Sunday, November 10, 2013

Series Sunday: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Titles: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games
Publisher: Scholastic
Review: Three Stars

It has been brought to my attention that I have not reviewed The Hunger Games. I plan to remedy that now. I first discovered the books at my birthday party a few years ago. My friend had brought over the first book, so I 'stole' it since it looked good. Before that, I had never heard of the series. So, that night, I read a good chunk of book one. I flew through the rest of the books afterwards. At the time, I was in love. Now? Not so much. Looking back, I see
many faults with the Hunger Games that I missed before.

Everyone pretty much knows who Katniss, Peeta, and Gale are. No explanation needed. But here's the thing, at first glance, Katniss is depicted as a survivor, a warrior, a revolutionary. And while she is those things, she's also unbearably weak. Katniss complains and complains and complains. I don't mind a little whining from characters, that's natural, but it doesn't cease. Katniss, despite being awesome at archery, can't see what's right in front of her. Katniss mopes. Her character, while better than Twilight's Bella, has more similarities to her than I care for.

Peeta is pathetic. There's no other way to put it. He can paint, that's wonderful.
Peeta should not have survived. As a character, I don't mind him, but he's weak and could not truly survive in a world such as the Hunger Games. He's been living the good life all his life. Someone cannot simply take that and suddenly become a survivor. At least Katniss has true experience to draw from. Lastly, Gale. In short, I despise him. He's annoying and distracts Katniss from what she needs to do. Gale is infuriating. He actually should be dead as well, though for the opposite reason as Peeta. Gale is too outspoken. The guards (can't remember what they're called) should have killed him. Between the three of them, Katniss is the most equipped for that world. She is able to fight for what she believes in, but she does it quietly. The only two characters I really liked were Rue and Prim. Rue was sweet and nice and did what needed to be done. SPOILERS Did she have to die? And Prim was always there, she always knew just what to do. Why did she have to explode? Why Suzanne? Why?

My biggest problem with the books is the writing. Suzanne Collins is a children's author and it shows. It's like she's trying to write horror stories for ten-year-olds. The book is written for children. But the content is not. All the action scenes are blown out of proportion. Mutant dogs with the eyes of fallen contestants? Cannibalistic monkeys? Mutant alligators? Really? And the end Mockingjay. I still don't get what happened, after reading it multiple times. SPOILER The ground split open then everything exploded and Prim died. What the what? And how did Katniss figure out that Coin was bad? Events don't match up. END SPOILER The story, while fun, was not what I'd call an amazing read. I love how it took problems we have today and amplified them times a million. That was cool. I can find the origins of all their issues. But maybe she amplified them a little too much. Overall, these books get three stars.

P.S. I think I have an allergy to the super popular series. I dislike Twilight, Harry Potter, and The Hunger Games.

Author Bio:

In 1991, Suzanne Collins began her professional career writing for children’s television. She worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the Rankin/​Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! with her friend, Peter Bakalian, which was nominated for a WGA Award in Animation. Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days,and a freelancer on Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author and illustrator James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.

In September 2013, Suzanne released a critically acclaimed autobiographical picture book, YEAR OF THE JUNGLE, illustrated by James Proimos. It deals with the year she was six and her father was deployed to Viet Nam. It has been sold into 12 territories in 11 languages. Her first picture book, WHEN CHARLIE MCBUTTON LOST POWER, about a boy obsessed with computer games, was illustrated by Mike Lester and came out in 2005.

Suzanne currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

You Can Find Her At:


Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be North America. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When her sister is chosen by lottery, Katniss steps up to go in her place.

You Can Find it At:

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