Antara's Reviews > The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset by Suzanne Collins
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Let's face it, the moment we all hear the words 'young adult fiction', our brains jump to the Twilight series. This jump is then followed by Edward-induced delirium or nausea so sickening that you wish you'd had a lobotomy instead of letting Stephanie Meyer infect your life. (No prizes for guessing which side I'm on). It's unfortunate that the Hunger Games trilogy is boxed into the same genre as Twilight. Not only is it infinitely better in terms of story and characterization, it has that one special feature that is the hallmark of a truly great read - relevance. Irrespective of how you like or dislike each book, you will be left with that elusive feeling that some things in them are too close to our lives for comfort.

On the surface, the universe of the Hunger Games has very little in common with ours. The trilogy is set in the future and takes place in the country of Panem - we are given to understand that this was once North America, before war and avarice tore the continent apart. The country is divided into 13 destitute districts ruled by a rich Capitol city - a Capitol that ruthlessly punishes the districts for their only rebellion by forcing a young girl and boy from each district to participate in an annual, televised fight to the death called the Hunger Games. The Games are wildly popular among the 'civilized' audience of the Capitol who watch the 'show' with obsessive involvement as a bunch of 9-17 year olds from the 'barbaric' districts shoot, choke, hack and burn each other to death in the quest to be the last contestant standing (Reality shows anyone??). Winning the Hunger Games means a life of comfort for the victor’s family as well as a year's worth of food and supplies to the winning district.

In this horribly disturbing world, we are introduced to the protagonist Katniss Everdeen, a girl who volunteers to take her little sister's place in the Hunger Games. The trilogy is essentially the story of Katniss and how she goes from a girl struggling to win the Games to a symbol of rebellion for the oppressed. It is also the story of her complex relationships with the very masculine Gale and the doggedly loyal Peeta, two very different heroes whose characters are steadily etched out as the trilogy progresses. Katniss’s character is at once brave and selfish, steadfast and inconsistent, strong and weak – I was quite let down by the way she turns out in the last book but the author almost compensates for it by great character development in Peeta.

The books are by no means perfect, the most notable flaw being how the author invests time and effort in creating a strong, fearless heroine only to have her fall apart by the end. However, the plot is very gripping and it’s difficult to stop yourself from reading ‘just another chapter’. And when you’re done reading all three books at a breakneck pace and your eyes are about to give up, there will be a several lingering questions in your mind starting with the first and most important one - how far would you go for the people that you love?
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Reading Progress

April 23, 2012 – Started Reading
April 23, 2012 – Shelved
June 22, 2012 – Finished Reading

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