Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Hunger Games: Last Words

A long time ago I wrote a review of each book of the The Hunger Games saga. I also promised I would write a new post where everyone would be able to talk about every detail of the books openly. I know, I'm a slacker, but with the second movie about to open in theaters, I thought this to be as good time as ever.

So, readers beware: This is an open discussion about the saga, characters, and important plot points. All is fair here; we can talk spoilers all day long and enjoy getting out of our systems the nitty-gritty stuff about Katniss, Peeta, Collins, and The Hunger Games. If you are looking for a review of the saga without spoilers, click here, here, and here.

Now, let the Hunger Games discussion begin!

Out of the three books, the one I least enjoyed was the third. Not only we have Katniss hiding in closets for one third of the story (at least), but then Collins deals a terrible twist to Peeta that just ruins him. Prim dies--WTF! So all this for nothing!--and then there's the final chapter... But let's start slow.

How about your favorite character? From previous comments on my other posts, I gather Peeta is a fan favorite. He is the most likable of the whole, and the true hero of the story. Such a sweet boy that pays a high price for his closeness to Katniss. I could not stand to see him turned into a mutt. I confess I did not see that twist coming, him turned into a weapon against Katniss, and it broke my heart because I knew he could never recover from something like that. They damaged him for good and there's no turning back from it.

Prim's death is another horrible blow and makes the story go from sad to depressing. However, I got it. I may not have liked where the story was going, but I understood what Collins was doing. She was following the turn of events to their worst possible conclusion. She was also making a brave statement about war and violence without being preachy and I admired her for that. And then came the last chapter.

For me, that denouement was Collins attempt at bringing a peaceful and somewhat happy conclusion to the story. Through her treatment of the characters, it is clear that she feels bad for the damaged youths, but it is truly in that trying to fix things that she betrays the spirit of her own books. Like so many before her, Collins was unable to kill her darlings. She chose to write about an ugly reality without making it pretty, just to try and do just that with the ending. I mean, Katniss recovering from her crazy period to go on and have a family of her own. After killing the true head of the revolution. Really? In what messed up reality would such an act be pardoned 'due to reason of insanity'? Does Collins know the Che Guevara story?

Anyway, in my opinion the author was very conflicted about the kind of story she wanted and the story it turned out to be. But my biggest disagreement would be with all the fans out there who don't get tired of saying that Katniss is a strong leading role. Are you kidding me? She's manipulated throughout the whole story by anyone who knows a bit more than her. From Haymitch to Snow, passing through every other character in the books, even Peeta at some point. Everyone knows what they're doing and how to accomplish it except her. Sure, she knows how to shoot an arrow, but she lacks the confidence to take control of her life. And let's not even talk about how she does nothing but be the vulnerable, broken youngster incapable of taking care of herself for most of the third book. So annoying!

The quality of the books is not an issue at all. Collins is a good writer and the story--however annoying or incongruent--never fails to be interesting. She also managed to surprised me at least once per book, and I have to tell you: It doesn't happen that often. So, in case anyone reading this feels affronted by my comments, understand that this is simply my opinion. I'm not judging the writer herself, or her ability to write. I'm simply stating the plot points I feel missed the mark and let me down. We are all entitled to our own opinions and I'll be happy to receive all your comment as long as you are polite.

Now go ahead and shoot.


Chris Fries said...

Ummmm..... Still haven't read them yet, although at least the first one is for sure in my TBD stack.

So I didn't read any more of your post after your spoiler alert.

But I'm sure it was filled with brilliant insight, shimmering prose, and incredible analysis.

'Cause all your posts are. :)

Mina Lobo said...

I wish I could contribute to this conversation, but I haven't (and don't expect I will) read these books. Ever since I had my kid, the idea of kids suffering from violence, of any kind, makes me sick to my stomach, so I avoid those themes in books, tv, and film. Friends warned me I wouldn't be able to handle Hunger Games, alas.

Lexa Cain said...

I have to say this is kinda funny -- I, like the others, haven't read them! They sounded awesome when they came out since Katniss was touted as the antithesis of Bella (which is a great thing in my book - I hate Bella). But then I heard the movies were coming, and being lazy, I figured I'd just watch them. I didn't like the first, so that was the end of that. Now I'm really glad I didn't waste my time considering how you feel about the third book. Katniss seems to be another Bella. Ugh.

Georgina Morales said...

Thanks all, as always, for your nice comments.

@Chris: You did well to stop reading because I give up too much. It would've ruined the series for you. However, I'm really curious to know what you think, so please, stop by when you have read them!

@Mina: I'm so with you. I only read these books because everybody talked about them and I was just too curious. Since my girls were born, I can't watch Law & Order SVU, and i cry like a baby whenever something happens to a kid in a show/movie. I've gone softie. And to think I chose as my speciality Forensic Medicine...

@Lexa: Preaching to the choir, girl! LOL

Yolanda Renee said...

I don't appreciate a child in danger either. Why do kids have to suffer so? Even the old movie Damion made me angry. I refuse to watch Walking Dead this year because of the way it started. And any show with children being harmed or evil - I just can't go there. I have not read these books but I am interested to know what the draw is. I have no right to judge, just my own preference.

I read a review tonight that found this new movie exciting, and I'm happy for the writer, and the fact the reviewer said they stayed true to her vision.
Reading your review it sounds fair, and those are reasons I would bulk too.

Although killing our darlings is hard, I know, I've tried and failed, but the other characters wouldn't let me - so prequel it is! LOL

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Georgina Morales said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed the critique! Even better that you liked it enough to join the crazyness!! Thanks. I hope you'll find it amusing here ;-)

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