3 books, 2 days
So I finally finished this series and am probably the last one to do so, but at least I read them. I started them last thursday and finished them on saturday. I could not put any of the books down! So this post is about the whole series, due to the fact that I did not want to do 3 separate blog posts. If you don’t want spoilers don’t read the overview, skip to just my review of the series at the end!!!
Book 1 The Hunger Games: The world as we know it is gone and a new world has taken its place, Panem. A capital surrounded by 12 districts (there once was 13 but now…) with the districts each producing something (coal, agriculture, fishing, etc.) that supports the capitals needs. From District 12, the poorest district, we get the story of the series. Katniss lives in 12 with her mother and sister Prim. Every year there is a perverse game called the Hunger Games that chooses two tributes (girl and boy ages 12-18) from each district to compete to the death in the games with only one winner. These games are overseen by the capital, so they can control the districts and to show them what happens if they try to rebel. Katniss, 16, knows what to expect with the reaping (picking of the tributes) but for Prim this is her first year. At the reaping the unbelievable happens Prim is the girl tribute for District 12. Katniss can’t let that happen so she volunteers for the position and is now a tribute for the Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta. Life is never the same for Katniss and Peeta after the reaping. They are whisked away to the capital to prepare for the games, which includes training to survive, makeovers, and interviews. When the games began Katniss knows she has to survive for Prim and is going to do everything she can to win. Her strategy, thought up by her mentor Haymitch, is to run as far way from the others and find water. The tributes start dying of one by one and she knows to win she has to take out a group of tributes who have banded together. By destroying their food source, she makes them officially join the games. However, there is a twist to the games, if the two tributes from one district are the two left near the end then they both can survive. Katniss becomes determined to save herself and Peeta. They make it to the end but for one tribute…he gets killed by a pack of rabid mutant wolves and it is Katniss and Peeta left. They think they have won, but in a perverse and horrifying twist the capital decides that only one can survive. Both of them refuse to kill the other (they are a bit in love with each other) Katniss decides that to trick the capital. They both are going to kill themselves with poisonous berries, which Katniss assumes that capital won’t allow. They win…much to the chagrin of the capital and are going home. But nothing is ever the same for Katniss and Peeta…
Book 2 Chasing Fire: Following their win at the games, Katniss and Peeta get to live in Victors’ Village. Peeta is no longer talking to Katniss (love triangle alert) because she was playing at loving him in the games and still enamored by Gale from back home. They believe that their lives with the games are over, that they now can live in semi-peace in District 12. Boy are they wrong. Katniss receives an unexpected visitor, President Snow, the act that Katniss set up at the end of the games (killing each other instead of allowing a winner, which made the capital let them both win) displeases him greatly. That spark of rebellion is causing the other districts to rebel against the capital or so President Snow thinks. He blames Katniss and wants her to prove him wrong, prove to him that she did it because she was so in love Peeta she couldn’t let him die (they both know that is a lie). On their victors tour, Katniss and Peeta try to show the other districts that they are in love (evening pretending to be engaged) and were not rebelling against the capital. It doesn’t work and to punish Katniss further, that year is the 75th anniversary of the Hunger Games so they must have a Quarter Quell, which is essentially the Hunger Games but with a twist. This years twist…only past victors will compete in the games. So Katniss and Peeta are back in the games trying to survive all over again. Both of their strategies are to save the other one at the cost of their lives. They team up with other past victors and are close to bringing down some tributes when all hell breaks loose. Katniss and Peeta lose each other, a tribute attacks her, and then she makes the decision to break the force field surrounding the games because once again she rebels against the capital. After getting whisked away by a hovercraft and she thinks that she the capital has captured her. In actuality she the rebel leaders (including Haymitch) have her because this was all planned by the rebels who have been working from District 13 (surprise! there actually is a district 13). Katniss is furious to not know that the rebels were planning something and even more furious when she figures out that they did not save Peeta, the Capitol “saved” him. At the end you learn that District 12 is gone, all the refuges are at District 13 (including Gale, Prim and her mother) and Katniss has to make a choice: fight for the rebels or not?
