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.
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!