Book One: The Hunger Games
Goodreads Summary: 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 steps forward to take her sister's place 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 will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Why I Read this Book: I read this because it's extremely popular, to be honest. It was recommended
by a friend, and I like the way the summary sounds, so I bought it as an e-book.
Review: I really liked this book a lot. It was fast paced, and exciting to read. I read a lot of the reviews (that didn't contain spoilers) before I read the book and I found, like with most series that take off, people either love it, or they hate it. I personally think the majority of people who 'hate' it just don't like that everyone else liked it, so they pretend not to so they feel cool (or else they wouldn't have put the same hateful review about the second two because they wouldn't have read them!!) But that's a little off topic.
Back to the book, it was very hard to put down, every chapter left you with a little bit of suspense. I don't always love when a book is totally in one persons perspective, but Katniss' ability to read people very well helps fill in some blanks. Katniss is a very strong lead character, she was very easy to like most of the time. However, I found myself relating more to Peeta in the story, but I liked them both. Their relationship was the main story of the book for me, with the Games being second. I love how there were so many issues in the book as well; hunger, political corruption, dehumanization and desensitization. It is a great book to be taught in school for these reasons.
Rating of Book One:
Book Two: Catching Fire
Goodreads Summary:Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol. Catching Fire maintains the adrenaline rush of Suzanne Collins's series launch.
Why I Read this Book: Well, because I read The Hunger Games and loved it, and this one is next.
Review: At about half way through the book I didn't think it was going to live up to The Hunger Games. It was very, very similar as it got started, with the exception of the Quarter Quell surprise. There were a few moments that were exciting, but for the most part I felt like I was just being told the same stuff from the first novel. The relationship between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta is difficult to really get into. Katniss doesn't seem to actually care about either of them, she just wants to put them into a little place in her life where its convenient for her, and it makes her come off as very selfish, which I didn't really get a sense of in the first book. Unlike Bella from the Twilight series, Katniss doesn't love either of them, and it's kind of annoying. The novel begins to get more interesting when they arrive in the Capitol to get ready for the Quarter Quell. From here on the book is good, which made me give it the 5 star rating I do. But, if I had been reading these books when they came out I think the cliffhanger at the end would have made me want to beat my head against the wall. I was able to overlook it because I just picked up the third book right away. But, if I had to wait for it, I think it would have decreased my love for the book. You shouldn't end a novel with that, it's really unfair to your reader. This is definitely a 'middle' novel in the trilogy, and it reads like that too, with nothing being resolved, just more conflict and buildup to the next book.
But, all that being said, it really did like it, and I jumped right into Mockingjay as soon as I finished the Catching Fire.
Rating of Book Two:
Book Three: Mockingjay
Goodreads Summary: Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.
Review: I didn't bother with 'Why I Read This Book' as it is quite obvious. I didn't like this book as much as the first two, and it was for one glaring reason: people who had become very important to me in the story, such as Cinna and Finnick, did not get enough attention when they were killed. Especially Finnick. It was just, ok the mutts got him, move along. Katniss hardly even reflected upon his death at all. For all the whole series talks about how affected she was by Rue's death in book one, the complete disregard for other, just as important (to Katniss and the books) characters is terrible. Other than that, I thought the book was a bit slow for a lot of it. The battle scenes were a bit rushed, and the District 13 stuff was very drawn out. I liked the story line, and I was very pleased with the ending. I can't say too much more than that.
Total Trilogy Review:
I really liked this series a lot. I can't wait for the movie to come out in March 2012, I think it's going to be really good. I loved the story, and the underlying messages without.
Obviously I didn't love every single aspect of the novels, but that's okay. It was still a great series, and I would recommend it to almost anyone.
Overall Trilogy Rating: