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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

If you haven’t completed all three books, beware, this does contain spoilers.

Okay, when one is speaking of a CITY, it is spelled CAPITAL. ONLY when one is speaking of a BUILDING is it spelled CAPITOL. It still amazes me that this error made it through the editing process. Anyways, my first real point is the style of writing. First person and present tense. That is extremely difficult to pull off, and I’ve really only read one author able to it well: Becca Wilhite, (in My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions.) When writing in this style, one tends to leave out a lot of detail. That’s what people like: detail. It makes them feel like they are there, living it, tasting it. I believe Suzanne Collins tried to accomplish this goal by writing in the style she did, but when I was reading it, I felt … detached, I suppose. Reasons I believe this was: the blunt word usage and sentence structure, painting an almost-emotionless scene, and the fact that in books written in past tense, the narrator, whoever that may be, knows something more than the characters do at that instant. They have a little bit of insight into what happens next, even if they don’t openly say something about it. Katniss didn’t. Humans don’t know plenty of things about their own life. That’s why they read, to escape it. They like to know more, they crave to have the answers. When reading in first-person present-tense, they don’t have any of them.

Another thing is the plot. I thought the plot line of the first book was, for the most part, excellent. Really the only thing was the relationship between Katniss and Peeta. Suzanne Collins took everything lovable out of a romance out and threw in all the scraps. Very little of it was real, the vast majority was superficial, and I don’t want to spend the final days of the 74th Hunger Games reading something incredibly, what’s the word? MUSHY. But not even good mushy. Just shallow mushy.

The second book, Catching Fire, was still pretty good. I just thought it was extremely repetitive; I almost felt like I was reading the same book, as the experiences in the 74th and 75th Hunger Games don’t vary as much as they should.

Now, the third book, no offense to Suzanne Collins or any fan of her novels, was pathetic. The beginning was way too long, the end too short. There wasn’t enough to believe in. If I’m investing my time and emotions into this book, this world on the brink of revolution, I need to know that it’s worth it. I want to feel like I’m soaring with the knowledge that there is real good in the world, and that it is the most powerful thing, and that triumph is just around the corner. Is the revolution led by District 13 worth it, is it good? And why didn’t Katniss notice that it wasn’t earlier?

I want epic battles. Epic. I want the characters that I’ve grown to love to have worthy deaths, deaths to be remembered in great stories for generations. Not, “by the way, Cinna (the coolest person in all three books) died a while ago. Sorry I didn’t mention it before. Because President Snow felt like killing him. He didn’t die saving anyone, or on the brink of triumph. Nope, he’s just dead.” That is pathetic.

I read once (and I curse myself for not remembering who wrote it, so if it's you, don't sue) that one of the most important elements in a book is satisfaction to the promises made at the beginning. At the beginning of The Hunger Games, we were subconsciously promised that the world would get better, that this Katniss would rise to the challenge and become even stronger, and that this little girl, whom Katniss risked everything to protect, which sets the entire book into motion, would be protected. After Prim’s death, there was nothing, nothing, left to believe in. Why even finish the book? Why even continue with the revolution? What is worth the death of the one we all swore to protect?

My final point is Katniss. She was young, strong, somebody to believe in. But throughout the books, she seems to get weaker and weaker. She didn’t rise above the Hunger Games. They controlled her afterwards like any other. She didn’t really fight for the cause in book three. She didn’t stand up for what she knew had to be done. Although she didn’t let the Capitol control her, she let District 13 control her and everyone else. She didn’t protect Prim. She failed in her first quest, that she resolved to complete before the books even began. What happened to this strong young woman, who cared for her family when her father died? Who volunteered as a Tribute in the Hunger Games? Who dared defy the Capitol? And why on earth was she able to forget and lose trust in Gale, her longest friend, so quickly? The hero of a story must be heroic. That’s all I’m saying.


The story is really quite good. The writing is absurd. And I am finally finished.



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Tghermione19This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 5:36 pm:
You explained everything beautifly. I have acctualy read all three hunger games books. I finished all of them in like six days. And I still read them over and over again.
 
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