(As I type this on Saturday evening/Sunday morning at 12:19am, and Turner is reading the first book... he finished at 2:05am. Approximately seven hours of reading straight through.)
For this trilogy, I'm going to just tell you some of the things that I really liked, mixed with some of the things I didn't.
If you haven't read these books, and want to do so without me ruining things, you should go now. Bye!
: : : SPOILER ALERT : : :
Okay, now that the rest of us are all settled in, let's begin...
LIKE: The beginning of book 1. Collins does an amazing job of "showing" rather than "telling" (as the Shark would say). I loved that she never really came out and said what everything looked like, but rather let me see it through Katniss. That was the finest example of "show, not tell" that I have encountered since learning that rule.
DISLIKE: The "show don't tell" does not continue throughout the saga, nor even through the entire first book.
LIKE: Peeta. He is my favorite character. Hands. Down. From the beginning of the book I could tell that he was being completely genuine in everything he did, whereas Katniss is continually wondering if he's manipulating her or just playing the game, so she doesn't trust him. As the books progress, Peeta's devotion to her is absolute, as is his purity of self. He's the only character that acts upon what he believes to be true, rather than REacting to the Capital's agenda.
DISLIKE: Peeta's hijacking in book 3. First of all, mental diseases like hallucinations and schizophrenia REALLY freak me out*. So to see Peeta, this gem of a character, completely out of himself, I think I broke more than Katniss.
It was really hard to fall asleep the night I finished the book, even though I knew he'd mostly recovered, I couldn't get the image of him screaming lies about Katniss to Delly out of my head. I did not like it at all.
On that same topic, I can see how, from a literary standpoint, someone would think something of that nature was necessary. I would have to disagree - I think pure characters give readers - and their fellow characters - something to aspire to. If he had to be im-perfected in some way, I wish Collins had come up with something besides turning the only redeemable character in the entire series (besides Prim... but I'll get to that) into a monster.
*After watching A Beautiful Mind I had nightmares and was paranoid for about a week... I haven't watched it since.
LIKE: The titles... they're just perfect for each volume. Kudos to whoever came up with them.
DISLIKE: Collins's writing. I realized up front that she was writing as though she were speaking (starting sentences with 'but' or 'and' mostly). I just found it distracting. Maybe it's because I know that's not how you're supposed to write, but they were probably trying to make it an easy read.... It wasn't for me, I had to work to get used to it.
LIKE: While I don't like the way it's written, I DO like the story, the characters, and the attention to detail in the world of Panem. Turner and I were talking about how JK Rowling throws all kinds of random details into the Potter stories, and you can never tell while reading them (the first time) which ones are going to be important later on. In Collins's books (specifically during the games) EVERY detail is there for a reason. There is nothing in the Arena that is not there for a purpose. It makes following her pretty easy.
DISLIKE: Prim's death. Totally unnecessary, and completely stupid. Katniss's entire existence revolved around keeping Prim safe. That's how the books began, and they should've ended with Prim being alive and well, safe and sound. The only point to doing that was to break Katniss even further - and to be honest, I didn't want that either. Katniss had had enough, and I was ready for her to finally be free. When that didn't happen, I broke again... not something I think an author should be aspiring to do to a reader... but hey, that's just my opinion.
DISLKE: The end.
1. There was all this terror, and action, and struggle, and fight - and it NEVER GETS RESOLVED. As the reader, I wanted to see Katniss burst in on Snow, bow raised, arrow poised, and THEN have the conversation he gives her later. Perhaps she'll take him into custody at that point, and then go through the decision making she had to anyway to eventually kill Coin too (who I hated just as much as Snow, so I was glad for her end as much as his).
2. Not only does the action never resolve, but the CHARACTERS don't resolve either! My sister-in-law put it best. She said, "So much detail and drama and then all of a sudden it stops and you read, 'it took some time, blah, blah, skip the details, and then we were alright.' Well I'm glad the characters got all that time to heal - they needed it; but the readers needed it too and didn't get anything."
I echo her opinion as my own - I wanted to see more healing time between Peeta (who, as I've said, I adore) and Katniss (who reminds me way too much of myself for comfort). I wanted to see their first "new" touch, their first "new" kiss, their first "new" unhindered conversation, and maybe even their first "new" argument. (When I say "new" I refer to the fact that they've both been changed permanently from the recent events, and they need to get to know each other all over again.)
This is probably my biggest dislike of all, because honestly, if I had been given that healing time with the characters, maybe I wouldn't have closed the book with such a sick feeling in my stomach from all the death and destruction I'd just witnessed.
All in all, I liked them, but it was rough putting them down because I felt so jipped. I was so totally emotionally invested into these characters, and I felt like I got nothing in return once everything was over. We'll see what Turner says once he finishes them.
Kisses and Cameras,
Note... today is my best friends birthday! Leave her a birthday wish in the comments!
Have you read the Hunger Games Trilogy? What did you like/dislike? Do you agree with my comments? If so, why?