Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Book Review: THE HUNGER GAMES TRILOGY," by Aimee.

The Hunger Games trilogy was introduced to me by a now infamous seventh grade student of mine whose taste in books I will forever respect and appreciate. After reading the trilogy, and due to an annual Christmas present tradition begun by my parents of gifting books, (my mother is a Children's Librarian) I then bought a copy of The Hunger Games for my brother Nate for Christmas, knowing he would love the series if he would get into them, but was tickled and surprised when his lovely fiancée Beth called me to berate me for not getting him numbers two (Catching Fire) and three (Mockingjay) because she hadn't put it down all night as well. When this same addiction story was shared by my friends Dan, Carlen and Sarah, all trusted literature afficianados whose opinions I also trust I realized: this is bigger than Twilight. Especially when Stephenie Meyer herself admits that she was reading these books under the table while out to eat at a restaurant! So be warned: fire is catching.

Last Warning: DO NOT BEGIN THIS TRILOGY MID-WEEK. (Unless you plan to stay up all night reading these addicting books! I should also mention that numerous people who have read these reported, like myself, to have a few days of nightmares about arenas, mutation wolves and killer lizards. I wouldn't recommend these books to anyone under the age of fifteen.)

The Hunger Games introduces Panem, a future civilization which arose from the ruins of the contigious United States. The twelve states left (the thirteenth was wiped out by the Capitol seventy four years before the book begins after an uprising) must send two teenaged tributes to compete in the Hunger Games, an area competition where there can only be one survivor. Our main characters: Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark are the tributes from District Twelve who must help or hurt each other's chances in the arena and beat out the other 22 contestants for survival.  What follows is haunting teenage violence including a "Gladiator" style epic massacre and subsequent hunting of other human tributes with a surprise ending. Needless to say: The Hunger Games delivers.

Catching Fire is surprisingly even better than The Hunger Games, in that the author Suzanne Collins seamlessly and believingly puts Katniss back in the arena against impossible odds with twists and turns, danger and mayhem. I cannot reveal any of the details without spoiling the plot, but it was most interesting to watch Katniss develop as a character: first from innocent child, to hunter, to competitor and tribute, to a victor, and now to a force to be reckoned with. A true female warrior made from a normal girl by chance. Also interesting to follow in the series are her relationships with her best friend Gale, who waits for her back home during the games, and with her competitor Peeta, with whom she battles herself over killing and keeping alive.

In Mockingjay, Katniss evolves into the symbol of the brewing revolution against the Capitol, and in the finale of the trilogy, truly embodies the heroine she has been training to become throughout the series. Not wanting to reveal anything about the book: the action picks up and then flies you through battles worthy of the original Star Wars films, the recent embedded feel of the action scenes in Battle Los Angeles: 2011, and with all the glamour of a Lara Croft film. Which brings up the newly cast film for The Hunger Games which will be released in 2012. (See the IMDB post here.)

(Liam Hemsworth as Gale, Josh Hutcherson as Peeta and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen.)

What do you think of the cast so far? Post comments below:

There are a few blogs worth visiting for information about the upcoming movie: firstly, my favorite: http://hungergamesmovie.org/ which is hosted by the same author of the Breaking Dawn blog I've been reading for years now and previously the other Twilight movie blogs, and also http://mockingjay.net/.