Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Series: The Hunger Games
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 496

Okay, since my last review consisted almost entirely of incoherent blather, I shall do my best to make this one more sensible, objective, and useful to the general readership.
Well, I finally finished The Hunger Games trilogy. And, much as it galls me to say it, I'm a fan.
The series tells a story that is very dark, violent, and brutal - not exactly light reading. But in the process it also tells a story of human resilience, and the incredible feats that can be accomplished by just a few good people who take the initiative to stand up against evil and tyranny.
I love the realism of the characters - they make mistakes, they struggle, they make foolish decisions, they hurt each other. But they also help each other, pay for their mistakes, apologize to each other.
Before reading The Hunger Games I'd only read one book that was in first-person present tense, but I really liked the sense of immediacy it created. Well... most of the time I liked it. When a swarm of grotesque mutts is chasing you through the sewers, immediacy is not exactly a pleasant sensation. : )
I was extremely worried for the last half of the book or so, wondering how on Earth the author was going to take all the disaster in the story and bring it to a satisfying ending. I won't spoil it with details, but I will say that I was satisfied and happy. It was intriguing to me, though, to look at how scarred and damaged the surviving characters were. They will never be 'normal' after the trauma of all they've been through... and yet they're surviving, making their way through life and dealing with the scars of the past as best they can. It makes me think of Frodo after he destroys the Ring - only these characters don't have the Gray Havens to sail off to. They just have to hang onto each other and make the best they can of it. To me, that speaks volumes. Yes, those characters will never be the same, they can never go back to the way they were. But their sacrifice wasn't in vain. They did it for a cause, and in the end, in spite of all they'll have to suffer and all the scars they'll have to live with, it's worth it. As a writer, that's a message I would love to communicate through my own stories.
I doubt I'll get it done as clearly or powerfully as The Hunger Games trilogy did, though.

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