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The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins: May The Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!

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“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

The 2010s were marked by the boom of the YA dystopia genre, with The Hunger Games popularizing a subgenre that was already in expansion thanks to The Giver (1993), by Lois Lowry, or The Uglies series (2005-2007) by Scott Westerfeld. The Hunger Games was a massive success and created a wave of copycats, a number of YA dystopia worlds to be lost. It has also been adapted in a series of films.

Written by the American author Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games takes place in Panem, a totalitarian police state created in the unspecified time in the future after a series of ecological disasters and a devastating war. The capital city, named ‘the Capitol’ is surrounded by twelve outlying numbered Districts. Once upon a time, there was a thirteenth District, but this one was allegedly destroyed.

Every year, the Capitol host an event called the Hunger Games, in which one boy and one girl aged 12–18 from each of the twelve districts are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle royale to the death.

The Hunger Games tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a teenage girl destined to become a symbol of rebellion against the oppressor.

The Hunger Games Novels in Order

The Hunger Games series is comprised of a trilogy (to read in order) and a prequel. There are two ways to read the series. You can read them in the order they were written or you can read them in chronological order.

The Hunger Games Series in Publication Order

The Hunger Games Series in Chronological Order

 The Hunger Games Cover - Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins Book 1 Catching Fire - Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins Book 2 Mockingjay - Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins Book 3 The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - Hunger Games Prequel by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games – In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to death before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Still, if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Catching Fire – Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Mockingjay – Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes – It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

The Hunger Games Film Series

It didn’t take long for Hollywood to adapt The Hunger Games, giving us not a trilogy but a tetralogy with the last book being adapted in two parts (for money reasons, obviously). The film series was a real success and helped Jennifer Lawrence, which starred as Katniss, gaining worldwide recognition (in parallel to her role in the X-Men franchise).

The Hunger Games Quotes

From The Hunger Games

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”

“Destroying things is much easier than making them.”

“Stupid people are dangerous.”

“And while I was talking, the idea of actually losing Peeta hit me again and I realized how much I don’t want him to die. And it’s not about the sponsors. And it’s not about what will happen when we get home. And it’s not just that I don’t want to be alone. It’s him. I do not want to lose the boy with the bread.”

From Catching Fire

“I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever.”

“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion.”

“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead.The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.

From Mockingjay

“It takes ten times as long to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”

“What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.”

“I drag myself out of nightmares each morning and find there’s no relief in waking.”

“But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self-destruction.”

From The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes

“People aren’t so bad, really,” she said. “It’s what the world does to them.”

“And try not to look down on people who had to choose between death and disgrace.”

“You can blame it on the circumstances, the environment, but you made the choices you made, no one else. It’s a lot to take in all at once, but it’s essential that you make an effort to answer that question. Who are human beings? Because who we are determines the type of governing we need. Later on, I hope you can reflect and be honest with yourself about that you learned tonight.”

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