Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Hunger Games series

I started reading this series of books by Suzanne Collins because my children totally loved them and kept nagging me to read them as well.  I felt the books were very dark and unnecessarily violent - unsuitable for young children who are very sensitive.  Just the thought of everything that the protagonist(Katniss) goes through is unbelievable and quite extreme.  The whole premise brought to mind George Orwell's 1984 and more recently The Giver by Lois Lowry, combined with the TV series Survivor.  It is literature that appeals to young adults - a whole new world, an alternate reality that is so fascinating, a post apocalyptic science fiction that seems to be the new wave after the Harry Potter series.

I have to say the books kept me riveted.  I read the trilogy in succession because I could not wait to read what happens next.  The characters are drawn well, the plot complex and the Hunger games that are vivid enough to make you live the experience with the contestants.  However, I felt cheated because though Katniss was projected as the heroine who could potentially save their world, she seemed to be suffering defeat after defeat at the hands of the villains.  Will she win?  Is her victory aligned with that of the people she represents?  Two central characters vie for her affection - the race to read the end is as much about which one she chooses as her partner as much as figuring out the outcome of the war.  I guess you will have to find out for yourself. 

It was definitely a great experience to discuss the books with my children and share their passion.  I would highly recommend them for that reason alone - but also for the simple prose and gripping storyline.  All the books have been on the best seller lists and needless to say - we will be joining the millions at the midnight show of the soon to be released movie.

Have you read them?  Did you think the book would have the same impact if the violence was tempered?

For more book reviews click here.


  1. Nice post.Thanks for sharing.I hope I could also share this and read this story to my kid.

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  2. Well - it is more for middle schoolers - and if you don't get around to reading it - the movie version is coming soon.