Book Review: The Hunger Games Series

Reviewing The Hunger Games series is a bit like spitting into the rain.

There’s already a billion opinions on it (most of them positive.)

I feel like I should at least note something about the series now that I’ve completed the books. At least so I can keep it in my Swiss cheese brain for a little while longer.

Violence is beautiful, poetic and often necessary when it comes to war. Casualties are not easy to take, nor should they be. Collins’ series has a lot of them. People you don’t expect to die, but then again, you never really expect to see that golden thread snapped in a novel, do you? If this were the Harry Potter series, I’d be bawling through the third novel. However, because I haven’t built a decade long relationship with these characters that has spanned fanfiction, fanart, a little bit of online RPGing (don’t you judge me) and a giving the first copy of the last novel out in our local Chapters, I didn’t. I felt misty, for sure, but I didn’t cry.

And it’d been an emotional day for sure: I read the last third of MOCKINGJAY in the OR waiting room while my father had surgery.

I digress.

What can I say about these novels? There’s a lot of internal conflict in the character of Katniss Everdeen. She’s a reluctant revolutionary, and yes, there are parts of the book that surprised me. The ending was alright. I wasn’t sure how the love triangle would work out in the end and Collins left me sated if not satisfied. Sated in that I didn’t really want to know more and what she divulged in the epilogue was just enough information. The only drawback to the Potter series (I’m sorry for continuing to compare but I must!) was the epilogue; it felt strange to know so much. Even in the film it looked weird to see Harry, Hermione, Ron and Draco twenty-plus years later with thinning hair, blazers and children. Collins just gives us a glimpse, and a really beautiful and poignant one at that, into the future that gives the reader a sense of peace at the end of all of the chaos.

It’s a good series. You should already know that, though. Would I give it to my own twelve year old daughter to read? (My twelve year old niece lent the series to my mother, who I’m visiting this week.) Er, there’s a lot of violence in it. There’s no sex in it, quite a bit of romanticism, but mostly it’s just bloody and violent. I don’t know. My niece is a voracious reader, just like I (and her mother) have been all of our lives. I suppose if my child should grow to be a reader too (and I hope she or he will!) then I can’t deny them a book, but I’ll warn them that it’s a gory one.

Series rating: 3/5

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