I really didn’t mean for this post to be so late, but I was struggling to come up with a topic for this week! I decided that this week I would focus on a favourite series, as I haven’t done that in a while and I like to try and vary my topics for this as much as possible. The series that I’m going to be focusing on is The Hunger Games.
I first read the Hunger Games about 3 years ago, actually, the year that the first movie came out (although I didn’t read them just because the movie was coming out!), my sister had read the first book and she thought I would like it, so she lent it to me. I can’t remember exactly how long it took me to read it, but I remember that I completely devoured it, I could not put it down. It was my first real foray into dystopia like this, I had read the Noughts and Crosses series before, which was also dystopia but it was a completely different type, it’s more contemporary, as opposed to action-adventure like The Hunger Games. I think what I liked most about it was that it felt really different to me (I know a million things like it had popped up after the first book was released), but before I read it, I’d never really read anything like it. My addiction to dystopian novels really stems from these books, as soon as I had finished this series, I had to find anything that came under the dystopia genre and it’s quickly become one of my favourite genres to read books from. I loved Katniss, yes she’s prickly and cold and her social skills definitely leave something to be desired, but she’s also incredibly strong and resourceful and deeply cares about her family, Rue, Peeta and Gale. I liked her fiery personality and independent spirit. I also loved the diversity of the cast of characters, there are so many great and different characters in the series. I loved that the books were from Katniss’ POV, experiencing everything through her eyes meant that you understood her thought processes so much better and it felt like I was experiencing everything along with her. I kind of felt like The Hunger Games could have been a standalone book, right up until the ending where I knew there had to be a sequel because there was no way Suzanne Collins was going to leave it like that.
I enjoyed Catching Fire, but I will admit, not as much as the first book. I felt the first half kind of lagged a little and it wasn’t until the games portion of the book began that I really started to enjoy the book. I feel it’s because the love triangle was a much bigger aspect of the second book than it was in the first book and after a while, Katniss dithering over Peeta and Gale and which one to choose gets a little irritating. Still I found that the end of the book, as with the first book, left me wanting more and in general I did enjoy the book, even if there were aspects I didn’t like so much. I liked the introduction of the new tributes in this book though and the way the rebellion was shown to be building momentum in this book.
Mockingjay, I felt was kind of a let down for the series. I found that I didn’t really get into it at all, at least not until the very end when the real action of the rebellion started. The love triangle once again annoyed me, Katniss just could not make up her mind and kept flitting back and forth between Gale and Peeta (which she also did during Catching Fire) and in the context of the rebellion, it just seemed so unimportant. Plus, Katniss was such a mess for most of this book, which was understandable given all that she’d gone through but I missed the qualities that had made me like her in the first book. I also didn’t like the way she was used as a puppet in the last book, aside from when she bargained with Coin to be the Mockingjay, she just seemed to be doing exactly what she was told, she was simply a pawn being used by the rebels to further their cause and the Katniss in this book seemed like a shadow of the girl in the first Hunger Games book. It felt like in an attempt to be realistic, Suzanne Collins went too far the other way and this book was very pessimistic and depressing, Katniss didn’t even feel like the hero really, she just felt like a lifeless, soulless puppet and it felt like the hope that was present in the first two books was completely gone in this one. You never really got closure for any of the characters and because of a certain death everything that happens in all of the books, kind of seems futile. I just felt like this book felt too much time focusing on the wrong things and not enough time focusing on the right things and the ending (whilst Katniss ended up with who I wanted her to) was just not satisfying at all. There was no closure for anyone and basically, it just felt like the book was pretty pointless. We don’t even get to see much of the rebellion, it’s all just related back later, Collins definitely employs a tell not show policy in this book. It’s a shame that the last book of the series wasn’t as good as the first two, because they had so much promise. On the up side, I liked the first movie of Mockingjay a whole lot better than the book, so I have hope for the last movie!
I didn’t mean for the last bit to turn into a rant about Mockingjay, this is still one of my favourite series, I enjoyed the first two books, the last one was just a bit of a let down, that’s all! This series is definitely worth reading, just be prepared to be disappointed in the last book!
I will have another Friday Favourites for you all next week, but in the meantime, I have a lot of other posts to catch up on, so I will try and get those done for you as soon as possible.