Patty (woodycakes) wrote,

The Hunger Games Series

Let the Games Begin?[Goodreads]
My four month vacation gave me the luxury of reading books all day and everyday. Unfortunately, employment does take away a good 8+ hours of my day and thus don't have as much time to read actual books (with fic dominating my life).

But when poetrytoprose (and everyone else on my twitter feed) raving about the first two books of The Hunger Games Trilogy, I thought it wouldn't hurt to give these books a try. I'm usually a chick-lit kind of girl, (sci-fi ain't really my thing) and I wasn't so hot about more vampires or werewolves or supernatural whatever.

So when I was informed that it was purely human, set in a post-apocalyptic North America (known as Panem), I figured it wouldn't hurt to give it a try. And boy am I glad I took a chance. I breezed through book 1 in ONE day and finished the 2nd book in 3 despite being at work. These book own me.

The Hunger Games

Probably one of the easiest reads of my life, this book just refused to let me put it down. Thanks to dorkfish04, I started reading Sunday afternoon and it kept me up till the wee hours of Monday morning (even if I HAD WORK!!!) I usually try to sleep by midnight just so I'm well rested, but Peeta and Katniss's story was so good, I didn't mind the lack of rest.

And because I'm terrible at explaining stories anyway, I might as well just lift what Barnes and Noble put as the synopsis so I can go straight to squeeing.
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival.
First of all, the premise of The Hunger Games, is unlike anything I'd seen before and though I thought I would be so depressed by it, it actually wasn't so bad. Collins has a way of writing the book that I'm always on my toes, waiting for the next amazing thing to happen.

The Hunger Games in itself is already an interesting thing, and how the districts of Panem are divided and how they're all out of touch with one another is something I feel could happen in the future. There's always that what-if this did happen in the future that comes with this story. And though it feels so out of this world, it also feels very real.

The lead girl, Katniss Everdeen, is a great central character. And the first person point of view does limit things but I like how Katniss tells a story and she's not some weakling either so it was definitely an action-filled journey from the moment she takes her sister Prim's place at the reaping for the games.

The 'lead' ish boy, Peeta Mellark, who I'm still having a hard time imagining how he looks, is just to die for. I mean like literally. I don't think I've been this giddy over a fictional character in quite some time. Though we only get to see him through Katniss's eyes, I'm excited to read things about him from another point of view just because Katniss spends a good amount of the book trying not to like him (as she thought she'd have to kill him as well).

Obviously, I'm on the Peeta/Katniss ship (flautapantera brilliantly calls it PeeNiss and that just made me really laugh but somehow, I can't type it out without laughing so yeah) EVEN BEFORE Peeta drops the bomb of his undying love for her. I always like their interactions while preparing for the games and the pre-game festivities. Effie and Haymitch and Cinna and Portia do a great job of prepping the two tributes from District 12 and Collins does a great job of describing just how different things are in the Capitol as compared to District 12.

I also love the flashbacks Katniss has to when she first meets Peeta and how things were with Gale. Of course, there's the other boy Gale Hawthorne (whom I don't actually hate or dislike). I just don't like him in the sense that he's getting in the way of Peeta/Katniss.

The games itself are exciting and really fun to read, though I was wary that I wouldn't make it through all the killing but I do. Reading about Rue and Cato and Glimmer and Foxface and the rest of the tributes and how they survived the games was just so fun. Of course, any and all cave-time interactions (hello GP rated kissing that somehow got me really giddy!) between Peeta/Katniss were precious and I wanted to hit Katniss on the head to just tell her that what you're feeling for Peeta is real! Don't hide behind the 'I-have-to-save-us-both' mentality. You know you're doing this cause you Love like him as well!

Of course, the ending was pretty priceless, what with Katniss defying the Capitol unconsciously with those damn berries. I was just so happy that she and Peeta pulled off the star-crossed lovers act, even if it was all so real for Peeta. Oh Katniss, I just wish she was more certain of her feelings, but I couldn't exactly blame her as the games aren't exactly so conducive to falling in love.

