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Hunger Games Series Like/Dislike/Why

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Posted on May 2, 2012 11:46:34 AM PDT
I had avoided The Hunger Games for over a year while friends raved about it. After I saw a preview of the movie earlier in the year and was able to read the first book for free as part of Prime, I bought the trilogy and read it, enjoyed it, saw the movie, and just finished re-reading the books again.

It's not perfect, there are holes scientifically and culturally, but it is enjoyable and even though the main character is a young woman, I would not class it as young adult fiction since, even though there is no sex mentioned or described, it deals with some rather adult themes and it does it not horribly.

The characters have depth and breadth, even the ones we see briefly and though we are treated to some cookie cutter characters in the ancillary, we deal with the same thing in everyday life were we pigeon hole folks who brush against our day and never grow out of the role we've assigned them.

I won't say the author planned her treatment of these characters in this manner but it did not grate on me while I read the books and, really, that's about the best you can do considering the absolute hatred I have felt for various writing styles that barely define two dimensions for main characters.

So, I found the story enjoyable, I found the writing style accessible, and I found the conclusion believable within the context of the world created. That's a win in my estimation.

Posted on May 10, 2012 6:51:48 PM PDT
Nyki M. says:
Not trying to give anything away, so pardon me if something slips.

The third book really, really hit me. Kantiss has emotional scars from what she has gone through and from what she has witnessed. So do a few other characters and I'm frankly glad to see it portrayed.

Posted on May 10, 2012 7:42:52 PM PDT
mountaingirl says:
Trying not to be too much of a downer here, but my son and I read these books right after the 3rd book of the trilogy came out. We loved the first book, liked the second book, but by the time we got halfway through Mockinjay, I had this sinking feeling that Ms. Collins was going for an adult ending to her YA novels. It's not really about the fact that the story didn't have a happy ending--I've read a lot of great stories that didn't. It's about the fact that the author did everything to make sure that Katniss came out of the rebellion as an irreparably damaged soul, unable to even function in her own family. I would argue that Ms. Collins IS a bit preachy here, as her views about war and PTSD seem to swallow Katniss at the end. I guess I needed some sort of closure, and Katniss is adrift; there's no real hope of her reingaging. I was disappointed;it's not the sort of story I would recommend to those who want inspiration, especially the young.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 2:27:35 AM PDT
"I guess I needed some sort of closure, and Katniss is adrift; there's no real hope of her reingaging. I was disappointed;it's not the sort of story I would recommend to those who want inspiration, especially the young."

It's interesting how different people come away with totally different interpretations from the same text. I thought the ending was positive in light of how much horror she'd had to endure. Look at Haymitch prior to his involvement with Katniss and Peeta as a comparison. She could have easily ended up like him or worse because she had suffered much worse, but she didn't.

Posted on May 11, 2012 10:51:59 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 11, 2012 2:28:43 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 11:22:38 AM PDT
JW says:
Appreciated reading your assessment of this book. This series is not something I would generally read, however upon the advice of a well read English teacher friend, I read the first in the series. Suprisingly, it was mesmerizing. This book contains not only the plot mechanism you described so well but also so many metaphors for what is happening today that is is hard to count them all. Some are blatent and some are very, very subtle.

One could read THE HUNGER GAMES and stop there but if you also read CATCHING FIRE, you will likely feel compelled to follow up with MOCKINGJAY. However I am number 136 in the library queue :(

I saw the movie and was not disappointed, particularly with the Katniss character (Jennifer Lawrence was spot on) and thought that Woody Harrelson's portrayal of Haymitch Abernathy was superb.

For some reason, this series reminded me of THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. I suppose because The Capitol lived in a made up "perfect" world while the outlying districts saw it for what it was.

In reply to an earlier post on May 11, 2012 4:04:05 PM PDT
I agree with you Robin. When my kids are old enough to read these books, I WANT them to regard the ending as realistic and important. A person can't possibly suffer that kind of trauma and then have a positive response to it. I thought the ending was quite justified, and appreciated the bravery this author displayed by presenting an ending that wasn't "fairytale".

There was nothing in this story that EVER suggested a neat ending, and I think it is a valuable lesson for young people; especially considering all of the media that puts forth that there are no real consequences to violence. Kudos to Ms. Collins for her very brazen ending.

Posted on May 11, 2012 9:53:27 PM PDT
I loved hunger games.... devoured it in about 4 hours.
I liked catching fire. It was a good and quick read but I could put it down. With hunger games I quite literally had the book in one hand while unbuttoning my pants to use the bathroom with the other.
Mockingjay just didn't cut it for me. I understand the ending but I didn't like it. My best friend thought that "it Sucks but its realistic.. that's what would probably happen in real life ".

I agree with whoever posted earlier that she felt like the author grew tired of the characters. The book just had a busy /rushed feel to it,in my opinion. For me Collins committed the worst possible sin as an author. She compromised the character of her character. About halfway through mockingjay I almost stopped reading... well I did stop but after about three weeks curiosity got the best of me. Gale, talking about who katniss will choose says, "she'll choose the one she cant live without ". I hated hated hated this line. Katniss is the girl whose essence is derived from her willingness to sacrifice herself to protect others. She would choose the person who couldn't live without her. Though I hoped against hope she would wind up with gale, I always expected he to wind up with peeta. I just don't like how they ended up together.

Posted on May 12, 2012 2:21:24 AM PDT
Chrissy says:
I have read the trilogy in a few days because I wanted to know what happened and what the hype was. I enjoyed the novels. Personally I liked Catching Fire and Mockingjay better because it was focusing on her problems, and wider picture. Also at the end of the Mockingjay there was a warning that leaders who are "rescuing" a country from another leader could be the same or worse then the one they are replacing.
I agree though kids should be teens when they read it just because of the subject matter or a parent should read it first to make sure it is acceptable to their kids.
Alisha I have to disagree, because she was willing to sacrifice herself for her family and friends, but not a stranger. In Hunger Games, she didn't want to get close to Peeta because she would have to kill him at the end. But in Catching Fire she had gotten close to him. Also in that situation, either one would be hurt, so she would chose the one she would need or the one she would feel more protective of, since she knows both could take care of themselves.

