“One of the reasons it’s important for me to write about war is I really think that the concept of war, the specifics of war, the nature of war, the ethical ambiguities of war, are introduced too late to children. I think they can hear them, understand them, know about them, at a much younger age without being scared to death by the stories.”
This is the fourth book from my 2016 Reading Challenge!
- A book you’ve already read at least once: The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins
I honestly can’t remember the first time I read The Hunger Games, but as soon as I did, I was hooked. I was elated that there was a trilogy, and I couldn’t wait to read all three.
My copy of The Hunger Games is in paperback, but I decided to buy Catching Fire and Mockingjay as hardbacks. I think hardbacks hold up better, in the long run.
I re-read these books for the challenge as voraciously as I had when I first bought them. I think I’ve read the entire trilogy three times now. Katniss’s story just grabs you by the collar and pulls you in within the first few pages.
While preparing this review, I realized that I made a comparison to this trilogy in my book review on the “Divergent” trilogy, published nearly two years ago:
It’s interesting to see how young adult (YA) literature has had its trends over the years. Even more fascinating is how similar The Hunger Games and Divergent are, in terms of structure.
Like the Divergent trilogy, I planned to break down this review into the three books. Here we go!
The Hunger Games
Like I said earlier, Katniss and her story instantly grabbed me by the collar and pulled me into the world of Panem and its districts. It made me think of war zones, and some of American history. How divided some of our countries are, and how divided our own United States appear to be, too.
Reading her story made me think of courage, honor, family, love, and bravery. I was absolutely appalled at The Hunger Games and how long they had gone on, and how brutal people could be, but at the end, I was left wanting more.
5 out of 5 stars.
Picking up at what feels like the moment that The Hunger Games ended, Catching Fire held on to me and never let me go. It was an adrenaline rush the whole time.
This is the one that I powered through the fastest because the story would not let my mind stop to put it down.I detected political waves during the first book, and it became abundantly clear here. We follow Katniss through more tribulations and tragedies than triumphs, but I’ll take it. Like the first book, I couldn’t wait to start the third after finishing this one. Collins has that power that leaves you desperate to find out what happens next.
5 out of 5 stars.
I’ll admit, the first time I read this book, I absolutely hated it. It was really hard to force myself to get to the end.
The second time through – It was a little easier. I started to understand how important this book was to the overall story. It still wasn’t my favorite book, and it took longer to read than the other two, but I started to appreciate it more.
This most recent time – I couldn’t put it down. I think part of it is because I started Mockingjay immediately after finishing Catching Fire. I didn’t realize how much of a difference that made until now. The way Collins writes, by the end of Catching Fire, I just couldn’t wait to see what was going to happen to Katniss, Peeta, Gale, and President Snow, among others. There is quite a myriad of characters to keep up with by the time you reach this book, but I think Collins does a great job of keeping the characters straight. I also appreciated that the narrator was consistent throughout the trilogy, and I didn’t have to deal with multiple narrators.
At the very end, I felt sad. Not because of the book’s ending, but that my journey with the books was actually over. It’s a captivating story, one that Collins created beautifully, with great attention to detail. I felt immersed in the world the entire time. It was hard to get back to reality.
4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
One more note: I don’t normally do this, but I think this next part is worth mentioning.
I had read all three books once when the movies began to be released. When we first saw The Hunger Games in 2012, I was blown away at how well they had adapted the books to the silver screen. It’s certainly not an easy task to do so, since other book-to-movie adaptations have been criticized. But, I think this trilogy was nearly perfect for movie adaptations, and I think the filmmakers did a great job in doing so. I wasn’t happy that they divided Mockingjay into two parts, and made us wait a WHOLE FREAKING YEAR for Part 2. However, I think it was worth it.
I usually sit and watch them when they come on TV. Plus, these movies made me fall in love with Jennifer Lawrence. I told Al recently that I can totally see why they picked her – She’s a nearly flawless choice.
I highly recommend both!
Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