Friday, 23 March 2012

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins (3/5)

The back says: Because I’m reviewing all three books, I’m going to be lazy and link to the wiki page.

I say: Initially I was going to write a separate review for all the books, but since I read them all back to back in a day I figured I might as well just do them all in one go. There have been so much talk about these books for what feels like ages, and I’ve deliberately been avoiding them (for who knows what reasons) but since the film is out, and I wanted to see it, I thought I’d read the books first.

And so I did.

While I was reading The Hunger Games I could clearly see why it has become such a huge hit. It was interesting, intriguing, fast paced and full of suspense. Collins has an amazing way of drawing you into the story and keeping you on the edge of your seat, and I liked that.

In the first book.

When it came to Catching Fire and Mockingjay it seriously felt like she jumped the shark with the storyline (especially in Mockingjay). The plot was relatively simple in The Hunger Games, and, although I wanted to know more about the world they inhabited, once I got that knowledge I was a tad annoyed. It all felt over the top; too much action, too much violence, too many implausible things happening.

Just too much.

Of everything.

It was almost as though Collins knew that in order to top the first book and keep people interested she had to bring something more exciting to the table. Now, I don’t want to overly critique the two last books, all I’m saying is that it wasn’t for me.

Another thing that wasn’t for me, and that actually annoyed me to no end, was the way that every chapter ended with a cliff hanger. I know that writers do this to keep you reading, but it was so exasperating. Some chapters were clearly cut short just to be able to end with a cliff hanger, and it simply felt contrived to me.

And so on to the character of Katniss, who, essentially, is the epitome of a Mary Sue. It wasn’t as apparent in the first book, but became extremely blatant in the last two books. Actually, it started somewhere at the end of the actual hunger games in the first book. How utterly annoying this girl became in Catching Fire – and the way she changed was partly because of the where the plot went – but how one-dimensional can you make a character? Well, apart from Peeta and Gale and pretty much everyone apart from Haymitch.

Honestly, I didn’t like any of these people.

And here I have to take a moment to merely mention the customary Mary Sue trait; having more than one boy fall in love with her and not be able to choose. Ugh, that lame ‘love triangle’ really brought nothing but annoyance to the story.

As did all the ‘fashion’.

And that ending.

*sigh*

Well, I could go on for a good few hours about this, but to summarise before this turns into an essay; I enjoyed The Hunger Games, thought Catching Fire was good, but Mockingjay was merely ok. If I knew then what I know now I would have only read The Hunger Games (no, I wouldn’t because I always have to finish things).

I’ll probably go see the film over the weekend, so I’ll do a book vs movie comparison then. I’m really excited to see how they’re going to do Katniss’ fire dress as well as how graphic they’ll make the actual hunger games. Considering that it’s allowed from 11 years here in Sweden (not sure about other countries) it can’t be too gruesome. It’s over 2 hours long (which seems a tad excessive), but if anything, I’m hoping to enjoy the action.

4 comments:

  1. I too was a tad skeptical prior to reading the Hunger Games but it won me over. I liked the first best, but the other two tied everything together nicely. It's not for everyone, I'm sure. I haven't yet seen the movie but have read several reviews and understand the movie isn't too graphic, thus allowing its rating. I'll have to see for myself and I am excited to do so! Hope you enjoy it.

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  2. I liked the trilogy but I definitely liked the first book best. I just saw the movie this weekend.

    Oh, and Mary Sue is a new term for me :P

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  3. Shirley, the movie wasn't graphic at all - which also meant that they changed some of the plot (I remember somebody getting their skull smashed in and Katniss shooting someone in the throat with her arrow) - but it was ok. I saw it on Friday and have to say that I was a little bit disappointed. Probably because everyone kept saying how great it was. I didn't like the way they changed the story about the Mockingjay pin, but I did like almost everything about the Capitol (I was very sceptical about the people and their "fashion" but they pulled that off great).

    Meg, what did you think of the movie?

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  4. I saw the movie FBT and really enjoyed it. I noted the difference with the introduction of the Mockingjay pin, didn't care for how they did it but reasoned it was done to eliminate the need to bring in more characters thus more storyline. I loved the costuming! Very creative and beautifully done. I really was glad to see the violence toned down as there were a lot of younger teens and children in the audience.

    A friend of mine saw it in the States and figured an afternoon matinee would be rather empty but it was filled with seniors! Of all the people to attend, I would not have thought it would appeal to seniors. Again, I am grateful they toned it down.

    All in all, I really enjoyed the movie!

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