So I’ve come to a very important conclusion. I can never review The Hunger Games trilogy.
Not a full review, anyway. See, the issue is it would be a lot like me trying to review any of Harry Potter or anything with Stephenie Meyer’s name on it—I wouldn’t be giving Harry Potter the chance to be bad, or Twilight the chance to be good (Oh, that is hilarious… that mess, good?).
That said, I can do a mini-review of the series. Let’s begin!
My first impressions of The Hunger Games are mentioned in another post. I really didn’t want to put the book down. The book was very fast-paced to me, but I felt it was done right and worked with the story. Many of the characters were likeable, even Effie in a weird “I would so slap her” kind of way. Heck, I even liked Cato and Clove, the psychopaths. I do wish we were given more information regarding Thresh though. He’s important enough to receive a name (unlike half of the other Tributes), but not important enough for even a little bit of background? He obviously cared about Rue, so at the very least I was curious as to how they knew each other and how close they were back in District 11. Small thing, but still. The plot itself was great and handled well from beginning to end in my opinion. The Reaping, The Capitol, Cinna, losing Rue, the twists implemented by The Gamemakers, Cinna, everything about Peeta, it all worked so well. I raved about this book to anybody who would listen when I finished, and would recommend it to any number of people looking for a quick, potentially exciting read.
The second book in this trilogy… as I put it to a friend of mine “It’s good, but it’s probably the weakest book. And it really yo-yos with the quality”. It starts out nice and slow, which is fine with me. Then kicks it into over-drive and ignores the Victory Tour, which serves as the premise for the first quarter of the book. Seriously, each District couldn’t get at least a page? Or a paragraph?! I wanted to see how this went down in all of the Districts! Grr.
More President Snow was a good thing though, and the added love triangle didn’t bother me (though how all parties involved handled it did, particularly Katniss and Gale). Then the Quarter Quell… well, nice touch. It would have been nice to see Peeta and Katniss act as mentors instead of Tributes again, but Snow was trying to kill her and the Quell was a sneaky way or trying to do it. But this is where I have a big problem with Catching Fire. The Quarter Quell, much like the Games in the first book, is fast paced. However, it seems like a lot of information gets crammed in or even forgotten because of the pace this time. It felt like Collins didn’t want the book to be super thick, so she made the Tour as short as possible and for the most part uninteresting, brought the Games up remarkably fast, tried to go back to how the first book was written, and brought up the Rebel plan in such a rush when it could have been left for the third book. Overall it really felt like Collins was trying to rewrite The Hunger Games with some more characters, twists, and deaths. Didn’t really work.
This one wasn’t as “Meh” as Catching Fire, but I don’t think it was as good as The Hunger Games. Overall it’s not bad, but it felt like Collins was trying to change her writing style as the book went on, and at some points it became messy and confusing. I was fine with District 13, I was fine with the attacks, the Rebls, the war… I liked all of that. I even liked how Peeta was brainwashed and how we get some insight into Finnick’s life and how Snow ruined it, as well as the others. I would have liked to know more about Johanna though, and what happened to her family. Anywho… The really confusing parts all seemed to be around the time a character died. If you don’t want to come right out and say they dropped dead, fine, but don’t try to write it like it’s your job to cover up a fictional death so the Writing Police don’t discover it. The taking of The Nut in District 2 was full of this. Some of the newer characters were nice, like Boggs and the film crew, and reading about the training wasn’t as boring as it sounds.
Near the end was kind of a low point though. *SPOILER* (Yeah, like the whole review hasn’t been spoilers) When Prim dies, I completely lost track of what was happening. Obviously it sent Katniss into a shocked, mute state, but then she’s talking about Fire Mutts and new skin and… huh? When did all of that happen? What happened? SOMEBODY TELL ME! Also, as a reader who likes closure, I would have loved to have it verified by Haymitch that it was Coin’s doing that killed all of those children. Even if they didn’t lie to each other, Snow was enough of a villain for me to not trust his word. I’m also a stubborn reader. Hmph. The very end was kind of nice… life returning to the Districts, Panem basically being rebuilt… I liked the ending overall.
Now for an obligatory fangirl moment: The whole situation with Gale wasn’t that great either. What, he couldn’t even say good-bye before taking a job in 2? What a jerk! You don’t just run out on the girl you love, even if she is mentally disoriented! Unless of course you helped murder her sister. Wait. You probably did. Oh well… Peeta was the better guy anyway.
There you have it. The most you’re getting out of me in regards to The Hunger Games trilogy. Can’t say it’s the best thing ever written, but it is very entertaining and worth looking into. I definitely love it, despite the flaws I pointed out. Just be ready for a mini-roller coaster ride that isn’t necessarily 100% enjoyable.