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on August 31, 2016
The book came packaged nicely and arrived on time. As a huge Hunger Games fan, I was extremely excited to receive this book. I've been completely obsessed with Hunger Games for several years, never miss any books or movies of it. The author’s imagination is amazing which draw me into the story so completely that it's hard to put the book down. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. All in all, this is a really good book which are a great gift for every Hunger Games fan!
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on August 24, 2010
This was a brilliant conclusion to the trilogy. I can only compare it to "Ender's Game" - and that is extremely high praise, indeed.

When I first closed the book last night, I felt shattered, empty, and drained.

And that was the point, I think. I'm glad I waited to review the book because I'm not sure what my review would have been.

For the first two books, I think most of us readers have all been laboring under the assumption that Katniss Everdeen would eventually choose one of the two terrific men in her life: Gale, her childhood companion or Peeta, the one who accompanied her to the Hunger Games twice. She'd pick one of them and live happily ever after with him, surrounded by friends and family. Somehow, along the way, Katniss would get rid of the awful President Snow and stop the evil Hunger Games. How one teenage girl would do all that, we weren't too sure, but we all had faith and hope that she would.

"Mockingjay" relentlessly strips aside those feelings of faith and hope - much as District 13 must have done to Katniss. Katniss realizes that she is just as much a pawn for District 13 as she ever was for the Colony and that evil can exist in places outside of the Colony.

And that's when the reader realizes that this will be a very different journey. And that maybe the first two books were a setup for a very different ride. That, at its heart, this wasn't a story about Katniss making her romantic decisions set against a backdrop of war.

This is a story of war. And what it means to be a volunteer and yet still be a pawn. We have an entirely volunteer military now that is spread entirely too thin for the tasks we ask of it. The burden we place upon it is great. And at the end of the day, when the personal war is over for each of them, each is left alone to pick up the pieces as best he/she can.

For some, like Peeta, it means hanging onto the back of a chair until the voices in his head stop and he's safe to be around again. Each copes in the best way he can. We ask - no, demand - incredible things of our men and women in arms, and then relegate them to the sidelines afterwards because we don't want to be reminded of the things they did in battle. What do you do with people who are trained to kill when they come back home? And what if there's no real home to come back to - if, heaven forbid, the war is fought in your own home? We need our soldiers when we need them, but they make us uncomfortable when the fighting stops.

All of that is bigger than a love story - than Peeta or Gale. And yet, Katniss' war does come to an end. And she does have to pick up the pieces of her life and figure out where to go at the end. So she does make a choice. But compared to the tragedy of everything that comes before it, it doesn't seem "enough". And I think that's the point. That once you've been to hell and lost so much, your life will never be the same. Katniss will never be the same. For a large part of this book, we see Katniss acting in a way that we can only see as being combat-stress or PTSD-related - running and hiding in closets. This isn't our Katniss, this isn't our warrior girl.

But this is what makes it so much more realistic, I think. Some may see this as a failing in plot - that Katniss is suddenly acting out of character. But as someone who has been around very strong soldiers returning home from deployments, this story, more than the other two, made Katniss come alive for me in a much more believable way.

I realize many out there will hate the epilogue and find it trite. At first, I did too. But in retrospect, it really was perfect. Katniss gave her life already - back when she volunteered for Prim in "The Hunger Games". It's just that she actually physically kept living.

The HBO miniseries, "Band of Brothers", has a quote that sums this up perfectly. When Captain Spiers says, "The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you're already dead. The sooner you accept that, the sooner you'll be able to function as a soldier is supposed to function: without mercy, without compassion, without remorse. All war depends upon it."

But how do you go from that, to living again in society? You really don't. So I'm not sure Katniss ever really did - live again. She just ... kept going. And there's not really much to celebrate in that. Seeing someone keep going, despite being asked - no, demanded - to do unconscionably horrifying things, and then being relegated to the fringes of society, and then to keep going - to pick up the pieces and keep on going, there is something fine and admirable and infinitely sad and pure and noble about that. But the fact is, it should never happen in the first place.

