A Year In Books

Ok, in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I read the entire Hunger Games trilogy in about 48 hours, but I loved each book so much I am giving each its own week on A Year In Books. So there. Also, I’ll try and be careful but I might let some spoilers slip so read with caution.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the first book in the trilogy and introduces us to Katniss Everdeen, unassuming heroine and total kick-ass chick. The books is set in post-America, which is to say, America after a series of major wars and massive destruction. The country is split into 13 districts and a Capital, and the Capital is the controlling force behind everything that happens in the districts. At some point before the book begins, the 13 districts rebelled against the Capital and the Capital won the war by effectively nuking the hell out of district 13, all the other districts fell in short order and now there are only 12 districts and a Capital. To punish the districts for the rebellion, the Capital institutes the Hunger Games in which every district has to submit one boy and one girl “tribute” to come to the Capital and fight to the death with the other “tributes” in an arena. Think young gladiators with technology and you will get a pretty good picture of the Hunger Games. Ok. So that’s what you need to know.

Katniss’s younger sister is chosen for the Hunger Games and Katniss chooses to volunteer herself in her sisters place. Also, you should know Katniss is one strong female lead. She can hunt, provide for her family, knows a bit about medicines, and is killer with a bow and arrow. She also has a keen sense of fairness and though she may seem tough, has a lot of compassion, especially for underdogs. The male chosen from her district is Peeta Mellark, someone who Katniss has complicated feelings for. Thus begins an incredible and page-turning journey.

I’m not going to tell you what happens. I want to. But I’m not going to. Because I think you should read these books. I started The Hunger Games at about midnight last Friday and couldn’t put it down so I stayed up until 4am to finish it. (I know, I’m a wild woman). Then, I had to read the next book, Catching Fire, and when I finished that I immediately started the final book Mockingjay. I was completely engrossed in these books. I loved the action and suspense of them and Collins took some chances with storyline that I appreciated. I had a difficult time predicting exactly what would happen next or how things were going to resolve themselves. Collins could be accused of using the standard love triangle plot, and indeed there is a love triangle, but it didn’t seem as cliche as others I’ve read and I quite liked those bits anyway. More than anything, I am so thankful Collins created such a strong woman as a central character. Its been quite some time since I read a book of this genre where the female lead is so independent, capable, strong, and powerful, but not without heart and emotion. We need more female characters like Katniss Everdeen. Lots more.

The Hunger Games was an amazing read and even when I finished it, I couldn’t quite stop thinking about it. That is one of the highest recommendations I could give to a book. I suggest you read this trilogy immediately, especially since they are making a movie of it due to release in 2012. Some of the most compelling and addicting books I have read since Harry Potter. Sure, I spent an entire weekend doing nothing but reading this trilogy, but trust me, it was a weekend well spent.

What are you guys reading this week??

34 thoughts on “A Year In Books

  1. I LOVE these books too. seriously love. I read them until my husband got so mad at my constant reading. I read until my eyes couldn’t stay open or I fell asleep. Great choice for book review! Are you excited about the movie?

  2. I love, love, love that trilogy! I listened to Hunger Games & Catching Fire and zipped through reading Mockingjay in like, three hours. I could not stand not knowing how it ended. I disliked the Epilogue although it was understandable.

    This week I am reading “What Alice Forgot” and it is surprisingly good.
    I kind of wish I wasn’t sucked into watching this movie right now and was reading it instead.

    I’ve been reading a ton of books lately, but Hunger Games is one of my favorites, I might end up actually buying a copy of the trilogy.
    (I can only buy my very favorite books, since I read so fast that even doing that is expensive. )
    Wasn’t it wonderful? Although I kind of wished Katniss had kicked a little more ass, I did enjoy it very, very much!!

    1. I loved it too! I liked the epilogue, I thought it was pretty true to their experiences. I mean, as much as I love a super happy ending, I think this one was as happy as it could be without being disingenuous to the books.

      I might need to check out What Alice Forgot, I’ve never read it but it sounds like something I might like.

  3. I finally finished book one of the wheel of time series! whoopy! lol… I figure once I get Bella potty trained and fall comes I’ll get more reading time 😉 Until then, it looks like my staggering 1 book every three months will have to suffice!

    On to book two! I’ll let you know In September how it was. haha…

  4. Well, I have never heard of these books, so thank you for making me aware of them! I *love* finding books that suck me in so thoroughly that I have a hard time putting them down.

