Musings From MommyLand

Because sometimes there is more to Mommy…

Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Spoiler Free)

on March 3, 2012

I consider myself a fairly fast reader (my husband would say abnormally so) but even I was impressed with the speed that I finished this trilogy.  Three books in four days.  It has been awhile since I have come across a book so compelling that I was willing to give up sleep at night.  Sleep is a precious commodity when you have a 15 month old and a 3-year-old so for me to give it up says something about this book.  Unfortunately, I am just not sure what it says.  I was drawn to these books and found that I couldn’t quite put them down, but at the end, I wasn’t sure that I actually liked them.

I promise this to be the spoiler free post so I will just give a really basic premise.  The Hunger Games starts sometime in the future when the United States has lost both population and geographic landmass due to wars and natural disasters.  Now known as Panem, what is left of the country is divided into 13 districts and a Capitol.  75 years earlier, there was a revolution in which the Capitol was able to subdue the districts and after this set up the Hunger Games as a reminder to the districts that the Capitol is all-powerful and controls everything.  Every year each district has to send one boy and one girl to these games in which they fight to the death until only one child is left standing.  16-year-old Katniss Everdeen ends up in the games because she volunteers to take the place of her 12-year-old sister primrose.  The next two books, Catching Fire and Mockingjay, continue to follow Katniss through a rebellion of the districts to overthrow the Capitol.  Ok, I don’t think that I gave anything away that you probably haven’t seen on the movie trailers for the upcoming film of the same name or that you couldn’t have read on the back of the books.

I have mixed feelings when it comes to reading young adult series.  I love me some Harry Potter but, you won’t ever see a copy of the Twilight Saga in these hands.  The Hunger Games was one of those that I didn’t really feel driven to read…in fact, I had never even heard of them until the movie trailers started playing not to long ago.  However, at a family dinner one night, my aunt mentioned that she and my cousins had read them and really like them and I should give them a try.  Getting past some skepticism, I downloaded them on my Kindle and was off and running.  Looking back now, I don’t exactly what kept me going.  They are certainly not the most well written books I have ever come across.  All three books are written entirely from the point of view of Katniss.  The only way you get to know any of the other characters is by what she thinks of them or from their conversations with them.  In the first two books it is easy enough to overlook this because the story line is intriguing and good enough that it pulls you along.  In these books, Katniss is a strong heroine.  You never really like her or identify with her, but you can respect her.

The third book is where it all goes wrong.  It just has a rushed feeling to it overall…like Suzanne Collins wrote in just to get it out.  The plot is rushed, the character development is shoddy, and the ending is a little too neat and tidy.  This is not the kind of series where you expect an all of a sudden “…and they lived happily ever after.”   In this book, Katniss also loses what strength she had in the first two books and without that, she really doesn’t have much going for her.

Overall, I would rate this book 3 and a half stars out of 5.  The first two books would probably get 4’s but the third is lucky to get a 3.

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7 responses to “Book Review: The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Spoiler Free)

  1. cricketmuse says:

    Definitely enjoyed Hunger Games best out of the three books. If you are looking for another Katniss protagonist or another dystopian read check out Divergent by Veronica Roth.
    Happy Pages,
    CricketMuse

    • Katie says:

      I will check out that book. I have declared March my Irish book month in honor of St. Patrick’s day, but when I get through that stack I will take a look at the one you recommended. Thanks

  2. freyamorel says:

    It was the film release that got me into The Hunger Games, too and as soon as I’d started, I couldn’t put them down…
    I think they’re brilliant! My only issue is the love story with Peeta which is sometimes a bit sickening, although it’s probably intended that way because it reflects just how perverse the situation is.
    I’ve written a review of Katniss which talks about her strength as a heroine, which you also mentioned. I would be very interested in your response if you have time to take a look at it… http://freyamorel.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/fire-is-catching/

    • Katie says:

      Yeah the love story is a bit… odd perhaps is the right word. I love Peeta. I think that he is the best character in the books which is probably why I disliked the third book so much. Collins took him away for too much and changed him in a unnatural way that was just hard to deal with/keep up with.

      I will definitely check out your review and then comment again once I have read it. Thanks!

    • Katie says:

      I read your review and left a comment on your blog. I loved the review you did!

  3. OnlyArt says:

    “I love me some Harry Potter but, you won’t ever see a copy of the Twilight Saga in these hands.” I feel the same way. Lol.

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