Hunger Games

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Hunger Games

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1susieimage
gen. 10, 2011, 10:58pm

I read Hunger Games as part of an assignment, but I didn't like it at all, especially kids killing each other. Teens killing monsters seems OK, but killing each other grossed me out. Did anyone feel like this?

2BookLizard
gen. 11, 2011, 9:40am

I didn't want to read it at first for the very same reason. I had to read The Lord of the Flies in high school and just hated it!

You should be grossed out by teens killing each other. It's wrong. But that's sort of the point of the book. The government is wrong to do this to these kids, and it should be stopped. (Hence the 2 sequels.)

3abarcan7
gen. 11, 2011, 10:56am

Yeah that was the entire premise of the book. The author builds on the disgust of the reader to give the book a sort of purpose. =)

4CurrerBell
gen. 11, 2011, 10:58am

If you didn't like it, but you'd like to read a similarly themed anti-war trilogy (without so much of the "kids killing each other" aspect), you might try the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness, starting with The Knife of Never Letting Go.

My problem with the "Hunger Games" trilogy isn't the "kids killing each other" aspect but with the character of Katniss, whom I find a little bit too co-dependent on boyfriends and sometimes a little too much acted upon rather than being a self-starting independent actor.

The "Chaos Walking" trilogy is similarly themed, as to the dehumanizing effects of war, but the girl, Viola, is much more a self-starter than Katniss and tends to clean up some of the messes that her boyfriend, Todd, gets into. As someone who likes a strong female self-image in YA lit (for example, my favorite book in Lois Lowry's trilogy is Gathering Blue for the character of Kira), I found Viola, even though she's ever so slightly secondary to Todd in narrative and plot importance, a much more satisfying character than Katniss.

This isn't so much a knock at "Hunger Games" as a preference for "Chaos Walking." Note, however, that if you're looking for a straight-out dystopian plot and nothing more, "Chaos Walking" also has a sci-fi element of mind-reading, thought-projection, or whatever, as well as an alien species.

5TheRomanceBookie
Editat: nov. 27, 2011, 6:49pm

I have this problem when people ask me what the series is about, because describing it makes them sound awful! But overall, I thought this book had a lot of background meaning. Like how the government gets control by doing certain things, I mean obviously not as intensely as killing children.

But over all I thought the series was pretty good. It wasn't my favorite, but I did really enjoy Catching Fire the second one.

6AngelaB86
nov. 28, 2011, 7:03am

CurrerBell: I have to strongly disagree with your characterization of Katniss. First, Katniss has only one boyfriend, ever. Half the time he wasn't even her boyfriend, just a friend or ally. How is she dependent on boyfriends? Is it because of her hunting partnership with Gale? Would you have felt she was equally co-dependent if Collins had
decided to make Gale a teenage girl instead of a teenage boy?

Second, part of the author's reason for writing the stories was to explore the affects of war on children. I recall reading she was inspired by stories of child soldiers. Many people who suffer such traumas feel they can only deal with their pain by sharing it with people who have experienced the same. My brother does not discuss his tours in Iraq with myself or our mother. He does discuss them with the guys he served with, and with other soldiers he meets. Katniss has only two other victors in her life for the first two books. Who else is she supposed to lean on, if she doesn't want to burden her family?

Third, about Katniss being more 'acted upon' than acting herself: I agree, but I thought that was the point. I think an important aspect of the third book (and also a theme throughout the trilogy) is the way authorities are willing to use others to achieve their own ends. Even the 'good guys' view her as a prop, to be used and disposed of as they see fit. The point isn't so much about what kind of person Katniss is, but about what type of people crave power, and what are they willing to do to get it.

7unfurld
des. 12, 2011, 4:20pm

I wasn't particularly disturbed by the killing in the Hunger Games, probably because of the context that it was set it. I could see, however, how others, particularly those younger than me (I'm almost 30), would/could be. Like a couple of people mentioned above, you're supposed to full unnerved by it. The children are killing each other to survive, and some are down right ruthless and cruel; the government not only forces these killings to occur and forces everyone to watch them. Who wouldn't be unnerved by that? I think what fascinates me the most, and what really drives home Collins' message about children and war, is that as the trilogy progresses, you see Katniss become more and more comfortable taking a life. In the arena in the first book, she is hesitant and merciful. By the end of the trilogy, she kills without blinking (not indiscriminately, just without hesitation). Ultimately, the things that she's experienced through the trilogy end up taking their toll on her and the ones she loves.

8immdauntless
oct. 6, 2013, 6:48pm

Actually I think that if this book diden't contain this disturbing fact the series would have been a lot less sucsessful. The author needed to get everyone on her side that this had to be stoped so they would devor the first book and egarly await the secuel

9DeusExLibrus
oct. 29, 2013, 11:11pm

As others have said, the 'teens killing teens" thing is intentional. Its supposed to upset and disturb you and its one of if not the reason the rebellion happens. I'm not really a fan of the books, but more because of the hack writing and the fact that the main character is just about the last person I'd want any female child in my care modeling herself after (same with Twilight, but thats a different conversation).

10SaraHope
oct. 30, 2013, 4:22pm

#4 and #6 In terms of Katniss being acted upon rather than acting, I felt it was actually a crucial part of her character that she just wants to survive. She'll follow the tide if it will preserve her and her family. I think this has been really brought to life in the movies -- that President Snow has a perfect understanding that Katniss never wants to be a symbol or an actor, but she's nevertheless dangerous because of what she's become to other people . . . people who WILL act.