The Hunger Games Trilogy

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.

11 thoughts on “The Hunger Games Trilogy

  1. my copy of mockingjay was stolen by my kids so i have to wait a little longer to read mine. i just wanted to add – the world building in this trilogy is exemplary. it made me think of north vs south, first world vs third world politics – in which economic losers have to cope with the insatiable wants of spoiled, wealthier nations.

    • LOL Candy, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. At least your kids love reading the series. Yes, you have a point there. I really liked the world that was created in the books because it reflects the struggle of the poor vs. the whims of the wealthy. I think that’s pretty evident here in the Philippines, where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer everyday.

    • Oooh Ashley, you haven’t read this series? I wonder why we never talked about them in Goodreads. I know most of us over there are fans of the series. Hope you can give it a try soon!

  2. Congratulations on making this a spoiler-free review.:D

    As you know, my sister who isn’t really fond of YA, loves this series. So yeah, I would definitely recommend this series to everyone.:D

    • Short and spoiler-free, this is meant to convince those who haven’t read the series to check it out. πŸ˜›

      I’m glad your sister finally found a YA series to like!

  3. I think most readers who haven’t read it is mostly because of the hype. I’m sure they are really good and I do want to read them at some point. I think for me (and I hope I explain this well), there are some books out there that get so much hype that it’s pretty much all that people read for awhile. I definitely think this has happened with Harry Potter. That was a fantastic series–I did read it, but only after all the books were out. What is disappointing about Harry Potter to me is that people reread it constantly and don’t read other fantasy so for them, it’s the top of the mountain for fantasy. I actually have a problem with this because it’s so self-limiting to say, “I don’t like fantasy, but I like Harry Potter,” until something like The Hunger Games comes around (which technically is a subgenre of fantasy in my book). Then people read The Hunger Games over and over and over and….well, you get my point….but they still say they don’t like fantasy. I think there are so many fantastic books out there and to read one or two series over and over without exploring other books just bugs me.

    OK…I’ll stop ranting. I’m really glad you got the book, especially because you said it’s sold out all over Manila! That’s awesome! I’m glad you enjoyed it too. I will read them, I promise! I will just wait until bloggers are reviewing it for the 5th time on the their blogs. πŸ˜›

    • Carin, I totally understand where you’re coming from. It does get annoying when people one read one series. Much as I love some of my favorites, I don’t understand why other people aren’t interested in reading more books once they end up loving a series. I’m the opposite. When I discover a great book, I always want to know if there are others like it out there. LOL and how can people say they don’t like fantasy but they like Harry Potter? I really don’t get it.

      Let me know when you do get around to reading this series, probably in a couple of year’s time. πŸ˜›

  4. “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.”

    ^ AMEEEEN.

    I got hooked on THG early this year after I came across some YA blogs that highly recommended it. πŸ™‚ I must say for a series that’s promoted for “teens”, it contains serious depth and darkness in its core. I think that’s what draws its some of its more mature audiences into the series.

    Anyway, THG is addictive. I can’t express this enough. πŸ˜€ And despite the…less enthusiastic response of some readers to Mockingjay, I think the series ended just right. AND I CAN’T GO ON RAMBLING IF I WANT THIS POST SPOILER-FREE SO I WOULD STOP NOW FOR THE SAKE OF THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ THE SERIES OR THE LAST BOOK. πŸ™‚

    • Yes, it does have depth but I don’t think it’s too dark or violent. This was actually a topic discussed by the panel in the Mockingjay Launch Party. If you think about it, there are a lot of classics out there that contain more violence than The Hunger Games series and those books are required readings in schools.

      I know, I was actually surprised at most of the reactions of those who’ve read Mockingjay. Most of my book blogger friends loved it but I talked to several people during the launch party who were disappointed with the book. I have some quibbles with it but overall, I think it’s a satisfying end to the series. The Hunger Games is still my favorite though.

  5. Pingback: Weekend Trip: Club Med Bintan Island | Chachic's Book Nook

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