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Old 02-16-2012, 12:47 PM   #31
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The cost of violence perhaps? The entire shape of Katnis's life is dictated by her participation in the Hunger Games and the events that follow, particularly her choices in the the last book.

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Yeah, but my mom's a school teacher. She says the kids still want to be like Katniss. While I can buy the "tragic hero" lesson.. it misses.

And the movies will likely reinforce it even more in them.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:54 PM   #32
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Yeah, but my mom's a school teacher. She says the kids still want to be like Katniss. While I can buy the "tragic hero" lesson.. it misses.

And the movies will likely reinforce it even more in them.
The problem is looking at suffering from the outside (even a fairly intimate portrayal as in the Hunger Games) is very different than living it. For example, we don't mind that Katniss ends up with
Spoiler:
Peeta and not with Gale
because we never really got to feel the loss.

Shoot, I remember reading Ender's Game when I was 13-14, and I really wanted to be Ender....

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Old 02-16-2012, 02:35 PM   #33
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Very true. I just think that the author didn't really didn't sell me on this story. I dont' know, I found the plot and such so unbelievably wacky.. and then the concept that these are children's novels? I just can't get a good take-away from it.

I did burn through all three books though. I just.. I don't know why, they just didn't feel like good reads. There was a problem I had, but I can't really put my finger on it.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:52 PM   #34
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You know, thinking on it more, I think I figured out what I disliked/hated. I don't think I cared for the "Twilight-esque" love triangle that got wedged into the story. I won't say who or what that triangle involved, or how it ended up, but I just resented that it seemed like she stopped the story midway through to introduce a Teen Nickolodean moment for Katniss to decide who to take to the prom.

And I suspect that that is why adolescent girls like this book, because, adolescent girls ALWAYS seem to go for love triangles in stories.

(Examples:

Jacob and Edward in Twilight series
Harry or Ron in the Harry Potter series
or heck, here's a website that is written by a twilight fan:
http://readingaftertwilight.wordpres...ove-triangles/
)
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:02 PM   #35
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I enjoyed the series a lot and found all three books more or less equally good. At least I can't remember thinking one was better or worse than the others, but then I burned through them very quickly, so it might as well have been a single volume. Not great literature I guess, but thoroughly enjoyable and the lack of a traditional sugar-drenched ending was a definite plus.

I would look forward to the movie, except I'm thinking there's a greater than 70% chance they'll mangle it badly. In particular by adding bucketfuls of sugary romance and a textbook, dreary, happy ending, thereby thoroughly f**king up what makes the series stand out. Hoping to be pleasantly surprised though.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:51 PM   #36
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I apologise if my comments repeat others. I would normally scan the comments to make sure they're not redundant, but a few messages in there were already spoilers so I can't afford it as I'm at the midpoint of the second book.

I have found the books to be enjoyable and engaging, but poorly written and/or edited. The perspective (first-person, present tense) was very difficult to get into for me, and felt like it was used to mimick the immediacy of an IM conversation. The story evolved as if a sports play-by-play announcer was talking about their day.

Editing errors abounded. The books have "Peackeepers" and "Gamemakers", but I read at least one instance of "Peacemakers" in the first book without any suggestion that this was a third profession to aspire to.

Mysteriously, for the first 7 chapters or so, the final meal of the day is (without exception that I noted) referred to as "supper". After that it changes to "dinner", and is referred to by every character that way for the next several dozen chapters (with a single exception that I noted). No explanation is offered for this change. I know some people use the two words interchangeably, but it's ubiquitous for chapters at a time, then changes and the change is suddenly ubiquitous for chapters at a time. Bizarre.

In one scene Effie is described as sponsoring her young charges in the games, I believe it was in the first-person narration rather than in spoken words, and it's a poor choice of words given "sponsors" have another (already established by that point) definition in the book.

I could go on (I've been annotating up a storm as I read, if anyone's interested in other observations along these lines), but suffice it to say I've found quite a number and those are just a few off the top of my head (I'm at work and my Kobo's at home).

However, I still really enjoy the worldbuilding, characters, and story so I intend to read it to the end. I had originally planned to read just the first book (as I wanted to read it before the movie came out), and then go back to Harry Turtledove's so-called "Southern Victory" books. However, I'm instead going to read the Hunger Games books through to completion before reading anything else, as I'm worried I'll have a hard time getting back into the writing style if I step out of it for a time. It took me until chapter 5 before I was able to look past it the first time. My girlfriend, BTW, had the exact same experience as it took her 4-5 chapters to get past the writing style, but she went on to love the books despite it all.

