Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Hunger Games Trilogy

 

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the first in a trilogy, following by Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

The blurb:

"Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning?

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by 12 outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before -and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love."


The first book was one of the most amazing I have ever read in terms of plot, pacing, descriptions. The characters were very meaningful too and I invested a lot of emotions in them. Waiting for book 2 and 3 to arrive in the mail was torture (my whole family had read the first from 11 to 15 years old) and we fought over who had first dibs. Luckily, mom does by default and the 2nd book did not disappoint, but I noticed the pacing was a bit slower and the plot a little uneven.

Apparently it was a foreshadowing because the third book was a disappointment. It started strong but came to an inexplicable end that did not satisfy. It was as if the author chose to end with a homily about war rather than complete the character arcs she so beautifully set up.

There's a raging controversy about the ending, so it's not just me (or my kids, who were all confused by the ending). For fun alternate endings (spoilers, obviously) visit Forever Young Adult.

The Hunger Games trilogy is still a worthy read, regardless of my feelings about the ending, and shows that there's an audience for excellent storytelling.

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