*The Pointless Writer*
has a life you're completely uninterested in. But it's okay because I can write. No abbreviations. No shoddy grammar (though I'm not immune to mistakes). Just quality writing on sometimes completely pointless topics.
UnPoints of Note
1. I write when fancy takes. Sometimes, fancy takes many months of leave.
The Hunger Games Trilogy
“You like sci-fi? Read the Hunger Games.”
That’s the typical response I get when making small talk involving reading preferences. I must have heard what the trilogy was about at some point in time, because I had somehow come to associate it with darkness and planned to never pick it up.
But eventually (recently), pick it up I did, for one of the strangest reasons: my younger brother got caught in the Hunger craze and my mum wanted me to check what he was reading. Now, I have a few points to make about the trilogy.
1. It’s not really sci-fi.
I don’t know exactly how science fiction is defined, but I tend to only count something as sci-fi if it has a really strong scientific element. Sure, the Hunger Games trilogy has hints of sci-fi, but the book focuses on a dystopian society more than the development of mutts and other torture instruments. Of course, this is the girl who read (and loved) Issac Asimov’s highly theoretical novels without ever understanding the physics behind hyperspace speaking.
2. Action-packed? What about characterization?
I’m not a fan of action genre books, so I can’t really make any comments on the praise the trilogy has received for its action. Nor on its un-put-downable-ness, since I’m an addictive sort of reader and any book I can put down is either linguistically challenging or terribly dry.
What I really like about the books are their development of the characters and character relationships. Katniss, of course, being the narrator, grows most obviously. The books are not just about the oppression of the districts and violence of human nature as shown by the Capitol’s love for the Games. They are about the exploration of self: Who is Katniss? What does she believe in? What does she treasure? She changes in the course of the trilogy, corrupted and traumatized by her experiences in the arena. In the first book, she would never have consented to a final, vengeful Hunger Game. But by the third book, broken by the loss of her sister, for whom she gave everything, she votes, “Yes… for Primrose.”
3. The books have not reached their full potential.
The themes in the trilogy are excellent. They are timeless. I was quite horrified by the ongoings of Mockingjay because I’m a fairly sheltered teen, but when I reflected on the book, I realized that… similar violence IS going on in war-stricken countries. People may not be mauled by muttations or have their flesh melted off by golden light, but we can be assured such weapons would be used in war if they existed. Biological warfare. Psychological warfare. These things are real, even if their forms in the trilogy are fictional.
However, while the books have their excellent points and I think Suzanne Collins has struck gold, the gold is not yet gleaming, not perfect for sale. Many plot points hang loose, incomplete, undeveloped. The authoress thanks her husband for posing questions she never asked herself, and therein lies the problem. There are still questions she has not answered.
Her convoluted writing in Mockingjay reflects Katniss’ state of mind, broken by the Games, but a better writer would have been able to drop in more hints for readers to piece together what happens in the book. After all, it is targeted at youths, many of whom would be confused by what’s “real or not real” and who exactly Katniss has become by book three.
All in all, the trilogy had many emotional scenes, like Rue’s death and the breaking of Peeta (and his unconditional, inexplicable love for Katniss), which stick in my mind and haunt me. And this is what made me enjoy the trilogy—the strong emotions and striking scene descriptions present in it. But I do not love the books because they are still unpolished.