I’m an avid reader. The main reason I go to the gym is because I get an hour to read whatever book I am currently obsessing over. So here in my book club you can find all my recommendations and reviews.
Last week it was The Hunger Games trilogy. Yes, the whole trilogy…last week. It took me exactly three days to read these three books. I simply could not put them down.
I decided to pick up this trilogy when I saw the preview for the upcoming movie (22 days!). I though it looked like an interesting story. I was most intrigued by my friend Ben, (paramedic, DJ, barista, renaissance man) who summed it up like this: “I’m not generally into books where the protagonist is a sixteen-year-old girl, but this one was the exception”.
Now, I don’t really think anything I write here will count as a SPOILER, but just in case…read carefully.
Super Short Synopsis:
Katniss Everdeen lives in District 12 of Panem, the country that stands over what was once North America. Panem is controlled by an oppressive government based in a city called the Capitol. Every year each district must offer one girl and boy between the ages of 12 and 18 to compete in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death where only one “Tribute” can win by being the last one alive. The Games are a reminder to the people of Panem that the Capitol has absolute power over them; they are used to mark the anniversary of an uprising where the Capitol completely destroyed one of the districts. 16-year old Katniss becomes the Tribute for District 12 and the novels follow Katniss and her fellow tribute Peeta among (MANY) others on their journey through the games. Thrilling!
What I loved:
The books move quickly. There’s not a lot of waiting around for the action. Once Katniss becomes a Tribute, she is on the train to the Capitol 2 pages later.
It is an emotional read. It is brutal. Not in the way that you will think; it is violent and at times unimaginably sad but for me it was the intense exhaustion I felt when I was nearing the end of Mockingjay: exhaustion for Katniss, Peeta, and Gale, but for all the people of Panem too. They just can’t catch a break. Even when they do, the reaction is real…all the things that they went through don’t just heal and fade away into a happy ending; they’re scarred, inside and out.
There are REAL twists and turns. If you read a lot, and maybe even if you don’t, you can start to see twists in writing before they happen. I find that kind of disappointing sometimes. Suzanne Collins can truly make your jaw drop. I think the fact that she does it without creating a total fantasy world where she makes the rules is a real accomplishment. It all feels real.
It makes you think about our world as it is today. Which is a great thing since this book is geared toward young adults. The Hunger Games are televised like a sporting event and everyone is obsessed with the Tributes…they have no privacy, their every move and word is documented. The mania over the Tributes who will soon die for the people’s entertainment reflects a lot of our celeb-obsession today. Something to think about.
What I didn’t:
You’re not going to get a ton of closure on the characters. It doesn’t diminish the story AT ALL, but don’t expect to know too may details about where the characters end up. We’re talking less than JK Rowling gave Harry Potter fans…way less. It’s actually a relatively short period of time that’s covered in the novels, but it’s so good I just want to dig in and have it go on forever!
Obviously one list is a lot longer than the other.
Bottom Line: READ IT!