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Old 02-17-2012, 12:34 AM   #37
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and then the concept that these are children's novels?
They aren't children's novels. The Hobbit is a children's novel. The YA market is aimed at teenagers, and IMO it's great to see YA books with themes and ideas in them.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:14 PM   #38
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They aren't children's novels. The Hobbit is a children's novel. The YA market is aimed at teenagers, and IMO it's great to see YA books with themes and ideas in them.
Okay, let me rephrase then.

These are YA books? (And if they are YA books, why are they on 6th grade reading lists?! 12 years old is NOT young adult)

What themes are in here? Other than, war sucks? All I see is a girl being told that no matter what happens, she'll be involved in a love triangle, and her life will suck for fighting the system.

Maybe I'm just blind, but all Kat got for fighting the system was
Spoiler:
the worst husband, nearly convicted of a capital offense, a dead sister, an empty shell of a life, and near suicidal depression.


If you leave the third book out, and rewrite it, and go off the first two books.. I can see there being a lot of good themes to go with. Empowering themes. But the second you put that third book in there and count it as part of the trilogy, you've basically ruined whatever the first two books had set up.
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Old 02-17-2012, 12:23 PM   #39
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Redcard,
Did it ever occur to you that a great novel does not have to be about empowerment. I can think of several great works, the basic theme of which is that "war sucks". I can think of some other themes as well though. The third book, I think, is relevant to all those people who automatically assumed that everything would be great in the Middle East after the Arab Spring. Certainly another theme is how superficial rich societies can be.

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Old 02-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #40
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scrapking,
I am not sure this is the case (and it doesn't necessarily excuse the bad editing), but some of the stylistic issues might have been the deliberate choice of the author to highlight that Katniss really is from a different culture that we know, and that she is not particularly well educated by our standards.

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Old 02-17-2012, 03:33 PM   #41
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Redcard,
Did it ever occur to you that a great novel does not have to be about empowerment. I can think of several great works, the basic theme of which is that "war sucks". I can think of some other themes as well though. The third book, I think, is relevant to all those people who automatically assumed that everything would be great in the Middle East after the Arab Spring. Certainly another theme is how superficial rich societies can be.

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It did, yes. But the first one was about empowerment.

The second one was about empowerment.

The third one was about Team Peeta vs Team Gale.

If you look at the publication times of the books and compare them to the theatrical release dates of the twilight movies, you'll see precisely what happened when the editor got ahold of the third story.

I just would have liked the third book to mesh more with the story being built in the first two, that's all.
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:48 PM   #42
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scrapking,
I am not sure this is the case (and it doesn't necessarily excuse the bad editing), but some of the stylistic issues might have been the deliberate choice of the author to highlight that Katniss really is from a different culture that we know, and that she is not particularly well educated by our standards.
That's an intriquing theory, and worthy of some discussion and consideration, at least as far as the writing style goes. But as you say, nothing excuses bad editing.
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:47 AM   #43
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I really enjoyed the first two which I devoured with relish, but definitely fall into the "series let down by the third book" camp.

And I don't mean the actual ending itself. It was more that the third book was fairly repetitively one mental breakdown after another. The main character became just a spectator, and all the potentially interesting action just got "reported" to her after the event. Very unlike the first two books where she was placed right in the middle of the action. I kept waiting for it to pick up the pace and describe more about what was "going on" - and it rarely did. Even silly things like describing her new weapon which only responds to her voice - and then not making any use of that point.

It just felt to me like the author ran out of ideas for how to put meat on the bones of what was happening in the world.

I read they are intending there to be four movies. They are going to have to be very "creative" with splitting them up to spin that last book into one entertaining movie let alone towards two!
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:24 AM   #44
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Shouldn't be a problem; being "creative" is what Hollywood is best at. As in: "let's just ignore the books and make the movies the way we want, so they'll appeal more to the lowest common denominator".
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:42 AM   #45
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I am just wrapping up the series and have to agree that the first book was riveting. It has been a long time since I had to finish a book in one sitting but that really was the case with book one. The second and third have been okay but have been easier to put down and come back to.

I found the violence not too bad. Lord of the Flies was much worse and way darker (IMHO).
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