And that was the point, I think.
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on August 30, 2015
I decided to purchase the series because I couldn't wait until the release of the last film to find out what happened with Peeta. I was going to skip to the last book because in my head, 2 months would not be enough to read the whole series and I feared not getting into them as much. Boy was I wrong.

My husband suggested I start from scratch as films always leave out a TON of detail and I'm so glad I listened to him. Once I started I could not put the books down and the cliffhangers at the end of each chapter always left you wanting to find out what happens next. The films do, in fact, leave out a TON of detail (and characters) and in just a week I went through the entire trilogy.

English is not my first language so the simplicity of the dialogue was a huge breath of fresh air. I often find myself avoiding Anglo literature because of the unnecessary complexity of the narrative and although this book was very easy to read it doesn't feel juvenile.

All in all, loved the series and would recommend them to anyone.
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on April 15, 2016
I love the series and loaned it out to several friends and family. By the time the books made it back to me they were more than a little beat up. I passed them along to a young cousin of mine. When I saw this set I knew I could buy it to keep for myself. The foil set is gorgeous and even though they are just paperbacks and will get creased with time the case will stay nice.

This is a series that is meant for young adults but it turned out to be a fun, fast read for me. I highly recommend this to anyone, it is a pop culture phenomenon for a reason.
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on December 14, 2014
Before reading The Hunger Games trilogy, I had more than a few people tell me the first two books were good, but the last one was lacking. I couldn't disagree more. The story is harsh, gruesome, and bleak. It had to be. It's a first person account of an individual who has survived two Hunger Games and plays a major role in a revolution. Of course it's going to be brutal. Had the story drawn to a close with Katniss standing majestically with trumpets blaring and flags waving, it would have been completely unrealistic.

I also heard a few people express disappointment in the conclusion of the Katniss/Peeta storyline. I've read people's reviews taking issue with how Katniss and Peeta are represented at the end of Mockingjay, asking "Where's the passion?" Passion? Are they insane? First of all, the story is told in first person by a character who is admittedly not at all comfortable being demonstrative and doesn't respond well to those who are. There was never going to be a hearts/candy/flowers declaration happening here. Peeta has a borderline obssessive love for Katniss throughout most of the trilogy. The way I read the story, by the end of the first Hunger Games, she returns the feeling. Though hesitant to think why she does the things she does, or to state it aloud, she expresses it in so many different ways throughout the remainder of the trilogy, there really is no doubt. Despite the fact that she is suffering major PTSD, she agrees to take on the stress of being the symbol of revolution and take a front line role to bring him back. Regardless of the amount of trauma they both endure, they still eventually turn back to each other. Gale was a strong character, but he had not gone through what Katniss did in the arena and would never have been able to understand that part of her. The time she spends clinging to him and avoiding Peeta is essentially an attempt to return to the person she was before the games (which was never going to happen). Peeta was the walking, living, breathing reminder of the trauma endured. I thought it telling that Peeta returned to Region 12. Like Gale, he could have gone anywhere when it was all over, yet he went where Katniss was. Really, Katniss, Peeta and Haymitch needed each other to become human again (or as human as they were ever going to be). Katniss reminded me of uncles I had who, when they returned from war, sat in a darkened room, staring at a wall day after day for over a year before they could handle being amongst the living again.

I'll admit part of me would have liked President Snow's demise to be more than it was. Considering the amount of suffering he caused, part of me is bloodthirsty enough to have wanted him to suffer a great deal more. There are also characters I would have liked to survive (Finnick, Cinna, and Prim to name a few), but their deaths helped to illustrate the randomness and unfairness of death in wartime.

