I am going to try and be very, very careful not to spoil anything for anyone but if you haven't read the books and don't want to know anything about them before you read them then DON'T READ THIS!!! As I said though, I am going to try and not give too much away!
The Hunger Games seemed to be everywhere. Fellow ROW80ers reading it, comments on Facebook and Twitter constantly mentioned it so when I was searching for things I wanted for my birthday I put the trilogy on the list. Once I started the first book I ended up reading all three in just over a week.
I haven't read many Young Adult books but I loved this trilogy. Set in the post-apocalyptic world of 'Panem' the books involve 12 districts ruled by one all-powerful 'Capitol' and follow the story of Katniss Everdeen who gets caught up in the famous Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games are a punishment for a previous rebellion when the 13th district of Panem was destroyed and the Games are the Capitol's way of reminding the citizens that they have complete control over them. Each year the Capitol insists one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18 are to take part in the Games, literally to fight to the death as only one person can survive. When her younger sister is picked out of the lottery Katniss volunteers in her place and from there her story unfolds. It is written in first person and you find yourself very quickly rooting for Katniss even though at times she drove me mad with the things she said to those closest to her.
Suzanne Collins mentions in the back of one of the books that the idea came to her when she was flicking between television channels, one showing a reality TV show and the other a real life war zone. As someone who watches reality television it was actually scarily easy to imagine how this could come about. On the one hand the book is the tale of a young girl as she finds her place in the world and on the other it deals with poverty, starvation, oppression and war. It dealt with difficult issues we face today and I guess as it was aimed at Young Adults they were dealt with in a simpler way whereas a book aimed at adults may have discussed them more fully. I actually think though that the simplicity was part of the charm. It meant I thought more about my views on things such as politics and racism and about how where you happen to be born to a large extent determines the opportunities available to you.
The books aren't all about big world issues, there is a fair amount of teen angst as well. Katniss gets caught in a love triangle with her best friend Gale and her fellow 'Tribute' Peeta and the entire way through the books I wasn't sure how it was going to play out and how I actually wanted it to turn out. I wasn't 100% satisfied with the end but I am not sure I would have been with the alternative either!
This trilogy are thought provoking and fast paced and I truly struggled to put them down. I devoured them and now can't wait to see the first film in the next few days. However knowing me I will come out saying 'It's not as good as the book!'