Jana's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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's review
May 05, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: ya-and-creatures
Read in September, 2010

A lot of things are troubling me about The Hunger Games. A lot of things which I more and more perceive and which are not solely connected with this book but with the metaphor behind the words. People attach themselves to fictional freedom without seeing what really something is and which unfortunately is here to stay because you can't wake a person who is pretending to be asleep. You can’t make a shift on a deeper level, if the only thing that attracts you to this book is – a vision of fight, retaliation and the outcome of freedom. Freedom of flesh.

In comparison to the freedom of and from your mind which is nowhere to be found.

And this is why I detest this book, although detest is such a strong from the ego word. Because the whole purpose of this story is to show how people shouldn’t sacrifice their children for the better of their communities and with the positive outcomes realise that we are so much stronger and yada yada.

THE WHOLE PURPOSE of this book should be that there shouldn’t even be in the first place a need to sacrifice members of our society for some other people to be amused. And where after the battle of ''united'' people we heal and repair the damages for the better tomorrow. The society cancer of western civilisation thinking.

Heal the damage, never heal the cause of it.

But then we wouldn’t be talking here about the same book. We would be discussing how humanity can help each other with being better, with taking responsibility and with being open to each other.

And yet imagine this paradox we live in: better, as if the majority of population can even understand that we are in constant blood thirst to achieve peace. With war comes peace. While along the way we are trying to be better and safer. Yet most people deliberately choose to live on the utmost lowest level of their existence. In fear, frightened of itself.

And people read books which are so extreme in their bullshit. And people connect with Katniss because she is the heroine. She has managed to outsmart the system. Instead of thinking that she was not even supposed be there in the first place. Because we live in society that does this to their children.

''No, we don’t!''

''We do...''

''But children can learn how to fight.''

''You teach them to fight for individual puppeteers. And instead of working on yourself, how to achieve your inner peace, you associate yourself again with the group because it feels better to be in the tortured crowd, instead of being alone and awakened.''

''What are you talking about? It is just emo gibberish. Leave Katniss alone. And in the end, it is just a book. Why don’t you want people to read and educate themselves, does everything have to be deep and meaningful, can’t you just relax?''

Yes, everything has to be deep and meaningful since we are drowning in shit of meaningless and shallow. The system as it is, the plot of this book is just another evidence to show us how we are controlled. That we are left barren from our true selves which we only find in empathy, love towards each other and genuinely understanding that we are one and everything is one. But on this provincial&marginal&primitive&emotional level, so many took this book for granted.

And the only reason I am writing this review here, the only reason I am giving it so much attention is to tell what is on my mind since it is so widely popular and since I have read it. And one of the main reasons why I can’t really keep things light and popsy is because so many things are already deep down in gutter light and popsy and mainstream. As if having money is any critieria for life, as if not having your own free will and education and information means nothing. And the other side of the rich coin is poverty with people who believe in symbols, who are sidetracked with religions, censured TV, economy and utter lack of information circulation.

And a lot of people here are trying to disregard this review and want to reassure me that I am so terribly wrong. BUT, you have yet not seen what I am talking about and it is perfectly OK.

So I followed as well screaming Goodreads recommendations and I bought a book that is stupid, violent and written so plainly but of course written for vast masses so they can be touched by fake social awareness. Because it is fake, but most of all it’s tragic.

And this is not a critique toward Collins, in my nature of a thinker and seeing her a person who shared her thoughts and which millions of people loved and connected with, I am still a firm believer that the general public just didn’t understand what she was talking about. And this is my silver lining. Because it has been like this throughout centuries and with the biggest thinkers of our civilisation. What they meant and wanted to show, is definitely not what most of the public projected.

Because the mainstream public is a group of sheep, not seeing anything properly, but following and like a Tarzan, screaming, don’t you dare stealing my Jane from me. As a metaphor, don’t you dare telling me these uplifting emotions are not true, when all in me about this book tells me that is correct and how people should live their lives.

And if the mainstream likes it, uh, then definitely that is not what it’s true.

It is just a constant reminder how so many things are left unrecognised while these superficial stories which evoke cheap emotions are always so hugely praised. It could have been just a little story but never underestimate the obese octopus that is called In God And Country We Trust - code red mentality. Mentality of humans which are too ignorant, beautifully naive and untouched basically with what is means to be socially aware.

And although this is a teen book, it is more deeply hurting and sickening because if you want to influence somebody, of course you will influence the children – and yet there is nothing that children can learn from it. They can learn some things, we all need little courageous Katniss, but on a deeper subtler level is it just an intravenous injection of more Nothing and more Numbing and more Disconnected.

At least they read is one of the arguments. And argument as fruitfull as at least they eat GMO food. One food for the blind intellect, other for the digestion which both results in basic survival without any interference of you in all of it. Because it takes courage and guts and a pinch of anarchy to stop, turn around and start questioning what is handed.

For me, the thought about giving this to a child is sickening especially because we live in this world where all the life criterias are upside down. Because a child will not learn how things are vile and disturbing because Katniss told them through her delusional and hyperventilating focus, but a child will learn about life’s cruelty, and it will be touched by it sooner or later, by questioning everything that is served in front of it.

Because if it is served somebody is earning money and you are just getting fatter and sicker.

And the children will learn how to question if you teach them how to find not if you broadcast them the answers. Not if you teach them through aggressive examples and if you keep the nation in cold sweat especially if you are lucky enough to live in the countries where oppression is not the issue but consumerism, body image and mediocrity have you on the leash.

I am astonished with a fact that around 75.000 Goodreads members read this book and that around 50.000 of them rated it 5 stars. What is it that fascinates them so much.

It’s disturbing because people obviously associate and find themselves in this book. And it's about a girl Katniss Everdeen, living in the far away future, who was chosen to participate in a cruel Big Brother game, in which 24 contestants (children age 12-18) kill each other, because live TV has become demanding, and the public loves reality blood and violence. That's it. A little bit of undeveloped and unbelievable romance between her and two boys, a little bit of her abandoned family problems, a little bit of The 5th element movie political structure, mutants and pop stylists. It’s so screwed up.

In the beginning, first 50 pages were well written. There was suspense, Katniss was sweet and witty, but overall this book is a shitty meltdown. Adding the ridiculous cliffhanger ending. Some people here are using words like dystopian literature, and then write essays about how this book is the core of it.

The core is pointlessly graphic and sadistic, without any concrete message except of the negative: this book is just proving that the world today is fucked up if this book is so successful. I don’t see the point of reading about the fictional kids who are doing this to each other.

In a metaphorical way it is promoting political establishments of certain countries and that is getting tiring. Not all people are eager to swallow the shit of general brainwashing. Katniss being the heroine (ironical quote marks). Being loyal and darling and a role model. Just wake up. Life is happening and some pretty dark things are happening while you are thinking that Katniss is the representative of the club called liberation.

For me, in a bookish way it stands for one bad one night stand, kiss and forget. But as always, readers tend to bring fiction to their real life and just as many think that kittens and superheroes are comfort zones, a lot of readers perceive this plot as their own little shrine.

But that is me not being in tune with the mainstream population which is too distracted with billboards.

Because it is easier, because why protest, why not simply take what you are given - eat your GMO Monsanto's company hamburgers, eat your cancer giving Nestle products and think that The Hunger Games are the best franchise ever, like ever. If you don't have any arguments about real life activism and if you think that there is deepness in this plot which I have yet not seen so you need to enlightened me, just include North Korea or Hitler or ISIS(L) or those poor people who are closed in Zara hangers who work nonstop ''somewhere'' in the world because obviously you are aware of the crisis although you don’t think you could show on the map but you have heard somewhere on Murdoch media.

This shit sells. It's genuinely bad but excellently targeted. You know, it evokes pride and loyalty and massacring children, freedom and scandal and Hollywood. It goes very well with all the Kardashian filth. As long as it sells, sells, sells. And marketing agencies know that people are united when they are jealous, when they want and they with those hamburgers want freedom. Nobody is going to kill their Katniss in a goddam book! Really? Take a look around you.

And then the punch line for this book comes from the so called activism from the shopping mall. People who devour literature of this kind and think that everything is all right while in the same time, fuck, you are getting oozingly fat.

Bottom line.

This book is very shallow and MTV culture oriented, like a classical example of easy consummated pop-literature; I'm very surprised that it didn't come with some trash magazine subscription. If it doesn't have savage brutality, prize money and prefix ''media coverage'' then it won't be appealing and educational because surely this is how children of 21st century survive this techno media world; through examples of true moral issues and realistic outcomes. Have another gulp of Coca-Cola along the way while you listen to dubstep shit.

It saddens me when a violent hillbillish book is so popular. What is there to truly identify yourself with. Except if your chicken soup for soul are basic emotions which come with buy 1 get 1 free.
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 120) (120 new)

message 1: by Hydrogen (last edited May 30, 2011 04:46PM) (new)

Hydrogen Carbonate I learned a lot from this book. I read this book when i was 15, and Katniss's story taught me so much about the horrors of war and the injustice of cruelty that, like it or not, is taking place all over the world. Mockingjay, the third book, taught me that we all have to stand together. If you look past the violence, and actually see what Katniss goes through and what she's telling you, you'll see the core of this book is very anti-violence and anti-war. Katniss does go through struggles, particularly in the second book where she has nightmares about the games and has to have Peeta stay with her all night. War affects everyone, and no one is untouchable, not even the hero or heroine, but you can still make it through. Katniss did, by the end she finds peace, although there's a lot she must overcome.

message 2: by G (new) - rated it 1 star

G Preach to everything you said, to be honest.