There are parts of this story we'll never get to see because it is told from Katniss' point of view. We see only what she sees and know only what she thinks is going on. I, for one, would be interested in knowing more about events of the story from Peeta and/or Haymitch's point of view. Peeta's fight back from his memory hijacking would be an intriguing read.

Ultimately, I found this book engaging, infuriating, exhausting, and funny all at the same time. To have had Katniss serene and sweetly declaring life to be sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows would have been absurd. She is with a husband (partner?) whom she loves and is utterly devoted to. She has two children she loves, but is worried what they will think when they know the role their parents played in the past. She and Peeta are happy, but remain somewhat haunted which is perfectly realistic for what the characters have gone through.
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on March 24, 2016
I have really enjoyed these books. I agree that the third is the most controversial, the one that it was hardest for me to appreciate. There are parts that I am a little less happy with, such as Katniss’s leading her squad across the Capitol with her made-up mission. It does feel like a video game. She spends too much time in avox mode, either because she cannot speak due to near strangulation, or because she is simply too upset, or simply because she is in solitary confinement.

Still, the book deserves five stars, and the whole series is amazing. Not only is it entertaining, but this last book manages to keep the same pattern as its predecessors – an initial section, followed by the messiest of the Hunger Games (an actual war) – while taking us to whole new levels and posing deeper questions. What is the point of revolution and war if nothing changes? And is Coin good? Collins makes that character extremely ambiguous, at least at first. Katniss is represented by the color black: her hair is black, and she comes from the coal district. President Snow is represented by the color white: white hair, white snow, and white roses. But Coin is gray: gray eyes, gray hair, and gray clothing. Is she good or evil?

Many gems and motifs in this book show its extraordinary depth.

Mockingjay divided into three different parts: The Ashes, The Assault and The Assassin. The titles of all three parts contain a word beginning with “As” which is a lovely approach.

The word “the” is a little misleading, as it implies that each part is about just one of those items, whereas in each case it could apply to several different events, persons or conditions. Now I will get into some serious spoiling, so only read ahead if you don’t mind such things.

The Ashes. Obviously, this continues the motif of all things related to fire. There are several literal instances of actual ashes, beginning with Katniss’s return to the bombed-out remains of District 12. She returns near the end with Gale, and they tour the ashes of their home. There are more literal ashes to be found in the bombing of District 8, and figurative ashes to be found in Katniss’s emotional life and her relationship with Gale.

The Assault. This is the second part, and there are many examples of assaults within the part. At the end of Part 1, Peeta Mellark warns everyone in District 13 that they are about to be bombed. At the beginning of Part 2, Peeta himself is being assaulted for the defiance he showed by warning them. Katniss does not see the assault, but she hears his cries and sees drops of blood on the white tiles.

Assaults continue. District 13 is subject to several days of bombing, in which Katniss and the others are forced to stay in their bunkers. (An interesting question is why the Capitol stops the bombing after only a few days, but that is not answered.) Peeta is then rescued – which could be considered an assault on the Capitol – and as soon as he sees Katniss, he tries to strangle her. This is because he has been brainwashed (“hijacked”) by people in the Capitol – an assault on his mind (which started in Part 1, but certainly continued during Part 2).

In order to get away from the unexpectedly murderous Peeta, Katniss joins the rebels in District 2, where the rebels themselves perform a horrendous assault on the Nut, a mountain containing most of the weapons being used against them. Katniss, acting as a peacemaker, is assaulted again, this time with a bullet, but although she is injured she survives. The remaining chapters in this part are devoted to planning for the assault on the Capitol.

