Review Brief: The Hunger Games Trilogy

This review is going to be a little different than my usual. Did you notice the word "brief" in my post title? That's because this will be brief. Most of you have probably already read the books and I don't feel like I need to go into depth for each one, so I'll give you the basics and then write a brief review of all three.

The Hunger Games
(The Hunger Games #1)
by Suzanne Collins
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Publication: September 14th 2008 by Scholastic Press

Goodreads summary:
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 twelve 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 twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-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.

If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Catching Fire
(The Hunger Games #2)
by Suzanne Collins
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Publication: September 1st 2009 by Scholastic Press

Goodreads summary:
Katniss is the spark to a revolution, and the Capitol wants revenge. She won the Hunger Games and returns alive with District 12 Tribute partner Peeta. But he and longtime friend Gale both reject her. On their Victory Tour of all the districts, locals riot but the winning duo must appear lost in their love.

(The Hunger Games #3)
by Suzanne Collins
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Publication: August 24th 2010 by Scholastic Press

Goodreads summary:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Kat, her family, friends, and entire District 12.

What I thought:
I held off on reading this series for some time, as you can tell. Some close friends of mine really loved the series, but then my sister talked about how violent and disturbing they were. I just didn't know if I wanted to delve into them. I finally decided I should read them. I meant to do it before I saw the movie, but didn't finish before my husband and I watched it. I know some people were really disappointed with the movie, but I liked it even though I didn't like the whole premise of children killing other children and the government forcing them to do so. But let's move on...

I can see why so many people loved these books. They are well written and definitely page-turners. Ever. Single. One. The characters are strong, individual, well-developed, but not perfect, which makes them about perfect. The sub-characters were also great. Emotions run deep and there are definitely characters to get behind and cheer for. I definitely did that.

The Hunger Games was my favorite of the series, followed by Catching Fire, and I liked Mocking Jay the least. In the first book the death and destruction, desperation, and violence was new and not as overwhelming as the other two books. It also was the most positive of the three, so that's probably why I liked it the best. Katniss starts to kind of lose it a little in the second book and in the third she's practically barely surviving, although who wouldn't be, under the circumstances. Mockingjay was just flat-out too violent for me. I also didn't enjoy reading it and so that was a huge issue for me. This wouldn't be a series I would ever re-read. The books made me a little moody. I actually complained one Friday night about the choice of movies we (my husband and I) picked to watch because I couldn't take any more death and depressing stories (we were watching Les Miserables and Red Dawn). Really. I couldn't take any more!

So, for those of you who loved this series, good for you. They just weren't exactly for me. Maybe some of that was all the hype or possibly that I have been more in the mood for something happy, sweet, and romantic lately (these are definitely not that). Either way, they were well-done, but not extremely enjoyable for me.

Please note that I listened to these on audiobook. I thought the narrator did a fabulous job!

Content: Some innuendo, lots of violence (some of which was descriptive)
Genre: YA Dystopian
Source: Library

Hunger Games Rating:

Catching Fire Rating:

Mockingjay Rating:


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