of this book series.
There are three books in the series and there is one reason I am glad I waited to start the first book: because all three books were released by the time I picked up the first book and I could sit down and read all three in one sitting. Seriously. No joke. They are that good!
I decided to write my review on the entire series and not each individual book because there is an overall message that isn't obvious until the end.
The entire series is brutal and gruesome but Ms. Collins did an awesome job keeping things PG-13. The premise of the entire series just blows my mind. They are books about people killing people... as a game... on live television. No, not just people, but teenagers, running around killing each other for sport. Not only am I reading it, I am living it with Katniss, the main character. It's so morbid but sooooo good. I literally kept thinking to myself: how in the world did Suzanne Collins make this up!?
Another awesome thing about these books: the speed. Not just how fast things happened... but how fast things kept consistently happening. It was like, BAM! Something awesome happens. Then before you can even turn the page, BAM! Something else huge happens. BAM! BAM! BAM! It never slows down.
Then there's the romance. There was enough romance for the girls, but not enough to make the guys roll their eyes. Perfect love triangle with an oblivious protagonist and a remarkable setup. The main character is a girl but the entire series is about hunting and war. So... is it a GIRL book or a BOY book? It's both. Very clever, indeed.
The writing is impeccable. Suzanne Collins can literally reach her hand out of the book and grab you by the shirt collar and pull you into the story with the main characters. It's amazing, the talent she has. The dialogue is witty and intelligent and the story itself is addicting. I was constantly wondering how the end could possibly turn out.
The plot is more intricate than you could ever imagine. Book one makes your head spin and you think, wow that was crazy but fun. Book two makes you scream at the pages and as you flip through them you yell, "This isn't fair!" Book three ties everything together and it makes you STOP and ponder your own life and believes.
By the time I finished the series, I wanted to talk about it. The themes, the plot, the romance, the survival scenes, the death scenes, the pace, the lies, the truths, the characters, the parts I hated and the parts I loved. More than anything, this book changed my perspective on war. How it effects people. How it changes people.
I wish I could tell you so much more but I don't want to ruin it. You have to go buy these books and start reading them right away! You have until March of 2012 before The Hunger Games movie is released.
If you are already a fan of The Hunger Games Trilogy, here is the cast for the movies: