|May the odds be ever in your favor.|
I read The Hunger Games series in 2010, right after the last in the series, Mockingjay, came out. The books in order are: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay. I read the entire trilogy in three days, and then saw the movie within the first weekend of it coming out. I guess you could say I blurred through the series. Susanne Collins, author of the popular kid's book Little Bear (which I basically grew up on), conceived the idea for The Hunger Games after watching reality TV shows and footage of wars of the past back to back. The two blurred together and created the idea of a world where teaching children to murder others for entertainment was totally acceptable. The books gradually gained in fame, and resulted in not only the making of an extremely popular movie, but the honor of being at the top of Amazon's most popular book series, stealing that title away from J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series in mid-2012, just 4 years after the start of the series.
The United States has turned into the kingdom of Panem (named for "Panem et Circences" or "Bread and Circuses" which was a motto of the Roman Empire), and has been divided into twelve districts (first thirteen, but then later twelve). The wealthy of the nation live in the Capitol, and oversee the goings-on in the rest of the districts. After the thirteenth district rioted against the Capitol and was obliterated, the Hunger Games were instituted. Each year two contestants, one of each gender, is taken and thrown into a survivalist arena where they have to fight to the death, leaving only one conqueror. The games are watched and presided over by the leaders of the Capitol, and merely serve as a reminder for the districts and entertainment for the people of the capitol.
|Peeta, Katniss and Gale|
Katniss, a young girl living in District 12, shocks everyone by volunteering for the games after her sister is selected in the drawing. She and Peeta, the boy that was selected, leave and go to the Capitol where they are pretty-fied and trained for a brief period of time. They earn the approval and respect of those in the Capitol and those in the Districts, and shock everyone when, through an outrageous turn of events and pissing off the leaders at the Capitol, both of them emerge as victor from the games. They return to District 12, unsure of their seemingly loving relationship due to Katniss' prior involvement with her friend, Gale. Both Katniss and Peeta are thinking that they'll be able to put the memories behind them, but the Capitol has other tricks up their sleeve.
After traveling the country for the next year, while publicly planning their wedding, Katniss and Peeta return to District 12 to await word of the next Hunger Games. Then comes the horrible announcement that the contestants will come from the previous victors of each district, which means that Haymitch, Katniss, and Peeta are the only ones up to bat. Katniss and Peeta are drawn yet again, and, at the urging of Haymitch, escape the arena after breaking out of it. Katniss is rescued by people from District 13, and taken to join them in rioting against the Capitol, but receives the awful news that the Capitol has captured Peeta. Katniss is supposed to join forces with District 13 in their riots against the Capitol and save Peeta, but various things go awry, leaving Katniss to wonder if either side is right. The end of the last book was so freaking sad... well, at least one specific detail of it. I'm not telling! That'd spoil too much!
I'd give the books about a 7.5 out of 10. They were an easy and fun read... not overly pithy stuff, other than the horrendous state of their society, but a relatively decent plot line (no matter how much you say it ripped off Battle Royale). The Hunger Games movie came out towards the beginning of 2012, and was much anticipated. It launched the adorable Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss) to becoming a household name, and also starred the two heartthrobs, Josh Hutcherson (Peeta) and Liam Hemsworth (Gale). The movie was pretty good, and nothing strayed from the plot line too terribly, and I'll definitely be seeing the other two when they come out!