Tessa's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Mar 26, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, fiction
Recommended to Tessa by: Jameson Marriott
Read from August 30 to September 01, 2010

I sat down to this book prepared to be captivated in its pages. But I was disappointed. I was always expecting that finally the author would show her genius and knock me off my feet. But it never happened. Yes, it was exciting and entertaining. But it wasn't a truly great book.

I could not stop comparing this to Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Like Fahrenheit 451, it was a dystopian novel set in the future, but Fahrenheit 451 had significant symbolism on every page, paragraph, and even half the sentences. I was so scared because it was so life-like and realistic. I could see how undeniably prophetic Bradbury was and how we are slowly, ever so slowly, slipping closer and closer to that world. I saw the similarities of the worlds; I felt inspired to stop us from falling into that trap too.

But The Hunger Games never provoked me to think or inspired me to act. It was like a roller-coaster. You get on and momentarily take an exciting spin. But that's all. You're just taken there. You're not drawn in. You don't have to do anything. You just sit there and your stomach flops over and over as opposed to your mind working, thinking, puzzling, imagining. The writing style wasn't even good, and the grammar was actually quite poor. What really annoyed me about the writing style was that I knew paragraphs before if something exciting was going to happen. Just the way that Suzanne Collins wrote blew away the whole surprise and shock of an attack.

I ended up asking, "So what?" She could have awoken the reader to real problems by showing us what could happen if we don't take action. But she never really got to the point. She focused instead on entertaining us, on giving us a sob story. There was so much potential in this book. What I'm trying to say is that there was so much that Suzanne Collins could have done to make this book a masterpiece like Fahrenheit 451. But she just didn't.

I do want to read the next book though. I'll take another ride on the roller-coaster.
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02/17 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-26 of 26) (26 new)

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message 1: by Marjean (new) - added it

Marjean I'm impressed with your thoughtful review. You have a good mind!

message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy Very thoughtful review! I'm afraid the things you didn't like show themselves even more clearly in the two books to come.

message 3: by Jo (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jo Marshall I so agree with you. Brave New World and Lord of the Flies also come to mind. The story's value is entertainment only. I feel a wonderful opportunity to give more than that to tweens and young adults has been wasted. Such a shame.

Brian Meeks I loved 451 and was glad I read the 50th anniversary issue. Apparently, over the 38 or so previous printings, it had been severely edited/censored without his knowledge. Yes, the seminal work on censorship was made to be more PC. A group of high school students found the variations and wrote him about it.

They put it back the way it was supposed to be, for the 50th anniversary edition.

Loved your review.

Morgan Completely agree!

Morgan I kept waiting, and it never happened.

message 7: by Tessa (last edited Apr 02, 2012 11:41AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tessa Brian wrote: "I loved 451 and was glad I read the 50th anniversary issue. Apparently, over the 38 or so previous printings, it had been severely edited/censored without his knowledge. Yes, the seminal work on c..." I read the 50th Anniversary edition of Fahrenheit 451 also. I loved his afterward and coda.

Here's a quotation from the Coda: "Some five years back, the editors of yet another anthology for school readers put together a volume with some 400 short stories in it. How do you cram 400 short stories by Twain, Irving, Poe, Maupassant and Bierce into one book?
"Simplicity itself. Skin, debone, demarrow, scarify, melt, render down and destroy. Every adjective that counted, every verb that moved, every metaphor that weighed more than a mosquito--out! Every simile that would have made a sub-moron's mouth twitch--gone! Any aside that explained the two-bit philosophy of a first-rate writer--lost!
"Every story, slenderized, starved, bluepenciled, leached and bled white..."

Why is it that mediocrity seems to be the highest standard allowed? Apparently, anything higher than the medium or average needs to be boiled down to conform to modern (PC) standards. Such an absolute shame!

Trevor Read Battle Royale by Koushun Takami. This is the book that Hunger Games was stolen from. It is much better than this American ripoff.

Emma I'm so glad that some one else feels this way.

Sophia Welsh Sometimes I can't put into words exactly what I didn't like about a book, but you said it perfectly! I agree and have been meaning to read Fahrenheit 451 for a while. Now I'm very excited!

Tessa I'm so glad! Fahrenheit 451 is a pretty heavy read, but Bradbury was frighteningly prophetic! I really had no idea what to think of it at first. I also wrote a review of it, too, if you would like more of my thoughts on it, although it's definitely not my best review...In any case, I hope you end up liking Fahrenheit!

message 12: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne L As much as I liked the books, I have to agree with you. I know it's a book written for young adults and all, but I guess that's what blocked Collins's vision, did not work to write something that go pass the "young adult fiction" and into something more sophisticated. There's truly a lot of potential in this book if only the author explored deeper. When I reach the end of book three, I understand what Collins's trying to tell people, but it did not make me want to things (like you said), it only lingered for a bit in my mind and drifted away slowly.

message 13: by Sara (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sara Cat I totally agree.

Brittany Canon this is geared for a much younger age group...I doubt a 13 yr old would be captivated by the symbolism in Farenheit 451

Danielle Exactly! (and Brittany, I loved Farenheit 451 when I was 13. I loved crappy books too, but I knew the difference.)

Pacyfa Tessa, I have to say I had a very similar feelings about the book, I have read your review after I did mine. Your first and last two paragraphs nailed it for me. What did you think about Katniss as a heroine? Did you like her? .

message 17: by Joel (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joel Christophel The review is really good. It is very concise and, per my opinions, accurate.

Amanda I guess I will be the only one to say that it is a bad idea to compare an average novel for young adults to a classic. It was clearly not the author's intent to scare the reader constantly with the idea that our world could become like theirs. Personally, I think it's acceptable to read a book where things are just the way things are in that setting. Granted, I have not read Fahrenheit 451, nor do I intend to. I rather like not crapping my pants every page. I'm glad that Collins didn't go that route. This is normal for the Hunger Games characters. They don't know any different. It could be filled with symbolism and some sort of doomsday message, but I think it's fine for us to see this as another world, not a mirror image of what ours could be. The Time Machine was no less a classic and yet it portrayed a world where there are mutants hunting people and something should be done by the only one who can. Yet it didn't send the message that somehow we have to stop that from happening to us. It was a story that just was, without trying to inspire anything in particular. That is my take on it. Again, saying this had so much potential but didn't hit the mark because it was not as good as 451 is a bit too critical.

LWFlouisa Here are books to read over HG: Farenheit 451, 1984, Brave New World, The Sheep Look Up, Neuromancer, A Clockwork Orange, Feed.

I coulnt finish the games just because of the POV, and tense.

message 20: by Yang (new) - rated it 4 stars

Yang Yang I think this book didn't affect you the way F451 did because this book was written primarily for the entertainment of others. F451, 1984, and other similar books were written to inform and warn us about what we might become. This is just a book that's popular right now due to its entertaining value (for some people).

message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

i disagree. sort of

Shiny Tessa I love ur name!!!!!!! Have u read the infernal devices series by Cassandra Claire by any chance???

Shiny Tessa I love ur name!!!!!!! Have u read the infernal devices series by Cassandra Claire by any chance???

Daniela Hahaha^

Shiny Thanks!!!

Haylee Scaggs Well you should not have wrote this comment because im reading it and so far i like it thank you very much

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