The Hunger Games, Can it Live up to the Hype?

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

Cover of The Hunger Games


So I finally got around to reading the first book of “The Hunger Games”. Well, actually I cheated; my family listened to it in the car during our 11 hour spring break road trip. I’ve had so many friends tell me that I need to read this series, and I have actually given this review a lot of thought before writing it.

For a young adult book, I really liked the mature subject matter. I think it is comparable to a young adult’s version of “Running Man”. The premise is quite believable given the way humanity is prone to self-destruction, violence and our insatiable thirst for entertainment.  I also like the strong female character. Katniss kicks some serious ass in a “Buffy” kind of way, which is a far cry from Walking Dead’s Lori who is dependent on the closest alpha male for protection. What I’m having a little problem with is the icky teen romance thing. I guess I’m just tired of the “girl choosing between two guys” scenario; it’s just getting a little old. We’re seeing it in everything from The Walking Dead to True Blood to of course the mother of all sickly love triangles,  (gag) Twilight.

Maybe I wouldn’t have been so put off if I’d actually read the book instead of listening to it. My husband admitted to me that while he was reading it he was able to skip over the sappy “I love him, I love him not” daisy petal picking scenes to get to the good parts. It’s a lot more inconvenient to do that when you are listening on your ipod because you have to find just the right place to stop and start again. You end up just suffering through it.

I have to say however, that I like it much better than (gag) Twilight. The number one reason is that at least the main character isn’t codependent to the point of suicide. Katniss is a much more appropriate role model for our younger generation while Bella just sets feminism back about a hundred years.  Like Edward, Peeta likes to watch Katniss sleep, which is slightly creepfying in itself, but at least he’s not breaking into her house to do it.

The one author who did a really good job of the love triangle issue was J.K. Rowling. It was always there in the background, a subtle golden accent thread in the tapestry of the story. The Ron/Hermione/Harry, Harry/Cho/Cedric, Harry/Ginny/Dean romances never became the focal point of the story. The focus was ALWAYS the quest. In Katniss’s case, the quest is that of freedom from tyranny. THIS should be the focal point. This second focal point, the gooey romancy stuff, just interferes too much with the goal and detracts from the quest.

This story has SO much potential. I really, really hope that the movie version doesn’t take the Twilight road. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a really strong heroine.


(Stephen King’s analysis and review:,,20223443,00.html )

One response »

  1. Pingback: A Top Ten List of Stuff I Never Get Tired of « Geeky Girl

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