The Hunger Games Review

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…

Being able to hunt for your own food is pretty badass, don't you agree?

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.

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2 thoughts on “The Hunger Games Review

  1. Fantastic review, Chelsea! I really liked hearing about HG from your perspective. You brought up a lot of interesting points, particularly the argument about first person. I had never thought that way before, but you’re right – there are instances where first person actually makes me feel even more distant from the character, too!

    In this case, I actually felt like Katniss’ inner monologue was spot on (personally). She felt like a 16-year-old to me in that she doesn’t fully “know herself” or the impact she has on other people yet. She is also naive in many ways. I think you’ll enjoy watching how that progresses in the subsequent books, and am happy to hear the ending intrigued you enough to make you download Catching Fire!

    Can’t wait for your next review. 🙂

    • It’s always enjoyable to watch the progression of a character’s, well, character. That’s why I love series; you get to have a longer relationship with familiar faces. I am definitely looking forward to Catching Fire! I’m so glad I finally jumped on the ‘Hunger Games’ bandwagon.

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