There is fire catching around the world as more and more frequently the trailer of the Hunger Games plays on movie screens and home computers. It seems that a new series is coming to the forefront, and it was with trepedation that I listened to all of my friends talking about loaning the books back and forth and ranting over how wonderful they are. I was totally unconvinced, thinking it was just the next silly little shallow teen book to gain popularity.
It wasn't until I somehow stumbled upon Taylor Swift and the Civil War's newly released song for the movie, that I realized that I absolutely had to read the books. The song was so sad and beautiful, and it stuck in my mind, playing over and over again until it set this mood that wouldn't go away until I had the first novel in my hands.
So I got Diggles, got under the blankets, and began to read.
I made the huge mistake of starting the book around midnight, and somehow the pages kept turning and turning- there was no going back. I finished the book around four thirty in the morning and sat there stunned that I had fallen so completely in love.
Everything everyone had said was true. The Hunger Games is fantastic.
The books follow the story of Katniss, a young girl who takes the place of her sister, in the political tournament called the Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is basically a free for all fight to the death, where two children from each of the twelve districts (what has taken the place of post apocalyptic North America), are forced to kill one another as a reminder to the Districts that they are helpless against the Capitol.
Katniss and another young boy named Peeta are drawn into the games, and the first novel depicts their rise to stardom, the facade of two star crossed lovers, and the ruthless annual Hunger Games themselves. Facing starvation, psychological trauma, and injuries inflicted by both the Game makers and the other players, they manage to hold it together and in the end show the Capitol who really holds the power.
The second and third books are no less exciting, as they follow the events directly following the games and the political scandal, and rebel forces beginning to stir. Katniss finds that she is the new figure head of the rebels, as she has defied the Capitol and the President publicly. In a last ditch attempt to regain control, the Capitol again throws Peeta and Katniss into the Hunger Games.
But through a long series of events, Katniss again manages to escape government control and leads up the revolution- all pointing towards a very climactic and heartbreaking fall and rebirth of the world's political system.
The thing that I loved the most about the Hunger Games was that despite all of the ruthless murders and horrible things that Katniss and her comrades face- the characters never quite manage to lose their innocence. I think that that is the true driving force of the series. No matter how much you put them through, there is still a compassion and innocence among children that can't be replicated by adults.
A lot of novels have a tendency to find themselves drowning in plot as the series goes on, but while this has a hefty amount of plot and action, the knowledge that these characters are just children is never lost.
Needless to say- I loved the series. I finished all three books, in the three late nights I had to read them. They are addictive, they are impossible to put down, and I guarantee that you will fall in love with the story after the first ten pages.
As for me, I am constantly playing 'Safe and Sound' now, and impatiently awaiting the movie release March 23!
See you there at the premier!
May the odds be ever in your favor.