I’m so torn when it comes to writing this review. I am disappointed because I wanted to love The Hunger Games. I wanted to experience what many readers had.
After much persuasion I finally decided to bite the bullet and read ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy. I was shocked by the fact that these books were geared towards young adults. I am not one who gets queasy by a little violence and I do not see why a few psychological twists can’t be thrown into a book… but when we’re talking about A LOT of violence, the readers should be a more mature audience. That being said, the story was somewhat compelling and entertaining. Since these novels were written with the young adult in mind, it would be generous to say that the writing could use a little work. The first novel had a good flow and a strong tendency to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Even though the themes in this novel had been done plenty of times before, this story brought in a few new aspects that gave the impression of a completely never before seen idea. The premise, as a whole, really seems to lack authenticity. In order to enjoy this book, you MUST accept everything at face value. You must accept that the people of Panem are so resigned to the barbarism that is the Hunger Games, they never question it. In fact, in seventy-four years, not even one tribute has questioned the mandate that they must fight to the death in some arena while their families watch and place bets on which teenager will be victorious.
Another issue I had with The Hunger Games was the personality of the main character, Katniss. I am just like many other readers in the sense that I like to be able to associate myself with the protagonist of the story. It is hard to find similarities with a character that is so oblivious of what is right in front of her. One of my biggest pet peeves is the design of a character that seems to not realize that impact that she has on the men who surround her. I despise when Katniss plays the ‘I didn’t realize that anyone ever noticed me’ card. Other than her unintentionally dense personality, Katniss does start to win the reader over with her compassion.
The Hunger Games are the violent way of showing the districts in the book that they have to sacrifice for what they have been given. One boy and one girl from each of the 12 districts are randomly drawn once a year to be thrown into an arena to fight for their lives while the cameras everywhere show their every move to their loved ones at home. Katniss and Peeta are the ones who are chosen to represent District 12. The twist that is thrown at the readers early on is Peeta confessing his undying love for the girl that he might have to kill in order to save his own life. The difficult part of the story is how quickly you fall in love with the brave and adorable Peeta. Knowing that they couldn’t possibly kill off the main character (or could they?!) I hated myself for cheering for Peeta since, unintentionally, he is the enemy.
This novel has been read and appreciated by readers of all ages across the nation, but in the rare case that we have people who have not jumped on the bandwagon, I will not divulge any suspenseful details of the compelling series. (Although if you decide to take my advice & read ‘The Hunger Games’ please, please stop there. Do not read the other two novels in the trilogy).
I feel as though I don’t need to say this, but I’ll go ahead just in case my readers are as dense as the main character: If you enjoyed these stories and have been fortunate enough to not subject yourself to the motion picture, I would strongly suggest you keep it that way. The movie ruins the book completely for any appreciative reader with half a brain. (Katniss is taller than Peeta in the movie, enough said.)