Before I Blogged: The Hunger Games Trilogy

Before I Blogged is a feature here at JenniElyse. The idea is to post my original review of a book I recently reread and my feelings after the reread.

After I read THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES, I decided to reread the original trilogy. Here are my original reviews of each book:

The Hunger Games: January 4, 2009

Tonight, I finished reading THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins. It’s the first book in the The Hunger Games trilogy. The sequels haven’t been written yet. CATCHING FIRE, the next book in the trilogy, is due to be released in September 2009.

I started reading THE HUNGER GAMES yesterday and I finished this evening. I literally couldn’t put the book down, except when I went to bed, which Corey insisted I do, and to go to Church today. (I almost felt like I was reading TWILIGHT for the first time again with how enthralled I was with the story. And, knowing me, you know that’s huge!)

The story’s about a 16-year-old girl, Katniss Everdeen, who lives with her mom and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts rebelled against the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send two tributes, one boy and one girl, to appear in an annual televised event called the Hunger Games. The terrain, rules, and level of gamekeeper participation may change, but one thing’s always the same year after year, kill or be killed. When Katniss’ sister is chosen by lottery as one of the tributes, she volunteers to go in her place.

The story’s so compelling. Katniss is strong and likable. There’s tons of suspense and a little bit of romance. There’s just enough hope and compassion to balance the horror and barbarism. Honestly, I’m not sure how I’m going to survive the wait between now and September. I really want to know what’s going to happen. Collins has done an excellent job of setting up for the next novel. And, there’s a love triangle that could be brewing!

I don’t know why I get involved in these stories before the series is finished!

Catching Fire: September 6, 2009

Tonight, I finished reading CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins. It’s the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. The third book in the trilogy hasn’t been written yet. It’s tentatively scheduled to be released in 2010, probably around September since that’s the month THE HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE were both released in.

I actually started reading CATCHING FIRE this morning and finished reading it about two hours ago. Just like THE HUNGER GAMES, I couldn’t put CATCHING FIRE down and it has earned a place on my Favorites shelf.

I’m not going to write a synopsis of the story because it will give too much away about THE HUNGER GAMES if you haven’t read it already. Suzanne Collins is a master with imagery and character development. It makes the story seem so real. You can’t help feeling sorry for the residents of Panem, a post-apocalyptic North America, because of the oppression from the Capitol. However, because the themes do seem a little barbaric, she puts in just enough hope, compassion, and romance to balance the story.

I really enjoy the deeper, more adult, themes this series presents. It doesn’t seem like a mindless read because of the implications and horror caused by the Capitol in the ways they oppress the residents of Panem. It’s almost like the world created in FAHRENHEIT 451, but told in a much more interesting manner and most of the people aren’t oblivious to the Capitol’s efforts to keep its residents in ignorance by oppression.

Anyway, there’s a part of me that wishes I hadn’t started this series until all the books were written. They’re so intense and it’s hard to wait in between each story. I want to know how the series is going to end. I want to know if the characters I care about will triumph over the Capitol and how much of a difference it will make if they succeed.

Mockingjay: August 30, 2010

Last night, I finished reading MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins. It’s the final book in The Hunger Games trilogy.

I’m not going to write a synopsis of the story because it will give too much away about THE HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE if you haven’t read them already. However, just like its predecessors, I couldn’t put MOCKINGJAY down. (I was forced to at a couple of points, even though I didn’t want to.) It has also earned a spot on my Favorites shelf.

I can’t believe I know the outcome of this series. I feel like I’ve been waiting for so long and to have it over feels kind of surreal. I’m glad I was able to savor my first read through of the story, even though I did know about a few spoilers.

I do have a lot of mixed feelings about MOCKINGJAY. I’m happy, sad, and a little disappointed. Yet, I’m actually quite satisfied with how the series ended. There are a few things I wish would’ve happened differently, mostly because I just didn’t want them to happen because it was too sad. I’m very glad I got to enjoy more time with some of the minor characters in the first two books. But, I also missed the interaction between a couple of the major characters, even though it was pertinent to the story. The ending felt a bit rushed to me because I wanted to experience the aftermath in more than just a few pages or paragraphs.

MOCKINGJAY felt different from its predecessors. It wasn’t necessarily a bad different; it was just different and it took some getting used to. The story is still an emotional roller coaster and it’s very intense. I savored the beauty and sweetness when it was there because of the brutality of the subject matter. I expected to cry more than I did, but I only cried at one point during the story. Overall, I’m very happy and I look forward to reading more books written by Suzanne Collins.

Reread Feelings

I’m so glad I decided to reread this trilogy again. I still adore it just as much as I did the first time I read each book. I watch the movies fairly often and I had forgotten how much they leave out. It was nice to remember characters and events that didn’t make it into the movies.

Each time I read the books, I appreciate the deeper, more adult themes a bit more. I realize the dystopia Suzanne Collins created isn’t that far off. I also appreciate MOCKINGJAY more with each reread or watch of the movies. I know a lot of readers were unhappy with Katniss and how the first two books affected her. Having recently gone through PTSD therapy, I think she behaved very believably. I’ve always been happy with the result of the love triangle. I, however, appreciate it more now than I did back then. I now understand her choice and why she made it rather than just being happy with who she chose.

What about you? Have you read The Hunger Games trilogy? If so, what did you think about it?

About Jenni Elyse

Hi, I'm Jenni. I’m an eclectic reader. I mostly read fiction and I favor fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers, and romance. The more kissing in a book the better!
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8 replies
  1. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    Mockingjay was my least favorite of the books but who knows how I would feel about it now? I don’t generally re-read books though; I have so many others to get to from the library or on my Kindle.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I think MOCKINGJAY was a lot of readers’ least favorite. I know people complained about how broken Katniss was and some people hated that she ended up with Peeta. The two main things I had a hard time with were Prim’s demise and how rushed the ending felt. The movie helps with the latter issue. I don’t know if I’ll ever not be sad about Prim, though.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      If you do reread them, I hope you enjoy them just as much as you did the first time or more. I wonder how your feelings of MOCKINGJAY would change or stay the same. It’s curious what time and age will do to our opinions. 😀


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