Friday 16 March 2012

Series Review: Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I have a secret to tell you: the first time I read the Hunger Games trilogy was just a week or two ago. I know. Shock, disgust, horror. I may just be a YA barerian. I bet that's not even the way you spell 'barbarian', is it?
Mind games.
 Okay, so, refocus. Maybe there's some people out there who, like me, have never been that fussed by reading the Hunger Games, but have decided to since the film is coming out. So I decided to write a review for those awesome people.

 At first, I was just going to review the first book, then maybe the second and third after I read those, like I try to do (although it doesn't happen very often). Problem was, I got to the end of the first book and was like, whoa, so I decided I couldn't wait another day or whatever until I wrote the review before I read the next one. You see, the first book is just brilliant. I love it. Katniss is great and, well, there wasn't quite enough romance in it,  but hey, I can live with that when there's a series. It was also a bit obvious, but that's what gave it the appeal; cheese factor. Also, I figured the book was brutal -- I mean, it's about killing people -- but a lot of it was very delicate and emotional and had some real substance. I really enjoyed Katniss' relationship with Haymitch; for those of you who haven't read it yet, their way of communicating is pretty cool and obviously well thought out by the author.
 So, I got to the end of the first book and started reading the second. It started off absolutely awesomely... and then it started repeating the second book in how things happened. It was on purpose, of course, so I figured something really good was going to happen in the arena. I mean, not everybody could survive, right? So I waited, and waited... Yeah. Nothing much happened at the end other than something that didn't really make sense at the time, but was going to be explained in the next book, you could be sure of it. When I look back on the second book, I realise that the climax happened maybe a third of the way through, tops. The writing style wasn't any worse, but, you know, nothing exciting happened.
 But I had to see my way through the series. Hurray for my obsessive-compulsive tendencies (this sentence is heavy with anger and sarcasm, for those of you who can't hear it).
 It was depressing -- and I mean, literally. I spent the whole day afterwards roaming around my house moaning about boredom and hunger and not being tired at quarter to eleven at night. It wasn't just that our heroine goes more wacko than she was in the second book, or the lack of excitement and anticipation of the first book, or the depressingness of her lackadaisical approach to boys. No, what was most upsetting was the ending. She goes and --SPOILER ALERT-- kills the bloody leader of the rebels, her sister dies, and then she goes home and doesn't do anything because she's depressed until Peeta (who still isn't sure if she's a monster or not) turns up and then they have kids and live happily ever after apart from her mental state which is obviously classed as 'not quite sane but she won't kill anyone so we'll let her bring up kids'!? What is wrong with you people who actually like that. Grr.
 So, overall -- the first book gets five stars
 because it is totally brilliant, and the series as a whole gets three stars,
 which would be none or maybe one if the first book wasn't there to drag it upwards.
 Disappointed and now chronically depressed reviewer out!
First Book
Whole Series

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