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on December 31, 2011
I spent a whole week reading all three of the books from the Hunger Games series. After reading the first two, I couldn't contain my excitement over what I had read. After reading Mockingjay, I felt numb, shocked even. The author really makes you experience what it is like to be at war and the feeling stays with you after you put this book down.

*spoilers ahead*

After Katniss was picked up from the arena of the second hunger games, she finds herself being thrown into a different arena. This time she's not just a tribute, she is the Mockingjay of the rebels and a pawn in another game. Seeing her as a warrior on the battlefield was truly interesting. Gale and Katniss are no longer just hunting partners, they are soldiers. Fighting alongside each other for a cause that can ultimately cost them their lives. Collins excels at painting a picture of districts torn apart by war. It's chaotic, messy, brutal and at times very real.

There are so many twists in this story and at one point you find yourself questioning who you can trust. I would have never expected to ask myself if Katniss can trust Peeta, but it comes to that in this book. Peeta, who has been psychologically tortured by Snow returns as an angry, confused and fearful boy who doesn't know whats real anymore. It is truly heartbreaking to see him in this state, and equally infuriating to see Katniss not fighting to help him recover. Instead, I feel as if she gave up on him. Crying over the loss of the boy who once loved her and now fears her, considering putting an end to his life at various points in the book and even bitterly snapping at him every chance she gets.

I should warn readers that there are many deaths in this book. Some unnecessary and some long overdue. However, it is very realistic that there will be casualties and broken hearts as this is a book about war. In fact, it's a little too realistic. What bothers me is that we didn't have time to stop and grieve for some of the characters we love who have such horrible endings. Especially towards the end where we lose important characters but don't have the time to stop and process what happened because of the chaos that unfolds. The writing feels rushed at times, especially towards the ending.

Finally, one of the biggest issues I had was with Gale. While I understand how Katniss can never really look at him without being reminded of a certain tragedy that takes place, I find it cruel that she can blame him and ultimately end her friendship with him. They were best friends, family, hunting partners, soldiers and possibly even lovers. How can such a deep bond end with a few words and not even a real goodbye.

Overall, I think it is an important book to really understand the cost of war. Nobody really ends up being a winner. Lives are lost and those who live will have to carry the feeling of emptiness with them as they move on and try to rebuild their lives from the ashes of the destruction left behind. People change because after seeing such violence and brutality, how can they remain the same? Sacrifices are made for a better future and that is exactly what happens. As for the ending, don't expect it to be a fairytale ending. While you do see a glimpse of happiness and a better future, the ghosts of the past follow Katniss as the years go by. It was a bittersweet ending to an incredible series.
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on December 23, 2010
Okay, to start off with... I think that if "My Side of the Mountain" by Jean George, "The Uglies" series by Scott Westerfeld, "Shade's Children" by Garth Nix, and "The Giver" by Louis Lowry were to have a child together (don't ask me how four books could have a child together, I am not a rocket scientist, I am a mere book blogger ;) ), this book would be the result (plus with a little bit of "The Truman Show" film thrown into the genetic mixture).

When I first picked up this book and started reading it, I noticed that the writing of the book isn't similar to anything I have ever read before. It doesn't flow quite like the girly paranormal stories I gravitate towards (ie. "Paranormalcy" and things along those lines). I find the writing to be a lot choppier and blunter, but it fits the premise of the book perfectly, since this book isn't about a happy-go-lucky society, but the epitome of a dystopian society. I'm not going to lie, I didn't adjust to this writing style until a good 30 pages into the book, but now as I read the later books in the series, I don't even notice the difference in writing.

Usually when I read a series where a female character is torn between whether she wants to be with her best friend/ old friend who she can see herself in a relationship with because he is comfortable and safe, versus the new boy who comes into her life who is super mysterious and all, I typically root for the new boy. My philosophy...? If you haven't gotten together in all of the time that you have been friends, why now at this random point in time does he start to show an interest in you? Just because the new boy came along and he feels like he needs to stake his claim? Therefore I am quite surprised at my reaction to this book. I seriously don't know who I want Katniss to end up with... Gale or Peeta... And also, I have read tons of reviews and plot summaries of this book, but it completely escapes me who she chooses (so it's nice that it will be a complete surprise to me at the end of the series).

Also, I am rather enjoying that all of the books are out in this series. Usually when I start a series I start when the first book is released and then I have to wait years upon years for the remaining books to be released, so it's just really nice not to have to mope around the house wondering what happens to my favourite characters (it doesn't try my patience).