Part 3 is called The Assassin. Again, the title can be applied to many people in these chapters. It begins with the still-unstable Peeta, programmed to kill Katniss, joining Katniss’s squad. He can be seen as an assassin sent by Coin – a view confirmed by Boggs, her commander. Katniss spends much of the time with the plan to assassinate President Snow. (She feels a little too guilty about blaming herself for the deaths of her comrades – after the initial incident, they had very little opportunity to go back – they were stuck behind enemy lines.) Of course, she does not carry out this particular deed of killing Snow but kills Coin instead. But we must remember that Coin herself is an assassin, and what is worse, a killer of kids. She tried to kill Katniss through Peeta (and at one point Katniss reminds readers that she is only 17, technically still a child). She is responsible for Prim’s death and the deaths of a whole bunch of Capitol kids. What is worse – what Katniss cannot bear – is that Coin is planning to continue with another set of Hunger Games (Nothing has changed!).

I could go on and on but I am sure I have wearied most people. Enjoy and appreciate!
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on December 27, 2014
I began this book with a certain amount of trepidation. It's certainly very popular, not just among the target audience, but with older readers, too...and I've found that I tend not to enjoy the hyped up novels very much. However, after a brief stint working in a bookstore and selling these books like hotcakes, I wanted to give them a go and see what they were all about. Do I think "The Hunger Games" is as good as it's hyped up to be? But it's an entertaining read nonetheless. Spoilers follow.

Seventy-four years after brutal war, the United States is divided into 12 districts headed by the capital city of Panem. As punishment for the war, every district must submit two tributes, one boy and one girl, to take part in the annual Hunger Games, a fight-to-the-death competition that is broadcasted for all to view, with the winner's district being rewarded with extra food until the next Games rolls around. Katniss is a sixteen year-old girl from District 12, the region that provides the Capital's coal. She lives in poverty with her distant mother and her younger sister, Primrose. The family's breadwinner since her father died in a mining accident, Katniss spends most of her time illegally hunting for food to trade and consumption and is often the only thing that keeps her family alive. During the reaping, her sister's name is pulled to be District 12's female tribute. Knowing Primrose doesn't have a chance at surviving, Katniss volunteers to go instead with the understanding that she also likely won't return. Paired with the kind yet determined Peeta as her fellow tribute and their cynical mentor Haymitch, Katniss is whisked off to the Capital, where she faces untold horrors and almost certain death in the seventy-fourth Hunger Games.

This is an exciting premise, to be sure. Unfortunately, I'm going to start this review with one of my main complaints with the story. While the concept is interesting and exciting, it doesn't hold up particularly well to scrutiny. The population can be split into two groups when it comes to the Hunger Games: those who are entertained by the carnage and drama and those who just passively accept it. I'd be willing to buy that if we were talking about adults being forced to fight...but we aren't. These are kids, some as young as 12, being pitted against one another. I find it very difficult to believe that there hasn't been some pushback from the population. Today, we see parents go to great lengths to protect their children, particularly in war torn countries where kids are often pressed into service as soldiers or forced into servitude. These parents know they face certain death, yet their willing to do what needs to be done to find and protect their children. Collins tries to explain away the passive attitude toward the games by saying that the population is too beaten down to care or object. Really? There hasn't been anyone, a single family or even a lone parent, that has tried to make a stand? It simply isn't believable when taken at more than face value.

That aside, "The Hunger Games" is an exciting read. The beginning is a little slow, but the pace really picks up once Katniss leaves District 12. Collins deserves a big pat on the back for pacing this so well. It's difficult to find a good stopping point; hard to quit reading when you just want to know what happens next. The story flows well from element to the next and it never feels forced, stilted, or, worse, boring. A lot of the YA novels I've read lately have had incredibly bloated middle portions that slowed the pace of the overall book to a crawl - thankfully, that's not the case at all here. It's also worth mentioning that nothing feels unnecessary. The action is placed where it needs to be and never feels gratuitous, and the more relaxed sequences (even in the beginning) are never seem longer than they need to be and always serve a purpose. It's riveting, it's hard to put down - it's a well-plotted and well-paced story that never bores or strays from its plot.

