Tag Archives: Response

The Hunger Games / Wrap Up

8 Aug

So it comes to a close. This Read Along, the book, (and even the summer season – I feel closure in the air). But yet, not the story. Oh no. Not this one. Instead of using the final chapters for a riveting climax and a satisfying dénouement, Collins uses it to set up a twist. None of our questions get answered, nothing is resolved (well, The Games are resolved – Katniss and Peeta win, but we knew that was coming) and frankly, I feel a bit used.

Just when you thought your questions would be answered…

The entire first book has been a set up for the larger story. And the Games were just the beginning. But the thing is, if all of this was know from the get-go to be just an introduction to the larger narrative that I can only suppose takes place over the three novels, why is it broken up into three novels? FFS, this book was a week long read at most. And it moves so fast that I think it actually would benefit from being bound together with the other two books. I fully believe that this first book could have been a “PART I” of a single issue. As it stands now, I am not moved enough to go out and purchase Catching Fire to see what happens.

This is not helped by the fact that it only seems to be available in hardcover. It does not warrant hardcover status for me. And the local library has it, but it is currently checked out. By the time I do get access to the next book, I suspect I will have really lost what interest I DO have in continuing the story. The connection is just so tenuous that the longer it takes, the greater the likelihood that any investment I have as a reader will just snap.

So the final chapters. Katniss’s decision to eat the berries was dramatic. Dare I say too dramatic? The whole scene sort of dripped with melodrama for me. I suspect this feeling is fueled by two possibilities: 1) I don’t really feel a connection with Katniss and Peeta. I have been saying all along that I am Team Gale.

(OH MY GOPHER. Did I really just use that term? Did I just say “TeamSoandSo? Shame on me. Shameshame.)

And part of me wants to blame Collins for this – for not writing their relationship with more depth. Maybe it’s because I saw it coming a mile away. Maybe it’s because no matter what, I feel like Katniss is faking the whole thing – like she even has herself fooled. It’s like the case of the popular girl in school who finds herself in some sort of situation without her usual crew. So she befriends the people that she doesn’t really associate with just so that she can feel a part of a group. Then, when whatever situation is said and done, she goes back to The Populars and ignores the new connections she has made: alá The Breakfast Club.

But regardless of the reason, it doesn’t change the fact that the romance just isn’t there for me.

2) It actually IS over-dramatic. Picture it: a sixteen year old, on the banks of a lake. Bloodied. Battered. Beaten-down. Bruised. She is frantically trying to reapply bandages that her “lover” (you know, cuz I can’t think of a better word. But yeah, technically they haven’t had sex, so they aren’t lovers. Heck, if they had gotten it on, the sponsors probably would have had Haymitch send them a tank to finish out the games with, since one kiss = one pot.) has ripped of. She is begging him with tear-stained cheeks to save himself because she has just realized that even if she lives and he doesn’t, it isn’t really living at all.

Pleck. Hack. Ptooey. Sorry, but again, it’s just over-written. And yet, under written. It feels as if this syndrome of over/under plagues the whole book for me. There are scenes that Collins seems to think are effective simply because the words tell us that Katniss is going through emotional turmoil. The words themselves may TELL us that, but the way the words are put together do not SHOW us that. They don’t make me feel the turmoil – and that is how I see the book as being under-written. Sure, there are parts that stand out because they evoked emotion from me (Rue’s death song, as I mentioned before, and the Long. Night. Of Cato’s. Sloooooow. Death. ) But as a whole, I hafta say that I was unmoved.

And I think that sums it up. But there is this: I am still really looking forward to seeing how this translates to the big screen. And I may still read Catching Fire if my library ever gets it back in. We shall see. So what is my next book actually going to be? Find out next Monday….

 

…but in the meantime, tell me what you thought of the book. Do you totally disagree with what I wrote? Why? Let’s discuss!

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