Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hunger Games: Book Review

So, I've done the whole thing backwards: I gave the movie review before the book review.  Cardinal Rule broken.  Well, I finished the trilogy just yesterday, and I'm here to give you my opinion.   For me, the series as a whole gets a C+.

For starters, I would NEVER EVER let the Book Club read or discuss it.  It is WAY too violent (and depressing), especially for the younger members.  As I've said before, I'm not much of an action genre fan.  I found a lot of the deaths of certain characters unnecessary and sad. It seems they were just killed off by the author on a matter of whim.  I liked Katniss' slight sense of humor, but other than that she seemed indifferent to practically everyone around her, especially in the epilogue of Mockingjay.  The end to Mockingjay appeared a little rushed and dismissive to me, as well.

Also, I felt the love triangle between Gale, Katniss, and Peeta to be extremely awkward.  I personally think Gale made the conflict much harder than it had to be.  Also, I was disappointed that Katniss didn't make the decision herself on who to chose.  If one of them hadn't ended up just leaving without a word, I'm pretty sure she would've been undecided for the rest of her life.  I mean in the end she recognizes that the person she is with is the right one for her, but I'm wondering if she could have figured that otherwise.

Peeta was my favorite character in the whole series, followed by Prim, Rue, and then Katniss.  Peeta's one of the few characters who has any decency in all the bloody chaos.  Also, his unconditional love for Katniss really touched my sentimentality (although I admit I could see some of that in Gale, too).  He and Katniss ended up being really torn up at the end of the series, but that doesn't seem to stop his inner goodness.  I think Peeta represented the one speck of idealism that the author decided to have in the entire series.

One compliment I do have for The Hunger Games: it really nails the essence of human nature and its tendency to be self destructive.  One of the characters in the end of Mockingjay actually comments on how forgetful and self destructive humanity is, but tempers that with a hope that maybe it has evolved to be a better humanity.  I find the author's observance of man to be sadly true, but I also hope that history won't repeat itself when it comes to our natural stupidity.  I guess what I'm really waiting for is Jesus coming back to clean up our mess at last.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Book Club Chat

On this past Sunday, New Heart Book Club had a skype session with the authors Wayne Thomas Batson (Door Within Trilogy) and Chris Hopper (White Lion Chronicles).  I'd post a picture of the session, but then there's a whole legality issue about posting people's pics on the Internet without their permission, blah blah blah....  Anyway,  it was a great time to ask published authors all about their books and get some advice.  Most of you probably already know this, but they advised me as a writer to never lose my passion or skill by continually writing and reading good books.  I guess this blog is a good way for me to keep writing.

Wayne Thomas Batson & Chris Hopper are two of the funniest guys I've ever met and their easygoing personalities can be seen in their writing.  My favorite part of the whole chat session was when Chris hinted that the book club leaders were like the lords of Berinfell.  Grace, my dad keeps saying how you almost fainted when you realized it :)  Pretty awesome.  By the way, to those of you who were in love with Jet from the Berinfell series, I'm so sorry that he's going to be dead for sure in the third book.  I know the authors didn't say it word for word, but it seemed implied to me.  *Sigh* I'm glad I didn't pick him as a book crush.

Thanks to Jacques for setting up the technical aspect, and thanks to the rest of the book club for being so respectful.  You guys made it all the more great!