While I enjoyed the book as a whole I did have issues with The Hunger Games
~Stephanie Meyer’s Approval – The fact that an author like Stephanie Meyer recommends this book was one of the reasons I avoided getting involved with The Hunger Games in the first place and I can see why Stephanie Meyer is happy to endorse it. Female protagonist with minimal physical description so the Reader can easily slip into female protagonist’s frame of mind? Check. Has a multiple love interests but is completely oblivious and continues to think she’s unattractive? Check. Stupid Pointless Love Triangle? Check.
~Character Reaction to Depression – I felt that Katniss’s frame of mind towards her mother was unfair. I understand how her trust issues with her mother are supposed to signify (albeit Freudian-ish) that because of Katniss’s upbringing, she has difficulty trusting people and letting people in (given her totalitarian environment, it’s completely understandable). However, I felt it was unnecessary to act as though her mother’s legitimate grief was in the same league as Crystal Meth (Depression: Not Even Once!). I suppose I do need to take into consideration just how young Katniss is.
~Stupid Pointless Love Triangle – I have no issue over the fact that Katniss would feel conflicted over her relationship with Peeta, it’s perfectly understandable, given that the situation is that if she doesn’t play along, her whole family could be murdered, not the best basis for a relationship. However, it is not understandable for Katniss to declare at the beginning of the book that her and Gale’s relationship is “not romantic” and that she loves him “like family” only for her to flip-flop about, like a dying fish washed ashore. When Katniss said at the end of The Hunger Games “I don’t know how I feel about Gale” I called BULLSHIT! Yes she does, she told the reader at the beginning of the book, she has no romantic interest in a guy she cares for like a brother. END OF STORY.
~Modern Warfare Tactics – I get that History is written by the victors and while I know Suzanne Collins did lots of research on survival skills, I’m not sure she did that much research on modern warfare, which involves killing people from a distance (the further away the better). Katniss said the Rebels couldn’t take over the Capital because of the mountainous environment it was built in and that soldiers were picked off the mountain by the Capital’s air-force. Why would they bother climbing the mountain instead of say blocking the tunnels in and out of the Capital? They’d run out of food eventually.
~Small Grammatical Issues – the author tended to mix past and present tenses in some scenes which was a little jarring, and there were some lines which I thought should have been removed
~Katniss VS Bella – Now, I’m going to be honest, I think of Bella as emotionally manipulative and sociopathic (just like Edward, just passive), Bella is a truly awful person where as I think Katniss is genuinely good person doing whatever it takes to protect her family and survive in a harsh dystopian world. Is she a better written character than Bella? Yes, however that’s not exactly difficult challenge, I suspect Katniss suffers from Everyman Syndrome with a dash of Misplaced Priorities, an especially potent FPP (Female Protagonist Problem).
~Haymitch Abernathy – He and Cinna were my favorite characters in the book and I pegged him for a stealth mentor the moment he drunkenly stumbled on stage. He’s got a tough gig. Effie Trinket, on the other hand, I wanted to shoot her in the face, Effie Trinket is why we can’t have nice things, however I suspect that was intentional. The two of them make good foils.
~Themes and Symbolism – There’s some heavy stuff in this book supposedly aimed at a Young Adult audience, I’m not saying a YA audience can’t or shouldn’t handle it, the issues of Classism and Child Soldiers are very relevant issues that need to be talked about and I admire an author willing to bring these subjects to light.
~Character Epiphany – I liked how at the end of The Hunger Games, Peeta and Katniss came to very different conclusions, Katniss figured out pretty quickly she had just been turfed from one dangerous trap to another, that the Hunger Games never truly end. It’s nice foreshadowing for what’s to come.
Overall, an enjoyable read, however I can understand how some people would prefer the movie adaptation over the book. The Hunger Games suffer from the same problem as the Harry Potter series, the reader only sees and experiences what the Protagonist is seeing and experiencing. I know I’m going to hate the Stupid Pointless Love Triangle looming ahead of me, but I’m actually looking forward to the next book.