I kind of picked up The Hunger Games by accident. Although a former client recommended it, I picked it up while on vacation in Miami for beach reading. Little did I know that I would finish the entire trilogy in two weeks.
These books are riveting page turners that leave you wanting them to never end. Sadly, they are quick so the whole experience was over before I knew. The storyline revolves around a dystopian United States society ravaged by war and political in-fighting (not so far from a reality these days).
This new society involves 13 districts centered around a capitol. Prior to the start of the books, District 13 attempted to rebel against the capitol only to subsequently be wiped off the map. To discourage the other districts from attempting something similar, the capitol forces each district to submit a male and female between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games. The catch? It’s a televised survival of the fittest, last man (or woman) living wins.
Katniss, the main character, is chosen to participate in the society’s annual Hunger Games for her district (District 12). You’ll come to root for certain characters, but in the end, I suspect, like me, Katniss will be the person you root for the most.
Katniss’ background is from a district that specializes in mining so you can imaging the hardships she grown up and author Suzanne Collins paints a terrific image of the rough and tumble mining district.
The series truly encapsulates the societal issues and the games’ essence and chaos while keeping the characters unique and human. While I won’t give away too much, the most exciting parts of the trilogy are during the Hunger Games. The desperation, cold-heartedness and will to survive on exhibition is mind-boggling.
Eventually, the series shifts from the games to focus on Katniss’ role in a shift in the society’s existence. The books cover a plethora of issues including poverty, oppression, the effects of war and several other topics that are relevant to today’s world.
These books are full of action and run the gamut from elation to despair to heart-breaking tragedy. If there’s an emotion in existence, it’s somewhere in the pages of these books.
Though I’m finished with the trilogy, the books are being adapted into movies with Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone, X-Men: First Class) portraying Katniss. From what I’ve read, the author has been highly involved in the process so I’m hoping the movies to the books justice. It would be a shame if that doesn’t happen.
While these books may not interest everyone, they are less fantasy than what most people are expecting. I highly recommend reading at least the first book because I promise you will want to read the next two immediately upon finishing the first.
This is a brilliant trilogy that, in my opinion, eclipses the Harry Potter series, but falls a tad short of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I’m willing to lend out my copies to anyone interested. The Hunger Games series deserves all the fans it can get.
Book images courtesy of Scholastic Inc.