Erin (PT)'s Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Apr 18, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: apoc-post-apoc, series, ya-teen, dystopia
Recommended to Erin (PT) by: maerhys
Read from April 18 to 21, 2011 — I own a copy

I think this is going to be one of those series that I like more for the idea/s behind it than for any of the characters or the writing itself. The prose, in particular, is somewhat of a letdown after just finishing Dennis Lehane's Kenzie & Gennaro series which is also told in first person but far more vividly and engagingly. Though Collins' prose is perfectly serviceable, it reads much as I remember YA novels reading when I was a teen and even when it's trying to be descriptive, it feels like too much tell and not enough show.

As well, though I think Katniss is a completely valid and not-unrealistic narrator, she's not particularly the kind of narrator I like, being one of those hero/ines so lost in her own head (while simultaneously being COMPLETELY out of touch with her own feelings) that she fails to see the obvious. Even when it's really really obvious. And while, like I said, it can be chalked up to legitimate reasons: her age, her lack of overall human experience/interaction, the world-environment in which she lives, it doesn't make her all that interesting to me. She's not completely UNinteresting, or I wouldn't have kept reading, but there's nothing in me that identifies with her except at a superficial level and I don't particularly feel for her or feel all that concerned about her survival odds.

Putting those negatives aside, however, I do feel as though Collins has created a very interesting world, one that feels more textural and dimensional than any of her characters. It's impossible not to think about her predecessors, especially Stephen King's The Long Walk or The Running Man, but where those were written in/before the true flush of reality TV programming, Collins' novels were written in their heyday and are less speculative than evolutionary and with a better idea of the ins and outs of the trend. That she correlates it with governmental abuses of power and the powerful, privileged minority impressing its will on an impoverished, fractured underclass makes her work both incredibly timely and ideologically on point for the kinds of Robin Hood stories most needed.
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