It’s All About the Hunger Games! Part 1- Gaby

Hey!  Sara and I both felt so strongly about this series, we decided to do a review of Hunger Games.  The first part will be my (Gaby) review and the second will be Sara’s.  Hope you enjoy!

Gaby – Let me give you a little background on my journey to reading Hunger Games.  When Sara and I first met a couple years ago.  One of the first questions, in our discussion on books, Sara asked me was, had I read the Hunger Games.  I immediately shrunk back, saying that I did not read dystopian society books.  I had read the synopsis on several occasions, since there was such a buzz about the books.  I had firmly decided this was not something I was going to read.  She did not understand my aversion at first, then I explained my “happily ever after” complex.  I grew up in East Los Angeles, I know the real world and how bad it can be.  I read for an adventure and escape and books about dystopian societies (definition of dystopian: noun. a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.) are not exactly the kind of escape I like.   She understood and let me know, after reading Mocking Jay, that I should probably stay away from the series.  I am a huge CRY BABY.  I literally get emotional at commercials, I just live what I read.  So I think Sara began to realize my issues and sensitivities.

But after being BLOWN away by the trailer for Hunger Games, I was convinced by many friends and family to give it a try.  So I am opening this review after reading all three books in the series!  Whoop Whoop!  I made it!

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Website – suzannecollinsbooks.com

4 **** = Can recommend; Great; Overall enjoyable

Synopsis from Goodreads – In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I am so sorry that I can not give this book 5 stars.  I really love this story, but I, most likely, will not read it again.  So I can’t give it five stars.  Let me try to explain.  First and most importantly, this story was written so beautifully that I almost forgot I was reading about children fighting for their lives.  I have never read a work of literature that was woven so well, that I was not disgusted by the brutality of the death described.  Suzanne Collins lulls you into the world of Panem so beautifully and naturally.  The severity of the situation is there, but the immensity is shrunk down to this girls desire for survival and makes it real.  I was COMPLETELY blown away by the description and the emotion in the pages, I compare it to hearing the sweetest song of painful heartbreak.  It makes you so sad, you feel the pain of it, but you want to hear about it all, every detail.  It goes against everything that is right to me, but I can say I really enjoyed it.

Katniss is such a great character, she is so strong and complicated.  I feel so much sadness for her, but admire her motives for her actions.  It is very powerful character writing.  I really connected to the characters in this story.  There is a love story, but thank the LORD, it was not mushy or typical.  It was real and complicated and it completely mattered.  I am NOT a fan of the love triangle, but this was done WELL.

The plot did not play out the way I thought at all.  I was pleasantly surprised, I think this is the only reason I could finish the series.  Suzanne Collins kept me guessing and even thought it was dystopian, it wasn’t the “everyone dies and this is just reality” kind of ending.

 After all of that, I still do not understand these types/genre of books.  They are such painful journeys and most end with no hope or maybe just a sliver of happiness.  I think I enjoy a story that makes me feel like there is some redemption or reason for the journey for the characters.  I do understand not all authors write for the same reason.  Hunger Games is an interesting commentary on a society that values  heavily on the outside appearance, not caring about the actual person or consequences of actions.  A society that allows the oppression/ submission of its people by forcing its children to battle to the death as a form of entertainment.  I understand this, but these are not the kinds of stories I usually seek out.

Overall, I am glad I read Hunger Games!  I am not sure I can read it again, it was a really painful journey, but boy I have to admit, it was a great story!  I think it is worth a read and “May the odds be ever in you favor.”

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