The Hunger Games Series

I’ve been slacking on this review thing, but it’s time to play catch up.  I’m going to be going slightly out of order, hitting up The Hunger Games series before I go back to The Mythical Man-Month.  The second is much easier to go back and reference at a later date, so I’d like to get the first out of the way while it’s fresh in my head.  Addendum:  This is finally concluded, weeks after my initial draft. I think I bit off a little more than I could chew for this one. Next series, I’ll have to do one at a time.

I started reading The Hunger Games series on the recommendation of a friend (thanks Meagan!).  She prefaced it by noting that it’s categorized as  “young adult,” but so have some great books that I’ve read recently:  His Dark Materials, Little Brother, and obviously Harry Potter.  The language structure definitely isn’t high literature, but I don’t see it as a detriment to the story, considering it’s told from the point of view of a mildly educated teenage girl.  If her thoughts and words were filled with superfluous language and peppered with semicolons it would just ring false.  Besides, this means I was able to tear through all 1200 pages in less than a week, with Catching Fire being finished in one day.

The structure of the books follows what I’ll categorize as a “Star Wars progression.”  The first book, The Hunger Games, sets up the universe and provides a cohesive story, but one that definitely doesn’t feel finished.  Catching Fire, the Empire of the group, is darker and filled with more personal conflict.  Mockingjay concludes, and the wrap-up just feels too small for a story this good.  To carry the analogy way too far, there’s a lot of backstory that could be used for a set of prequels, but I would hope that this is where the similarities end.

Enough of the boring details and on to the story, where YA fiction tends to live or die.  These are going to be a bit more extensive so I think I’ll separate it here.  Note that each of these are going to contain some spoilers.  Read at your own risk.

Part 1:  The Hunger Games
Part 2:  Catching Fire
Part 3:  Mockingjay

The TL;DR and spoiler-free version is pretty simple:  these books require almost no effort to read, and provide a great story with interesting characters.  Stop reading this swill that I write and start reading these books.  Do it before the inevitable movie is released, since it will likely pale in comparison.  See also:  The Dark Tower

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