Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Hunger Games

I finished the Trilogy over the past week, and I wanted to be sure that I documented the awesomeness of them.
I completely copied and pasted from Wikipedia, because I am horrible at reviews/cliffnotes.  Also these tell the entire books outcome and all.  So please avoid this if you have yet to read the books.  Amos, that means you!

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games follows 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, a girl from District 12 who volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games in place of her younger sister Prim. Also participating from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a boy who developed a secret lifelong crush on Katniss the moment he laid eyes on her as a child. They are mentored by District 12's only living victor, Haymitch Abernathy, who won the Games 24 years earlier and has since assumed a solitary life of alcoholism. Peeta professes his love for Katniss in a television interview prior to the Games, leading the Capitol to portray Katniss and Peeta as "star-crossed lovers". This revelation surprises Katniss, who actually harbors feelings for her hunting buddy back home,Gale Hawthorne. Haymitch advises Katniss to play along and act in love with Peeta, in order to gain wealthy sponsors who can gift them supplies during the Games. In the arena, Katniss develops an alliance and friendship with a young tribute from District 11 (Rue) and is emotionally scarred when she is killed while acting as a decoy. Katniss devises an impromptu memorial for Rue as an act of defiance toward the Capitol. More than halfway through the Games, the remaining tributes are alerted to an unprecedented rule change that allows both tributes from the same district to be declared victors if they are the final two standing. After learning of the change, Katniss and Peeta begin to work as a team and spare each others' lives. When all of the other tributes are dead and they appear to win the Games together, the provision is reversed at the last moment, requiring one to kill the other. Katniss quickly devises a plan for herself and Peeta to commit double-suicide (denying the Capitol of its precious victor), but they are stopped by the Gamemakers and both return home victorious. During and after the Games, Katniss indeed develops strong feelings for Peeta and struggles to balance them with the connection she feels with Gale. When it becomes clear the Capitol is upset with her defiance, Haymitch encourages Katniss to keep up (and even accelerate) the 'star-crossed lovers' act, without telling Peeta.

Catching Fire

In Catching Fire, which begins six months after the conclusion of The Hunger Games, Katniss learns that her defiance in the previous novel has started a chain reaction that inspired rebellion in the districts. President Snow is not fooled by Katniss' act and privately threatens to harm her family and friends if she does not help to slow the rebellion, which involves marrying Peeta. Meanwhile, Peeta has become aware of Katniss' disingenuous love of him, but has also been informed of Snow's threats, and promises to help keep up the act to spare the citizens of District 12. As such, they tour the districts as victors and plan a very public wedding. While they follow Snow's orders and keep up the ruse, Katniss inadvertently fuels the rebellion, and the mockingjay pin she wears becomes its symbol. District by district, the citizens of Panem begin to stage uprisings against the Capitol, and Katniss learns of the skirmishes by various methods. Snow announces a special 75th edition of the Hunger Games, known as the Quarter Quell, in which Katniss and Peeta are forced into competing a second time with other past victors, effectively canceling the wedding. At Haymitch's urging, they team up with a few other tributes (acting covertly as rebels, unbeknownst to the pair) and manage to destroy the arena and escape the Games; Katniss is rescued by the rebel forces from District 13, while Peeta is captured by the Capitol. Also, Katniss is informed that District 12 has been destroyed.


Mockingjay, the third and final book, centers around Katniss and the districts' rebellion against the Capitol. Katniss, now a refugee in District 13 and quite damaged from her experiences, agrees to be used by the rebels as a propaganda tool (the embodiment of the mockingjay symbol, complete with costume) to unite the districts in the uprising against the Capitol and President Snow. Peeta and the other remaining tributes captured by the Capitol are rescued, but he has been brainwashed to consider Katniss an enemy, and he is guarded carefully as his rehabilitation progresses. Finally, a group including Katniss, Gale, and a still somewhat unstable Peeta go renegade in the Capitol on a mission to assassinate President Snow. Before Katniss can complete her objective, Prim is killed in a bombing. Later, a captive Snow tells Katniss that Coin, the president of District 13, was behind the bombing, and she deduces that Gale was one of the designers of the bomb. After Panem officially falls to the rebels, Coin suggests a final Hunger Games featuring the children of the Capitol's former leaders as tributes, leading Katniss to believe that nothing will change under a new regime. At Snow's scheduled execution by Katniss' arrow, Katniss targets and kills Coin instead, and Snow dies in an ensuing riot. Katniss is tried (unbeknownst to her) and acquitted of killing Coin. Katniss, Peeta, and Haymitch eventually return to a ruined District 12. Katniss slowly begins to recover from her many mental scars. Katniss' mother and Gale both take jobs in different districts. Katniss eventually comes to genuinely love Peeta, marries him, and after many years, Peeta convinces her to have two children.

I have to say that all three books were really good.  Amos and I often talk about what would happen if something like this becomes of the world.  The world is ran by greed, and I honestly don't think something like this could be too far off.  Without getting too political I want to add some thoughts on each book.

The Hunger Games:
I had seen the movie, which is why I wanted to read the book.  While watching the movie I walked away with several questions than were left unanswered.  I knew that the Hungar Games was a way to keep food restricted in some areas, but the movie didn't give me that feeling.  When Peeta fed the bread to Katniss in the movie I thought it was his way of being a dick.  The book obviously gave me more details on the  scenario  and I know that was not the case.  Overall the concept and detail that Collins goes into made me feel like I was there participating for myself.  Even though I knew the jist of what was going to happen I still found myself wanting to know what I was going to read next.  I also was thankful that the book answered my ?'s in regards to Peeta's true feelings.  In the movie I never got that it was part of the plan to be in love with Katniss.  I just thought that he truely was.  The book let me know that it was both the case.  Which gave me a bit of a different look on it.

Catching Fire:
Catching Fire threw me for a loop.  I would be lying if I even saw for a second that they would end up back into the arena. It went from a good book to a great book in one chapter. In fact I read that chapter while walking, and I had to stop to text my Mom about my rage.  She merely laughed at me.  Other than being thrown for a loop nothing really sticks out.  I loved that the rebels were trying to protect both Peeta and Katniss the entire time, and I even thought the clock arena was really clever.

This one is probably my favorite of the 3.  Merely for the fact that I knew she would end up with Peeta.  I also liked that she was never left out or immune to getting hurt.  Too many books or movies have the main character always coming away unscathed.  Whereas with Katniss she spent more time in the hospital then she ever did fighting.  I also liked that if she did black out it blacked you out with her.  Made you want to rush to the end to figure out what happened while she was sleeping.  The book pulled at my heartstrings with Peeta being highjacked though.  I was expecting them to be reunited with such love, and I hated that it wasn't.  Though I do feel that she realized then that Peeta was the one she loved, and not Gale.  I knew that Coin was a piece from the get go.  Anyone who treats a human being like a prop is not a good person in my book.  So to say that I saw that part coming is a bit of an understatement.  I was still glad when it happened though.  I was really sad that Prim had to die though.  Especially in the manner that she did. War is such an ugly thing, and this book only reiterates that.  The ending was sad, and I was a little concerned that there would not be a happy ending.  Which depending on how you look at it, I guess it could go both ways.  I also don't imagine that after going through something like that you can just start your life with the love of your life, and not have a hard time regardless.  The guilt, and sadness for those lost would probably be too much to handle.  I love the fact that Finnick's wife Annie had a baby though.  Reminded me that he didn't die for no reason.  

Random on Gale and really an overall analysis of his character.  Why did he think that he could ever compete with Peeta.  I know that sounds stupid seeing how they are just books, but really.  She went through something unspeakable with Peeta.  Needed him for comfort, and when he wasn't around she spent most of her time being a bitch to Gale.  Gale also wanted to be a hero far more than he ever wanted Katniss.  That annoyed me for some reason.  Peeta's only mission was Katniss, and her family.  While I think that Gale was very noble, I also saw him as a douche sometimes.  Especially towards the end when he could have cared less about who he was killing.  Just made me want Peeta to find his way back even more.

I really enjoyed the trilogy, and I am excited to see the next movies that they make based off the books. I am a little sad that I finished them, but now I am making Amos read them in hopes that we can discuss it.