Confession time. I’m going to put it all out on the screen for you. I fought tooth and nail for a very long time to NOT read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I REFUSED to give into the literary version of pop culture peer pressure. I vehemently denied the fact that The Hunger Games trilogy was anything more than a glorified love story centered on a blood sport. Well, my dear readers, it is with heartfelt apologies that I now proclaim: I was seriously mistaken.
THESE. BOOKS. WERE. AMAZING.
No joke, I couldn’t put them down. I surprised, no, SHOCKED myself in how much I liked them. I read them day and night. I even contemplated calling in sick to work one day just so I could finish the second book, Catching Fire. I was never a fan of science fiction so I was beyond astonished at how much I managed to envelope myself into the story. I’m even finding it quite disconcerting at how the movies have gained so much hype when the books are SO much better – or should I say the story within the story carries so much more impact when examined through a sociological perspective rather than hyped up movie magic.
Don’t be fooled by the way Hollywood has steered The Hunger Games franchise. This is a three part series that provides a somber examination of the human population and its fight for survival. Yes there’s budding romance and an uncomfortable amount of violence, but the story within the story really paints an interesting picture of human behaviour versus the effects of stark oppression. Personally, I very much appreciated that Katniss, the main female character, is a strong role model for young women. She follows her instincts and fights against injustices in order to keep her family and loved ones safe.
I lumped all three books of The Hunger Games trilogy into this one review simply because I read them so quickly that they seemed like one giant book. In less than a week I devoured book one (The Hunger Games), book two (Catching Fire), and book three (Mockingjay). While I will say that the series started stronger then it finished (I personally think the last book should have been made into two since SO much happened) what I gained most of all was an appetite for apocalyptic story telling, an avenue of literary genius I never thought I’d explore. And ultimately, that is, for me, what the beauty of reading is all about – to open ourselves up to alternative realities and let our minds run free into the abyss of “what if?” For that I thank you Suzanne Collins. Job well done.
Next up on the book shelf: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson