The Hunger Games
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Author:  Larael [ June 2nd, 2011, 9:43 pm ]
Post subject:  The Hunger Games

With the release of the first film of the franchise a little over a year or so away it surprised me that no one had made a thread for Suzanne Collins' dystopian trilogy. Since HP ended [it's funny how my life seems to sometimes revolve around that series, literature wise], I've been on the hunt for new literature that captures my interest and imagination as much as those books did. Of course, LotR is also first and foremost in my heart, but for the last few years I've really been throwing myself into reading dystopian literature - 1984, We, The Handmaid's Tale, etc. - so when I heard about this trilogy from a friend I was intrigued and ecstatic. It exceeded all my expectations.

It literally could have gone in the direction of Twilight in some ways, but the story feels original and the climax was surprising right up until the end. Does anyone else enjoy it as much as I do? [P.S. Peeta vs Gale? Go!]

[If you've read Mockingjay we should probably refrain from posting spoilers without warnings in case there are people here who haven't read the final book.]

Author:  Apolloette [ June 3rd, 2011, 12:53 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

I read this series once or twice, and I loved it. It's one of my favorite serieses (is that a word?) ever. :D
(In fact, since I do own them all, I should probably read them again.)
But I do remember that Mockingjay didn't quite hold my attention as much as the Hunger Games and Catching Fire had. It lacked something of the action, in my opinion. But I still liked it overall. Despite my favorite character DYING. *refrains from posting Mockinjay spoiler*
It seems like my favorite characters in everything die rather a lot. In fact, Faramir is actually the only one who HASN'T died, which is part of the reason I love him so much. :p
Anyway, I'm getting off-topic here, so I guess I'll just stop now :teehee:

Author:  Caunion cyn Britannia [ June 3rd, 2011, 12:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

I've heard about these books but I've never gotten around to reading them. From my understanding it is very similar to the Japanese dystopia, Battle Royale. I highly recommend that book to you, Larael. It has excellent characterisation which makes all the deaths much more emotional and shocking.

Author:  Larael [ June 7th, 2011, 9:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

Oh, excellent, Frostie! [Btw, yes, I have received your emails. Yes, I am alive. You shall hear from me in full soon! :teehee: ]

I think I have to disagree with you Apolloette. Catching Fire was a struggle for me to get through because I despised all the Gale vs Peeta-ness that was going on, and for me it lacked a lot of the action I thought made up a significant portion of Mockinjay. Perhaps I'm just succumbing to the theory that the last book in a series is always the best. :P

Author:  Caunion cyn Britannia [ June 19th, 2011, 11:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

I await your reply with eager impatience!

Btw yesterday I bought the Hunger Games so I am going to see how it is!

Author:  Caunion cyn Britannia [ June 30th, 2011, 1:54 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

All right, I finished this book and this is what I thought.

I thought it was a good book. Not exactly the most exciting thing I've ever read but I really don't regret buying a new copy of it and I really don't regret spending a lot of time reading it. The idea of having children fighting in a public arena isn't exactly new to me so if the book simply relied on shock value for that, it would have failed. Luckily it didn't and it's quite different from Battle Royale or the fanfic of it, 72 Hours.

For one, it focused exclusively on the protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, as opposed to Battle Royale or 72 Hours where everyone had a spotlight. Oh and I mean everyone. And we're talking about entire classes being characterised. But it's not about them, it's about The Hunger Games. Now if Battle Royale decided to focus all their attention on its protagonist, Shuya Nanahara, my immediate reaction would be "Oh god, help me" and then wish for all the psychopaths to converge on him and kill him in a horrible messy death before chucking the book out the window. Why? Because Shuya is godawful annoying! And useless! And utterly and completely naive to the point of crippling stupidity.

Katniss, on the other hand, does not play by those rules and she's rather realistic and pragmatic and you know what? I really liked her. I definitely paid more attention to her struggles and her emotions and personality and that helped me stay through the story. I actually wanted to see her back with her family and Gale. And the revelations of her past through both dialogue and flashbacks were helped flesh out her character. And this is what I love about her. She doesn't angst at all! Yes she has a terrible life, dead father, withdrawn mother, practically raised her sister by herself, poor starving family. But she doesn't moan about it, she doesn't wail how unfair it is. She just deals with it by going on and trying her best to get their family through the next day. And all of the moments where she kicks ass like avenging Rue or knocking down the tracker jacker nest on the Careers, I felt a little pang of elation and joy for her.

