Synopsis: Set in a dark vision of the near future, a terrifying reality TV show is taking place. Twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live event called The Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed. When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her younger sister’s place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
Title: The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Right, we’ve all seen the first film of The Hunger Games Trilogy (if you haven’t, where have you been?!) and you’ve gone through the hype of it all. Personally, I was quite late in jumping on the ‘Hunger Games’ band wagon. In all honestly it seemed a little too – dare I say it – juvenile and there were other books that I believed to be more ‘deserving’ of my time to read. Even as I am writing this, I realise how much of a reading snob I’ve turned into.
I’m not going to focus this review on the storyline, as everyone has probably heard it a thousand times before. Just in case you haven’t, it is base around a 16 year old girl who, to protect her sister, enters into the Hunger Games, which is a reality game show that consists of a bunch of kids being placed into an arena and forced to kill each other until there is one ‘victor’. Think Lord of the Flies meets ‘Death Race’.
What I want to focus on is my experience of reading it. As we have already established, I have turned into a pretty big book snob. It’s not intentional, I work with books all day, I have a ‘to read’ list that is taller than me, and that doesn’t include all the books on my e-readers (yes people, I have two). So there literally isn’t enough hours in the day to get through all the books I want and so I was understandably (I hope!) hesitant about starting the trilogy.
However, my friends had all loved and devoured the books and they finally convinced me to give it a go. I finally got round to starting the first book at around midnight one evening; I couldn’t sleep and figured starting a new fantasy book would help me drift off, as it always takes a few chapters to get into the new world I’m reading about. The Hunger Games was the closest fantasy book in proximity to my bed so it was picked. Yes. I’m that lazy.
I vaguely recall glancing at the clock at 2am and thinking I should really stop; the next thing I know it’s 4.30am and the first book is finished. What did I do? I started the second of course. I got a few pages in before I physically stopped myself and forced myself to sleep. Thankfully it wasn’t a weekday and I didn’t have to drag myself into work the next morning. But this was also a curse, as I literally spent the next two days flying through the remaining two books. I went back to work on the Monday exhausted but very happy. I haven’t read a series that has sucked me in like that for a long time.
Let’s be real here, these books will never be Man Booker Prize winners; they are not literary acts of genius, nor do they create a whole new genre of dystopian futures (as some people have described). These books, however, are easy reads that have a great plot, believable characters and are fast-paced. I have been recommended these books by friends of all ages and readers of all genres, there has literally not been one person I have spoken to that hasn’t loved them.
So the next time you’re stuck for what to read, and would normally tut and walk past these books; I implore you to stop and have a go. Read the first chapter in the bookstore, buy the adult covers, do what it takes to read these books. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.