I love days off that afford me the luxury of several hours reading time. Add a teapot, and I’m all set for the day. You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me either, Clive Staples Lewis! (Really, his middle name is Staples? Bilius doesn’t sound so bad now, eh Ron?)
I may have graduated with a degree in English, but that did not stop me from slipping away from the latest and greatest in the literary world. I don’t get the newspaper, I don’t have any magazine subscriptions or television (I have a TV for movies, TV shows on dvd, etc., just no actual TV channels), and I rarely let myself get close to Barnes and Noble anymore, in fear of leaving with empty pockets or broken-hearted because I can’t afford 100 books.
For this reason, I had only glimmers of The Hunger Games trilogy’s presence; the occasional whisperings of it in crowds or the casual facebook status. But suddenly, the movie came out, and everyone was talking about it. I felt left out and had to download it for my kindle (Is it supposed to be capitalized or not? I can’t figure it out) this week and finished it today.
I generally don’t like science fiction or post-apocalyptic fiction. When I read, I like to throw myself right in the thick of it, feel like I can picture the setting so well that I could draw it. Most of these genres tend to alienate me on this point but somehow this world had enough hints of my own world to keep me satiated. A strong female character who doesn’t have to try too hard to be badass is always good in my book, and Katniss did not fail to deliver. (Ex: I like Eowyn, but I think she uses her ‘I am woman, hear me roar’ mantra way too often). I also enjoyed the character’s names a lot. Like Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance authors), Collins created names I’d never heard before but still felt familiar on my tongue. Which is more than I can say for some of the new parents these days…
I found the plot fresh and interesting; while reading it, I never thought, “This reminds me of insert book here or author’s writing style.” Instead, it surprised me. I am an excellent plot guesser (just ask Dave), most of the time I can predict the ending at least partway through a novel, TV show, or movie. This book threw me for a loop. I never expected the tournament to end the way it did.
Things I didn’t like? The first person perspective. First person is my least favorite writing style for fiction; I rarely ever use it myself when writing. Although it’s supposed to make you feel closer to the character, I always feel more distant. If the story is told in first person, I feel I should know absolutely everything about the character, and I usually don’t. (What I hate even more? Books in first person where the main character surprises the reader by being the killer, etc. at the end. I feel like I’ve been hoodwinked, and I hate that feeling)!
I felt distant from Katniss while reading this book; even though I liked her character, I still felt there were too many pieces missing from her personality, like I couldn’t call her a friend quite yet. Also, the fact that I didn’t predict the ending was refreshing but also confusing. I felt like I was being tricked, like something else should have happened but didn’t. However, that is also the reason that as soon as I finished The Hunger Games, I immediately downloaded Catching Fire.
Collins, you have my attention.