Friday, 5 July 2013

The Hunger Games

"May the odds be EVER in your favour"
While I'm writing this post I'm overly conscious of the fact that I'm about 5 years late in discovering 'The Hunger Games'. I'd avoided the series for so long, but last Thursday I finally gave in and borrowed all three books from a friend. One week and 1408 pages later, I can't believe I held back so long.
I mean obviously 'The Hunger Games' is stereotypical teen fiction; not all that well written, kind of cheesy awkward love triangle and flagging towards the end. But the thing that made THG good for me was the plot. It's been so, so long since I've read books that I literally couldn't put down. Everything I was supposed to do in the last week has been put to one side (and still isn't done), leaving me with hours to just sit and read. When I had to rip myself away from the pages to go to school, it was all I could think about and I had to make a conscious effort to not keep raising the books with all my friends since they've mostly become bored with the whole thing by now, years after they first read the books. 
I'm not sure how long the books will stay with me as something that actually affected me, they were more just a guilty pleasure to enjoy at the end of a busy day of forcing myself through triple psychology. But there's definitely something to be said for contemporary books with relatively unique story lines since it seems almost impossible to come up with something that hasn't been done before, considering the innumerable amount of books that have already been written across the world over thousands of years. If I had to compare it to another book though, I would say the basic idea is a little like '1984', what with the repressive government and murder of those who oppose that authority.
The gorgeous Josh Hutcherson as Peeta

Also, Peeta. Just. Peeta. It used to be a good thing if I fell in love with the male lead of a book, but really this is happening so often now it's becoming a little ridiculous. And there are so many boys to fall in love with in THG, do I even need to mention Gale and Finnick's names?? Peeta is one of the sweetest characters ever; I had to keep reminding myself he wasn't real and now I might just have to spend the rest of my life looking for a blonde haired, blue eyed man who isn't just strong, he's 'bakery strong'. I have a feeling I might be waiting a while. I'm going to have to move on now otherwise I'll just get upset at Peeta's non-existence again. God I'm such a teenager it's embarrassing...
I also loved that Katniss was actually a strong woman. I think I probably took more notice of this because we're studying feminism in English class at the moment, but having read mostly classic novels lately it was so nice to actually have a girl who could stand up for herself, rather than a girl who just faints all the time (Lucie Manette I'm looking at you).
So now I just need to catch up with the first movie and it's pretty likely I'll go see the rest of the series in the cinema with my friends. Although, I did just find out they've decided to split the last film in to 2 movies. Again. In my opinion, just because the 'Harry Potter' films did that, not every franchise that comes after needs to follow suit. It's just become annoying, and to be honest a little pretentious since the HP films were so big and kept going for decades rather than a few years, meaning they had to stay around for longer just to say goodbye, in a way. 
Actually, while I'm comparing, THG definitely lends itself to comparisons with Harry Potter and Twilight, except it's far, far better than Twilight and not quite as good as Harry Potter, maybe just because it wasn't as good towards the end and the plot line wasn't quite as intricately formed, although it would be difficult to match HP's complexity to be fair. But the nice thing about THG was that, like Potter, the reader is given some kind of moral message if you make the effort to pay attention to the plot and not just the romance aspect. This is probably why the book reminded me of 1984 because it really is a warning against what humanity could become in the future if we don't check ourselves, making sure we care for others instead of becoming manipulative in order to further our own progress only. 
So, although the slightly gory plot of 'The Hunger Games' may be off-putting at first, and it was definitely a contributing factor in why I put off reading the books for so long, it's probably this that could make the books anywhere close to profound (although to be honest that's probably going a bit far). But the series can make you think if you really want it to and I guess that's true of any book: you can make what you want of it. I would recommend "The Hunger Games' to anyone whether they want a book to read as an escape from reality, a book that they quite literally cannot put down, or a book that makes them want to think about life. I'm only quite sad I didn't give in and read the books earlier. 9/10


  1. I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one who was late to The Hunger Games. I even managed to miss it when the movie was released. At the start of the year, I decided to finally give in and see what all the fuss was about. I agree that it is pretty typical teen fiction, but it was a fast, fun read that even hints at some deeper meanings. I still have to read the last book, but I've really enjoyed the series so far.


    1. Thanks for commenting! :) I'm glad you're enjoying the books despite being as late to them as I was, and although the last one isn't quite as good in terms of pacing I would say the last 100 or so pages make up for that and round the series off nicely.. hopefully you'll like it as much as I did! Thanks again for commenting :)

  2. If you enjoyed the Hunger Games with its amazing action/adventure and romantic scenes, I suggest The Infernal Devices series, The Mortal Instruments series, and The Iron Fey series. I have read all three and enjoyed them very much. The authors have an exceptional talent for writing and the characters have so much personality. I reread them over and over again when I am bored :).