Book 3 Mockingjay: The rebels want Katniss to become the symbol of the rebellion, the Mockingjay (which is the pin she has been wearing throughout the games as a symbol). She has been badly injured and has no real will to do much of anything. She comes to realize that in order for anyone to have a life she needs to fight. She chooses to be the face of the rebellion with a list of demands (Peeta, who people think of as a traitor to the rebellion, has to be given immunity along with all other victors from the games in book 2 and she gets to kill President Snow). Coin, the leader of district 13, reluctantly goes a long with these demands and is willing to use Katniss in whatever way she sees fit. Katniss gets a makeover to look like the Mockingjay and sent out into the rebellion to make propaganda ads to run in the capital. She is fine doing this with Gale by her side until she gets injured again in District 8 and is in the hospital and sees Peeta on tv doing an interview. They have tortured him severely and she suffers from a semi-mental break down. The leaders of the rebellion decide to rescue Peeta and others, but when they are safely returned to 13, Peeta isn’t the same. The form of torture used by the capital on Peeta, hijacking ( where they take the good memories you have of something and make you fear those memories) is all he knows. He now believes that Katniss is that she is something to fear and he tries to kill her. Peeta becomes locked up and worked on incessantly to try to get the old Peeta back, which Katniss has written off because she does not want to face a life with out Peeta in it. Meanwhile, Katniss trains to be a solider so she can actually fight in the rebellion along side Gale and others. Her new contingent is the sharp shooters and Coin ships them to the capital to not really do much because they don’t want them involved in the actual fighting. Obviously Katniss is furious and vows to go off on her own to kill the President. Peeta, after realizing that not all of what he thinks he knows is real, comes to the capital on Coin’s orders. They place him under heavy guard for fear of him killing Katniss and then the rebellion really starts. The sharp shooters, followed by a camera crew to take propaganda ads, when most of the crew dies by capital soldiers or mutants that capital is sending after them. It comes down to Gale, Katniss, Peeta and two members of the camera crew. They split off to try to get into the President’s mansion. Gale and Katniss together, with Peeta following behind to be used as someone to create a distraction. Gale equals captured, Peeta is nowhere to be seen and Katniss reaches the mansion, but realizes that surrounding it is wall of capital children, who are then bombed from the sky. Medics (from the rebel side) rush to their aid and Katniss realizes that one of those Medics is Prim. A huge blast of fire comes in to finish the rest of them off, Katniss engulfed by flames, fights to survives, barely. Snow is captured, Coin is now president of Panem and Katniss is in denial about everything. She ends up visiting Snow by accident and he tells her that the killing of those children was the rebels idea not his. Katniss doesn’t know what to believe, but when it comes to the time to kill Snow she kills Coin instead and Snow dies as well. Katniss is on trial for the murder and is eventually acquitted and return to district 12. Where she does not leave her house for months…she can not comprehend what happens and is in a mental void. She eventually breaks out of the void with help of a doctor and Peeta. As im sure you all have guessed Peeta and Katniss are in love and stay together at the end of the series and even have children together.
Ta-da my overview of the series equals done! On to my review, which I am keeping short because this is super long already.
I was skeptical about these books at first, they did not seem very interesting to me. I am not big into post-apocalyptic novels and thought that this series was not for me. I was wrong! These books are so amazing, so poignant and strong. I could not put them down and had to read the next one right away. The truth to these books, that eventually this could happen or something like this, was amazingly real but scary. The complete perversity of the games and the capital to take control of the people of Panem, is what I feel this world could be heading to. All of the crazy things the Suzanne Collins’ came up with (mockingjays, tracker jackers etc.) blew my mind. I bow down to her amazing imagination. Then there is the love triangle/love story. I know the big supporters of this series don’t want it to be about the love triangle, but it really is in certain ways. Katniss makes decisions based on her love for either Peeta or Gale and it is a driving factor to many of the main plot points of the novel. Now I am a Peeta fan and was very happy that they got together at the end, but I want to know what happens to the world of Panem after the rebellion. I feel a little bereft after all the leading up to the rebellion, the rebellion and then poof Katniss and Peeta marry and have children. I was little disappointed with the ending for that fact but over all this book blew my mind. PICK UP A COPY TODAY if you haven’t already read it or read it again…it is worth your while.
My rating: 500+ pages out of 500!
Ciao for now!