Allison So, I just did a paper for my pulp fiction class about why stories of violence appeal so much to our society. I know you probably don't care but I thought I'd put in my two cents in case you really wanted to know why this violent book is so popular. Studies have shown that people facing uncertainty (fear of terrorism, economic uncertainty, war, etc) like to be reassured. A story like the Hunger Games where violence so terrible occurs but is resolved and the world keeps spinning is reassuring. Notice that crime shows are some of the top watched shows all over the nation. People like to see the good guy coming out on top, it makes them think maybe they can too. Katniss appeals to people because she is strong enough to get through the most horrible of circumstances and overcome her oppressors. In terms of violence it is nowhere near the horror of some other books that I have attempted to read (Battle Royal and LA Confidential are some famous ones that jump to mind).
Maybe it didn't teach you much but I learned a lot about sacrifice and the strength of hope. I didn't really see the violence as the main point of the story but rather a framework to make the ideas in the story more potent. I hope you can find another book you like better :)

Chipper I didn't really feel that it was that violent or disturbing. I have read book a lot more disturbing than this, such as 1984 by George Orwell. That book makes The Hunger Games look like a joke, but both books taught me lot, and they were both amazing.

Sarah What I do not appreciate is not that you did not enjoy the book as you are absolutely entitled to not like something or express what you, personally, did not like about it. However, the tone of judgement in this review is rather appalling. You condemn parents or guardians who would allow their children to read this book and you label all readers of this book as "disturbing" or as kind of voyeurs enjoying the violent actions of children. Also, saying that there is nothing children can learn from it seems a bit ridiculous as you can not possibly identify with every child reader. The point is, this review made me feel VERY uncomfortable because it basically called all readers of the book sick and sadistic. That's a pretty harsh judgement and condemns other for enjoying what you do not.

message 6: by Katie (new)

Katie I disagree i read this when i was 10 and it didnt terrify me,like my like parents said'Dont say things about children until you've had one'so real its all loves and tears for me

Ekam Okay there is a lot wrong with his review first off it is not put on T.V. just for show it is to keep everyone afraid of the capital and for them to show their power. They want to make sure everyone knows they are the ones with control and not the districts.
Second reading is not always about learning its about enjoying a story. If I wanted to learn something from a book I would not read fiction and fantasy books I read for adventure, discovery, romance, and to escape the real world.
Also a lot of people say this book is to graphic with its gore. I don't see it at all I have read a lot worse in my day. Like Kashiels dart. (can't spell the first name.) and even The Sword of Truth books, or now more popularly known as The seeker books. The most graphic seen in this book *Spoiler* *Spoiler* is Rues death I feel and that was not that bad.*end spoiler*
You also say Katniss does not feel remorse or moral issues with killing. She does she even feels bad for Thresh and even has to hide her face from the cameras and she did not even kill him. And when she is sitting in the tree after killing a boy with her bow she feels guilt realizing that was the first person she has ever killed and has to think back to what Gale told her about it being like hunting. So again I disagree with that part of your review.
And did you not even look what the book was about before you read it? You act like you where not ready for there to be violence in this book. Also this book is a YA book not childrens book. I have the feeling you read this book wanting to hate it and did not pay much attention to it from your 3rd paragraph "kill each other, because live TV has become demanding, and the public loves reality blood and violence. That’s it" is what you said and the book many times states a lot of people hate watching it it is only the capital that enjoys it not the districts. And again the capital does it to instill fear into the districts to show the power they have not just for T.V. even though they do enjoy it.

Tamari There's about as much violence in this book as the Bible, the Iliad & Odyssey, Ben-Hur and the Epic of Gilgamesh. I can't believe you're surprised at it's success...

Rania it's great to see someone here that agree with me , you rock ..

Julie I'm just scrolling down the page, and your review is the first which is negative. I haven't read the book, but I think that sending kids to a reality show to be killed is just sick.

message 11: by Shelby (new)

Shelby Please don't associate hillbillies with this book. We don't want it either.

Marie Gonzalez Well, I respect your opinion about how this book is violent and such, but in my city, many schools have this book as a novel study due to the very good description and format of it. My school does not have it, but many of my teachers have read it and enjoyed it. I go to a Catholic private school. Also, I know some classmates who have parents who have read and enjoyed this book, and also the whole series. By the way, I was eleven when I read this :). I am glad you liked the first 50 pages though :)!

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

This review.
Thank you.
The low cultured ooze of this book seems to go over most people. Glad you also picked it up.

Kirstyn You will see the how the killing affects her should you read the second novel, and of course the plot is under developed, it's a trilogy so their will be some loose ends to tie up. It's fascinating because it's showing what our voyeuristic culture may turn into as well as a strong female character being the lead.

MomToKippy Excellent review

Bennett Oh, I'm sorry, but who said this book was recommended for children? And if u don't like like the violence why don't u...oh, I don't know... NOT READ IT???!!

message 17: by Jana (last edited Jan 24, 2013 03:43AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jana Lets make things clear so we can avoid future crap presented only from your point of view: you're not sorry, you are illiterate and you are yelling.

