The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) – A Book to KILL for!

The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins topped my reading list for the year 2016 with its unusual plot and twists where you least expect it. I am penning a single review  of the three books as a whole series, rather than individually…because  you will end up picking it up as set( I was gifted one too:)) and simply because you are unlikely to stop after one!

It’s set in the dystopian city of Panem, where the governing body or the ‘Capitol’ send two children, aged twelve or older, from each of the 12 districts, to their death in a game meant for their amusement, so they can sit and watch children scream in pain as they’re mauled, stabbed or shot by each other, while the Capitol eats roast turkey at the dinner table. Great conversation starter, right?

When Katniss is determined to come out alive along with her fellow tribute Peeta, things get a little bit dicey. They decide to play out an tragic ‘star-crossed lovers’ story, where they’re outright refusing to kill me each other due to their ‘undying’ love for each other. Sort of like, if the Capitol wants drama, we’ll give you drama!

And if there wasn’t a plot twist to a book like this, that would be doing injustice to this book (and this review). However, there isn’t just one plot twist, there’s two! These two major twists lead to the formation of a love triangle and multiple blackmail scenarios.
A perfect blend of suspense, creativity and romance, The Hunger Games had me hooked. This book had me practically screaming ‘Why, Peeta why?’ at his dramatic acts and squealing at Everlark moments. (In case you didn’t know, Everlark is the pairing of Katniss and Peeta.)
My favorite character has to be Katniss. Cliché, but true. Katniss is everything an independent warrior should be – rock strong, cunning, understanding, amazingly accurate aim, and a rebellious spirit. She changes drastically when thrown into the Hunger Games, from a girl concerned about her sister’s duck-tailed dress, to someone responsible for the rise of a rebellion. Katniss, has one weak point – the ones she cares about. In Mockingjay, when Peeta’s memories have been tampered with, he sees Katniss as someone evil, Katniss gets upset and tends to blow a fuse when people mention Peeta.
A thing I didn’t like? I’m not a big fan of romance. At some points in time, I can’t stand it, especially as it wiggles its way into every Young Adult novel . I know I said it was a perfect blend, but yet it keeps me from reading the book to its full potential. (Even while reading The House of Hades, part of my favorite series, I had to skim through the chapters set in either Percy or Annabeth’s point of view.)
Recommendations? I almost said Everyone must read it…The deaths and torture of the tributes are described in agonizing detail,  are certainly painful to read. Yet, I found the book simply amazing.(Creepy?) I bet you’ll be hooked until the end of Mockingjay. However, I would suggest the very young preteens to wait until they have a stomach for some pain.
It’s thought-provoking as the reality of the book weighs on you when you put it down. The book makes you ponder about authority, governments, freedom, sacrifice and love. Do the ends justify the means? In the end, can you be yourself  and not succumb to judgement in world where power, wealth , celebrity status rule? In short, can you be human in an inhumane situation…
My favourite quote from the book “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear”
Lastly, it has a -severely disappointing- movie. Please avoid. Whatever version you made up in your head about these while reading the  books, it will be 100 times better than this movie. I promise! There you have been warned.
Let the Games..errr..reading begin!