One of my most anticipated 2010 titles was released last week. Mockingjay, the final installment in The Hunger Games trilogy became available here in the Philippines last August 25. Thanks again to Jason of Taking a Break for my copy. After I got my copy, I went right down to business and read straight through the whole day with occasional breaks when I needed to come up for air. I finished reading in the wee hours of the morning and I had to take some time to absorb everything.
Yesterday, I attended the Philippine Mockingjay Launch, where I met up with folks from both Flips Flipping Pages and Filipinos Goodreads. More on that in a later post. Anyway, since I don’t have reviews of both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire because I read them before I started the blog, I thought I’d review the series as a whole instead of just Mockingjay. So don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this post.
I’m sure most people are familiar with the premise of the first book but in case you’ve been hiding under a rock somewhere, here’s a summary of The Hunger Games from Suzanne Collins’ website:
Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When her sister is chosen by lottery, Katniss steps up to go in her place.
That’s where it all starts, people. The books are set in a post-apocalyptic version of the United States. Each of the twelve districts are required to send two tributes to The Hunger Games, where all of them fight to the death until one victor remains. Sounds brutal? Why yes, it is but not extremely violent or gory. I assure you, my friends, I have a weak stomach when it comes to these things so the fact that I loved reading this series means that it doesn’t rate high on the gruesome scale. Although it is emotionally draining at times. After all, how can any heroine emerge triumphant if she doesn’t encounter difficulties? Katniss is a strong, warrior-type female protagonist and this is one of the reasons why I liked the series so much.
I first found out about The Hunger Games when it was published back in 2008. I didn’t want to read it at first because I’m not a huge fan of dystopian books but since it came highly recommended, I decided to give it a try. I’m glad I did. It’s an amazing book and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes to read, regardless of genre preferences. The Hunger Games has crossover appeal for a variety of reasons and it’s the kind of book that most people will enjoy. I know those who haven’t read the books don’t get the hype. I tell them that this series deserves the attention that it’s getting because it’s well-written, unlike other series out there which are popular for reasons still unknown to me.
Both Catching Fire and Mockingjay have the same characteristics that made the first book popular – creative worldbuilding, action-packed plot, believable characters and unpredictable events. Overall, a solid series that I highly recommend. To those who haven’t read these books, I envy you guys because you don’t have to wait for the sequels to come out like the rest of us did.