on December 3, 2011
Seriously, these books are addictive.
To give you an idea of how good they are, I started the first book yesterday's evening, and just finished the third one.
There are so many incredible twists, so much stuff you don't expect, it's great.
The actual story gets a bit too teenage-oriented in the last book for my taste, what was actually a great, very realistic (As far as fiction goes), world that was created is a bit, but really, just a tiny bit, becoming too... I don't know... teenage-oriented in the last book, really not that big of a deal, and really, that's probably just because I wanted something to mention that wasn't perfectly balanced. Still some of the best books I've ever read, particularly the first.
The stories, which seem to have been written for teenagers around 15, is very interesting for adults too, especially the first book which had me riveted to my seat for the +- 400 pages (All 3 books are roughly the same lenght, I'd say).
I think everyone will relate one way or another to the books, most likely to the love story (Very, very good, not at all the cheap girly stuff I expected (Seeing as the main character is female and the author too)). I think the author made a great job with making these books interesting to male readers as much as female ones. As a guy, I really could identify myself to a particular character. I can't really speak for women, knowing none who have read the books, but I think they'll find what they're looking for on this aspect too.
Even if romance isn't your main concern (And it certainly wasn't mine when I started reading), you'll be very well taken care of with this story where Gentleness, Barbarism, cruelty, social inequities, manipulation, war and courage meet for the Hunger Games.
on December 1, 2008
A few things I did not know until after I read this book : 1) it is sold as a "young adult" book. Didn't know and frankly, glad I picked it up anyway. 2) It's the first of three books. Again, glad I read it anyway.
This book is, in a twisted way, a social commentary on our society, obsessed with their bodies, fixated on the new reality show, oblivious of what is actually going on in the world around them. I can actually see something like this book happening to us in the not-so-far future. And it is scary.
The people that run the fictional country of this story are in power and they know how to wield it over the rest of their nation. They are the have-it-all and they don't share. Because they rebelled at one point, ages ago, the better part of the nation has to suffer and they do without... anything, really. And to better control them, the leaders pack a bunch of kids every year and make them fight to the death in front of a TV audience.
I won't give away any more of the story but I hope that if you read this book, you will get the irony of the people watching the games, obsessed with their appearences while young kids are forced to kill each other.
A great book.
on January 28, 2010
My niece who is 12 years old told me that her teacher was reading The Hunger Games to her class, she said it was this amazing book and thought I should read it and everyone loves it. I thought at first if my 12-year-old niece loves it, maybe it would be a little too immature for me. Heck was I wrong. What a great read. You can probably see that by reading all these good reviews! It is so exciting and thrumming with excitement I couldn't put it down. I finished The Hunger games and Catching fire in only a few days. I thought it might be a weird concept at first but I really was hooked right from the beginning. I loved all the descriptions the author gave and I felt like I was going through what Katniss was going through. I am telling everyone I know to read this one. I don't think there will be anyone who doesn't like this book or the next in the series! Absolutely Fantastic! I just wish I didn't have to wait all the way until August 24th for the next one! Oh the suspense...
on October 6, 2013
I had absolutely no interest in reading these books. Saw the movie and thought it was ok, but still wasn't planning on reading them. Then someone I totally respect told me just how good they were, so I picked them up, and oh my goodness.....I was hooked immediately! Definitely lives up to all the hype, and of course the book is WAY better than the movie.
on August 30, 2010
Because I've been waiting months for this book, I'd promised myself I'd read it slowly and savour it, becuase after I'm finished there's no more. As it turns out, I read all of Mockingjay the day I received it in the mail. As expected, it was excellent. As dreaded, I didn't like it.
Suzanne seems to be one of those writers whose books get better and better with each installment. I thought Catching Fire was better than The Hunger Games, and Mockingjay is written even better than Catching Fire. After the end...you just have an unquenchable hunger for MORE that will never be satisfied, but that's okay, because it's the mark of a good series.
Despite all that, the problem with Mockingjay, (for me at least) is that it wasn't any fun to read at all.