And I presume you're a child, so I will take that as a bonus so I will not tell you what you actually deserve to hear. But I will tell you something. Learn manners when you decide to talk to adults who don't share your opinions. Because ''duh, u, CAPITAL LETTERS'' and other exclamation words such as WOW are not actually words in a proper debate about how bad this book really is.

And one more thing: I've been on your profile. You wrote ''defiantly'' in some of your reviews. Do you know the meaning of that word? It's an adverb. It comes from the word DEFIANCE, which means bold, to challenge somebody's attitude, resistance.

I am pretty sure you meant to write: DEFINITELY. There is a reason why school exists.

Annelida Jana, to quote you directly: "What is there to identify yourself with." Maybe if you had somehow *missed* the sentiments that rose during the Cold War, the futility of the French Revolution, and the rise of Stalin, maybe you think that there is indeed "nothing to identify" yourself with. Your problem is that you think people should be identifying with the characters personally. However, take a step back and try to identify some IDEAS. Think about the way the revolution began to play out in the districts; it was very much a reflection on the historical accounts of revolutions in various countries. Despite the resurgence of new leaders and the constant emergence of old regimes in places like France, masses of people could not exactly analyze what was going on, or preserve their individuality. What is most important in this book is not the fighting, but the way humanity shows against repression. The way Peeta said that when he was out in the Arena, the one thing he would not want to do is lose his individuality. He wanted to remain human despite everything. In the same way, Katniss remained human by forming a bond of love and human compassion with the girl, Rue, and her actions were some of the strongest to compel people (later) to understand just how much the current regime has taken away from them. Katniss' ultimate act of defiance, although maybe a bit unassuming, did not just end that book. You should read the series further (I have not bothered to read the rest of the comments to see if you had) but I think what the book boils down to is that we, individuals, should not trust leaders, no matter what they seem like. Every person has their own agenda. It is better to not take sides, but stay with your own judgement. The most powerful moment,thus, in my mind, is when Katniss kills Coin instead of Snow in the very last novel. She kills the Napoleon before he has the freedom to oppress. She kills the Stalin. She realizes that Hunger Games for the children of the Capitol could never be a solution; but complete reform was. One can take this farther and think of the way the American Colonies, eventually slaves of Britain (haha...THIRTEEN colonies) broke away, while maintaining their own slave system, something they supposedly fought against when they fought with Great Britain. There are so many little historical reflections that one can take from this novel if one looks from the proper philosophical and historical angle, rather than personal experience. I hope no one on Goodreads is put off by narrow reviews such as this one and find their own interesting implications.

Somerandom Annelida wrote: "Jana, to quote you directly: "What is there to identify yourself with." Maybe if you had somehow *missed* the sentiments that rose during the Cold War, the futility of the French Revolution, and th..."

Your entire speech is both polite and articulate, I commend you. I was thinking the book Les Misrables reflects your points as well. In that people could relate to the fight for freedom.

message 20: by Annelida (last edited Jan 27, 2013 08:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Annelida Hmm... I could write something about current politics and national resistances here, but having a sense of your self-proclaimed liberalism, I realize that my arguments will be futile. At least at the moment.
Some of my points may actually not come clashing with your liberalism, but I am still not comfortable voicing them on a public website where they may esily be accessible to anyone. This also addresses the "failure of my point" since if I could say that the personal effects of the government on me only reflects the way it is perceived by its supporters, then maybe I would agree with you. You speak of democracy somewhere...you think that an election with two candidates due to their obscene monetary support is democratic? Really? Do you honestly "support" any candidate, or any other public figure whose real persona and agenda can only leave you guessing?
I can also say hey, why don't I go read Locke if I want to learn about humanity and resistance. The thing is... I already have.
The beauty of this book is it sees in the future rather than the past. It asks us what will happen if we combine poverty, reality shows such as "Survivor" and the Olympics where just under 20% of athletes in each discipline get hurt just to honor their country. A few even die. Hunger Games is a big leap from reality , maybe even an impossible one, but it nevertheless asks us why MILLIONS of people care more about watching their favorite episode of a reality TV show rather than thinking of a solution to the many of humanity's impending problems.

message 21: by Jana (new) - rated it 1 star

Jana You are very self-deprecating, it's enjoyable to read about but try to be more vocal and not censure yourself. I criticize all the time but my liberal opinions have vast magnitudes. I am very harsh with things as I don’t condone global stupidity and shallowness and I'm attuned to oppression. You think that criticism is a form of prejudice. But it is not, voicelessness is a form of fear. But you have to realise where radicalism and distastefulness begin. It’s not a question of who has bigger or more bruised ego but how straight your spine is.

What I don’t understand from your reply is how you think you know my opinion on ‘political heroes and icons’ of our time and what I think about democracy since I didn’t write anything about it. But I am glad that you read Locke, high five for you. I hope you felt the under current taste of irony.

