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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Hunger Games Trilogy
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on 27 October 2015
Suzanne Collins has written a very observant, shockingly familiar, social and political criticism as a sub-text to her 'young adult' series.
Shaming as well as shameful: To date, I wonder how many children have been sacrificed in wars around our world? How many countless children suffer near starvation on this planet, when half the world throw tons upon tons of food into the garbage? How trivial is our obsession with appearance: plastic surgery, boob jobs; whilst thousands upon thousands of children don't even have clean water to drink.
If you think Ms. Collins has written a thrilling dystopian novel, you're right, she has. Now read it again: the message is Loud and Clear:
'Because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices its children's lives to settle its differences.' And she's not talking about the Capitol.
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on 12 July 2014
So.....Book 1 : The Hunger Games

Wrote by Suzanne Collins and introducing us to a dystopian world, set in the future, where living in the Capital is opulent and decadent and the communities of the other Districts live under their rules.

The Hunger Games; a way for the Capital to commemorate the uprising that happened in the past. The very reason that the districts were formed. To 'honour' the peace, each District has to offer up sacrifices, of sorts. One boy and one girl from each District are picked.

The Games? Well, it's kill or be killed. The winner, for want of a better term, is the one left standing. They get to live out their lives in some degree of comfort.

So, this year is the 74th Anniversary.....

It's a bit of a lottery who gets picked; if you're indebted to the Capitol in any way then the possibility of getting picked is increased.

Katniss Everdeen, 16, knows this, which is why she's trying to support her family the best she can, to protect her mother and sister.

The chosen ones, from District 12, were Prim Everdeen and Peeta Mellark. Prim is only 12 years old and Katniss's sister.

Immediately Katniss offers herself in Prim's place....and so the story begins.

Katniss and Peeta have got 'previous'.....

We meet Gale, Katniss's best friend and someone she has deep feelings for, Effie Trinket, who's from the Capitol and Katniss'a chaperone, Haymitch, a previous winner of the Hunger Games and more people later on....

It's a gripping story, written from Katniss's perspective; her thoughts and feelings, and is very much a 'coming of age' tale.

Suzanne writes in a very entertaining way, full of feelings and imagination....and the story goes at quite a pace.

It all leads up to the games themselves and what happens. Katniss is smart and uses her hunting skills to good use. She starts weakly and helpless, as the character is coming to terms with her situation and dealing with it, and grows in statue as it goes on.

One moment's actions causing ripples throughout the nation.

A clever little twist at the end....


To recap; a clever little book, well written and with characters that have depth to them and are people that you end up really caring about. A great story and, I personally, could see this as quite believable and possible.

An essential book. It's not just for young adults. There's lots of emotional, social, political and psychological points that this book puts out there for people to get their teeth into....
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on 13 July 2014
So.....Book 2 : The Hunger Games - Catching Fire

Again written by Suzanne Collins and continuing the saga from the first book. Peeta and Katniss survive the onslaught of the 74th Anniversary Hunger Games....and out of the frying pan and into the fire!

The Capitol recognise that their new winners have given some hope to the world and some districts are beginning to rebel. This, naturally, is met with force from the Capitol.

Peeta, Katniss, Gale, Effie and Haymitch are back. Gale, fighting for survival back in his home District and the others involved in a new Hunger Game.

It's the 75th Anniversary, and this is the time that the Capitol 'invite' winners from the past quarter - 25 years - to face off again.

The previous winners are from various districts and appear much more ruthless than Katniss and Peeta....but they soon find people that they can class as friends of sorts....

Again written from Katniss's perspective and the actual 'Games' is much more complex than the previous one; this time they're on an island that can turn on itself. The love triangle between Gale, Katniss and Peeta increases and Katniss is both vulnerable and shows strength throughout.

The twists come thick and fast; it'll certainly keep you thinking...and the ending? Boy, did I NOT see that one!!

To sum up; who are friends and who are enemies can be a complex thing. People make choices for the greater good or for own personal gain. The stakes are higher, the implications immense. Things will truly never be the same again....

An exciting read. The 'Hunger Games' world becomes a bigger place.. You have to have read the first book before taking on this one.

Enjoy it!
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on 23 August 2015
I am not a teenager but I loved this book. Set in the future the world has changed. The Capital of the Nation Panem dictates that each of the twelve districts sends one teenage boy and one teenage girl to fight to the death. Not only for entertainment but as a punishment for a rebellion over 70 years ago. Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her sister's place along side Peter the boy also chosen.
Panem is a vibrant colourful city with characters to match and the battles are brutal with each one being very unique. This though is a story of hope for the districts as they see a love story, courage and compassion.
This is a very entertaining read I believe for more than just teenagers.
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Shocking, brilliant, passionate, compelling and unputdownable. You could make a list four times as long as this and it would all be true. The Hunger Games is one of the most brilliant young adult novels of recent years, perfectly mixing character, excitement and a brutal science-fiction premise.