Usually I am a little iffy towards the secondary characters- a lot of the time I could take them or leave them, however, in this series I find myself liking most, if not all, of the secondary characters and think that they contribute wholeheartedly to the series, especially Haymitch Abernathy. I mean first off, he is a secondary character which is bad in my books, then he is a drunk, which is even worse in my eyes, but... I cannot help but love him. He means well and does everything in his power to protect Peeta and Katniss, so I can forgive him for all of his vices and faults, plus the man is clearly a genius. And President Coriolanus Snow? Oh gosh... This man makes me so gosh darn angry, but I wouldn't change him at all. He is the most perfect bad guy if I ever did see one and Ru? Well, her fate was probably the hardest to come to terms with- she just seemed like such a little ball of energy. Cinna? Well, I think that if he were a real life person that we would be bffl's.

So all in all, if you like a ton of action and adventure, then this book is clearly for you. Throw in a bit of romance (but not too much/ too cheesy), a unique plot line, and you have the perfect combination for a great book!
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on November 5, 2009
'The Hunger Games' is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel where the government hosts an annual game. The annual game is a random lottery where twelve boys and twelve girls, one from each district are selected to participate in a life and death battle. The 'Hunger Games' is a televised event used to remind the districts that the Capital exerts the control.

Katniss Everdeen is the narrator of the story. She volunteers to participate in the game when her younger sister Prim is randomly drawn. The two members for District twelve are Katniss and Peeta. Peeta reveals on-air his love for Katiniss which ultimately grabs the attention of the audience. The audience members are permitted to sponsor a child and send gifts throughout the game. Katniss realizes they must uphold the role of star-crossed lovers to maintain their sponsors. She believes this is essential to her survival. When a rule is changed in the game, Peeta and Katniss' relationship becomes even more important.

I thought the plot was unique and interesting. I do enjoy dystopian novels, and I had to begin reading the second book right away. I highly recommend the trilogy, and I understand what all the rave was about. Go, and buy your copy right away, you will not be disappointed!
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on October 23, 2009
Now I know why people are raving about this book. It was GREAT! the closer I got to the ending of the book, the more excited I got and the more I wanted to just finish reading it and ignore all the distractions around me. Everything about it got my attention. The idea of the games where everybody fights to the death is just so macabre because its' participants are the ages in their teens or a little bit younger. Just the idea of that fits wonderfully to the dystopian theme. Background information regarding how the world came to be like this is explained by Katniss herself as she's the narrator through the novel. She explains how she loses her father in an accident, how after that she became the main supporter of her family, her strenuous relationship with her mother, and her loving protecting relationship with her little sister Prim.

Katniss is a strong character, having come from a hard background, The Hunger Games could have been an easy win for her (of course that's not always the case) of course she goes through a lot of obstacles and still ends up being in a lose lose situation even up to the end. With her background being the way it is, she seems very hostile and hard to approach, even hard to like. That's exactly how I felt about her in the beginning. Not to say I didn't like her, it's just her actions and her words made her very hard to like. I tended to gravitate toward Peeta more. What I really liked is the "relationship" between Peeta and Katniss. Peeta is such a strong, silent type character you can't help but admire him. He is the exact opposite from Katniss yet I feel that they look great together. They are the perfect example of opposites attract. Towards the end though, Katniss seemed more likable and more approachable. She lost that hostility and replaced it with a maturity which seemed to have developed throughout the Games. It was really interesting to see her develop through the novel.

The plot was great and there's no stop in the action which made the plot fly by faster and made you more engrossed into the book. It was very well written, and the characters in it were wonderfully created and well rounded. I loved Peeta and Katniss. The ending made me want to get out and get the second book, I was a little sad at the way it ended and yet the little girl in me wanted a rose colored ending which of course would not really be possible in a dystopian novel. What I really liked about the plot are the sudden twists that came with the Games. The sudden change in the rules, or even the way the game is played out varies from day to day for the contestants so the plot reflected those types of changes as well. You were relaxed one minute, the next minute there was a twist in the plot that left you wanting to scream. Even towards the end I was waiting for some sort of plot twist, I just couldn't trust the way it ended.

