Geeking Out: The Hunger Games Book Series

Recently, I have delved into The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I always tend to see a movie first before picking up the books. This usually happens by accident. Whenever a studio decides to make a film based on a book, I tend to not be aware of a book’s popularity until after a film has been released. After seeing the film starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, I was vastly interested in picking up the book series.

Hunger_gamesI’m absolutely in love with this series. As of this post, I’m still in the process of finishing the final book of the series which is Mockingjay. What made me devour this series like everyone else? It’s the strong female protagonist Katniss Everdeen. Between Katniss and Bella of the Twilight series, Katniss is a preferable role model for young girls. Katniss is a take charge kind of girl who doesn’t wait for Prince Charming to whisk her away. Bella, on the other hand, spends a good majority of Twilight needing to be rescued, or being a useless main character who doesn’t do much other than pine away for her immortal vampire lover.

I suppose I understand Bella’s appeal. Her story is an escapist teen romance. I admittedly got caught in it too (but found the final book difficult to finish). The Hunger Games has a romance and a love triangle, but Katniss’s choice between Gale or Peeta isn’t what is important. What is important is how she navigates the dystopian world of Panem, and the horrific corruption of the Capitol. It’s about survival as well as being confronted with heavy moral dilemmas.

What’s great about this book is the many themes one can easily pick out and analyze. While this book series is targeted for young adults, there is plenty going on in the series to appeal to adults too. I think it also speaks to the times we are living in. People are struggling and there is a dissatisfaction with how the government is dealing with the economy and the aftermath of Sandy. The world of The Hunger Games is just as bleak as our own world––only the world of The Hunger Games is much more frightening than ours is times one hundred.

There is something very haunting about this book series as I devour each book one by one. The world and the characters are clinging to me like glue, and there is a lot to be said about them. Stay tuned for possible future posts about my thoughts on the book series. For now, I shall go back to reading.

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8 thoughts on “Geeking Out: The Hunger Games Book Series

  1. I have yet to actually get around to reading the 2nd and 3rd books in the series–I’m still waiting for them to come out on paperback–but I did very much enjoy the movie and the first book. Like you, I also saw the film beforehand; however, I had heard about the book a good year or so before the movie aired. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed both, though I couldn’t help but compare it to the Japanese Battle Royale. I look forward to reading your final thoughts on Collins’ series as a whole!

    1. Thanks! 🙂 The first time I heard the premise for Hunger Games, I was thinking how it has a similar storyline to Battle Royale. I never read the book or watched the movie, but I have a friend who really loved Battle Royale. It has been a while since I found a book I really couldn’t put down. At least not since Harry Potter I think. I’m looking forward to seeing how the studio translates the second book into film. November 2013 can’t come soon enough!

  2. First of all, I read Battle Royale a few years ago and it’s one of my favourite books…ever. But I too was drawn in by The Hunger Games.
    Once you detach yourself from the obvious comparisons to Battle Royale, it’s actually a good series; I preferred Battle Royale but The Hunger games was still interesting. I like to think of it as the same concept explored in a different setting.
    I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on all of the books when you have finished reading.
    I thoroughly enjoyed the first and second books. On the other hand, for me Mockingjay was a bit of a let down.
    Nevertheless, the whole series is a gripping read and definitely worth a look; even for a skeptical eye.
    Great post!

    1. I remember there being a slight uproar over Hunger Games “copying” Battle Royale, or Suzanne Collins claiming ignorance of the existence of Battle Royale. Either way, books or films will borrow or get influenced by other media that came before. As long as the same concept is presented but told differently as you mentioned, there really isn’t any problem at all.

      I did in fact just finished Mockingjay, and I do have some slight disappointments with it but I did enjoy the entire series regardless. Best to save my opinions for the posts. 🙂

    2. I liked the first book the most, and agree that Mockingjay was a bit of a let down. It was enjoyable, but not as amazing as it could have been.
      While people compare similar worlds and stories, it’s important to remember how many versions of stories there are. Why not mention Lord of the Flies, where a group of boys go into anarchy in an isolated place and end up warring against each other? I think it’s important to enjoy each book and story based on its own merits.

      1. I agree. The first book had me blown away. I was actually very disappointed that they cut out a lot of things in the book for the film. After reading the book and watching the film again, it made me realize that a lot of stuff seemed confusing if you haven’t read the book. Of course, it doesn’t mean I don’t like the film though.

        It’s true that there are many different ways of interpreting the same ideas, but under different settings. The whole Hunger Games vs. Battle Royale uproar is a bit much. I was also thinking how the Hunger Games and other stories like it remind me of a Lord of the Flies scenario. Regardless, a work should be enjoyed on its own without comparing it to others with a similar plot going for it. The only time there should be an uproar is if there is obvious plagiarism going on, which in the case of The Hunger Games, there isn’t one.

  3. Another book series I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t gotten around to yet. I’m thinking of picking at least the first book up later this month. I want in on this popular book that everyone is saying is really good and has a good heroine. 😀

    1. It’s really good. And I love heroines who are in charge of their own destiny as it were. Katniss is no Bella Swan, and that’s a good thing. She doesn’t wait for someone to come rescue her, and she’s a fighter. There are times when Katniss can come off as too hard and maybe too selfish at times, but I tend to think it’s the circumstances she is under. Definitely pick this up! 😉

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