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The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games / Catching Fire / Mockingjay Paperback – June 24, 2014
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#1 USA Today Bestseller, #1 New York Times Bestseller, #1 Wall Street Journal Bestseller, #1 Publishers Weekly Bestseller, A New York Times Notable Children's Book, A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, A Booklist Editors' Choice, A Kirkus Best Book of the Year, A Publishers Weekly Best Book
"Whereas Katniss kills with finesse, Collins writes with raw power." --Time Magazine
"Suspenseful . . . Collins' fans, grown-ups included, will race to the end." --USA Today
"At its best the trilogy channels the political passion of 1984, the memorable violence of A Clockwork Orange, the imaginatiev ambience of The Chronicles of Narnia and the detailed inventiveness of Harry Potter." -- The New York Times Book Review
"Collins has joined J. K. Rowling and Stephenie Meyer as a writer of children's books that adults are eager to read." --Bloomberg.com
* "Perfect pacing and electrifying world-building." --Booklist, starred review
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I immediately understood Katniss: the mindset to survive unthinkable tragedy, to distrust as first reflex, to protect others, to wrap oneself in emotional distance - yep I got that. Refusal to be a game piece, to surrender myself, That she was in her teens and I in my 40's mattered not a whit. Still, many years later, Katniss and I amble through a reunion - a literary walkabout is still a fresh experience. This is unusual for me. (The films, though entertaining and generally well done, can't compete with the story in my head. Though I confess the idea of drinking fruit juices recommended by s Donald Sutherland voiceover can give me chills.)
Peeta's deep love for Katniss and her misunderstanding of it in so many ways - especially feeling unworthy of it - I also understand. I am fortunate to have married my Peeta. He may not have Collins' character 's gift for the right words, I know he loves me always.
The other marvelous folks who populate the books are an odd sort of family now. Reading their collective story never gets old. And they always remind me to be my fierce though flawed, self and never be a piece in anyone's games.
The books themselves are all fast paced with great twists and cliffhangers at just about every chapter to get you to read more. For the most part, I was pulled into the story, outside of some parts of Mockingjay where I felt the story dragged in parts, mostly the second third. The characters are fleshed out, and while some characters don’t get a lot of story time, you feel for most of them and I was stunned by quite a few of the deaths (there’s a lot of this in the series). Katniss herself was a great character that fit her story. She struggles with herself and the story isn’t afraid to delve into the darkness within her, especially as we get later in the series. Despite all this, she persists to protect what she loves and has the wits, knowledge and physical strength to last through her trials. The country of Panem is fleshed out well throughout, and while it’s obvious from the first chapter how depraved it is, we see how dystopian this world is as the series moves on. It doesn’t bog down on a bunch of backstory more than what’s needed on the story. I loved the themes and questions the story trotted out, which got me to think a lot about the world and humanity. While there’s a love/hate towards the love triangle aspect in fandom, I thought it was not bad and didn’t distract from the plot as much as I thought, but I disagreed with some aspects and thought to an extent unneeded. I suspect it’s here partly due to the success of Twilight and it’s love triangle. Without giving too much away, I liked the way the series ended and I felt satisfied.
The quality of the box set is great, no issues with the book quality themselves; all sturdy and I love the black with the color text that accompanies each book (yellow, red, blue). The covers are a bit different than the original USA hardcovers, as I presume it’s based on the UK covers, but they all have the uniform style expected in a package like this one. I do have a bit of a struggle of jarring a book out when all three are in the box, but shifting the box gets them out without much of a problem. I recommend this set as a great way to dive into this landmark YA series.
Note: I gave this a five based on an average score of the books, which I gave detailed reviews of each elsewhere. I gave “The Hunger Games” and “Catching Fire” 5/5 and “Mockingjay” 4/5.
We as a species stand on the knife edge of our continued existence. We are not struggling in some post apocalyptic state, yet. However we are trying our damnedest to get there.
Our evolutionary heritage as a top predator has become our current evolutionary excess baggage.
Additionally the way our minds were constructed by natural selection to allow us to become a social species is a disaster when we consider how they allow us to be manipulated by fake, made up, and pure crap ideas that are just yelled loudly at us from sources that we do not, and can not question based on how we evolved to form social groups.
We must understand this if we are to persist as a species.
Our big brains do know how to self train to engage in contemplative scientific thought.
To the extent we require ourselves to exercise our big brains in this manner with a view toward curbing our evolutionary heritage that is preventing us from being sustainable: We will succeed.
To the extent we do not or can not: We will not persist.
Top international reviews
... and then i watched the film for the first time a week ago.... and was blown away!.... Im not even sure exactly why?... so, encouraged, I watched Catching Fire.... now Im fully gripped, drawn in and cannot wait to see the next installment.
...and now to the book.... do I need to read it??.... well, I "kindled" the trilogy and have just finished reading the first book...oh wow, what a truly brilliant story (despite having watched the film(s).... I have never read a story that has been written fully from the perspective of the lead character...its quite intriguing, its riveting, its extrodinarily beautiful.... I love it.