Just see Annelida, these things and a lot more don’t worry me in a context of this particular book. I didn’t write my review in a whim and whatever you say, whatever I say, in the end I will still see The hunger games as pointless and degeneric. Because maybe in your constant alarming code red society you think of this book as eyes opening, but let me whisper you something: you have blindfolds. In my review I asked the same question as you asked me just I asked them from the opposite side of the river bank: why MILLIONS of people care more about watching their favourite episode of a reality TV show rather than thinking of a solution to the many of humanity's impending problems.

This book didn't give me any answers but it just made hysteria more palpable and devaluated some other real concerns.

Annelida The second you pulled out something I wrote on my profile for the public to see, I realized that it is pretty futile to argue with you. I'll withhold all arguments just so you don't waste your time on someone who pities you. Good luck, and may the odds ever be in to your favor!

message 23: by Jana (new) - rated it 1 star

Jana Thank you. Finally.

Campbellrbook hey! it's totally awesome1

message 25: by Lauren (new)

Lauren Amen. Book was crap.

lily:) 3 things

1. It's supposed to be graphic, it's the HUNGER GAMES!!!! theyre not gonna be dancing w/ butterflies in the meadow

2. It's ages 12-18 maybe the reason u h8ed it is cuz u didnt pay attention

3. Katniss DOES learn moral lessons theyre in the 2 & 3 books

Becki I think that this is a good example of how different people can read the same work of fiction and take away different messages, or no messages at all. This is really a testimony to the power of life experience and personal values to the things that we take away from what we read.

For me, the brutality of the story wasn't in the Games themselves, but in the Government that oppressed the Districts with the Games. I see the governing force and not the people who killed or watched the bloodshed. But then, I also enjoyed books like The Long Walk and The Running Man (both by Richard Bachman), which are both incredibly gory and violent and where the main purpose of the story was watching people die for the pleasure of others. Or, as I believe was the point in The Long Walk, population control.

message 28: by Rena (new)

Rena From a stand point of literature the book in itself is not a major literary work. But from the stand point of being full of action, intigue, entertainment then the book is very good at that.

Jonathan I agree that the book is sensationalist. The tricky thing is that it's future fiction, and that comes with its own set of rules. People who identify with Katniss might do so because, placed in the exact same extremely messed up situation, they might react in a similar way. This for me was a like not love book because, yes, it is simplistic and not terribly original as far as the source of the ideas. And while sensationalism - that high tension, lots of action approach - can be seen as shitty because its the order of the day, doesn't mean it should be written off. Fantastic writers since the dawn of writing have used tension and action to keep readers interested.

message 30: by Alec (new) - rated it 2 stars

Alec Hensley Loved your review. Please read mine to see the teenage wasteland I live in every day

message 31: by Cecily (last edited Jul 13, 2013 11:45AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Cecily Somerandom wrote: "...Not that The Hunger Games is a retelling of the Holocaust.

Although there are still a few parallels. The Capitol is a tyrannical Government. The Nazis were a similar set up. The control, the fear and propaganda. Then there's the experiments and the prejudice. "

Yes... and no.

History (and the present) is filled with tyrannical governments who subjugate and kill their own people. Surely the defining feature of Hitler, Pol Pot etc is genocide: that they do it selectively, to try to exterminate specific racial or religious groups? Panem is entirely different: all the areas are oppressed and the children who die are selected randomly. Still awful, but in a different way.

H. P. Reed Jana - your review tells it like I see it. Thanks.

message 33: by Nia (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nia i agree that this shouldn't be given to children but it is classed as a young adult book and isn't targeted towards children, more towards teenager who can cope with the violence. i enjoyed the book and didn't find it too violent as it isn't all there is to the book.

Laura Simpson It's fiction, what happens is fiction, it's a book. And you don't have to just read a book to learn from it. Nor is it right to always say just the classics are allowed to be classed as greats or dystopias, especially considering the canon is very outdated and consists of mostly dead white male writers. I can understand your review in not liking the book that's your personal choice but offending people who do is a bit low and ignorant. People of all ages have read this book, not because they are sick, but because it is written well, it's different to the mainstream ya out there at the moment and it explores a new popular theme of corruption and totalitarian regimes. It may be too disturbing for you, but this book is suppose to be, it's suppose to hit home and make you feel repulsed, it's there to make a point and highlight how unjust this system is. Collins by writing this book does in no way condone the rules of the governing world, she is creating a what if...
Dystopias highlight the what if?

Laura Simpson Not only have you I feel misjudged the book but you have misjudged the people who read it. Telling us to drink some coca cola... What ate you on about, it's naive and judgemental. You can't judge a reader by one book, or by anything really.

message 36: by J.D. (last edited Jul 31, 2013 05:55PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

J.D. White Rhetorical question to the commenters: If Jana's opinion is so wrong, off-base, offensive, and/or meaningless . . . why are any of you flaming her for giving her opinion? (and/or trying to convince her to change her mind or that she is wrong?)

