Apart from the Goddess Test Series I am not really one for YA fiction. I am probably to old for it by now anyway. (I am 24, for all of you wondering.) I first read The Hunger Games Series when I was 18 and I really enjoyed it. So I decided it’s time for a re-read.
In a dystopian future exists the country of Panem. It consists of its capitol where the wealthy live as well as twelve districts that have to work for the capitol and are pretty much made up of poor people. Once a year the capitol holds so called Hunger Games where each district has to send tributes, one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen, to fight each other in an arena. Only one is allowed to survive. At the 74th Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen’s little sister Prim is selected for the games. As Prim is only twelve, Katniss volunteers as a tribute. Together with fellow District Twelve tribute Peeta Mellark she travels to the capitol to train for the games.
What she doesn’t know is that Peeta has feelings for her and together with their mentor Haymitch he conducts a plan to save Katniss life. Once in the arena, Katniss is on her own. Until she joins forces with Rue, a twelve year old girl from District Eleven. After Rue is killed, the Gamemaker’s decide to tweak the rules. Two tributes are allowed to survive, only if they are from the same district, though. So Katniss goes to find Peeta. They play up being in love, well at least Katniss is, Peeta truly loves her, so they can survive. At the end, after the Gamemaker’s change the rules again, Katniss decides to either survive together or they both will kill each other with poisonous berries. So, they are both crowned victors.
I actually re-read this series right after I finished my re-read of the Goddess Test Series. I believe this is the reason why it took me so long to get into The Hunger Games. Both YA series have a first-person narrator (Kate and Katniss – both with a K. Is this a coincidence?) and I actually enjoy Kate’s thoughts more. So, it took me about half the book to get used to Katniss again.
I might as well confess to it right now. I am totally #TeamPeeta and I can’t stand Gale at all. In the first book he is quite alright. After that he gets unbearable for me. Peeta as well as Katniss are actually my favourite characters of the series. I like Katniss’ strength and her will to survive. I also like that she is so suspicious of people. It helps the narrative of the book as well. Otherwise the book wouldn’t be half as thrilling.
Something I love about this book and first-person narration in general is, that you get to know other characters through a different perspective. Sometimes that works wonders and just as your narrator gets to know/falls in love with a person so do you. And sometimes whatever the narrator feels for a certain person you can just never seem to like them at all. I don’t quite know why that is myself. However, it is one of my favourite things about reading books with this kind of narration. (Or books in general. The part about falling completely in love with characters, I mean.)
To be honest, apart from taking ages to get into the book, I have actually nothing negative to say about it. There was nothing I didn’t like in the first book of the trilogy. Even Gale isn’t annoying yet. For me The Hunger Games is a great start to get eased into the world of Panem. It could have easily worked without being a series and given the ending of the series, which I am no fan of, maybe it should have ended sooner.
Oh well, isn’t that always the question. With series you love there can never be enough and with those where you didn’t like the ending, there could have been less. To bad you never know beforehand. If I had known prior to reading the series for the first time, I would have probably stopped after Catching Fire. Still, The Hunger Games Series is one of my favourites, mostly because of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, though.
How about you? What do you think of the entire series? And what do you think of first book? I would really love to get your opinion on this.