My Thoughts on The Hunger Games Trilogy

I just finished The Hunger Games Trilogy.  Let me actually back up a little, on my 18th birthday (last month), I watched The Hunger Games, without any back knowledge on the story AT ALL.  And…I was completely confused.  That movie definitely wasn’t made to tell the story to an audience who hadn’t read the book.  There was so much that wasn’t explained, random actions that didn’t make sense, and a whole exposition that was excluded.  It felt very disconnected.

I was ready to toss The Hunger Games out the window – and I have to say, I was a bit disappointed.  After all the hoopla about the movie, I was expecting something pretty epic.  The movie didn’t even make me want to read the books – it actually left a bad taste in my mouth.

And then…I talked with my friends and they all said I should read the books.  They explained that they books were incredibly better, and everything would make sense after reading them.  So, I did.  I have to say, I really liked the story!!  The movie was like a brief, badly-done summary of the book, missing very important information.  Needless to say, I’m not a fan of the movie.  Of the books, yes.  Movie?  Not so much.

However, after reading the books, I am pretty excited about the Catching Fire movie.  I just really, really hope that it is closer to the book (and contains necessary details for non-reader understanding).  Because honestly, a person shouldn’t have to read a book to understand the movie.  The book is ALWAYS better, and it’s always a good thing to read the book, but it shouldn’t be necessary to understand the film.

Here are my Goodreads reviews of the books, as I read each one:

THE HUNGER GAMES

(4 out of 5 stars)

I watched the movie before reading the book, and I have to say…I was completely confused. I didn’t know what was happening or why, the producers alluded to some incidents but didn’t explain what it meant, the camera angles were strange, etc. I was told I needed to read the book, so I have. The book is definitely SO much better than the movie. Everything makes sense! I wish that the producers of the movie had taken the time to incorporate Katniss’ back story or…something – something to make more sense.

A lot of people say the book is more violent than the movie, but I honestly didn’t see it. In my opinion, it was less violent/graphic, excluding the scene of Cato’s death. I definitely enjoyed it more than the movie, and I look forward to reading Book Two – Catching Fire.

CATCHING FIRE

(4 out of 5 stars)

I enjoyed Catching Fire so much more than The Hunger Games. It had so much depth, twists, and development in it. Maybe I enjoyed it more because I didn’t have the confusing movie to go off of…just my imagination…but whatever it was, I definitely think Book 2 is better than Book 1.

I didn’t understand the ending – from the moment she shot the arrow into the force field, I was pretty lost. However, I’ve heard that I’ll understand it more by reading Mockingjay, so that’s certainly up next on my list.

I have heard so many people stating that the Hunger Games books are much more violent than the movie, but honestly, I don’t see it. They aren’t near as graphic or violent as they easily could be, or as I was expecting them to be based on people’s reviews. In my opinion, the movie was definitely more graphic than the books.

Collins has created something completely unique and endearing here. The reading level is about that of an eighth-grader, but the story is complex and intriguing. I greatly enjoyed this book.

MOCKINGJAY

(3 out of 5 stars)

Wow, Mockingjay was very different from the previous two books. In The Hunger Games, I couldn’t quite decide who I liked better – whether Gale or Peeta – but in Catching Fire, I liked Peeta better, hands down.

He was horrible in Mockingjay. Now, I understand the whole Capitol hijacking and everything, so it’s not his fault…I just didn’t like him, at all. I guess it was disappointing because I liked him so much in Catching Fire…and to have him changed so drastically in the next book was a huge shock.

On to other points, though. Mockingjay was definitely more violent, graphic, and gory. I seriously hope, if this book is put to film, that they ease over the graphic descriptions. I could easily see this book rated R if the descriptions are followed. I’m not sensitive when it comes to gore in books, but some of the situations caused me to shudder.

Still, I liked the ending – except for the fact that I don’t understand why Katniss murdered President Coin. I’ll probably figure it out eventually, though. I’m glad that Peeta was able to heal and return to his old self, and I’m glad he and Katniss were a couple at the end. I loved the epilogue – perfect ending!

I liked the previous books more, but this one was alright.

All in all, I really enjoyed the Hunger Games trilogy. It was captivating, unique, and intriguing! Hats off to Suzanne Collins!

***

So then there’s this whole Team Gale/Team Peeta thing.  I have to say…I’m for Peeta.  In THE HUNGER GAMES, I couldn’t decide which I liked more – Peeta was great, and Gale seemed like he had a lot of potential, but he wasn’t in the book much so I didn’t really know.

Then when I read CATCHING FIRE, I realized that I really liked Peeta.  He was just so open, honest, didn’t have hidden motives, and always wanted the best for Katniss.  He sees things clearly – not from a biased or influenced point of view – which reminded me a lot of Prim, her sister.

I decided I didn’t like Gale that much (especially in MOCKINGJAY) because he was extremely stubborn, politically minded, critical, and unforgiving.  He didn’t mind killing people because he was using Snow’s rules.  When did that make it alright?  Why was he okay with stooping to Snow’s level – the person they all despised because of his choices.  I did like that Gale knew Katniss best, but (especially in the third book), I didn’t feel a sustained connection between them.  He just seemed angry, dramatic, and preoccupied.  Granted, Katniss was pretty immature at times, but…they just seemed like they were always arguing and holding grudges.  I think it was a good thing that Peeta and Katniss ended up together, not Gale and Katniss.

Granted, I hated Peeta in MOCKINGJAY, but I realize he was changed because his memories were so altered by the Capitol’s trackerjacker venom…not because of his own choices.  He couldn’t help that.  Even with that knowledge, he ticked me off a few times.  I like that he healed and was mainly himself by the end of the book, though.

So, those are my thoughts on The Hunger Games Trilogy.  I genuinely liked the books.  I think the story was fantastic, and Collins was genius for creating it.  I was not impressed with the movie, but I hope the Catching Fire movie is better.

Click here to watch the Catching Fire Trailer.

Now, one more thing about Mockingjay – SPOILER ALERT (not that that many people haven’t read it…but hey.  They might not have.)

I was pretty disappointed that Prim died.  Not because I missed her as a character – she was hardly in the books so I didn’t really get to know her – but because of the fact that Katniss originally volunteered to take Prim’s place in the reaping…so she wouldn’t die.  And then Suzanne Collins kills her off at the end of the trilogy.  It seemed like a pretty unnecessary death to me, and very anticlimactic.   There were lots of seemingly unnecessary deaths in this book – especially Prim’s and Finnick’s.   I was also really sad that Cinna died…but his death certainly made a lot more sense than Prim’s or Finnick’s.

Anyways, that’s it!

What do you think of The Hunger Games Trilogy?  Agree/disagree with my thoughts?  Have anything to add that I might’ve forgotten?

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2 thoughts on “My Thoughts on The Hunger Games Trilogy

  1. Prim’s death was hard for me too! I hate when the sweetest and most innocent have to die. Or the heroine of the story in the case of a trilogy I just finished. I’m glad you gave the books a chance, though! They really are SO much better than the movie! 🙂

    • I’m glad I’m not the only one! Prim was always the most clear-headed about everything…her death just seemed really unnecessary.

      I’m really glad I gave the books a chance to! So worth it – and you’re right, SO much better than the movie. 🙂

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