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.

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