Because there are really two kinds of stories. The kind that tells you something, informs you of some fact or concept and then there are the stories that make you feel something.
The Hunger Games is one of the latter.
The Hunger Games is a three book series by Suzanne Collins. This is her second work, her first being a series of five books called the Underland Chronciles. She has also written for several children’s shows prior to becoming an author. When the Hunger Games movie comes out, she’ll be adding major motion picture writing to her curriculum vitae.
Suzanne tells a masterful story through her three books, the first titled The Hunger Games, where we meet our heroine Katniss who slowly introduces us to a post-apocalyptic future where the remnants of humanity have been split into twelve districts, ruled by a despotic Capitol. Years in their past the twelve districts attempted to rebel against the Capitol. They failed. As punishment, every year since, each district is forced to celebrate The Hunger Games, where two teenagers from each district, one boy and one girl, are selected randomly to participate.
In the Hunger Games, these children are subjected to instant fame in the technologically advanced Capitol before being forced into a deadly technologically manipulated game arena where the only real rule is: Only one child may leave alive. Blood sport, for the entertainment of the Capitol citizenry and a constant reminder to the districts that they can not win.
But if the districts have failed, will Katniss?
To tell you more would be to spoil a wonderfully paced series of three books, the second being Catching Fire, and the third titled Mockingjay. If you would like to know more, you can find plenty of summary on the Wikipedia but you’ll be doing yourself something of an injustice. As I stated in the opening, this is a story that builds something in you. The plot is really only the engine for the characters to carry, push, or ride upon. It is their viewpoints that bring it to life and make it one of the most unforgettable endings to a series.
I place this trio of books on par with Transmetropolitan and Y: The Last Man for series endings. I have little doubt any of my friends who might have read these two comic series would disagree with me that their culmination was well worth everything, and The Hunger Games is no different. Real.
Suzanne Collins manages to create a young adult novel that has depth by creating a world with consequences for the actions both the young and adult characters take, both physically and, mentally as well as emotionally. Perhaps even especially emotionally. I finished the series in under two weeks not because it was so short but because it was so good, even though I did have some slightly unusual amount of free time.
The remain of this post will be for spoiler purposes. Comments will remain open so I warn those of you interested in reading the books to be careful about reading post commentary and ask comments to label their comments with the word spoiler if they choose to discuss the story.[spoiler show="Spoilers and Discussion"]Spoilers and Discussion
So I want to know if the last Hunger Games happened or not, or if that died with Coin. I’ve already discussed it with a friend and she feels they didn’t happen. That Katniss arrow killed that plan. I’m not so sure.
So many deaths. Random deaths. Meaningful deaths. Prim made this book so bitter-sweet. Katniss survived everything, only to lose the one thing she did everything she could to protect.
Katniss was such a flawed character is was amazing. Her redeeming qualities really only shown through during hardship and in private. She suffered, in the beginning, from the inability to really understand what others thought, and that was a flaw she carried through with her to the end, even if it became less annoying once she understood Gale and Peeta loved her.
Who did you think would win? Gale or Peeta? I suspected one of them to die to make the choice easy. Boy was that a curve ball.
I also liked the few times we met Snow. Although I think it was a minor stretch that his warning to her in Catching Fire was really just a ploy to try to keep her in line rather than an attempt to quell the districts. Both, more than likely. Catching Fire surprised me by setting up this entire trip around the districts, only to skip over most of them. It was somewhat refreshing, actually, to see how much time passed in this series and yet the action and pacing were very well-balanced.
I also found myself thinking about the one-off characters, who weren’t really. Madge for example. I kept expecting her to make a re-appearance or have some sort of meaning since she was introduced so early and while her and her pin had significant meaning to Katniss, she never had any real impact on the story itself. Just another bystander with a name. With that Suzanne managed to create a breathing world. With that, and the death of so many characters, so randomly. Cinna and Finnick…
A friend of mine also linked me to this fan-fiction someone wrote for The Hunger Games. It is well worth reading, believe it or not.
I loved the real not real game. It makes me so jealous I didn’t think of the idea first and use it. It created such a quick and easy way for characters to bond and make some of the final dialog amazing.
So pick up the series on your favorite story medium and enjoy!