I Finally Read The Hunger Games (Book 1)


As my friends and regular readers know, I am very slow to follow fads. I usually wait them out and see if everyone is still talking about the book when the next fad book comes on the scene before I pick it up to read myself.

The first time I heard of The Hunger Games series was when the first movie was scheduled to come out in theaters. That was in 2012. Except I heard about it indirectly, through the lens of a Christian film producer (literally.) He was advertising for his own pro-life film due to release the same week. As part of his marketing campaign he compared the pro-life message of his film to The Hunger Games. He referenced the high number of teenage deaths portrayed in the film and called the movie a celebration of death in contrast to his own film that celebrates life.

I really enjoyed OctoberBaby, and have reviewed it positively here. However, as more and more of my friends became engrossed in the series, I came to see how unjust the Erwin Brothers’ comments on The Hunger Games were. The Hunger Games is very much a “pro-life” story too. The Erwin Brothers completely missed the point! I wish that Christian producers would do themselves a favor and not comment on films they haven’t bothered to get the facts straight on.

Here, six years later, after hearing enough about the book to interest me, I finally picked up the first book to read. The book tagged along with me to work to read with my before-work coffee and on my lunch breaks.

I enjoyed it. I get the hype. It’s a great story. But please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks the writing is profoundly mediocre. Even though I like the story, there is a part of me that is saying, “10 years of hype for this writing??”

The writing is so bland. So much telling, I feel like my intelligence is constantly being insulted.

“Rue has decided to trust me. I know this because as soon as the anthem finishes she snuggles up against me and falls asleep.”

So flat. The descriptions so dry and colorless.

I am not allowed to interpret any characters for myself. I am not told their body language. I am immediately told their alleged intentions.

In my butterfly garden

The writing is so childish–Katniss is supposed to be 16, not 12!! And for a child of the Seam, she’s very sexually naive and that pulls me out of the story at several points. And her escaping the arena with so little moral compromise or crisis feels contrived. It doesn’t feel real. She leaves the arena with the confidence of innocence. That’s not the world we live in. Ask any soldier. Ethics get complicated in war. You question your choices. And you have to live with that tension.

The present passive voice is so grating. It’s awkward and d r a g s until you finally get to the arena. But I keep reading because the story line IS intriguing, despite the mediocre writing.

For once, I’m honestly hoping to enjoy the movies more.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who felt this way after book 1!

5 thoughts on “I Finally Read The Hunger Games (Book 1)

  1. I’ll be honest, this book grabbed me, hook-line-and-sinker, and I didn’t notice the bad writing at all. I felt like the movies were subpar compared to the books, with 2 being my favorite. I’m glad you read it. Are you going to read these rest of them?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you are right about the mediocre writing. She doesn’t let you interpret body language. That moment with Rue was awkward. About the sexual innocence, I had to assume Katnis was so focused on survival that she wasn’t thinking about it. But then the thoughts written for us were not realistic then, were they. You make good points. Suzanne Collins wrote another series for kids called Gregor the overlander. We got it as a free gift with the girls curriculum and I have been meaning to read it to the girls but the first chapter is odd and gross. *shrugs shoulders* I would be interested to hear your thoughts on The Host by Stephanie Meyer. I enjoyed that book. The movie left out some of the fascinating scenes and the main character’s stories of the other worlds her alien race had “colonized”. You might enjoy it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for commenting! I’m glad to hear you agree! šŸ˜ƒšŸ˜„ Mm, I think sexual awareness would be hightened in survival mode. In the real world, more would be at stake than just her life. She can’t afford to not think about it. I’m thinking of interactions with both Cinna and Peeta.

      I will take note of those titles! Thank you!

      Like

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