Friday, July 29, 2011

book ends book list: The Hunger Games Trilogy

I'm almost embarrassed to post this... considering it's halfway through the year and I've only read four, yes FOUR books. But, I did write an entire book, so that's why I'm not letting myself feel too bad that I dropped the ball on my reading list for 2011. I read these awhile back, but am just getting the review posted now. Let's hope there will be plenty more on my book ends book list very soon.

2. 3. & 4. The Hunger Games Trilogy
[The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay] by Suzanne Collins

I'll be the first to admit that I love me a good young adult novel. It doesn't matter than I'm nearly a quarter century old, or that I practically have my masters degree in creative writing, I adore corny, plot-driven, made-for-a-thirteen-year-old fiction. I will say that I don't find most YA literature to be exceptionally well written, and can general breeze through a book in a few hours or so, but for me, reading something like The Hunger Games Trilogy gives me a chance to turn my writer brain off. Maybe it's because it's written for kids, but I don't find myself critiquing every little thing (even though they are many, many things I could critique if I wanted to) which gives me a chance to take a much-needed break from being overly... writerly.

What I enjoyed most about this trilogy was that it was essentially plot on crack. I read each book (most around 300-400 pages) in less than 24 hours because I was so engaged in the story line. I thought that the concept was such a unique one, and very much wish that the writing would have been as unique and engaging as the plot was. The characters, too, could have used a little more engagement. To me, the main character, Katniss, was too much Twilight's Bella: teaching young girls that it's somehow attractive to be clumsy,and always thinking you're ugly or that no one likes you. The girls in the popular YA series today are never confident, never happy, always mopey, whiney and somehow, the object of seemingly perfect guys' attraction. This is my main complaint about The Hunger Games, and a lot of YA books in general. (However, there are plenty of gems out there in the YA world that don't do this... which I may just have to blog about in the future). Additionally, I think I enjoyed the first book of the trilogy the best, and each subsequent book less than the one before.

So my recommendation? If you're looking for a book to suck you in, entertain you, and a book you can read quickly, this is it. But if you're looking for the next piece of great literature, complete with artful writing and complicated, rich characters... then you better look elsewhere.

L. Stacks

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