Posted on May 16, 2012 6:11:56 PM PDT
I really enjoyed the books. Are they great literature - no... but i found the characters believable and storyline fast paced (which I happen to prefer)

the movie was..... ok

my 13 year old loved the first book, thought the second one was 'okay' and hasn't read the third.

Posted on May 16, 2012 11:20:42 PM PDT
ALWHorses says:
HUNGER GAMES is a rip off of BATTLE ROYALE. The Japanese book is infinitely superior, as is the great, intense movie made from it.

Posted on May 21, 2012 4:37:11 PM PDT
Rita Reader says:
Finished the trilogy and loved it. Poor Katniss went through heck and a handcart, but the ending was good as far as I was concerned. I understand some did not care for the ending, but I loved it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 10:10:37 PM PDT
Helga says:
Amelia, don't go by what you have read about the books, just go ahead and start reading them. I do not think you will be sorry. I was unable to do anything (other than absolutely necessary things) until I was done reading all three books. And I will read them again to take it all in, because in the "rush to find out what happens next" I did not really savor every detail. Ejoy!

Posted on May 21, 2012 10:56:48 PM PDT
J. Boyd says:
The thing I like in the Hunger Games trilogy is the realism. The author has set up a fantasy/future world, but has populated it with realistic characters. Katniss is the heroine. But she isn't single-handedly saving the world. She has the power of a 17-year old. She's not running things, she's not planning things - she's swept up in events, and at the mercy of machinations of much older and more powerful people. She goes through terrible events - but she doesn't come out unscathed. Bad things happen - and have terrible impacts on her.

I also like that the violence is not presented as something good. These are violent stories, but the underlying story emphasizes the destruction that violence causes. Even though we invest entirely with Katniss and her struggles, we don't get to assume everything her side does is good.

It's a very powerful and nuanced message. War may be neccessary. But there are innocents on both sides, and in war, innocents will suffer and die. And sometimes you look up and discover that your side aren't the good guys.

Posted on May 25, 2012 11:24:34 AM PDT
Coach D says:
I have read both The Hunger Games and Battle Royale. I have seen the movie ~ Battle Royale [Blu-ray]. I will probably check out The Hunger Games movie on Netflicks. From reading both books I would say The Hunger Games is a PG-13 rating and Battle Royale would be more of an R rated story.

Posted on May 25, 2012 3:05:38 PM PDT
I was surprised to find I enjoyed them. The first one especially...the others...they were OK, but not as good for me as the first. Not sure why.

Posted on May 25, 2012 9:33:19 PM PDT
I too enjoyed these books much more than I thought I would. It took a number of turns I didn't expect and the Katniss character was very well done. If the book had really been about the competition and the world it wouldn't have been as good, although those parts are well done. It was really about Katniss and what all she goes through does to her and there were numerous opportunities to take the cliche route and it was always denied. I like that when an author doesn't go where I think they're probably going.

Posted on May 26, 2012 5:33:12 PM PDT
I liked these books..Somebody said earlier they they didn't like the third too much bloodshed...They were in the mist of a civil war so there had to be bloodshed....It wouldn't be realistic if there wasn't...
I thought alll three books were very well written. I enjoyed the movie too.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 3:44:45 PM PDT
Dislike. So dark, so depressingly dystopic.
Please don't hate me for saying this.

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 3:45:52 PM PDT
and I appollogize for the accidental alliteration.
(ahh! I did it again!)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2012 4:12:43 PM PDT
@Vanilla: Have you read the entire series? War sucks, and the consequences of war ARE horrible. I appreciated that fact that this author treated this with something other then the whole "die with honor" bullcarp that people who have never been to war, tend to treat the subject with. There were consequences for EVERY single character in these books, with regards to the war theme. I thought the author was very responsible when dealing with this topic?

Posted on Jun 8, 2012 4:24:28 PM PDT
but isn't the dystopic future supposed to be depressing, as a warning to the world as to what can happen in the future if we aren't careful about different things? that is how I typically see it

Posted on Jun 9, 2012 4:52:06 PM PDT
JW says:
I have a cat that started out life as a feral cat, therefore, she does not have a lot of social skills. For instance, she does not know how to play with her claws in and when you pet her, if she has had enough, she bites and scratches rather than just walking away like any other cat. Think I am going to rename her Katnipp Evermean.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 11, 2012 9:35:12 AM PDT
I also appreciated that she didn't toss out a traditional HEA at the end of Mockingjay. The fact that she acknowledged that both of those characters - Katniss and Peeta - had been broken was realistic, and I thought that then ending was more convincing, and more beautiful, for this acknowledgment.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012 4:35:41 PM PDT
@Mayhem: I have mad respect for this author. That she didn't provide the perfect "happy ending", really appealed to me. How can you have a happy ending after all of the losses? I think the YA crowd probably wasn't happy with this ending, but realistically, how could it have ended any different? I think this is where the rub is; your typical YA crowd probably didn't understand that the ending had to be "realistic" regarding all of the losses that the main character suffered? The fact that this author had some regard for "war" and the consequences, really resonated with me. You can't lose EVERYTHING, and be a happy, healthy person?

I think if I were 12 years old, then I would be UNHAPPY with the ending, As an adult, I am very, very satisfied with the ending, because it is REALISTIC.
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Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  51
Total posts:  100
Initial post:  Feb 11, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 12, 2012

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