Sure, it's intense, suspenseful, poignant, and it cuts to the action faster, but I missed Peeta; Katniss's usual spirited and brave demeanor was replaced by a "Who cares?" attitude, and while it might be completely justified, it wasn't any fun on the reader's part; the whole book hangs a downcast, depressing and overly serious tone; I hated the anticlimax.
In lieu of spoilers, I will not mention names, but a certain important character was somewhat randomly dropped off at the end. We weren't given any closure about his relationships with his fellow characters. May or may not leave you feeling cheated.
Another reviewer, on amazon.com I believe, called this book a work of "nihilistic anti-war propaganda;" in other words, Collins is biased into thinking that war is the most disgusting, horrible, and awful thing that ever existed. And while she's entitled to her opinions, especially when they are well-supported, it's untactful to try and force her readers into seeing things her way, instead of giving them the facts and allowing them to form their own opinions.
This seems to be the reason for much of the unnecessary tragic events that happen in this book, and why it's so depressing: the author is putting out propaganda to 'help' us see how very very bad war is, instead of giving us a balanced view of the reasons people go to war, and why it may or may not be the best way to solve a conflict.
Now, the end. We never expected a completely happy ending for a series like this one. We would have enjoyed a bittersweet ending thoroughly. But I think the downer ending was just overdoing it. Did the author purposely twist the ending to a level of heartwrenching sadness? Probably. Was it necessary? Hmmm.
So, the writing was intelligent and unique to its author. The plot was (excepting the anticlimax) tense, winding, and fast-paced, the action neverending. The characters, especially Katniss herself, were depthened even further. Despite that, I didn't like it, I'm sorry.
on January 13, 2016
i think the bravery that katness everdeen showed while taking her sisters place as tribute was really the most amazing thing that would happen if it actually happened in real life, i think everyone should really read this book before death and i also think that young adults or even children should have read this book cause i am a young adult myself and i am surprised that i did not read this when i was 11 yrs. old it really a shame cause i would have bragged about to my friends that do not know anymore it IS a real shame but i cant do anything about it now so i can just talk about it on the internet as i am doing now so i shall say my goodbyes to you now because i am going to go off the internet very very soon! actually i changed my mind i am going to stay on the internet for a while but over all the book was probably my favorite book of all time and i hope to read the next books very, VERY soon so now i will actually leave this book to you my friends i hope you get the chance to read it because like i said it was my FAVORITE book of all time and you should really read it im sorry this review was barely about the book but i got to go live life so i bid my adews to you my friends :) :) :)
on October 3, 2014
I'm really surprised by all the people in the comments complaining about the way this last book went. I'm not sure what kind of ending they really expected since Katnis has been thrown from one tragedy to another until she is broken. This is war, this is trauma. And i for one really appreciated that honest tone to the book. Yes it was dark, yes it was a painful read, to see the characters you love get smashed to bits inside and out till they have trouble even constructing a sense of identity. The reader must remember this is not a TV show, its not here to -entertain- you. The story is simply that, a story, one of love, and loss, and growth and it's not up to us to really judge what Katnis is. She may be a fictional character, but shes a metaphor for many real life experiences and I think that is beyond any whimsical expectation of entertainment.
Now that I'm done chastising the readers I will comment on the book itself:
I found it riveting, realistic, very sad, and above all, honest.I have PTSD and was shocked to find a book that touched on it's realistic consequences in ones life, and appreciated Katnises pain, in a way that others may not. I felt like her journey is an important one to understand in real life. The ability to piece yourself back together when what you love is lost, and what you wanted becomes more than what you wished for, and not in a good way.
I will speak to some of the other complains in the book. The end did seem rushed, and not much closure to the loss of important characters was given. I dont know if this is just bc its a story about Katnis specifically, or if this is a real flaw in the book. But i will say I did crave a little more in that.
The twists at the end are wonderful and terrifying and live up to the first 2 books
As many know, I don't readily give out 5-star reviews. In this case I'm compelled to do so. Why, when this isn't a literary series of books, but rather genre fiction? Because Suzanne Collins clearly demonstrates mastery of her craft, and by virtue of that talent she deserves high accolades.
