Well, my mom and sisters had been begging me to read the Hunger Games book series for months now. I finally decided to go ahead and try them. I had seen the movie 3 times and loved it but I just had no desire to read the books. I'm not really into those adventure/action type reads but I was not disappointed in the slightest.
The Hunger Games takes place in the futuristic country of Panem that was formerly North America. Panem is divided into 12 districts and one Capitol where the government resides. The books protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, is a 16 year old girl hailing from the poorest of the Districts, District 12. Katniss is clever, likable and relocatable to almost all audiences and the reader will quickly become engrossed in her life where she has to hunt in the forbidden woods outside of her district in order to keep her family from starving.
Soon enough we learn of the Hunger Games which is basically the Capitols way of scaring the Districts into obedience. Each district has sends one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 into the Hunger Games arena where they will fight to the death on national television. The winner or Victor will be rewarded with a lifetime of wealth. The drawing of the names or the Reaping approaches and Katniss's 12 year old sister get's chosen. In a raw act of compassion Katniss volunteers to take her spot.
The rest of the book takes us through Katniss's training and her ultimate arrival in the Arena. Peeta Mellark is the boy chosen from her District and although she only has one memory of him, he has secretly been in love with her for years.
Katniss's time in the arena is filled with heartache and triumph. Her first person narration is so captivating that I literally felt as if I was in the Arena with her. After weeks of battling the other tributes and the cruel elements of the Arena, Katniss finally faces one of the toughest decisions of her life. Then ending is somewhat of a cliffhanger, as we don't know what is to come.
My Rating: 9.5
The first half of book two is rather mundane to me. My sister liked it as it showed what Katniss's new life in District 12 is like, it certainly is detailed and informative but I found it to be dull. But once the book was about 1/2 way, it really picked up! I LOVED the second half, it was high energy and entertainment. I won't say too much but the Arena was awesome and mysterious. In addition to old favorites like Peeta and a few others, you are introduced to a plethora of new characters that each have stories of their own.
The ending is a mass of chaos and confusion that leaves the reader itching to read the third and final book. Lucky for me, I had it right at my finger tips.
My Rating: 7.5
The third book was the most action packed. It was different in the way that there was no Arena and no Hunger Games. Instead Katniss is thrust into a position of the Rebellion that she is not nearly interested in having. She struggles with being a leader the entire book. Her body is still healing from the previous book and her mind is having struggles of it's own. Suzanne Collins beautifully illustrates Katniss's inner struggle with her love for Peeta and confusion over with whom her loyalty lies. This final installment is full of such heartache that I cried more than once. Though the first book is undoubtedly my favorite, this book was also a masterpiece in it's own right. Some may not like the ending, I actually liked it a lot but I'm not going to spoil it so read and find out!
My Rating: 8
And may the odds be ever in your favor!
My Overall Series Rating (average of all three): 8.3