Confession: after reading The Hunger Games, I told myself I didn’t need to read the other two books. Yes, I liked The Hunger Games, but I wasn’t in love with it or anything and I was kinda irritated that it cliffhangered at the end–it seemed like a cheap ploy to get me to read the sequel. That sort of cheap trick doesn’t work on me. Except when there are really cool movie stills and then I get really excited about the movie and go back and read the final two books in two days. So much for not finishing this trilogy. P.S. I’m just going to blabber about the books as though you’ve read them, dear readers, so if you haven’t, this probably isn’t the best entry for you to read.
Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
SPOILERS ABOUND! Don’t read if you want to be surprised. This book’s biggest weakness is that the first third of it is basically just Katniss whining about how confusing boys are and WHO SHOULD SHE CHOOSE which I’m not really into. (We all knew it would be Peeta the whole time, duh.) Also, not enough making out in this book. If she’s going to have multiple men vying for her, why isn’t she making out with them more frequently? (Speaking of making out, I think one of the funniest parts in this book is when she’s making out with Peeta on the beach and she’s all “I got kinda hungry, but not for food. I had never felt this kind of hungry before” and it was like duh Katniss, you are hungry for some lovin.)
Also, even though this book is cheating plot-wise by making Katniss and Peeta go back into the games, I think it’s different enough that I’m not offended by it. Also, it makes a lot of sense as something the Capitol would do, because obviously Peeta and Katniss couldn’t win at being alive TWICE, right??? (Wrong.) Also, also, you get to meet some cool new characters who will be killed off next book! Yay! (Finnick. 😦 Saddest.)
Anyway, Catching Fire is pretty entertaining and will make a swell movie. I blew right through it and then was super annoyed with another freaking cliffhanger, but obviously had already admitted to myself that I had to read the final book, anyway.
Author: Still Suzanne Collins!
MORE SPOILERS YAY. So going into the third book I was like OH MAN REVOLUTION TIME. Also, PEETA WHERE ARE YOU??? And then the whole time throughout the book you’re like ugh Katniss you are a pawn again a pawn Katniss when are you going to get pissed off like you were all throughout Catching Fire? But Katniss is a bit slow on the uptake. In fact, she’s even totally into the rebels and their sweet army for a while, and makes an effort to make them happy.
Luckily, she then goes back to her usual does-what-the-hell-she-wants self and then has an even bigger question than GALE OR PEETA??? And that question is which is the less of two evils: Snow or Coin? I think it’s a really great conflict for a YA book. The Capitol is clearly bad, but this new incoming president has her evils, too. (She’s kind of a B.) I was totally into it when Katniss shot Coin there at the end, and I think that earned her and this book a lot of points for me.
This book’s biggest weakness was when it over-simplified the boy bits at the end. They just shove Gale off in District 2 when I think it would’ve been way better for there to be some conversation or resolution there. Instead it’s just like “Yeah, they got that guy a job somewhere else. You have to stay here in District 12 so you don’t shoot more people.” And then my favorite quick and lazy tie-up was when Katniss is all “Yeah… Gale makes me angry and rebellious and Peeta makes me happy like a dandelion so I guess duh I should be with Peeta.” And I was like DUH Katniss, why are you so slow about these things??? (Then I really was entertained by the part where he asked for babies for a million years and then she was all OKAY FINE SHUT UP ABOUT IT ALREADY and then she liked her kids okay.)
Things I liked: CRAZY MEAN PEETA. That was a good addition even though I hated it at the time. FINNICK being really cool. (Sad he dies.) Grown-up-ish Prim. (Sad times again what with the explosive parachutes.) Peetniss’ kids don’t have stupid names! (Good call on not naming them, Suzanne, because if Twilight and Harry Potter are indicators, the names would have been dumb. Sorry JKR, but Albus Severus is a terrible name. Not even going to get into how bad Renesmee is. So bad.)
But anyway, I gave them both 4 stars on Goodreads because even though they aren’t THE BEST IN THE WORLD and even though they have some pretty typical weaknesses (static and kinda dumb protag, whiny boy drama, etc.), they sure are entertaining. Also, I’m excited for the movies.
Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Completed?: Like a million years ago. I read it in like a day. I even skipped going to dinner with friends in favor of microwaving macaroni and cheese. The gross Velveeta kind. (Which is secretly also delicious.)
Spoiler-free Opinions: …this is YA? Talk about violent. (Good call on being PG-13, movie.) The protag, though, Katniss, is obviously a YA protag. She’s a total BA, obviously, and super gorgeous and she didn’t even know it because she is just that real, you know??? As YA as the characters and romance are, however, I will admit to being really entertained by this book. Not enough to go out and buy the sequel–besides I did some research, and I think the sequels would only disappoint me–but enough to get through the book really quickly. It’s tons of action, and even though you know how it’s going to end the whole time, it’s pretty interesting finding out how it gets to that end. I’d recommend it as a quick read. I would not recommend reading it and then watching Battle Royale, however.
To be honest, I read the book because I kept seeing news stories about the castings, and so I really wanted to know why there was such a fuss. Usually, the only reason there’s a fuss about castings is because the book is a big deal. Obviously it had been hanging out on Amazon and showing up all over the place wanting me to buy it, and since it was very cheap (and is even cheaper now), I bought it on my Kindle and devoured it. This was also during my YA kick at the end of the school year, when I read all of the His Dark Materials series, so good timing.
I was entertained by the book, and it’s pretty good for what it is, but I think I’m actually pretty excited for the movie. This book will make a really good movie. No quotes, because YA doesn’t lend itself to lovely language, but 4 stars for YA! Read it if you’re looking for a quick, high-action read.
(It’s no Harry Potter, though, obviously.)