These reviews were initially posted on my original blog. In an attempt to move all my posts, I thought it would be perfect to highlight these books during Banned Books week. I was surprised to find out that The Hunger Games was on the top 10 list of ALA's most challenged books.
These reviews (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire) were written within my first few weeks of blogging, not the best reviews but I liked my initial reactions.
The Hunger Games Book 1
'The Hunger Games' is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel where the government hosts an annual game. The annual game is a random lottery where twelve boys and twelve girls, one from each district are selected to participate in a life and death battle. The 'Hunger Games' is a televised event used to remind the districts that the Capital exerts the control.
Katniss Everdeen is the narrator of the story. She volunteers to participate in the game when her younger sister Prim is randomly drawn. The two members for District twelve are Katniss and Peeta. Peeta reveals on-air his love for Katiniss which ultimately grabs the attention of the audience. The audience members are permitted to sponsor a child and send gifts throughout the game. Katniss realizes they must uphold the role of star-crossed lovers to maintain their sponsors. She believes this is essential to her survival. When a rule is changed in the game, Peeta and Katniss' relationship becomes even more important.
I thought the plot was unique and interesting. I do enjoy dystopian novels, and I had to begin reading the second book right away. I highly recommend the trilogy, and I understand what all the rave was about. Go, and buy your copy right away, you will not be disappointed!
Catching Fire Book 2
This book was every bit as intriguing, engrossing and intense as 'The Hunger Games.' I will not include any spoilers, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. I think it was a great read, and I'm left with many questions, I can't wait for the third book to be released. It's tentatively scheduled for 2010. The problem with reading a series is having to wait for the next instalment to arrive.
Suzanne Collins creates a sordid, heart-breaking and desperate world. 'Catching Fire' picks up right after 'The Hunger Games' ends. Katniss still struggles between her feelings for Peeta and Gale. Katniss and Peeta have begun to settle into their new lives as victors and they are about to serve as mentors in the upcoming Hunger Game. However, suddenly the rules are changed and Katniss and Peeta must deal with new obstacles. There is growing unrest in the District. President Snow, their malicious leader pays Katniss a visit. He does not believe Katniss' feelings towards Peeta are mutual, and blames Katniss for creating the unrest. He sees her as a rebel and a threat.
I highly recommend these novels. I really enjoyed them, and I can't wait for the third novel to be released.
Mockingjay Book 3
I would first like to say, Mockingjay was amazing. I closed the book, and felt emotionally drained. The pace of the story was fast, intense and mesmerizing. Collins has amazing talent and she led me on an emotional roller coaster! Mockingjay begins almost where Catching Fire ends. There is very little gap, and within the first few pages we learn about District 13. District 12 has been destroyed by the capital and very few survived. Katniss has tremendous guilt, and assumes she is responsible for the destruction and terror. Katniss believes District 13 is the lesser of two evils and she is reluctant to follow suit. She is happy that her mother, sister and Gale are safe, but she is tortured by thoughts of Peeta being captured and held prisoner by the Capitol. When she sees him on a Capital broadcast, my heart sank for Katniss. I was ecstatic that he was still alive, but I worried that his character would be killed off. I was surprised Katniss waited so long to have him rescued and I thought the loss of his memory was agonizing. I didn't know how I should feel about Peeta. I wanted them to be together, but I didn't want Katniss to be endangered. Collins really had me on the edge of my seat. I thought for sure she would end up with Gale. Yes, I am team Peeta...
The trilogy ends in an all-out-war. I knew it had to come, I knew many deaths would ensue. I really thought Peeta or Gale would be killed and I'm happy to know they weren't. I'm sad that Gale is no longer on speaking terms with Katniss. It makes me sad, that she blames him for Prim's death. Prim's death was heartbreaking. The whole trilogy begins with Katniss trying to protect her younger sister, and in the end she was unable to achieve her goal. When the cat came back, I tried so hard not to cry! The many deaths throughout the war was difficult, it reminded me of Harry Potter. War brings destruction and demise. Death is inevitable. Now that I think about it, I'm happy Katniss wasn't killed off. I really enjoyed the fact that all characters seem to mature immensely in this novel. I guess, war does that...
All in all, I loved the trilogy and I thought the ending was just as great as the others. I know in every series when it comes to an end they're those who are happy and those who are sad. When you write a series and you have love triangles, when fans have the ability to choose sides, you can never please everyone. I guess, I'm happy that I'm one of those pleased fans.