I love finding a great series of books to read after the last one has been published. That is what happened with this trilogy. My friend told me I had to read them, and since I listen to her when it comes to books, I did. In two weeks I listened to all three of these books. I was obsessive over these books.
The basic story is our world in an undefined future where everything has gone to crap (already I love it). With one central government holding control in an iron grip from the Capitol, each of the 12 districts must send one randomly picked boy and girl 12 or older for a televised fight to the death. And everyone has to watch this on TV.
Having just watched the Japanese movie Battle Royale, I was ready for a lot of what was going to happen in the book. A lot of people seem to think that Hunger Games is a blatant ripoff of Battle Royale, but disagree. (like many people, my opinion comes from the movie BR vs the book HG) I liked Battle Royale, but I felt like it needed something more, something to make me care that all the kids were dying, maybe a little more plot? That movie boiled down to me as “Gee all our teenagers are running wild! Lets randomly make some of them fight to the death, that will sort out the rest!” Again, I liked it, but it had no depth for me.
Hunger Games has you follow Katniss. A normal girl who has been doing everything she can to help her family survive in a crappy situation. When she volunteers to go to the Hunger Games instead of her sister, I am already on her side. This is not some bad kid, this is a girl willing to die for her sister. Then add in that the boy chosen from her district, Peeta, is someone who has helped her family before.
From the time they enter the arena, this book flies. You know it’s not going to be some book where people are in danger but are saved at the last minute, people will die. You are not sure that there will be a happy ending for Katniss and Peeta. Also, knowing there was a second book, I was wondering if the whole thing would even be wrapped up in the first book.
Katniss is a smart, self sufficient girl, such a relief compared to so many girls in teen fiction who can’t do anything without a guy holding them up (::cough::Bella::cough::) Though there is a love story involved, Katniss never loses her strength to it. I would read all three of these books again and recommend them to everyone I know. However, I am still very upset with Suzanne Collins for what she did in the third book.