All I am really trying to say here that MAY be useful to anyone is regardless of watching films, do try to read the books...ok, I havnt hit the last two books yet but somehow... i know.. I wont be disappointed.
"May the odds be forever in your favour....." >:)
I watched the films (on release) and, initially, enjoyed them. Then read these books and watched the films again. The books are much better than the films. The films are actually quite poor in comparison.
The story is, in general, quite good. Katniss gets a bit annoying towards the end because she never seems to grow out of her 'whiny teen' stage despite all the things she goes through, you'd think she'd grow up a bit but nevermind.
The prequel story/film should be interesting...
But for all the good stuff - and there are some great ideas at work here - there's also an overwhelming dependency on genre cliches (the obligatory teen love triangle <groan>). Characterisation is a bit hit-and-miss, and things happen that I was never quite able to believe in.
So, overall, there's enough good stuff here, especially in the first book, to just tip this over into the 4-star category for me. But it doesn't have the more subtle imagination, detailed writing, maturer politics and deeper characterisation that is making Veronica Roth's Divergent Trilogy such a thrilling current read for me. Recommended as an exciting though easy read.
It is impossible to discuss the plot without spoiling it for those yet to read this trilogy however I was caught up in the story & found it truly emotional. Comparisons with "Lord of the Flies" are inevitable &, although it is years since I read it , I can see similarities. However I also see the influence of other writers & of others concepts & mythologies. Again it is impossible to discuss the complexities of the themes without ruining the plot for others. But do not be put off by my use of the word "complexities"; these 3 books are not a difficult read & will keep your interest all the way to the end. Read it simply as a novel, or set of novels, & you will not be disappointed but I would have loved to have these books as set reading for analysis in a literature class; they would stand up remarkably well.
As I said, I know that I am not the target demographic for these novels but, like the Harry Potter novels, they are likely to transcend the generations. I read all the Potter novels & found them entertaining enough, if a little dull at times & taking an awfully long time to get to the inevitable conclusion. These novels are never dull & the conclusion is anything but inevitable. They should make the reader think far more than a Harry Potter novel & are all the better for that.
Every book is different in a way as the narrator, Katniss Everdeen herself, is developing.
First book seems like child's game concentrating on the ridicule of the 'reality show' of Hunger Game, second book is more serious and mature and third book felt like reading psychological novel.
I think I enjoyed the third book the most. One of the reviews says that 'the author is not kind to her main character' and she is not...henceforth, the book is close to reality and how we ourselves struggle in our societies.
The prospect of the main character being the narrator of the story is quite interesting and often confusing - the opinion you are creating about the situations are very subjective considering it is Katniss's point of view. This is adding much to dramatic events and I think it was a good call from the author to write the book this way.
I feel very humbled comparing to characters in book - will we be able to survive as they are surviving every day and in Hunger Games?
Author keeps us on our toes until the very end when it's revealed who Katniss chooses... I confess I wanted the other guy... On the other hand, the ending would be very fairy-tale-like and author probably wanted to stick with a realistic ending.
Highly recommend to read.
I could barely put my Kindle down whilst reading these, which meant I walked around most of Croatia bumping into tourists and lampposts, but they are un-put-downable. The characters are built well and quickly as is the scene. I could totally picture the world, feel the cold and desperation, delight in the uplifting moments. Different emotions arose in me as my eyes widened in surprise or shock or narrowed in horror or despair. I heartily recommend giving the whole trilogy a read. Read it before seeing the movies (if you intend to) which I will not be watching because I don't want to ruin my picture of the place or people. It's really left a lasting memory with me, bittersweet perhaps but nice to visit.
The 2nd and 3rd books, Catching Fire and Mockingjay were more complicated and more characters were introduced and different settings, i.e. District 13. I felt the books were more gritty and admired the author for actually having the guts to write a series that had an ending that left you feeling ambivalent and unsettled. It felt real because real life's a lot like that - you don't ever have your perfect ending where you end up walking into the sunset victorious and happy and settled. Life's just not like that, not if you've been through the kind of hell that Katniss went through. The ending really made it stick and even though I would have liked a Happy Ever After, I felt that it was suitable to the series and kudos to Collins for writing it as such.
An excellent read!
1. It arrived safely, well-packaged and in good time.
2. It is not a 'Boxed Set'... it is 3 books that are wrapped by a piece of thicker paper/card to bundle them together but there is no box!! Do not expect to be able to store them safely using the cover, it is no real protection at all.
3. As a set, with their corresponding covers they will grace a bookshelf... but if you love the stories as much as I do, they will rarely sit on any shelf for long. Hope this is helpful.
I also read the books themselves in the end and that's down to personal taste. My view is the first two were good reads, a modern twist on Lord Of The Flies. The last book however, was a bit disappointing (convoluted story line that I kept having to reread to understand parts) and incredibly depressing. Having said that, it was nice to see an author who doesn't pander to the 'happily ever after' approach you see from most writers.