With the weight and intensity of college reading, good fun books often get neglected. Textbooks dominate the time of red-eyed pupils. It is rare for pleasure reads to crack the schedule of the wearisome readers. But sometimes a book is worth putting your friends on hold and enjoying those precious free moments.
Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games trilogy, which concluded this summer with the release of Mokingjay, are perfect for an escape from studying, and even this world.
The series is set in the fallout of a massive futuristic war. What’s left of the world is divided into districts and controlled by the Capitol. After quelling a failed uprising of districts, the Capitol has decided to remind the poor, disunited and weak districts of their authority by sponsoring The Hunger Games.
Every year, two children are selected from each district and placed in an extravagant area filled with traps, creatures and weapons.
Only one participant, the victor, is permitted to leave alive.
Cameras follow the bloodbath and broadcast it live to all the televisions – which sit dormant the rest of the year. No one is permitted to turn off the gruesome carnage.
The series chronicles the young life of Katniss Everdeen. She enters the games in the first book of the series. Her mother and sister watch her at home. She and her father used to defy the Capitol and hunt to provide for the family.
After her father dies, she continues to provide for her family and develops incredible and deadly accuracy with a bow. These skills prove vital in her time in the arena.
The gladiator concept may seem tired, but Collins takes it much further. Katniss is the catalyst for a much bigger story about the districts trying to fight for their independence. The young girl becomes the face of a resistance she never intended to join. Her desire is to live peacefully with her family, but the world just won’t allow that.
The books are more than futuristic sci-fi novels. Collins delves deeply into her characters and what makes them act the way they do.
Katniss’s personality as it is affected by her circumstances is the focal point in such a magnificent tale that covers totalitarianism, murder, war, commercialism, poverty, revolution, genetics, depression and love.
Technically classified as juvenile fiction, the series is an easy read that anyone can pick up and enjoy. Like Harry Potter, their location in the book store shouldn’t dissuade older readers.
The Hunger Games are smart, passionate, fresh and even dark. The fast -paced prose begs readers to keep scouring through the book. All three can easily be read through in a weekend.