The plot also deserves recognition because it's damn good. One of my major complaints with books that I've read recently is how predictable they are, especially in the Young Adult genre. "The Hunger Games" is far from predictable; the twists are unexpected and genuinely surprising, and not in a nonsensical way. As I mentioned above, implausibility aside, the premise is engaging and, for the most part, different. I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that Katniss survives, what with there being two more books being told in the first person point of view. How she gets there, though, is quite a journey, full of surprises and twists, some good, some terrible. I was also pleased to see that the dystopian aspect was executed well. I've always loved "1984" and "Brave New World," and wondered how a Young Adult novel would portray the horrors and hardships of a dystopian society. Collins doesn't pull any punches with what is shown. It isn't as gritty as it could be, but we see enough to be bothered, enough to hate the people in charge of this world, and enough to make us think.

Writing-wise, "The Hunger Games" won't be winning any awards for prose in the near future, but the style used is successful for the type of story told. Collins' writing is borderline minimalistic at times, which actually ends up being a good thing. The book isn't padded out with fluff and the story is never lost in a sea of description. Rather, we get enough to understand the setting and what's going on, which gives us a book that gets right to the point and doesn't mire itself in unnecessary prose. This is a story that's meant to move quickly and keep the reader constantly turning the page, not spend pages explaining a room or the history of a particular region. There's no info-dumping here; enough background is provided to make sense, and it's incorporated into the story to not bog down the pace. Some reviewers have complained about the use of fragments, and while that's sometimes a bit of a writing peeve for me, it somehow works in this book to provide excitement and sometimes suspense between pages and, in some cases, even paragraphs. While perhaps not the most complex or technically perfect prose, the writing used in "The Hunger Games" more than serves its purpose: telling the story in a satisfying manner.

On a side note, Rue's death is easily one of the saddest things I've read in a while. To give a little background on myself, I don't like children and really dislike it when authors try to use kids to tug at readers' heartstrings. So the overall premise of the novel wasn't quite as abhorred to me as I'm sure it is to some readers. But, damn, did this little girl's demise kick me hard in the gut. I had to stop what I was doing to cry...and I'm not a terribly emotional reader. It happens so quickly that even if you know it's coming, you don't want to believe it. I expected a lot of death with such a bloody competition and a lot of attempts to make the reader tear up, but Rue's manages to be touching in a very unique way, as does Katniss' moment of defiance to honour her young friend.

Like most Young Adult novels, this one has a love triangle. Unlike many YA books, it doesn't dominate the story. That's not to say I enjoyed the romance, simply because I almost never enjoy romance, but at least the romantic elements were a little different than what we usually see. The relationship between Katniss and Peeta is initially created and played up strictly as a source for televised drama, and Katniss and Gale only have a vague flicker of romance between them with a long friendship that cements their bond. Though Katniss begins to realize she has feelings for both boys at various points in the novel, it never takes over the plot (though it - or at least the act that Katniss and Peeta are putting on - does play a significant role in at least one event). It's also worth noting that both romance options are likable. It's far too typical that the protagonist has to choose between a supernatural bad boy and her loyal best friend, but here she has two decent guys with their individual flaws and attributes. At least in this book, I never saw one as being an obviously better option than the other. Not surprisingly, she doesn't make a decision at the end of the novel, but that's ok since her romantic struggles weren't the focal point of the book.

I'm going to have to rave for a moment about how much I liked Katniss' character concept. She stands out so much from other YA protagonists I've read simply because she doesn't have a lot of the common traits. She isn't a special snowflake with unique powers that is somehow destined to save the world; she doesn't have an inferiority complex that makes her see herself as ugly while everyone else is fawning over her beauty; she doesn't see people strictly for how attractive they are; she isn't a damsel in distress...instead, she's a tough girl hardened by a rough life that has supplied her with a few key useful skills. She's a survivor, first and foremost, and has the abilities necessary to do whatever needs to be done to ensure that her family doesn't starve to death. Her archery skills quickly set her apart from the other tributes, and she's good, but only because her family relies on her to hunt for food. Better yet, she's confident in what she can do...she knows she's good and uses that to her advantage. It's hugely refreshing to read about a character that doesn't simper endlessly about how useless she feels. In the few moments where Katniss feels useless, it's because there's really nothing she can do, not because she's mired in her own self doubt. She can be cold and even caustic, but not to the point of it being fact, it's actually portrayed as something of a fault in her character. This is a protagonist to root for, not to pity. You want her to succeed, not because you feel sorry for her or know that the fate of the world is resting on her shoulders, but because she pulls herself up and strives to survive. Well done, Collins, Katniss is one Hell of a good character as far as her design goes.

