Catching Fire & Mockingjay

I finally finished The Hunger Games trilogy and although it was a great story, as I shut the last book I felt a sense of hopelessness, of history repeating itself, and of lives lived with little joy. I know not all books are meant to leave the reader in a good place. I’ve cried as I finished some books, but never have I felt such a sense of worthlessness. Not in my life but for the characters in the books. All that they went through, the triumps and loss, the death, just to get to a place where they lived a bleak existence in a world void of the ones they loved most.

It almost feels like a loss of innocence. Life was tough for Katniss, Peeta, and Gale before the Hunger Games changed everything, but at least there was family and happiness, friendship and love. When the great war is over and the Capitol has been defeated all that is left is dead relatives, destroyed homes, and families separated from one another. For a long time I was torn between whether I wanted to see Katniss with Gale or Peeta and I went back and forth but in the end it really didn’t matter to me, the events that transpired went way beyond what their relationship could be and made it non-important who she ended up with.

I don’t want you to think I didn’t enjoy the books, the first book was amazing, easily one I would re-read, and the other two were good reads as well, it’s just that the story didn’t have a happy ending (in my opinion) and I guess I wanted it to. I wanted families to be together, I wanted hope to be restored, I wanted Katniss to somehow end up with both Peeta and Gale!

If you haven’t read The Hunger Games you should. Don’t let this post discourage you. I’m very excited for the movie adaptations but I do wonder how they will keep them at PG-13 because the books were pretty graphic. If you’ve already read the books or read them in the future let me know your thoughts as well!

The Hunger Games: A Review

If you haven’t read The Hunger Games, you should stop reading this post and go read the book. Seriously, you all need to read this book. It’s that good.

If you’re still here you’ve either read The Hunger Games or you’ve totally ignored me and continued to read this which means you may be spoiled. Or you may not, we’ll have to see. The Hunger Games is the first book in a trilogy by Suzanne Collins, it is followed by Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I’m currently reading Catching Fire.

If you know nothing about the books, the following synopsis may sound weird but trust me, you can’t put this book down. The book is set at some point in the future in the United States, but the world has changed. The USA is now known as Panem and the country is ruled by the Capitol and has been broken up into 13 districts. At some point in the past the districts rebelled against the Capitol and were crushed and District 13 was totally destroyed. In order to continue to show their power and control every year each district has to send 1 boy and 1 girl who are randomly drawn out of a hat (so to speak) to the Capitol to compete in the Hunger Games. The contestants are put into an arena, which varies from year to year from deserts to forests to swamps and they must fight to the death until only one remains. Everything is broadcast live around the country so everyone is watching to see who survives. The winner goes back home to their district and lives a life of ease and their district gets rewards for the next year.

This book follows the two contestants, Katniss and Peeta, from District 12 as they are chosen, go to the Capitol, and compete in the games. The build-up to the actual games is a good read, but once the Hunger Games start, I could not put the book down. I’ll leave it at that as far as the story goes so no one is spoiled. Yes, it is considered a “young adult” book and my wife likes to make fun of me for enjoying this genre, but hey, Harry Potter is amazing!

As they do with most things these days, the Hunger Games trilogy is being made into a movie and they are currently casting the main characters. So, if you choose not to take my advice and read this book at least watch the movie when it comes out.

If you’ve read The Hunger Games let me know what you think and if you read it in the near future let me know as well. I’d like to be able to have some discussions about it.

I’ll write up another review when I finish Catching Fire and rate it as well, but as far as The Hunger Games go, no question, no brainer, it easily gets a 5 out of 5 rating in my opinion.