    I just finished The Last Temptation by Val McDermid, and I also just finished rereading Dune (Frank Herbert) and Titan (John Varley). So, I’m “between books” right now. Maybe I’ll look for The Hunger Games next.

  5. I loved these too. Thought I thought Catching Fire was the weakest of the trilogy.

    This week I read the Iron Fey trilogy by Julie Kagawa (I think that’s how you spell it) which, apart from finding it a little hard, from the perspective of a 57-year-old, accepting that a 16-year-old can find undying love, I really enjoyed.

    I think The Fae have become the new Vampires – dark and sexy and dangerous.

    1. I’ve not read any of the Iron Fae triology- I might need to check it out.

      I liked Catching Fire a lot, but that might be because I read the trilogy as one huge book instead of three separate ones.

  6. I don’t know this book and I hope I can find it in French too, if not I only have to find it in English so ! 🙂
    For now, I’m reading the Poet from Michael Connelly, a big classic in his genre but I have not read it yet.

      1. I will !! So far I have read, I just love the book. You enter right ahead into the story. I strongly recommend you this one, if you have to start the Connelly’s collection one day ! 🙂
        Of course it’s a “murder book”, but who makes the story so interesting is that you have so many twist all along.

  7. ok. yeah. i’m freaked. i read the hunger games last week as well, although not as enthusiastic as you were about it – i had some issues with a few things, story-wise, but the originality and the characters are outstanding.
    Also finished superfreakenomics – not bad. a lot of what they present is debatable..which was part of the author’s goal.

    Digging back in the archives this week, re-reading Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.

    1. Whoa. That is a little weird. Although, it seems like everybody is reading The Hunger Games right now. What were your story issues?

      That was my worry with Superfreakenomics, I figured I would find myself talking out loud debating what I was reading and then people would think I was crazy for sure.

      1. ****spoiler alert*****
        Parts of it were just over-written; don’t need to know Katniss’ every thought all the time. Also she had plenty of opportunities to wipe out the other tributes once she got the bow and arrows. Granted it wasn’t in her nature to wantonly kill but the circumstances were a bit unusual. The ending was un-satisfying, even for the first part of a trilogy. I felt sort of let down that everything possible was left hanging with the only resolution being who won the games.
        One of these days I will dive into the remaining volumes.

        and i talk to myself all the time…keeps people from bothering me.

  8. I agree! I was somewhat commanded by my friends to read it and I finally did. And it was definitely worth it. I think that Katniss is a bit like Max in the Maximum Ride books. The strong, smart, protective, leading female who knows how to kick butt is mutual between them. As for me, I’m reading some very old books, because who doesn’t love old-book-smell?

  9. I absolutely LOVED The Hunger Games books. I read them after one of my good family friends (and rising superstar) Jennifer Lawrence was cast as Katniss. She is filming the movies now and I cannot wait to see them.

      1. Yeah she is going to be awesome in it! I didn’t read the books in 48 hours (a feat indeed!) but I did sacrifice a great deal of a weekend towards reading them a couple weeks ago. Can’t wait to see the posts on the other two books! I’m reading Game of Thrones now (have you watched the show?). The books are just as awesome as the show and not as nerdy as they sound (think much much less Merlin and Lord of the Rings and more backstabbing, power hungry awesomeness).

      2. Oh, I have definitely watched Game of Thrones! I want to read the books too because I have to know what happens and I can’t wait for next season to find out. 🙂

  10. Oh my word, I just finished reading the series last night. I think I read them in less than 24 hours, which I haven’t done with any book, series or otherwise, in years. It was definitely not predictable! I’m still not sure how I feel about Mockingjay. I might have to reread it. Maybe I’ll just reread the whole series. Probably not in 24 hours though…

    1. I know! I think I’ll probably re-read them all again soon too. I couldn’t put them down once I started but I read them so fast, I fear I missed some crucial nuances. I had the same feeling about Mockingjay too, but I went back and re-read the parts I thought bothered me and they bother me a bit less now. It wasn’t that it was poor storytelling, I just wanted things to be resolved a bit differently in some instances.

  11. Just finished Hunger Games a couple weeks ago. I enjoyed it, although I’m still turning it over in my mind and haven’t decided what to think about the violence.

    I haven’t got my hands on the second one yet because everybody in my circle is reading these books and there hasn’t been a copy available.

    1. Fair word of warning: The violence doesn’t lessen in the other books.

      Having said that, if you aren’t too bothered by it, I would definitely read the second and third books. They are really fantastic!

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