This makes it all the more tragic that she's a terrible narrator. As a character, I like Katniss quite a bit, but as the story's point of view character, she's incredibly dull. There's nothing particularly unique about her point of view, now interesting bias or flavour to how she sees things. She tells everything in a straightforward manner exactly as it is, and we never really get to get inside her head. The book likely would have been better if written from the third person point of view simply because Katniss is too boring to completely carry the story. It's also problematic that she doesn't really grow as a character. She starts as a life-hardened teenager that's been forced to grow up too fast and as a result holds some disdain for the government...and ends in pretty much the same way. I found myself wishing that she had been from District 1 or 2, someone raised to love the Capital only to be forced to realize how terrible it is after being thrown into the arena. With her beginnings being what they are, there's no room for her to really grow.

I was also disappointed that she never had to make any tough decisions regarding killing other tributes in the arena. It could have been a huge moment for Katniss, being forced to murder someone who, like her, is there for no reason other than chance. Instead, every death that Katniss witnesses or is somehow a part of is set up as chance (Fox-Face), is a mercy killing (Cato), or the victim has been made so unlikable that you don't really care that they've died (Glimmer). Others die around her, but she isn't in any way responsible for it, which absolves her of any guilt she may feel. I wanted to see Katniss struggle with these tough decisions and live with her choices. Instead, Katniss never really faces any moral dilemmas like you'd expect, and her kills are set up like mercy killings or coincidences, which is incredibly disappointing in a book that has the premise of teens being forced to kill their peers for sport.

The other characters vary in their portrayal. Katniss' family is also pretty dull. Primrose is almost sickeningly innocent and sweet. Yes, it helps us see why Katniss feels the need to protect her at all costs, but it doesn't seem terribly realistic given their life of extreme poverty and the plight of those around them. Katniss' mother is distant and uncaring, which essentially takes her out of the picture, as Katniss hates her for shutting down after Katniss' father died. It's almost too convenient as a way to take both of Katniss' parents out of the picture. Gale is more interesting since he seems to want to take a more active role in defying the government, but holds himself back because he has to support his family. Peeta initially seems too nice, but his little speech to Katniss about wanting to die on his own terms shows that there's more to him than just being a nice guy. We don't get to fully know Rue since she dies so quickly, but what we did see was satisfying. Haymitch holds a lot of promise when he isn't drunk, and I hope we get to learn more about him in the next couple books. Most of the other characters fare similarly: they have a lot of potential, but we don't see enough of them to really figure them out.

