Without question, when a notable series releases three dystopian novels along with three corresponding movies, all three are likely to be compared. I really had to think about which book I enjoyed the most and contrary to popular opinion, the first book will always be my favorite.
My last blog entry explained how the second book is much more in depth than the first, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better or worse.
The most unique characteristic of the first book is there is no duplication of the plot. The first book in a series is always original; it offers plot development, character development, and an introduction to conflicts and reoccurring themes. The first book in a series allows for the most imagination by the reader. Suzanne Collins introduces Katniss as a teenage girl struggling to find herself as she is forced to grow up way too fast. Collins also introduces Peeta as a young boy experiencing his first real crush. In the second book, both of these characters change dramatically and remain dynamic throughout the trilogy. However, in the first book they are simply characterized throughout the games. Unlike in the second and third books where the central plot is still utilized, the first book allows me to think what I want about The Hunger Games and enjoy the book for exactly what it is.
In addition, the first book only focuses on the games itself and sets the tone for the rest of the trilogy. It offers in depth background information about Katniss and her family and why she is the way she is. The first book is simple and enjoyable to read. The second book complicates everything when it introduces the inner love conflict with Gale, complications involving District 13, and a controversial Hunger Games with Peeta and Katniss as victims again. Many people will argue that the second book answers all of the first book’s questions. While this is a great thing, I liked reading more about the games rather than the underlying conflicts of Panem. Stories went from action-packed with a cute side love story, to serious political corruption and travesty.
There are numerous pros and cons to why one book may be better than the other. I don’t really think it’s possible to say one is the best because Suzanne Collins intended for all three of them to serve a purpose. With that being said, the first one will always be my favorite. It contains love, innocence, and a true beginning to what made us all fall in love with The Hunger Games.
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