And though it didn't end with a cliffie, I was happy to have my copy of the second book right there to breeze through as well. I know I'm missing a lot about the first book, but I don't think I'd have time to type it all out.

How Would I Survive?[Goodreads]

Catcthing Fire

Then the second book started with Katniss and Peeta totally not interacting cause it was all 'an act' for Katniss and I was soooo dying to see things from Peeta's hurt point of view. It's sad how things still didn't get better for them.

I feel spoiled because I didn't have to wait fo the second book to come around and though I breezed through the book, I now want to do re-reads just so I can totally absorb everything about the book, perhaps on another weekend.

I was PM-ing with mizra the entire time I was reading and it was great to have someone to rant to about it especially about my consistent feelings of wanting to KILL President Snow, but more on that later.

And because I'm really horrible with telling the story succinctly, Barnes and Noble says that Catching Fire is about:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.
Of course Katniss/Peeta couldn't just have their happily ever after! I was hoping they'd actually all escape to the mysterious District 13 and I thought that this book would be about their adventure to get there, BUT NO, we get ANOTHER Hunger Games and they're freaking tributes again (thanks to the oh so fishy Quarter Quell pre-written condition)! Obviously Katniss was required being the only female victor and Peeta was off to save her this time around part assured only ONE would come out alive. WOE!!!

The Victory Tour was fun to read, even if it was a little short. I guess they just wanted to drive the fact that it was the same thing for 12 different districts. The way Katniss and Peeta were faking their love really must have hurt Peeta. Though I have to say I felt bad for Gale when he gets whipped, but I so don't buy the Katniss liking Gale -- she just thinks she owes him something for all those years together. Or so I think.

I love comparing their mindset, preparation and attitude towards the first Hunger Games and their re-try. I felt so bad how Katniss was just in it to save Peeta and didn't even care for her life anymore. But then Peeta throws the 'Katniss is pregnant' card and I wish she really were just so we would have seen a sex scene, but alas, this is YA after all. It's crazy how giddy I'm getting and they're not even doing anything!!!

I sweeear Peeta is one smart cookie even if he isn't the best tribute there is out there. The Games this time around was actually really really interesting with the clock and the different hourly 'challenges' the game masters had. I had a harder time imagining the new past victors turned tributes. I really felt bad that they all had to die (well almost all) even after winning already.

I can tell Finnick and Johanna apart and they were really great additions to the story, but I had a harder time imagining Beetee and Wireless. Their alliances in the Games were interesting to read about, but I was really just looking forward to all the Katniss/Peeta 'moments' in the beach and how they refused to leave one another for fear of their inability to protect the other.

And no Katniss, it's not just duty driving you to do this. You know it's love as well. I wish she'd realized sooner how much she loved him before the shit hit the fan with the forcefield being destroyed and Peeta and Johanna being captured by Capitol!

And look! There is a District 13 and Katniss is on her way there with Finnick! I wish Peeta was with her but no, Gale's there to pick up the pieces. I really hope Book 3 isn't about Gale/Katniss while Peeta suffers away at the Capitol because I feel this'll only confuse Katniss more about her feelings for Peeta while Gale distracts her with comfortableness.

And what a cliffie this one was. I swear my mouth dropped and I couldn't believe there was nothing else after that last page because it is so evil to leave me hanging like that and not know when I can read about Katniss and Peeta. Now I wanna know how things turn out in book 3. And i want it now.

And because this has gone waaaay too long...

There's so much I love about this book and though I'll probably not be able to type all of it down, it's rare for me to get so hooked in a YA book so quickly, but this one totally did the job. I feel like I'm so attached to Katniss and Peeta and Prim, (even Gale) and Effie and Haymitch and Cinna and just everyone that I don't think I could take it when the last book comes out cause then that'd be the last I'd see of them.

I guess that's where good fic comes in. Oh boy. Now the wait for book 3 is going to be long, but I hope if I find great fic, it'll help tide me over till the day comes. Plus themockingjay is around so at least I have a community where I can flail with others. And now the wait begins. I hope it isn't such a long one.
Tags: books, catching fire, the hunger games
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