Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy

Collins, S. (2008). The hunger games. New York: Scholastic Press. 0439023483

Collins, S. (2009). Catching fire. New York: Scholastic Press. 0439023491

Collins, S. (2010). Mockingjay. New York: Scholastic Press. 0439023511

Numerous colleagues of mine recommended The Hunger Games trilogy. It wasn’t until there was the possibility of seeing Suzanne Collins at the Texas Library Association Conference that I picked up the first book, also called The Hunger Games. While I didn’t see or meet Ms. Collins, I did read all three books. I was able to check out and read all three of these books through HCPL.

In the bleak, and hopefully, preventable future, there is Panem. Panem is where the U.S. used to be. This country consists of a rich, powerful capital (set in the Rockies) and thirteen poorer districts. Each district provides some resource for the Capital. Long before the beginning of the first book,  there was a rebellion against the Capitol.  The Capitol regained control. So,  annually, one teenage boy and one teenage girl from each district are randomly and sacrificed to the Hunger Games. This is a televised event where the participants, or “tributes”, must fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena until only one remains. This is sort of reality TV meets the nightmare of the gladiators. In District 12, the coal mining district (formerly Appalachia) lives our narrator, Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is sixteen years old girl who has been providing for her family since the death of her father. Katniss volunteers  to take the place of her younger sister, Primrose. Her fellow tribute is Peeta Mellark, a boy whom Katniss knows from school and feels she owes.

Without giving too much away, I found the first two novels – The Hunger Games and Catching Fire to be on par. These were addictive page turners and had me reading into the wee hours of the morning. The third one, Mockingjay, didn’t live up to the standards of the other two. While Collins didn’t leave too much in the air with her ultimate book of the trilogy, the action and style of Mockingjay was nearly like watching the grass grow comparatively. Still and all, I’m still thinking about the trilogy.

Four Out of Five Pearls for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.

Three Out of Five Pearls for Mockingjay.

Places – Panem (North American dystopia)

Literary Ties – Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, 1984 by George Orwell, Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

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