The Hunger Games Trilogy
Yes, I read the trilogy, on accident. I know, it sounds totally impossible, but, well, ok. I’ll explain. I’m a tightwad. I prefer borrowing books from the library whenever possible. Hubby has been asking me for the longest time ‘Don’t you want an e-reader? I’ve heard great things about them.’ and my response for the longest time is, ‘I’m just not ready to go there.’ I love the feel of a book in my hands. The weight of it. The smell of the ink on the pages. The sound the pages make when I ruffle them. I mean really, I don’t own a smart phone, I have a dumb phone. It makes calls and texts and almost takes pictures. But because he loves me so much, he got me one for our anniversary last December. I stared at the box for a few weeks before I even took it out. When I finally plucked up the courage to charge it up (another week or two later) I played around with it a bit, but didn’t buy any books to put on it. Can you say cheap? Yep. I still had several books to read before I even considered using it.
I have heard from several friends that The Hunger Games were really great books. And with all the hype building around the movie coming out, I was definitely interested in reading them. Unfortunately, our public library didn’t have it in e-format and the wait list for the hard cover book was over 100. Hmm. None of my friends had it to borrow. So I was stuck. I went scrolling on Barnes and Noble and looked at the prices for copies of the book. I never intended to buy all three of them. The next day, I got an email from B&N, it was one of those surprise %off discounts, when you go to check out, you enter a code. Ok, I’ll take a look. Completely forgetting one tiny little detail, my credit card has to be on file because of my Nook. I was going to add the book to my cart, enter the code and see what the discount was, just like I’ve done at countless other online retailers, to check the discount prior to committing to the purchase. I mean, really, tell me, who hasn’t done that? Dummy me, I clicked the link in the email, that’s linked to my account, clicked purchase and guess what. Yep, you got it. I bought the trilogy. Great. It was done before I realized what had happened and I was so frustrated with myself!
That is, until I read them. I have read the Harry Potter series multiple times and love them. I have read several of the books my son reads, Percy Jackson, Peter and the Starcatchers, among them. I started reading The Hunger Games and had a hard time putting it down. The world she creates is really unusual, from the inhabitants and critters, to the hovercraft used by the capitol. She very skillfully paints a postwar world (theoretically futuristic United States) in which the Capitol uses fear and violence to prevent rebellion and to enforce it’s strength over the people.
It was not what I expected at all. None of my friends had told me anything about it, other than they really enjoyed them. Wait, one friend may have told me something, but it’s been a couple of years. In case you’ve been in a cave and haven’t heard of it, or about it, in it’s bid to keep the citizens of Panem in line following a rebellion 25 years prior, the Capitol forces each district to give 1 girl and 1 boy age 12 to 18 to fight in the annual games, to the death. All televised live to the nation. The arenas are constructed by the Game Makers and contain a number of traps and different tools they use to keep the games exciting for the viewers. The story centers around Katniss Everdeen and her family living in District 12 in abject poverty, in the area of Appalachia. When Katniss’s sister’s name is called during the ‘Reaping’ (the ceremony the hold to draw the names of each districts tributes), she immediately volunteers and to say her life will never be the same is putting it quite lightly. She finds herself in sitautions no one would ever expect. And yes, there is plenty of teen angst, I mean they’re teenagers, what else would you expect? Peeta or Gale? Gale or Peeta? Oh come on, just get on with it!
The author has done a fabulous job creating this world where nearly anything can and does happen. Yes, there is violence. I’ve heard so many people railing against the movie and the story for promoting child on child violence and murder. These are probably the same people who railed against Harry Potter because it promotes sorcery. It is more about people being used by the government to entertain and threaten the masses, while at the same time, using the games as intimidation and fear propaganda. And it’s about people refusing to be used and give up who they are simply because of the circumstances they find themselves in.
I do need to say they are page-turners and difficult to put down. I think it took me two days to get thru Catching Fire. Twists, turns and really wild scenarios abound. And I will say this, whatever you think is going to happen, isn’t.
My son wants to read them now. I hope he does, but I’ve laid down the gauntlet, as I did with Harry Potter. If he wants to see the movie, he has to read the books first. Yes, I’ll see the movie soon. And I can’t wait! I had several friends go to the midnight showing last night. I’m just not a person who enjoys doing something like that. If I’m going to feel hungover b/c I’ve stayed up til 3AM, I want to at least have some alcohol to go with it, know what I mean? 😀 So, I’ll wait a few wks, when the furor dies down, I’ll go. In the meantime, maybe I’ll read them again!