However, there is a downside to focusing on your protagonist exclusively. I mean yes, Rue, Peeta (will get to him in a moment), Prim, Gale, and Haymitch get some development due to their interaction with Katniss and the author (through Katniss) definitely leaves possibilities of what they could have been like or something like that, but the secondary characters are kind of lacking. Especially the antagonists. In 72 Hours, my favourite character in that fanfic is Marie, a cold emotionless ballerina who was emotionally abused by her mother to be the very best. Can't imagine why! *cough instant image of Natalie Portman from Black Swan with a sniper rifle cough* She ends up being an antagonist. I really want a sense of what the villains were like. I remember them forming up teams but considering if all they want was to win, how come no one was stabbing each other in the back a la the opening scene in The Dark Knight. Rue is probably my favourite of the secondary characters simply because throughout the time we saw her she was a rather likeable character and we arguably saw her the most after Peeta. And Peeta. My god, I'm sorry but he was rather useless. He hardly contributed to the Hunger Games at all and hardly that much to the story. We already had a wonderful motivation for Katniss to survive. We really didn't need him perse. After all, all Katniss had to do was say how she volunteered because she was looking out for her sister and bam! audience sympathy there.

This leads to the plot and it's in my opinion...the whole Katniss and Peeta romance...really did not work out from what I saw. I personally saw the relationship as Peeta weighing Katniss down and her struggling to get herself and him through the game. Like I said, had it just been Katniss's urge to survive like in Battle Royale, I probably would have enjoyed it more. Now I know she later admits to Peeta that the whole romance ploy on her part was simply a plan to appear sympathetic to the audience but then it goes into her having unsure feelings. And well, I don't think Peeta was that well-developed. He was just kind and sweet-hearted, oh I know who he's like. He's like Shuya. And yes while you may call be a complete *beep* for hating on kind characters, I just find them completely unsuited for novels where kids are killing each other. Or maybe because I'm a sociopath, who knows. Beyond that, I did enjoy the plot.

The story was crafted rather beautifully. One moment in particular I remember extremely well while I was reading this book was when I was reading the build up to the beginning of the Hunger Games and all of a sudden, I started feeling tense with Katniss. Beautiful empathy. However it is very clear this story was written for teenagers. Once again, it may have to do with my pragmatic side and/or bloodlust but in Battle Royale (especially the manga) and 72 Hours, violence is portrayed gratuitously and if somewhat unrealistically. Say nothing of the attempted and "successful" rapes, torture, beatings, and psychological degradation. And I didn't mind that. Okay, I was a little outraged at Marie's death, for the curious, she gets shot with a shotgun, burned alive, and then blown up, and trust me when I say that's not the worst death. Here, a lot of the more gruesome deaths are passed over somewhat and to me, I didn't mind that at all. It didn't exploitative, really.

And this may come as a question to most of you. Which one did I like the best? Well, honestly, I want to say 72 Hours just because of Marie but I feel the Hunger Games is definitely a good read and I do recommend reading it.

[Btw Larael...still waiting... :)]

Author:  Larael [ July 8th, 2011, 4:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

[First, I am SO glad someone made the connection to Battle Royale!] Ok, I agree with you whole-heartedly about Katniss, the lack of secondary character development, and the craft of the story. However, I fiercely disagree with you about the role of Peeta and your blatant preference for Gale.

An appeal for Peeta: Katniss if fiercely independent and relationships are the last thing on her mind, just as you said. She is in survival mode nonstop throughout the trilogy until she arrives home at District 12 and finds that with the rebellion/war over she can finally live a life in the here and now. This is where Peeta comes in to save the day [and actually, it isn't the first time he's saved the day, but more on that later].

They are both broken by everything that has happened since book one, perhaps Katniss moreso than Peeta, and it is the deeper relationship that grows out of that shared sense of pain and loss that sets the Peeta/Katniss relationship apart from the Katniss/Gale relationship. Gale is a survivor and a fighter; he's all sex and brawn. There is no doubt that he and Katniss have some kind of chemistry in the second and even third books, but that's as far as it goes. They had a friendship, an "I've got your back, you've got mine" type friendship, that fizzles out long before the end of the last book when Katniss realises he will never truly understand the experiences she has gone through since entering the arena in book one.

Peeta and Katniss, however, are just sort of truly figuring each other out when they arrive back at District 12. Since his hijacking, he's stopped putting her on a pedestal, and she's finally seeing him for the strong, courageous young man that he is. Sure, Katniss feels loads of guilt over Prim, but I don't think she married Peeta and made a life with him because of it. She made a conscious decision to be with Peeta. She knew Peeta wasn't her only option; although in some way, for the new world she was stepping into after the war, he was.

So, I guess my point is that while Gale/Katniss is all surface level physicality, Peeta/Katniss is first and foremost emotionality, and a driven need to find a kindred spirit in the midst of hardship and misunderstanding. They complete each other in a way.

