Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Road Trip Wednesday- Hunger Games

Next week's topic: How would YOU impress (or not impress) the Hunger Games judges?

I have to say, I wasn't impressed with the Hunger Games enough to judge the judges.  

Instead I'm going to repost my review for the Hunger Games 

One line review: I liked the Japanese version better.
Why did I read this book?:
I read this book for a couple reasons.
1) it's been on EVERYONE'S Must Read list.
2) about 75% of my students read it and loved it
3) A lady at the scbwi yelled at me, literally I was sitting next to Mary Kole and this lady started to yell at me because I hadn't read it yet, it was like I didn't belong at the writers conference because I didn't read it.
4) One of my students said, "out of a rating from 1-10 I'd give it an 11."

The book:
Girl has to fight against 24 other kids to food for her home town.
Here's the thing, it's not a new concept... in fact it was a book, a comic and a movie back in Japan, and it was call Battle Royale. But the kids weren't strangers they were classmates, they had a long and deep rooted history with each other, which made the events that more horrifying.
The main character wasn't highly likable. What I did like about her was she was a girl who kicked ass, and she was smart, but everything else about her was sort of meh.

What I did like about it:
  • Fast read
  • I liked the reality TV aspect and that she was hyper aware that everything she did was going to be broadcasted. I thought it was a nice statement for how we are currently living out lives in a hyper media word. Even now I'm blogging, sharing my thoughts with whoever will read it.
  • I liked how well thought out the world was, I could tell Suzanne Collins spent of time playing around in this world in her head.
  • She wrote great action scenes.
  • The biggest one for me was, not once did I read it and think, "Damn I WISH I could write like this." Possibly the problem was I had literally finished On Writing ten minutes earlier and I LOVED that book. When ever I read something by John Green nearly ever page makes me want to beg the Writing Gods to make me a sliver as talented as he is.
  • It was a little too "telly" and not enough "showy".
  • Did we really need 2 pages about the back story of her sister's goat?<-yes I know character development, time needed to pass so the characters could heal, but still 2 pages?
  • The "rule change" half way through the game was BS. It was a cheep plot device used to get to characters together, but it didn't cause any tension, in fact, released any tension that was there in the story. Lame.
  • I know the book is called The Hunger Games but there was WAY too much description about food.
Overall Review:
Was it entertaining? yes. I finished it in a few hours. But in all honesty I felt that Twilight was more entertaining.
Maybe it was because I had such HIGH expectations for it. And there's a frenzy around the book that I thought it would be better. Maybe it was me and not the book.

Note: I can't imagine the unreal pressure that must be on Collins right now, with the final book coming out. While I didn't love the book, I know millions of people do, and I hope she can live up the pressure and hype and I wish her all the best.


  1. I think you make a great point here about expectations. It can SO impact how we feel about something. I remember going to see that global warming movie The Day After Tomorrow in the theater and liking it, because the bar was set SO LOW in my mind. I imagined it would be stupid and cheesy, and so it had nowhere to go but up.
    Other things that I expect to be excellent I judge much more harshly.

    It can make a world of difference.

    And I fear for any book that is read after an author has read On Writing!!!

  2. I pretty much agree with all your points, though when I read it, I wasn't as aware of all the hype and mostly enjoyed it. I had more trouble with Catching Fire though.
    That was a great, honest review.

  3. I hadn't heard anything about the book before I read it and I really enjoyed Hunger Games - great world, unique characters! I looking forward to Mockingjay :)

  4. Honestly, I love The Hunger Games. I agree about the main character, but if you've had to take care of your mother and younger sister since you were eleven, I'm guessing you'd be a little "blah" too. But I very much disagree about Twilight being more entertaining. Twilight was... Twilight. And Twilight was not good. Not good at all. AT ALL. -_-

  5. lol that someone yelled at you because you hadn't read it. great review though. It gave me a clearer picture of it (because - gasp - I haven't read it yet!). Thanks :)