Despite my complaints, I really enjoyed "The Hunger Games." The premise is interesting and somewhat unique in the genre, even if it doesn't hold up well under scrutiny. The pacing is great and the writing style is very functional for the type of story, making the book an enjoyable reading experience. The dystopian elements are executed well and there are some truly emotional moments in the novel. There is a love triangle, which may initially make some (including me!) groan, but it manages a different take on what is typically seen, as most of the romance is fabricated to create drama for the media. What's better is that both of Katniss' choices of romantic partners are good, interesting characters with their own issues. Katniss is a refreshing, competent character with confidence in her abilities - a real treat with so many YA protagonists suffering from inferiority complexes while possessing superhuman abilities. However, despite her great character design, she's an incredibly boring point of view character that never really grows despite what she faces in the Hunger Games. Many of the other characters vary with Katniss' family being rather dull and most of the other characters showing promise. I have my complaints, but I'll still give it 4 stars. It was highly entertaining and kept me turning the pages for hours. Perhaps more importantly, it stands out in the Young Adult genre for many reasons, all of them positive.
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on February 28, 2015
I love the hunger games trilogy , and the fact that they give you the audiobook with the Kindle edition is fantastic and a great deal for $8.99. It is definitely worth the buy and even if you don't utilize the audiobook as much as I do it's always handy to have because you can listen to it while you're in your car or you just can't read the book at the moment. The hunger games is in my opinion the best book in the trilogy. I know is the series progress people tend to like the second and third ones even more however I prefer the first one the most. Because cliffhangers are always the best in my opinion . They keep you sucked in, and I think that's the best part of book is when you get sucked in. Anyways this is a great by well worth the price to buy these separately the book or the audiobook separately together in price is $22 and if you buy it this way as a combo it's only seven dollars so this is a great deal. Highly recommend purchasing and it's convenient . And who doesn't love this series .
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on March 30, 2014
This book should have a PG-13 or R rating. The violence and subject matter are mature and should include plenty of parent/child/teacher/group discussion!
That aside...The Hunger Games is a book I really hate to admit...I enjoyed enough to give it a 5-star rating! Collins' plot sounded sooo implausible...and horrific. Then I opened the book and begin reading!
My pre-conceived notion regarding implausibility became an evening tide, each wave encroaching on and stealing away my peace of mind as I became increasingly engrossed in her remarkable story the point of spending nearly every waking moment with my nose in these books from beginning to end (pretty much the entire bad-weather weekend)!
That plot and the violence both intrigued and frightened me....throughout the series. Collins' research into the psychology and sociology of the human spirit was beyond impressive! Her depiction of the climactic downward spiral of civilization was intense and made me feel sickened. ABSOLUTE FEAR, including torture and intense suppression CAN and DOES result in a remarkably quick descention into psychotic (robotic, passive, manic, depressive - CRAZY) behaviors! And Collins explained and depicted how ANY minor rebellion from within the ranks of VICTIMS was easily squashed when immediate torture and/or termination was applied, and telivised, publicly!
The Hunger games trilogy was a house of mirrors and a house of horrors, combined. As much as I enjoyed it, I'm not ready to recommend it to teens and especially 'tweens' without WARNING parents: read it first and be prepared to discuss it!
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on December 13, 2013
I purchased the trilogy after watching the first two movies simply to find out how the story ends. It was easy for me to visualize the characters and scenes - thanks to the two movies. Of course, after completing the first two books in the series, I was able to learn more about the individual characters, their backgrounds and the reasons behind the unrest in the various districts...seems like the movies barely scratched the surface. Kitness, Peeta and Gale are portrayed as fearless victors, ready to lead the revolt. I was anxious to get into the final book to see how it all comes together.

I found The Mockingjay didn't read as smooth as the first two books. To me, the first half of the story bogged down while the characters were in District 13, and too much time was spent the love triangle of the main characters. I also found myself confused during this part of the story and felt like the President of District 13 was trying to overthrow the capital and using everyone else as pawns in her complex scheme to become the supreme ruler. When the war actually begins, the pace picks up and moves quickly. As the battles continue, many of the characters die while trying to protect Kitness...sending a clear message that sometimes war is necessary, but the price will always be steep. The book ends abruptly, but thank goodness the epilogue provides answers to the question: What happened after the war?

Overall, I found the trilogy enjoyable and easy to read, hard to put down especially with the cliff hangers that the author uses at the end of the chapters. I can't wait for the last movie installment in 2014 and look forward to how close it will follow the written word. Highly recommended! Great job Suzanne Collins!

John Podlaski, author
 Cherries - A Vietnam War Novel
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