If I had to use one word to summarize The Hunger Games trilogy it would be riveting. It isn't often a writer creates plot and characters so real, so compelling, I am haunted by them throughout both waking and dreaming hours.
Although the premise is simple: evil overlord/government reigns through tyranny, oppression and manipulation, it's this latter, Collins weaves so deftly through her story and thereby creates screaming tension and sense of outrage.
The language throughout is simple, conversational, written in first person present tense, not an easy feat, but certainly one done so deftly as a reader this literary device slides by almost unnoticed. And yet it is the use of first person, present tense which enhances the immediacy of the story. Like the children who are forced to participate in the killing-field of the Hunger Games, the reader is held suspended in the now, aware of the horror of the past, and the promise of only more horror to come. And although Collins periodically weaves in a moment of hope, they are so fleeting as to be like sunlight through storm clouds, and because of that poignant.
Simple moments become moments of import, both terrible and glorious. She has a way of setting up her reader, and then not only pulling out the rug, but the floor, collapsing the walls, leaving you wounded in rubble.
If you haven't already found yourself caught up in the hype around The Hunger Games I can assure you the trilogy is well worth the time and emotion you will expend.
I have every confidence this series will be studied in classrooms alongside other SF greats like The Lord of the Flies, 1984, and Brave New World.
on February 3, 2013
I should preface by saying I don’t usually read books like The Hunger Games, and when I saw the series getting whole-shelf treatment in bookstores I sniffed derisively and assumed the volumes represented a trilogy of teen trash. I usually read stuff with “literary merit,” and didn’t think this book fit that category, but I’m now forced to rethink that point of view. I had to read the novel for a course, and sighed when I saw it on the list, but I was surprised to find it was good, especially surprised given I’d seen the movie and wasn’t impressed. The Hunger Games is a very good read; it’s clearly and competently written and has great pace. The peaks and troughs are timed just so, and the story is violent, emotive, and compelling. This book helped make me re-evaluate how I look at literature and made me question what young adult fiction is; isn’t the HG more like science fiction? If an adult thinks it has that thing called literary merit, can it be classified as material for young people? Why was I so ready to dismiss it without giving it a chance? Anyway, a great bit of escapism. Now we’ll see if Catching Fire and Mockingjay are comparable. I’d recommend this book to almost anybody.
Troy Parfitt is the author of Why China Will Never Rule the World
on January 17, 2013
I'm not a book reader but I was intrigued by the movie. The style of writing targets a teenage audience and flows well. The movie's perspective is 3rd person narrative. The trilogy, however, reads like a personal diary. We find out what is going on in Katniss's head. The movie tends to shorten or speed up the action, whereas by reading her personal account we can really experience the full 3-4 week duration of the first hunger games contest. Here is a person of unimaginable courage, yet throughout her adventures remains sincere and modest. She is a fiercely independent thinker. She has a conscience. She does not want to take lives gratuitously or indescriminately. But she does not hesitate to kill if she has to. What sets her apart is that she's not politically ambitious. She has no political agenda other than a desire to end tyranny (the totalitarian state) and mitigate the excessive exploitation of class disparity. What fascinated me was how different political groups kept trying to use her as a "symbol" without realising that she actually was as great as the "legend" she was supposed to be portraying. Only in the fullness of time in the history of Panem would people look back and recognise her for who she was and how monumental was her impact on Panem's history. An impact as great as Joan of Arc's but virtually without any religious references whatsoever. For that matter, the entire issue of sexuality was also left out of the picture, which at times became hard to accept for a young woman of 16, 17, 18 years of age. There is always an air of nobility about her, her courage, her sense of self-sacrifice. Of course, the novels drive home the reality of all the mental confusion, anxiety as well as guilt that envelope her thoughts, all of which we only get a glimpe of in the film(s). The ending (Mockinjay) is particularly significant because it does not break with, in any way, how her character has developed throughout her ordeals. And it is an ending befitting to a heroine of the highest order.