Obviously something about what she said is true or you wouldn't be needlessly defending yourselves.

People who feel they have a right stance on something should not be so offended by someone else's distaste for that stance.

message 37: by Tagr (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tagr Endy J.D. wrote: "Rhetorical question to the commenters: If Jana's opinion is so wrong, off-base, offensive, and/or meaningless . . . why are any of you flaming her for giving her opinion? (and/or trying to convince..."

You are claiming if I don't like his or her review, I should not comment on it??? Well then if he didn't like the book he shouldn't have reviewed it!!! Great logic. Gosh

message 38: by J.D. (last edited Aug 03, 2013 04:57PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

J.D. White Tagr wrote: "You are claiming if I don't like his or her review, I should not comment on it??? Well then if he didn't like the book he shouldn't have reviewed it!!! Great logic. Gosh..."

No, sorry, that's not what I meant :P

What I meant was that most of the comments (that I read) that came from people who didn't agree with the review were coming from a visceral reaction of "WHAT?!?! I LOVED THIS BOOK! what the heck is wrong with you, why can't you get it???" . . . when instead - if you honestly don't agree and can actually give logical reasons for why you don't - someone should 'debate' the matter in a "Hmm, I don't agree with your assessment. Here are a few of my reasons (1), (2), (3), - would you care to address those points?" kind of way ;)

No problem with disagreeing, just the manner and thought processes behind it.

As for the things you personally mentioned, Tagr, I do agree that there are real world issues that people need to be aware of. However, Mrs. Collins completely ruins any ability for her book to 'open peoples eyes' because of the way the book was written, the audience it was aimed at, and the culture we live in. Would YOU have thought of the real, poor child-soldiers in the world after reading this book if you hadn't had previous knowledge of the despicable truth? Or would you have just put the book down as a 'great read?'

In our culture, I have not ONCE seen any of the raving teenage (or adult) fans of this book talk about the horrors of the real world or the depravity of mankind when this book is mentioned. It's always about Katniss being 'such a strong person' (or other such nonsense), or about the idiotic 'love triangle,' and MAYBE a mention of the fact that governments can be tyrannical and we should watch out for OURSELVES (completely selfish motivations and aims whenever I here it talked about) and do whatever it takes to SURVIVE (whether that means being willing to murder or not is never quite clear).
I have not once heard a fan of this franchise - after they get done raving about how much they 'LOVED' the books or the movie - mention the need to be aware of the world around us, being more compassionate to the people we encounter, or being willing to sacrifice(our lives, 'happiness,' possessions, etc.) for the good of others...

Also, it is not necessary to have graphically filthy literature given to children when you can just as easily INFORM them of the truth without the hideous, 'drag you through the gutter' details - which only serve to desensitize the child... Would you inform a young person of the nature of sex by also introducing them to the evil of pornography or describing every explicit detail of what takes place in the union of husband and wife? I would certainly hope not!
The problem is that our culture is so enamored by violence(and other vices) that it is no longer disturbed by anything.

P.S. After posting this I went back and read some more of the comments on this thread - and I realized I should clarify something because there are a few people who mentioned 'positive' things they supposedly got out of the book.
The clarification is this: the 'willingness to sacrifice' I mentioned above is something that should be completely free of ANY form of selfishness/self-centeredness and idolatry. I am NOT speaking of 'moral' humanism.
The things I mentioned are coming from a person who's thoughts are coming from this base point: GOD, the Holy Holy Holy LORD and King of the universe is worthy of ALL praise, honor, glory, love, and worship (Revelation 4:8, Revelation 4:11, Psalm 115). And thus I believe that EVERYTHING that is seen, heard, or done should be only ever that which pleases and glorifies Him (1 Corinthians 10:31, Colossians 3:17, Philippians 4:8)
After all, what could be more important than worshiping Jesus Christ, through whose sacrifice eternal salvation was offered to the world? (John 1:1-18, John 3:31-36, Romans 3:21-26, John 3:16-21, etc.)

message 39: by Jessica (new) - added it

Jessica T. great review Ms. Jana...

message 40: by Tagr (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tagr Endy J.D. wrote: "Tagr wrote: "You are claiming if I don't like his or her review, I should not comment on it??? Well then if he didn't like the book he shouldn't have reviewed it!!! Great logic. Gosh..."

No, sorry..."

J.D. , ironically, the things you don't like about such comments, are the same exact reason I don't like this review. What does HE bring on as the logical reason behind 1 star? Half of his review is the shock of violence. Ok, I get it, it's not Twilight ( by the way for books like Twilight he will now run out of stars, that's another annoying aspect of review based on personal likes and dislikes), it's a book where kids have to kill each other. So? How long can it take to get past that moment and see what all that is for.

The other half is about how it's a crap because he finds it similar to other crap and how people that liked it are hidden Hitlers. This is all of his logic! Are you shocked after that people replying 'wtf? is it I am Hitler or you are just living on wonderland??'

