Monday, March 19, 2012

Hunger Games

I finally caved and read the Hunger Games (the first book). First of all, I really can't get over the fact that the kid's name is Peeta (pita) and he makes bread.

Ok, all joking aside, this was a well written book. It is good because it is powerful, compelling, and memorable. Now, having that out of the way, I didn't like it. I hated it. I wanted to throw it down and wash my hands, my eyes, and my brain of the complete violence of Panem. The worst part was the calculating brutality of it all. By children. The manipulation just left such a bad taste in my mouth, not only of the citizens by the capitol, but Katniss herself. Sure, she used everything she had to stay alive, and she was clever, and brave, and strong, and I think she does love Peeta even if she doesn't know it yet, but almost every move just seemed so ruthlessly calculating. I guess you have to be, in a death arena.

I'm going to the midnight premier with a whole bunch of friends from work, and I'm almost dreading it. I don't like violence. I don't like brutality. I don't like people using other people, especially for entertainment. I know I'm going to cry in front of all my friends.

I was telling another friend that I was going, and she hadn't read the Hunger Games yet. She asked what it was about, and when I told her it was about a dystopian society whose posh ruling city forces each district to sacrifice two children a year to compete in a death match for televised entertainment, I got this response:

"That's f---ed up."

I know I'm going against the tide here. I will re-state: the book was good. I choose to be one of those people who spends my leisure hours engaged in pleasant and challenging tasks, like figuring out how to turn a heel on a sock. Maybe I'm just a sensitive soul, but my life has enough drama. While a tear-jerker romance may be good on a rainy day, or a thriller on-screen is a nice diversion if you have someone's shoulder to bury your face into, this one was just one step over the line for me.

ETA: I think (after talking to a few more of my friends) I've really hit on what it is that bothers me about this book so much. It's everyone's reaction to it. I swear, if I see another "Team Peeta" or "Team Gale" sign (a la Twilight) I'm gonna hurl. This book makes an overt political statement in a completely barbaric way, and all people seem to go gaga over is a stupid teenage love triangle. That's what bothers me.

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