So a week or so ago I finished reading the Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay).
I liked it. I LIKED IT. Just so we are clear when you start reading the barrage of criticism I have for this series. I was biased against it when I started the first book, but I started to really enjoy it although all my initial reasons for dislike still stand...in my brain, not my emotions :D
The series was NOT well written by any means. I think it was written at about juvenile fiction level; the content, however, was more young adult fiction, so the overall feel was confused, and the story was not believable (for more than one reason). I thought the story was farfetched. There was no hint of Christianity or any religion in this story. The emotions behind this story was dark and despairing, and the author did not seem to have any moral direction at all. Actually one of my friends thinks that the author did not really put any thought into the story line, plot, character, etc. I agree that she seemed to have no control. So, on that note let's start with Katniss.
Katniss is a moron. The End.
Okay, Katniss is a good daughter and sister in that she provides for her neurotic mom and her annoyingly "perfect" sister. Those are the only people she really cares about; she is selfish and clannish. She has a problem or two with the Hunger Games-they are ugly and might hurt her family. She sees no problem really with killing other people. She treats both Gale and Peeta abominably, and as they both realize, uses them and and only wavers between them since she cannot decide which one she cannot survive without. Most success with people she has is purely happenstance...or because of the noble and gifted Peeta. So yeah, she is pathetic, and I despise her...this may or may not be in part because she gets Peeta...
Peeta is the angel, the only good and stable character (until the last one). Gale the best-friend-who-had-to-be-made-bad-to justify-the-choice-of-the-2nd-boy...really it was that obvious in the book. No, I am sorry, there does not need to be a justification for her not choosing her first friend. People change their minds, meet new people they like better, don't know their minds at first, don't fall in love with their best friends, etc. all.the.time...you don't have to "explain" Katniss's choice by making Gale "bad." And by the way Katniss has no room to be self-righteous; she has no more morals than Gale does. Grrr. Oh, I wanted her to end up with Peeta to be sure. And I am glad the Gale part was not painful, but the lame way the whole situation was handled drove me crazy.
The plot. My sister and I both compared Panem to the Soviet Union. But I still think the author gave Panem more absolute control than is humanly achievable. I also don't think that many people would quietly give in to such barbarity. A friend thought the existence of the Roman arena games would mean this sort of thing would be realistic, but a second look at that comparison would show the gladiator games to be a totally different situation entirely. Those games were not a national thing-all of the nation was not forced to participate. Nor were all the games forced-there were paid gladiators. The Roman games look like child's play next to Collin's games. Yes, humans are sinful, but they were made in the image of God and have some common grace among the lot of them.
The first book was the most thought out-and it goes down from there but not evenly by any means: the third was a plummet down from the second. There was no sense in it, no thought behind it (unless that of, "Last book-must end this thing!"), almost no plot really. People were killed off-including one that I liked (Finnick)-killed off in the most offhand casual way- I mean one liners . Being killed off is a great deal of different than being killed or dying by the way...hey why didn't Collins just kill off Gale? I mean she sends him out of the way to another district. Switch Finnick and Gale. Collin's also had to seriously mess with her best creation: Peeta. He is not Peeta for most of the last book. She doesn't hardly even fix the poor, much abused guy at the end. Really, Mockingjay is quite the bloodbath. Here, we need to end the book, get plenty of tragedy in, pick a hero for Katniss, make sure the Hunger Games are ended, and voila-the trilogy is over...!!!!!
And my final abomination.
Alright, so the book says Peeta was blond, blue-eyed, and sturdy. Gale is described as dark and lithe. Good, my pictures are in order, right? I saw these two guys before I knew the names of the characters they played. Then I read the book and matched them according to the description. Guess what? Someone knocked the people who cast these actors on the head and switched them. I mean I can understand messing up one...but a total switch (although smirk face on the bottom doesn't look either part feature and expression-wise). I was thunderstruck when I realized their mistake.
I am sorry directors-did you miss the memo? Peeta is not a dork. Okay even Gale should not be played this bad. So he's bad for both...but natural coloring, size...People!
I am sorry, that is Peeta. Because I believed it when I read it and because it should
be is so.
Google images of Gale in the Hunger Games and Peeta Mellark to see what types of guys come up. Yeah, very dark, moody guys for Gale...and Josh Hutcherson...okay, okay and Liam too. Peeta Mellark? Stunning blonds...and fake blond Josh...and Liam! Owww. This casting HURTS! I tell you. I hate it when they get characters so wrong. This time since they were in my head (for the movie) while I read the book so it felt like I had been tricked!!!
K. Had my rant. Bye.
Labels: Literature Reviews