Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Hmmm. I'm not sure what to write about these three books. I finished them nearly a month ago and at first I was excited to sit down and write about them, but the more I thought about it, the less enthused I became.  The truth is that whilst I enjoyed the first two books and the majority of the third, I wound up disappointed with the ending.  Its as if that ending marred my perspective of the books and well, I decided that perhaps not writing anything was the way to go. Of course I've changed my mind and figured I'd write a little something about the three books that seemed for a time to dominate bloggers' posts and bookish forums. Here goes:

For the remaining few who have yet to read these books I'll provide a little summary without any spoilers.

Every year the Capitol holds a competition called The Hunger Games, which consists of 24 contestants (1 boy and 1 girl from each district - must be under the age of 18) participating in a survival of the fittest type of event.  Each child will have to defend themselves by any means (which means killing each other) in order to remain the last person standing in order to claim the victory prize of being a champion and hero for their district.  Katniss Everdeen takes her younger sister's place in the competition and finds herself struggling to stay alive within the Games and also battling feelings toward her new friend/partner, Peeta (also from District 12).  After the competition ends we find the champions adjusting to life back home and having to deal with consequences following their unprecedented win (two people won instead of one). Soon enough they are back in a game reminiscent of The Hunger Games and must battle their way against new enemies in a bid to win back their lives.  Of course that competition ends with consequences and we soon find our protagonists thrust into the middle of an all out war against the Capitol.  And so the Mockingjay is born. 

There you have a summary of sorts about what happens within the three texts.  As for my thoughts, here goes:

Truthfully, I did enjoy the books. I found them to be entertaining and well written, with a number of memorable characters.  In fact, I can understand why several bloggers had 'Team Peeta' and 'Team Katniss' badges on their sites - to show support for a character that easily becomes one of your favorites with his/her story of struggle and desire to win a battle that not only seems bleak, but completely impossible. These are characters that show you how love can propel people to do things that they would never have imagined themselves capable of. As for these competitions that they had to endure, well, that in itself was rather horrific and completely necessary in providing the framework for the upcoming war in the final installment.  A war which had the citizens of Panem rallying together against the Capitol that had exploited and demeaned them for so many years and all at the expense of keeping the Capitol entertained and well fed.  Truly gripping stuff. In fact, I was so immersed in the story that when it got to the part where the parachutes exploded toward the end, I was blindsided.  Not because of the trickery involved with the parachutes, but with the direction the story took.  It was most definitely not what I expected.   From that point on, Collins lost me.  I felt as if she rushed ahead to get Katniss and Peeta where she wanted, instead of continuing with the ease and progression, she had utilized throughout her story.  Of course, many people loved the ending and felt satisfied, so perhaps I'm one of the rare few who was disappointed. Either way, these three books are definitely worth a read.  They are what good YA fiction is all about. 

Happy Reading!!


Victoria said...

Nadia--I so totally agree with you about the third book. Also, it really irked me how Collins decided to "tell" us a large majority of the book (eg all the details when Katniss woke up once again in a hospital etc) rather than "show" us like she did throughout the first two books. That change in style really did irk me.

Nadia said...

Victoria, so glad to read your comment, because now I know I wasn't alone - YAY! Thanks!