Post-apocalyptic gladiatorial games have got a long and honourable history in science-fiction, but The Hunger Games takes the notion into a new space. A lot of this is because of the really close description of the protagonist Katniss. She is an utterly believable, completely riveting character who carries the story from beginning to end with her un-self aware I narrative.

This is a very well judged book. Author Suzanne Collins never allows the gore to become gratuitous, keeping all the deaths human and generating at least momentary sympathy for even the most unsympathetic characters. At the same time, she never lets any part of the plot repeat, and never lets the tension subside.

With echoes of The Dispossessed and The Running Man and a tradition going back to the Roman gladiatorial games, the Hunger Games manages to conjure up something new and entirely magical in what might be seen as a worn-out plot premise. It's quite simply the best new science fiction for young adults I've read in years.
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on 19 November 2013
I would have loved this as a teenager (probably around 11-14) and enjoyed it now as a gripping read, but also found it, in parts, frustratingly simplistic. There's no need to re-cap the story, and Collins does a great imaginative job of creating the Games from a mix of Greek myth, Roman history, and modern reality TV. I liked Katniss, too, and enjoyed her sometimes barbed comments and behaviour.

But for all the good stuff - and there are some great ideas at work here - there's also an overwhelming dependency on genre cliches (the obligatory teen love triangle <groan>). Characterisation is a bit hit-and-miss, and things happen that I was never quite able to believe in.

So, overall, there's enough good stuff here, especially in the first book, to just tip this over into the 4-star category for me. But it doesn't have the more subtle imagination, detailed writing, maturer politics and deeper characterisation that is making Veronica Roth's Divergent Trilogy such a thrilling current read for me. Recommended as an exciting though easy read.
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on 22 October 2012
Let me just say that the Hunger Games - Book 1 - was amazing, and one of the best books I have ever read. The tight narrative, fast paced action, great characters and yes - a believable story, gripped me on every page.

So, Catching Fire was always going to struggle to match that. So I will rate it four stars, even though it may only deserve three. My reasoning is based on rating it as a book on its own, which you can't do, in all fairness.

This is a trilogy, so if we take the three boos as one whole story, then Catching Fire will stand up better, I hope.

The problem with this book, is that the pace seems rather lopsided. In the Hunger Games, the pace built up like a crescendo, and was incredibly gripping and dramatic.

In Catching Fire, it struggles to know where it is going, before really picking up the pace in the final third. Perhaps few stories could keep up the intensity of the Hunger Games, so I will reserve having a go at this until I have read Mockingjay, the third in the series.

Some have criticised Miss Collin's writing style. But this is first person - we are a fly on Katniss' shoulder, so we should expect the writing in this matter. It didn't bother me at all like it bothered others.

All in all, Catching Fire is well written, has great characters, and is described rather well. You do feel like you are there. The Peeta / Gale angle isn't resolved here, perhaps that will be in the final book. I'd like to see President Snow get what's coming to him, but knowing Miss Collin's ability to twist a twisted tale, that may not happen at all.

Do I hope for a happy ending? Well I think Katniss deserves it. She comes across as a good heroine, and not whiny as some say.

So - a really good go at emulating the first book, but fell a bit short.
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on 5 December 2013
I wasn't sure about buying this book as there was so much hype it actually put me off, I thought I would be bound to think it was over rated.I was wrong,I thought it was a great adventure, well written and I thought the central characters were great.I think the world that the author created was extremely scary, and well thought out.I thought the tension when the games were being played was outstanding, and although I'm not in the intended age group for these books it didn't matter.However, I wish I hadn't read the whole lot one after the other,I think I should have taken a break after the second book and read some thing else because I was struggling a little towards the end I think possibly it could have been tightened up a little, but on the other hand it might have been me overdosing on the books.I did want to find out the ending and I think I may have been a little impatient.Overall I think the books are brilliant.
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on 15 December 2013
Seen the film and now read the book. The film depicts a totally different vision to that of the one you make from the book which effectively sees you getting double value! The film is outstanding - the book is even better. Despite seeing the film first, the book still gave a slightly different take on the story and was not a disappointment. I have seen the first 2 films and read the first 2 books. Cant wait for the 3rd film to come out (not for a few years yet) so i will enjoy reading the book first. If it is written like the first 2 then i am sure it will not detract from the film.
If you have not seen the films yet - read the books first, then watch the films as it will help give a deeper meaning to the films.
Summary - Highly recommend all books in this amazing trilogy which are both suitable and recommended for most ages of reader.
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on 23 April 2014
Only read the first two books so far, and have seen both the films too, and the books have so much more detail and are quite different from the films in many ways, you learn a lot more about each character, and why they choose to take each decision the make in the games or even back home, you understand the whole story a lot better than you do from simply watching the film which makes you love the story even more than before, and overall is just very well paced and is something you just can't put down!

Just about to start the third book now, I'm not even usually a book reader, the last book I read was about a year ago, then before that I hadn't read one for about 3 years, I just don't read books at all, they bore me, but these books are great, made me wanna start reading, and to be honest, as much as I'm looking forward to finishing the third book now, I'll be sad when it's over because I'll have nothing to read now!
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