I brought the example of child soldiers because it was extremely close. But there are many other real life situations that you don't have to be really resourceful to remember. Snow using his power as he sees fit? Katniss having to do what he says or he will have her family killed? Everybody had some situation where they had to do something they didn't want to! The only difference is how bad that 'something' is.
No, I might not think of child soldiers after reading this book if I hadn't known about them, but then again, the only way that could happen would be if it was a documentary book about child soldiers. But the skill of the author to picture another reality with similar results in our world, is where I see the challenge. Just laying a documentary, I can do that as well.

And finally, I don't blame him for being shocked. But it's like folks like me - that hate scary movies - talking about how shitty and pointless they are. It's not right, reviews are supposed to be objective.

Cecily Tagr wrote: "...that's another annoying aspect of review based on personal likes and dislikes)..."

Just curious: what do you suggest reviews should be based on, if not personal likes and dislikes?

message 42: by Tagr (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tagr Endy Cecily wrote: "Tagr wrote: "...that's another annoying aspect of review based on personal likes and dislikes)..."

Just curious: what do you suggest reviews should be based on, if not personal likes and dislikes?"

On usefulness maybe? What would happen if all twilight fans started reading some classical book and rated it 1 star. The poor book would never see another reader coming by! Same happened here. He doesn't like violence, he went on reading a violent book (knowing about it previously) but he came out with reasons he could as well bring without reading the book, that it's violent!

Cecily Usefulness? Well, that's just as subjective as liking and disliking, and not everyone reads for that purpose - or would pleasure count as useful?

The thing is, reviewing fiction is an inherently intimate and personal activity: people will award stars on whatever basis they like.

(That's why I'm only interested in actual reviews, rather than star ratings.)

message 44: by Tagr (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tagr Endy Usefulness is subjective? How? If the review answers some of the questions a future reader, sensitive to violence or not, can have, than it's useful. If it's a reaction to the violence, that some of previous readers can relate to as well, then that is not useful, it is only a reaction. Wow I loved it or eww I hated it. But saying, you will love this for blablabla or hate this for blablabla is a different story. I am ok with rating a well written book 4 stars instead of 5 because of personal reasons. But if there is no boundary, I find it disrespectful both to audience and the book.

message 45: by J.D. (new) - rated it 1 star

J.D. White From Jana's Review: "The core [of hunger games] is pointlessly graphic and sadistic, without any concrete message except of the negative..." = Logical reason for 1 star. ;)

NOTE: brackets mine

And I agree with Cecily, reviews or a person's opinion of reviews is subjective. And that's not a bad thing, it just means that you have to test certain peoples' opinions of the book against each other and decide if you want to find out for yourself - or just leave it alone because both 'positive' and 'negative' reviews on the book make it sound like something you wouldn't like or would completely go against your worldview (if you consciously take your worldview into consideration when it comes to the ways you entertain yourself) :]

Also, again, Jana did give a "you will and/or should hate this for blablabla..." - sure, it may have only come across clearly in the one paragraph that I quoted from, but she still gave a completely sufficient reason for the rating she gave.
And one more thing before I remain silent - Cecily has a point; it's better to ignore the star rating beyond looking at it as a 'hmm, I want to see what the people who didn't like it thought' or 'what the people who did like it thought' indicator ;P :)

message 46: by Tagr (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tagr Endy Well ok, ignoring the rating. Just looking at her opinion. Is it ok to bring opinion on opinion? You see my opinion is that negative message and negative story are two separate things. Does the book have kids killing each other with all violence? Yep. Does it invite you to similar actions? Does it glorify some psycho killer? Did it make 'the devil that everyone likes' hero out of Snow? Hell no. I am usually one of those who likes the bad guy in the story, but Snow was disgusting even to me.

Now positive messages. None? You basically watched a girl going through what is a gore violence, and end it. How can that happen without a positive message? Few examples that I remember, is Katniss making the proper goodbyes to the girl, even though it would most likely end badly for her or her loved ones. It inspires me to do the right thing no matter how safe wrong is. Or Peeta. The whole of him was a walking positive message. He inspired me to be the light in the dark for somebody who I care for even if things were hopeless. And never lose my pride or let the enemy think he owns me. Many positive messages you can find in the book, once the violence shock is over.

message 47: by J.D. (last edited Aug 04, 2013 09:20PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

J.D. White Tagr wrote: "Well ok, ignoring the rating. Just looking at her opinion. Is it ok to bring opinion on opinion? You see my opinion is that negative message and negative story are two separate things. Does the boo..."

We understand what you're saying, Tagr (and I would definitely say feel free to continue to state your opinion on the matter), but the simple fact is that Jana's point was that the book had a negative 'message' as well as a negative story - and the few miniscule positive points do nothing to offset that.

