Yeah, I’m still here. It’s just not a good time for a change. Maybe later this month, or in May or…
I resisted this series for a LONG, long time, because of the whole setting. I don’t care for apocalyptic literature. I avoid dark topics, because life is sobering enough. And yet, “everyone” kept telling me I needed to read these books.
I’m glad I did. I’m still trying to figure out how to trick the Knight into taking me to see the movie, but I am also sure that it will have a soundtrack that Gretchen will love. (She adores a movie with a suspenseful score in the background, a la Harry Potter. She’s adorable… she watches the movie, but it’s clearly the sounds that hold her attention.)
Anyway. I didn’t love the ending (to the series). I didn’t love any particular character. They were all horribly and yet realistically flawed. I had planned to just skim through the actual “games” parts (in case you’ve been under a rock… the story centers around tributes [teens] who must fight to the death for the “entertainment” of the citizens, as a grotesque reminder that rebels never prosper), but when I got there… I couldn’t.
The actual killings were not the focus of the books. The impacts the acts of killing had on the “victors” was painful and well-covered. The emotional scars ran deep for the victors, the dead tributes’ families and throughout the cast of characters.
Regardless of what you think of the setting, these books are remarkably well-written. The characters are compelling, even when one (me!!) doesn’t particularly “like” any of them.
My biggest complaint is the ever-present love triangle. Harry Potter flirted with more than one love triangle. Twilight is famous for its love triangle. Even my new rave Iron Fey had a love triangle. Is this really a message our society, particularly our teens, needs reinforced in popular literature and movies?! Gosh, I hope not.
I’m not saying it isn’t relevant or realistic. In fact, I clearly remember at roughly Katniss’s age having an on-going debate with my college freshman friends, based on a line from a popular song… “Are you going to stay with the one who loves you, or are you going back to the one you love?” In defense of my teenage angst self, we also debated Tennyson’s notion that it’s better to love and lose than to never love at all. Anyway, my point is that at that age, I needed to be reminded that love is sustainable, love is enduring… and lust isn’t. I didn’t need to be told that it’s normal to be in love with two people, and I certainly didn’t need to given the idea that it’s perfectly okay to kiss two different boys just because it feels nice.
Oh yeah. This was supposed to be IN DEFENSE of, not an attack on. Sue me. My point was, this series is about so much more than world politics, the disgusting practice of fighting to the death for entertainment (I like to blame the Romans, but I’m guessing its origins go back even further…), regional bias and/or stereotyping…
What I did relate to and adored was how time after time, family bonds – both blood and “chosen” family – won out over selfish or even “greater good” options. The ever-learning philosophy student still alive and kicking in my head (and heart) would enjoy picking a theme and writing a thesis. Two of my favorite classical philosophers, Plato and Aquinas, would DEFINITELY have PLENTY to say about this trilogy.
Never mind that Plato would dismissively wave off my disgust over the arena and what happens within. Never mind that Aquinas would want to talk about how the tributes’ self-reliance and inability to reach out to God for aid was their downfall… It would be a GREAT debate!
What have you reluctantly read only to be sucked in to the point of obsession, at least for the few hours it takes to finish said book(s)?