Overall an excellent novel. I'm glad I've taken the time to take this out from the library and read it. I don't regret it one bit
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on March 9, 2009
This is a fantastic book and i highly recommend it to anyone! there's never a dull moment and it was so hard for me to put the book down to finally go to sleep. it's descriptive and, even though there isn't much dialogue sometimes, you can tell it isn't really needed because it's just that good! it's completely action-packed and witty.

when i first started the book, i must admit that i didn't have high expectations for it, but i was WRONG. this is a book that can actually get you interested within the first few pages, unlike some others where introductions drag on. the ending was a good ending, but it was a little saddening...(i refuse to say "depressing".) and i'm not quite sure what time it takes place in, with all the super high-tech stuff making it seem future-like, but the style of living and the actual hunger games itself making it seem more past-time and old-fashion-like...so i'm a little confused there.

anyway, other than those past two comments, this is a FABULOUS book.

by the way the ending was written, it didn't seem to be possible to have a sequel, but i am so glad that there is going to be!!!!
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on January 5, 2009
"The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins is the first book in a trilogy that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world. The Capitol is a dictatorship that demands each Sector provide one female and one male candidate who are between the ages of twelve and eighteen to fight for life in the "Hunger Games". Only one person of the twenty-four candidates will survive the games; it is a battle for life or death and it is all broadcasted on television for the viewer's pleasure or displeasure if you are the family of one of the contestants.

Katniss is sixteen years old and lives in Sector twelve within the nation of Panem that was once North America. Her twelve year old sister's name is chosen to participate in the games, but Katniss volunteers to take her place. Katniss has been living her life already on the edge and is well prepared to battle within the games. Peeta the baker's son is the male candidate from Sector 12 and he happens to be infatuated with Katniss, but does she feel the same way?

Peeta and Katniss are portrayed as star-crossed lovers at the games and the audience loves it. Katniss grabs at the chance to increase her odds of surviving the games while Peeta truly does love Katniss; it is not until the end that Katniss realizes that Peeta is not pretending to love her to increase his odds of survival.

This is an intriguing story and young adults will ravishingly read it; my daughter read it within twenty-four hours. She simply could not put it down and the only disappointment she experienced was finding out there is to be two more books and she has to wait until September, 2009 for the second one.

I enjoyed this book and read it quickly and when I was done it was like losing a friend, I do look forward to meeting this friend again in September, 2009.
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on January 29, 2012
I would have to say this is my least adored book of the three. Though still amazingly descriptive and mind blowing, it contains a bit to much gloom and sadness, and it seems as if Katniss is in a somber daze throughout the whole book. There is not a happy, up lifting moment in the entire storey, and the death of Prim and hijacking of Peeta just make up want to spend the whole book sobbing from page to page. The mood is grey, somber and apocalyptic all through from the start to the finish as Katniss and district 13 fight to end the capitol's rule, and Katniss just witnesses more and more destruction she becomes a desolate shell of herself. This is not a light read and not for those in want of a happy, shallow storey about a girl's misadventures in high school love and lipstick. No, this book is not for the faint of heart, though I strongly recommend you grit your teeth and sit down to read this amazing story.
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on July 7, 2013
I read this book and I thought it was fantastic, a really good read. Then I went on and read the other two books. after reading the first one and re-reading it again I got a little curious, 74th hunger games, 12 districts, two from each district, so 24 tributes in total. So I decided to see how many had died or had been apart in total for the games. so I times 74 by 24 and it equaled 1776. I thought this was quite odd and just wondering if any body else had seen this. also I read hunger games and philosophy and there was no mention of what I stated above. I also went on and read Gary Allen's book none dare call it conspiracy. page 121 was quite interesting it described in intricate detail a hunger games style world, he even mentions districts and "peace keepers" I would strongly suggest for people out there to read that book as well. also that book came out in 1972 and hunger games came out in 2008.
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on February 23, 2012
I really liked this booked, I realize it received a lot of mixed reviews, and I fully understand why that is. Where the first two books had a lot of action, love, mystery etc. this one is very political and not a lot of romance at all. If you go in wanting to learn more about her and Gale or her and Peeta you will be disappointed. This book spends more time on Gale than the previous two books combined and Peeta does not have a big role in it at all. However, considering how much time was spent with Peeta in the previous two I was not surprised by this, as the audience really didn't know Gale. There is a fair amount of action, with Katniss' strong personality coming out and getting to know more about the other victor's. I agree that the author could have done a little more at with the ending but also realize that a lot of it was covered in the previous books and the choice was clear.
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on April 14, 2013
I had the opportunity to purchase the complete Hunger Games Trilogy for the low price of five dollars on Amazon.ca a few weeks ago, so I thought "Why not?" If only to see what the buzz about the novels were, even though I'm not really the target demographic.

I found the series to be a very easy read of a dystopian society set in the not so distant future. If you take two of the Bachman books, "The Running Man" and "The Long Walk" and make a hybrid of them for teen readers you will end up with "The Hunger Games Trilogy". The themes of the book; starvation, oppression and eventually, revolution are disturbing topics for young adult readers and Suzanne Collins taps into the psyche of her characters very well.

The series is well written, with the exception of a few chapters and has a nice pace to it. I would recommend it if you are a fan of dystopian fiction.
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