Monday, 30 December 2013

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - Book Reviews

I just finished Mockingjay, and to save time, I'm going to compile reviews for all three books in the series here.
Well, the first two in the series I have nothing but praise for, I gave them both Five out of Five on Goodreads, and all I can do is rave about them.
Mockingjay, however, I think I might crawl under a rock and cry myself to sleep.

The Hunger Games - Book 1 - 5/5 Stars

This book is superb. It is a fantastic start to the series and there is absolutely nothing bad about it. The plot is brilliant, the characters are brilliant, and the writing is amazing. I flew through this book, hungry to consume as much of the rich details and enthralling characters as I could.

The Hunger Games starts out with Katniss Everdeen, a young woman fighting for the survival of both her and her family. They live in a society where the government is extremely oppressive, and those who are fortunate live in The Capitol, a wacky place full of colours and an abundance of everything: Food, water, essentials so to speak. Surrounding The Capitol are twelve districts (formerly thirteen), that provide the rich with essentials that are unique to that district. Most of the districts, though, live on nothing, and in Katniss's district, it's not uncommon for people to die of hunger, or freeze to death.
Now you'll be asking, well why do they stand for it?
Well, they don't have a choice. Around 75 years before the starting point in the story, the districts, when there were thirteen, began an uprising to usurp the government. Unfortunately, the government won, demolishing District 13 in the process. To fully establish control, the government created The Hunger Games, a televised sport that year after year shows the districts that they are in control and use fear to quell any further thought of rebellion.
The Games are a reality show, where two teenagers from each of the districts, one boy and one girl, are chosen to fight to death in an arena until there is only one left.

If the synopsis doesn't make you want to read the books, I have no idea what will. But it is an intense story, it's full of twists and turns and great development. You're never bored or flipping through pages halfheartedly, you're glued to the pages, forced by a deep need to read every detail.

What makes the book stand out even more is the cast. Each of the characters are brilliant and interesting. Distinctive personalities and backstories that make you want to go on this journey with them, and it's not just a few characters, it's all of them. Especially our main girl, Katniss. She's such a strong and resourceful heroine, she's your typically good person, but she does what she has to to survive, and it's heartbreaking.

To top it off, the writing is superb. It's fast, engaging and loaded with just the good stuff. Ms Collins does a fantastic job, and at the end of it, I rushed straight into Catching Fire.

Catching Fire - Book 2 - 5/5 Stars

Starting this book I was full of excitement and anticipation. The first book is soooo good, and I'd heard nothing but good things about the second.
I'm not disappointed.
Catching Fire takes us on another heart-pounding journey with the characters we love. We see them flung through the ringer and still come out on top, stronger than ever; any challenge, they face and overcome.
They won The Games, just to be thrown back in. Damn you, President Snow!!!

The plot to Catching Fire is just as engaging as the first book's is, action-packed and unstoppable. I don't want to give too many spoilers away because I want you to read the series, but Catching Fire one-upped the first book and proved sequels can be better than their predecessors.

Plus, your favourite characters are back!!!! Ms Collins even brings in new ones that are just as lovable and awe-inspiring as the last. Take a great plot, fantastic characters, and combine them with superb writing, and you have this. You'll fly through this one as well, it's a quick and fantastic read.

And then comes the third...

Mockingjay - Book 3 - 3/5 Stars

I don't know what to say. The first two books are amazing, so maybe I just went into this one with too high expectations, but...
I am not satisfied at all. I know a lot of people love this book, and it has some redeeming qualities, but I can't help feel disappointed. Compared with the first two, this is not up to standard.
Maybe it's the lack of any Hunger Games that fails it.

The plot is, erm, alright? It isn't as good as it could have been while there's a rebellion happening. Katniss spends 3/4 of the book doing nothing but video shoots and the like, as far away from the war as possible, and this is boring. And while you'd think, but, it's Katniss, who cares what she does, let me tell you, Katniss has up and left, Mockingjay does not feature our Katniss, just a shell of her former self. Someone whiny and weak and addicted to drugs and hiding. She changes a lot, and it does not help the story at all.

The rest of the characters? They're gone too, everyone's decided to vanish and leave behind robots (not literally) of themselves. While I understand they have to change, it is not development, they backtrack their growth and don't stop. Everything is left with flimsy endings; things that should have been explained and shown more aren't, and the characters that die, don't need to!
It doesn't push the story, it doesn't help at all, it just makes you angry. And the final end? Don't get me started.

I feel like I'm beating the book up, I am a bit, but only because I rate the series highly. It's tremendous. I feel really let down with this finale, like every one and thing has gotten lost on the way to it.

Ahhhh, so conflicted.

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  1. But I really really loved Mockingjay! No actually I hated it because it was too depressing - but it made a lot of sense (to me) storywise and character development-wise, and even though this book broke my heart, I thought it was the best way to end the series.

    Great review! :)

    Kimi of Geeky Chiquitas

    1. Thanks Kimi. Reading it over I feel like I'm bashing the last book a bit, but only because I had such high expectations. I did enjoy it, but felt as if it was a struggle to adapt to everything that was changed.