P.S. the girl did not end the 'gore fest' - she let it play itself out (worrying only about preserving her own life for about 75% of the time) without even attempting to save any of the other children (except the two that she felt some form of affection for)

P.P.S. I agree that there were a few occasions that Peeta seemed to actually be the only character with a brain and decent morals/ethics - but again, those tiny embers don't do anything to dispel the cold or darkness...

message 48: by Tagr (last edited Aug 05, 2013 03:58AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tagr Endy J.D., don't confuse your own points with Jana's points. Jana's only real point, cause it's backed up, is that Katniss as a heroine was almost ok with violence than she would want her to be. This is that big negative message, if not, there is nothing else she explained under that mysterious 'negative message'.

Now would Jana prefer her to be a disney princess that cares for all the living things? Wouldn't that be so believable when she basically grew up watching every year the games happen in celebrations. Jana treats Katniss as if she has grown up in normal environment and just has weak morals. She basically ignores the fact that TV and government was promoting violence and children were learning. Wow, I think here's a good place to look for that concrete positive message.

I, on the other point, can agree that Katniss really sucked at developing throughout the process. I am fine with a character starting off 'not a hero but somebody that I could be' and turn into a brave, decisive, strong character 'I wanna be', which did not happen.

And Jana's another point is that you cannot like the book if you're a good person, which is a BS. Creating a knife is not a message to stab people with it.

message 49: by Somerandom (last edited Aug 05, 2013 04:45AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Somerandom "the girl did not end the 'gore fest' - she let it play itself out (worrying only about preserving her own life for about 75% of the time) without even attempting to save any of the other children (except the two that she felt some form of affection for)"

I'm going to side with Tagr on this one.

Katniss has grown up in a world where it's kill or be killed. A world that has accepted that people have to die in order for you to live. It's hard to rebel against social conventions in a normal situation, but Katniss'?
Where her people are beaten, starving and reminded of their subjugation every year? Where they have to watch their own children die, just so the Capitol can remind them of their control?
I'm surprised Katniss even rebelled at all in the first book!

Faced with the upbringing Katniss had, where emotions could be her downfall, where she had to do whatever it took to survive, chances are she would have accepted her place in the Hunger Games very quickly. It's called adapting and happens in all sorts of horrid environments.

Like Tagr said, these kids are thoroughly desensitized to the games and taught to celebrate them. They realize that that is the way their life is. Katniss' reaction to her Game is actually pretty realistic.

Our most basic instinct is self preservation. In life threatening situations, you can experience a form of disassociation. Your brain essentially compartmentalizes your emotions and stores them away for a time.
Instead it leaves only logic and survival instincts. Then when you can properly comprehend your actions/emotions you can deal with them.

Katniss could very well have experienced dissociation during her Hunger Games in order to survive.

It's actually a common phenomenon.
Many people who have experienced trauma or even encountered a situation where they have feared for their life have reported symptoms of or experienced outright disassociation.
Many people have even reported doing horrible things in order to survive, sometimes to other people!

Katniss not properly dealing with the emotional and ethical dilemmas of her actions in the Hunger Games until book 2 is entirely plausible and realistic.

Although I again agree with Tagr, her development wasn't exactly solid.

message 50: by J.D. (last edited Aug 05, 2013 07:13AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

J.D. White Tagr wrote: "J.D., don't confuse your own points with Jana's points. Jana's only real point, cause it's backed up, is that Katniss as a heroine was almost ok with violence than she would want her to be. This is..."

Ah, okay, I can see where you're going with that point, Tagr :]

Those are definitely valid things to keep in mind when only considering the story, characters, and plot points of the book. (And I've gotten something of the same argument from friends of mine a few times ;)

Obviously I can't speak for Jana, and most of what I've said has basically been building off of and away from her point(s) - but I will supply one last 'argument' as food-for-thought in response to the 'consider where she grew up' point.

First, again I will state that nothing makes it 'okay' to hand a child a book to entertain them that has any kind of filth in it.(all three books had plenty of graphic violence and the second book ramped up the whole sexual innuendo aspect)
Second, CONSIDERING where and in what this character grew up in - why would anyone want to repeatedly spend time in her head (and say they enjoyed it there)? Katniss is a hateful, bitter, disrespectful, sadistic(when it comes to Snow - I recall several lines about her fantasizing/thinking about all the horrible ways she would kill him), unforgiving, unloving, selfish, self-centered, proud/vain, fearful little girl that no one should admire - regardless of the tiny moments where she may do something that seems good. Now, again, I can understand the argument that all of that is understandable in her circumstances. But my point (I don't know about Jana's) is that that does not give us license to call her a 'heroine' in any other sense than that she is the main character of the books.

Sin is not excusable in ANY circumstances.

As to your last line, Tagr, I agree. I know plenty of very nice/good people who like these books, so liking them doesn't make you a 'bad' person.
(However, from a Christian worldview, only God is 'GOOD' in the true sense of the word ~ Romans 3:10)

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