Dec 28, 2010

The Hunger Games

As a series, I'd give them 2.5 stars, but I'll rate them individually as well. (Get comfy people, this might be a long one).
The Hunger Games - 3 stars
I thought this was the most engaging of the three books. You need a chunk of time to sit down and read (it's a page turner!) but after I put it down it was harder to get into, and right when the flow was becoming better it ended abruptly. I predicted a lot of things that happened, but chalked it up to the author needing to lay the foundation for the next two books.

Catching Fire - 2.5 stars
I really liked this book in the beginning. It picked up where the first one left off, and I started to get back into the story. However, before I was even halfway through I was fed up. The writing was good, but the story was not. Sure, it had a few twists and turns, but plot lines were repeated from the first book, and I was again able to predict things what would happen. The best way I can describe the ending is chaotic. It was like the author threw all this information at you really quickly then realized, "oh wait, I need to end this story." I did not even want to finish the series after this, but hoped the last book would provide some closure.

Mockingjay - 2 stars
With this book, I was reading to finish - making myself get through it. There were parts of the story that were better than others, but I don't know if I'd classify any of it as good. (There were even times when I started laughing because I thought things that were happening were nothing short of ridiculous). The author pushed and prodded different relationships instead of letting them flourish on their own, so by the end of the book I didn't really care about how people ended up.

Reading this series did help me learn a few things though:

1. I'm done with reading young adult literature for awhile. I'm not the intended audience and that's probably part of the reason I can't truly get into books like this - I automatically start reading between the lines. Plus, it's no fun when I can predict the storylines.

2. I'm done reading sensationalized books. Part of why I read this series is because people would not stop talking about it. My friends told me for all the reasons I hated Bella from Twilight would be reasons I liked the main character, Katniss. However, when books are so mainstream that everyone is reading them and telling me how good they are, I expect a lot from the story. Because of the hype I went in with high expectations that quickly fell flat.

3. I'm a demanding reader. I am. And I'm okay with that. In order for a book to be good I expect the writing to wow me, and the story to pull me in.  I want to be swept up in the excitement, to experience the losses of the characters, as well as their joys. I realize this puts me in the minority - so far I haven't met someone who disliked this series - but that's fine. I know what I like and now I know better what I don't like. When I was younger, I only read novels whereas now I'm drawn more to non-fiction (or fiction based on true stories).

Have you read these books? Did you like or dislike them? And have you found as you get older your tastes in what you read change?



(Photo: The SoHo)

8 comments:

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I really liked the first book and am about 1/2 ways through the 2nd book and like it thus far. I really hadn't heard much about them, though, so I think I went in with no expectations so that might be part of the reason why I am liking them? I could not stand the Twilight books. I couldn't bring myself to finish them, actually, because of my extreme dislike for Bella... But so far, these characters haven't annonyed me like she did...

The writing is pretty straight forward and there aren't any passages that I would mark to share if I was reviewing the book, so I get what you mean about the quality of writing...

Thanks for the honest review, though!

Mandy said...

My 15 your old cousin and aunt (who is a middle/high school librarian) raved about these books. I really wanted to like them but I wasn't enthralled with them. I struggled with the first one, liked the second one better, but didn't read the third one. I dont know that I will.

I do enjoy reading young adult novels though. I just read one called Speak. It was a great read.

westcobich said...

Becky - I've been too long away and apologize! I'm trying to figure out how to begin each morning with writing at least 3 pages, exercising and cruising around Blogworld. Get up at 5 am? that might work. I'll keep ya' posted.

Anyway, i appreciated this blog entry about the Hunger Game thing. I am currently (and have been for several months) "involved" with the Twilight series (which I just haven't finished) and Peter and the Starcatchers (which I do NOT regret (but also YA) and the Hunger Games is sitting on my TBR stack as well. Sheesh. I'm letting the latter go, thanks to your honest reviews.

And not sure when I'll return to Bella. But I will pick up the 4th book in the Starcatcher series. (OK, also influenced by the fact that Nor gave me all the books AND we've met the author twice and have our books autographed.)

More good news: I'm returning to cooking. It's all about being on vacation.

And now, I'm goin "backwards" to read your blogs and get caught up!

Hugs and more Happy Holidays to you and yours!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I have to respectfully disagree. I love these books so far. The Hunger Games was the first book in a long time that really pulled me in and I literally felt like I couldn't put it down. I practically didn't and read for 2 days straight!

I also really enjoyed Catching Fire - more than The Hunger Games. Even though the plot wasn't THAT different, it was different enough with different/interesting enough characters to keep me hooked. I also really liked the cliffhanger ending and can't wait to start Mockingjay and see what it's all about!

Jess said...

I would have liked the series better if Mockingjay hadn't been the end. That book ruined the series for me. To the point where I was just pissed off about the whole thing.

Another series that's all hype that I couldn't stand? The Girl w. the Dragon Tattoo. OMG could a series be more boring?

Suburban Sweetheart said...

I LOVED this series, but I agree - I was just waiting for the final book to end already. And then, of course, I was disappointed in the ending itself. I love YA literature & will continue to read it as inspiration - I want to write a YA novel someday! - but I'm not sure how I felt about this series overall. Wish they'd all felt like the first book.

Kyla Roma said...

This is so interesting! I've heard a lot of buzz about this series but havent read any reviews- I think that I might skip it, but I love your reviews, thank you so much!

Darcie said...

I agree with Jess and Suburban Sweetheart that the last book was disappointing. I loved the first two books, but thought the end of the series wasn't as great as it could have been.

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