Author:  Caunion cyn Britannia [ July 8th, 2011, 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

Well, allow me to clarify something. It's not that I prefer Katniss to be with Gale or Peeta but rather I prefer her to be with no one at all. Maybe it's the aromantic/asexual side of me that objects but I felt Katniss was strong enough without a romantic love interest and I find protagonists often suffer because romantic interests. Did Grenouille need a girlfriend? Did Alex have someone to wait for him after he went about his ultraviolence?..............Okay, bad examples. :blush:

Sadly I haven't read either the second or third book but from what you've said, I do see your point regarding Peeta and Katniss. They say shared experiences forge the best relationships and I have a feeling this will appear in the other books. I just prefer Katniss alone and independent. Yet. :P

Author:  Larael [ July 22nd, 2011, 10:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

Oh no, now I've gone and spoiled it for you! I was under the impression that you had read the entire series! I'm so sorry dear! :(

Author:  ~*ArwenEvenstar*~ [ August 18th, 2011, 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

I just finished this series recently, and overall really liked it. The first two books in particular were very good, but in my opinion the last book was very disappointing. It just felt like the first two were building up to this epic rebellion, and then it just sort of fizzled out in the end. I loved Katniss's strength in the first two books, whereas by the end of the last book she seemed much weaker. Of course this is understandable given what she had gone through by that point, but I don't know... I feel like her character could have still been developed in a way that didn't strip her of her defiance and strength.

But the thing I hated the most had to deal with the death of a certain character... I guess I shouldn't say for those who haven't read it yet. But for me that death made everything Katniss had done up until that point worthless, for in my eyes she did absolutely everything for this character. Her death made it all so meaningless.

As for the Peeta/Gale debate... I totally agree with you about Peeta and Katniss connecting on a more emotional rather than physical level, Larael. My only problem was that the tension between Gale and Katniss was left so unresolved. They were best friends, and then he just sort of disappears to this other job in a different district. But I must say that I was very happy that the conflict between Peeta and Gale didn't take up the whole series and progress to the level of Twilight... *shudders*

Author:  Nienor Níniel [ December 27th, 2013, 10:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

I've read the books about a year ago, and now I've read them over 6 times. So (as you might guess) I'm kinda obsessed with these books. I think Katniss is one of the most brave female characters that have been ever written. The only embarassing thing in the books is Peeta. Am I the only one who doesn't like him?

Author:  Nirielle [ December 30th, 2013, 2:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

Nienor Níniel wrote:
I've read the books about a year ago, and now I've read them over 6 times. So (as you might guess) I'm kinda obsessed with these books. I think Katniss is one of the most brave female characters that have been ever written. The only embarassing thing in the books is Peeta. Am I the only one who doesn't like him?

After the first reading THG I didn't like Peeta, and really couldn't get why almost everyone around loves him, yet during the re-reading the books he somehow stopped annoying me xd But still, I've always liked Gale more, because even Katniss sometimes grated on my nerves.

Author:  Nienor Níniel [ January 28th, 2014, 7:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

^^ I think the same. Now I've read the third book again, and I started to think that what happened to Gale, after he went to district 2? Did he find someone else? Did he get over Katniss?

Author:  Bellatrix [ March 6th, 2014, 8:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

What annoys me most about the comparison to Battle Royale and the whole "oh well, Shuya is annoying whereas Katniss is not because she knows things and he doesn't". Um, excuse me, but she lives in a world where she has known about the Hunger Games her whole life, where she needs to have all these skills in order to survive and in order to be able to participate in the Hunger Games should she get chosen. Shuya Nanahara is a completely normal teenager. Who suddenly gets thrown into a position where he needs to kill or die. Of course he's naïve, of course he's stupid, of course he makes mistakes. The previous day he was playing guitar and the most complicated in his life was probably girls and math tests...

Making that comparison is ridiculous to be honest, because the two worlds are nothing alike whatsoever.

Author:  Rinoa Amarth [ October 29th, 2014, 4:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

I read the Hunger Games fairly recently (within the last year). I have to say I really enjoyed the series as well. I agree with everyone about Katniss. She has to be one of my favourite female literary figures. She is such a strong, resourceful, and interesting character. I was cheering for her all the way.

When it came to the last book; I found aspects of it interesting, but overall I much preferred the previous two books. I do not know if anyone will really be coming into this thread before the Mockingjay films come out or if someone still has not read the third book, so I will just say that. And the deaths in Mockingjay... I cried for quite a few of them.

As for the whole Peeta vs. Gale debate; I very much agree with ArwenEvenstar on the whole matter. Peeta is a character that I really have a lot of sympathy for. I just feel bad for him. He doesn't really anger me all that much as I know he does for a lot of people. I see Peeta, for the most part, as Katniss's emotional/mental anchor. Without Peeta I think Katniss would have become really bitter and closed in after the Games. The only time I can really remember being upset with Peeta was when he was rescued after the Hijacking. Even then I was more angry at the Capitol, but the fact he wouldn't even listen to anyone was infuriating.

Author:  MelinEssea [ April 13th, 2015, 10:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Hunger Games

Yes, I just finished the Trilogy; I have got to say, The Characters and Storyline Stay with You Long After You've Read the Books, Much like LOTR; Naria:)..

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