More than just a trilogy of books: The Hunger Games trilogy

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins is much more than just a trilogy. If you’ve not yet read the books, I highly recommend that you do. They should be read one right after the other, more as one book than three. I read the first one a little over a year ago (you can read my review here), but now re-read it with the others in a week and think it’s the only way to read them. This has become one of my very favorite series of books, if not the most favorite.

[5 out of 5]

The Hunger Games is great, but the three of them together are beyond amazing and change/add so much to the story and message. From some of the reviews I’ve heard and read of the third novel, Mockingjay, I can tell that others didn’t pick up on the same message I did. Perhaps it’s not the message Suzanne, the author, meant to portray, but it very strongly stood out to me. I won’t give any spoilers away, only tell you the message I perceived.

When I finished the second book, Catching Fire, I realized that one reason the main character Katniss annoyed me was because many of her characteristics are similar to my own. As I’ve read time and time again, what you don’t like in others are reflections of what you don’t like in yourself. I’ll fight for what I believe and those I love to the best of my ability, but I’m not always certain of which path is the best to take. I like receiving direction and am good at taking it, but can be quite rash without it. However, those times result in some of the best things.

One thing that bothered me the most about Katniss was that she didn’t know who she loved most when it came to the boys in her life. I came to the conclusion that she loved both Gale and Peeta as friends, but an intimate love was not apparent for quite some time. As much as I wished for her to choose one over the other immediately, I understand that she was only 16 year old and, regardless of her age, things aren’t always so easy and black and white. Especially when it comes to the things that Katniss had to face. Some things just take time.

As for the third book, Mockingjay, I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much from reading a book (note: I’m not a big crier and hardly ever get even slightly teary from reading any book). I felt heartbroken, not only for what occurred in the book, but mostly for the meaning, what I took to be the message, of the trilogy. It’s hard for me to put into words what I felt and thought after completing these novels.

Suzanne and her books have been called out for being “graphic” and “violent”, but I’m not quite sure what the complaining is all about. Turn on the TV and you’ll see the real thing and not all that different from what you’ll read in The Hunger Games trilogy pages. Governments kill, sacrifice, and abuse their people to get what they want. There’s a part in the book that mention the “Peacekeepers” and how they’re brought up and told they’re heroes only for them to go out and kill innocent people. If they were born into another district, it would be the other way around and they would be the ones who were murdered.

Does this not happen every single day in our world? Do innocent friends and family members, young children, sick people… do they not get murdered all over the world? Perhaps it’s not filmed and aired for entertainment like it is in The Hunger Games, but the rest of it does happen. And rather than saying no to this, we are not much different from the “slaves” in these novels who do what the government tells us to do and just sit and watch.

If we can’t even get along with one another in our world, why would anyone be shocked to read about it in a fiction novel? I don’t know when it became okay to kill anyone, when it started to be seen as good to kill the “bad guy”. Rather than hate, we should all start showing one another more love. Like a few characters in the book, I have hope that this will eventually catch on and maybe a time will come where it sticks around for good. These books allowed me to see the world more clearly and the need for change and love even more so.

There’s more that I got out of reading The Hunger Games trilogy, but that’s what stood out the most. Have you read The Hunger Games trilogy? Did you get this message out of it? What did you think of the books? If you’ve read them, please leave a comment because I would absolutely love to continue discussing it with you further!