I am Katherine The Liberal Blogger Person.
Yes, I read books. I rant about them, too. I love being Sheldon Cooper's BFF. Prepare for books, science, feminism, and unicorns.
Pro LGBT, Pro-Choice, Pro Gender Equality, Pro-Human Rights, Pro-Asexuality Visibility.
I've been lying to all my friends, I do not live in Indiana, I live on a nice little island in the middle of nowhere where I'm always warm, fed, have all the material items I want, internet connection, cable TV, a DVD player, and connections with some libraries in Indiana, who mail books and DVD's to my island.. Then some librarian and her daughter and some of their friends told me about The Hunger Games. I'd heard about it but had never been interested in it. Then they started harassing asking me to read it. I got sick of listening to them whine got the book at the library. Why? The librarian offered to give me a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card if I read it. Can someone say "desperate fan-girl zealot person who wants to convert me"? Hey, a $10 Barnes and Noble gift card just to read this? I can't say no. But when I read this:
I'm serious you crazy fan people.
When I finished this book and explained why I didn't like it, here were some of my responses:
"You're over thinking it. You read this for fun. You're forcing yourself to hate it."
"That can't be true, everyone likes The Hunger Games."
"How did you not like The Hunger Games?"
I will explain people of Indiana. Let's start with my biggest problem with the book.
The World Building and the Science
This book should be marked in the fantasy section. Why? Let the great Ray Bradbury explain (everyone bow down to the author of The Illustrated Man):
"First of all, I don't write science fiction. I've only done one science fiction book and that's Fahrenheit 451, based on reality. Science fiction is a depiction of the real. Fantasy is a depiction of the unreal. So Martian Chronicles is not science fiction, it's fantasy. It couldn't happen, you see? That's the reason it's going to be around a long time—because it's a Greek myth, and myths have staying power."
What he says is true. This book tried to be based on reality but it failed so much. All the science was wrong and the world building was so vague. Things happen for a reason. Since Bush is out of office and no Republican is president yet, wars happen for a reason, but that reason in the book was never explained.Did they just start a nuclear war for the fuck of it?
So, if you live in a starving society and you get on the train to the games and begin shoveling that rich food down your throat, you will die!Your stomach wouldn't be able to handle that much food or the richness. That's why so many Holocaust victims died after being freed from concentration camps, they immediately began eating large amounts of food that was very rich, like chocolate and sausage. Many died from diarrhea. Kids who didn't get constant amounts of food would have died on the train, even Peeta and Katniss. Even if they had food, going from what they ate to chocolate cake would have still killed them. Besides, Katniss was so determined to say everyone was "starving", but deny a basic scientific law, bam! Suzanne Collins just gave everyone a few more days to live, a free pass.
Another problem I had was the Capitol being so great. How does trade work? Silk was described a number of times in the book, but where does silk come from? Asia, my friends. So Panem is friends (allies) with parts of Asia again? Even though parts of Asia is known for its nuclear weapons, many of those parts next to places where we trade for silk? What about all the other food? We can't grow chocolate in America, it happens mostly in South America. Are we friends with South America? How did those countries survive? How does the Capitol get all its stuff? We need trade.
The economy was poorly explained. I will now compare Panem to Egypt during the period of the New Kingdom:
In Egypt during the New Kingdom (I know the picture represents the Old Kingdom, but everyone will recognize it), the upper class (priests, nobles, other elites) often had the great stuff like big houses and gold. The middle class were scribes, artists, architects, they had jobs the lower class (farmers, slaves, servants) wanted because there jobs sucked. But Pharaoh had the control over everyone, he (in the case of Hatshepsut, she) was a "god". He (she) was able to control the entire kingdom of Egypt along with areas Egypt conquered and enslaved. He (she) scared the people into obeying him (her) because they feared what would happen in the afterlife. However, if bad things happened (attack by enemies, crops didn't grow), pharaoh would be blamed and a group of people would overthrow the pharaoh. If they failed in their revolt, they would be punished. This worked pretty well even though Egypt had about eighteen or so dynasties, yeah, lots of rebellion.
Panem enslaved people and the upper class had nice things (though it varied where you were), there appeared to be a small amount of middle class (Peeta and his family) and of course the lower class (in Egypt the lower class made up 80-85% of the population). However, Egypt traded and gained a lot of wealth. Panem showed no signs on how it got chocolate and silk. The reason the Old Kingdom ended was because the pyramids and other monuments of the pharaoh were so expensive, they owed massive amounts of debt. Wouldn't Panem also owe lots of debt? So then they'd enslave the menial Capitol to try earn a bit more money? But most of all, The Hunger Games would have cost money, lots of money. It would easily have been a massive waste of money. That could cost about $1 million at least if they were insanely stingy, most likely way more. Where in the fuck is this money coming from? Imagine going through over 70 of those games, the cost would be in the next galaxy because it's way over that broken roof. Even one would be pretty risky since there's no big business about it, no one pays taxes for it or anything.
The idea that everyone liked the games in the Capitol is bullshit, no one can like all the same thing.
Not all of them would have liked the bright, tacky colors, being selfish, or their all fun lifestyle, either. But Collins would rather make robots than actual people.
Suicide rates would most likely sky rocket around the game times in the poorer areas, from both 12-18 year olds and their family members. If they got in the games they'd most likely find a way to end their life, there's more ways to kill yourself than throwing yourself off the roof, Mrs. Collins. Also, wouldn't many be completely damaged by the Games? Not just the contestants and their family, but the people shooting the fireballs or people like Effie Trinket (Effie Trinket, what fucking kind of name is that?). Wouldn't it be scarring to know you're sending teenagers to their graves? Wouldn't you sit awake at night, possibly head to your bathroom, break a mirror, and hold that glass to your neck? Not everyone can handle killing people. Why do you think the gas chambers were built by the Nazis? Because the Nazi soldiers were traumatized by killing the minority groups like the Jews, Russians, and Poles, so Himmler made sure an anonymous way to kill people was made without knowing who they were or what they looked like. Here's your example (Warning: Spoils the ending of The Boy In The Striped Pajamas):
Now imagine just seeing a bunch of naked men walk into a room they think is a shower, never really seeing their faces, all the men just blurring together. Now imagine having to look them in the eyes and shoot them all. See? If the Nazi soldiers were traumatized by this, why can't those idiots Capitol people also be traumatized by this since they don't have anonymous people, they know the Games contestants? Suzanne Collins must be anti-science. Also, the arena made no fucking sense whatsoever. Was it indoors? Outdoors? If it was outdoors, how was the weather controlled?
I think the love triangle was not needed. I can't see how Katniss had feelings for Gale or Peeta, it was so forced. I could understand a slow coming to terms with her sexuality, but that's clearly too much to ask for but instead we get these two forced love "interests".
I didn't like any of the characters except for Rue. But of course she had to die and Katniss didn't. I definitely disliked Katniss, perhaps the most of all the characters. I especially hated where she thought if two people heterosexuals were in love they had to have kids because childless couples can't/don't exist now or ever. I also disliked how she thought if you didn't get married you'd grow up to be a sad old drunker like Haymitch with no hope because clearly people who don't get married will get all depressed and drink a lot because they don't have anyone to fuck. I'm still sad Rue had to die.
I especially hated the Capitol. They had jobs that didn't help the economy or controlling the slaves the districts, it'd just be a big waste of money. Plus they all wear bright colors, makeup (even the guys!), and like stuff like hair and stuff. So everyone who likes that kind of stuff no matter what gender identity, you're a selfish bitch who doesn't care about anyone and you're shallow idiots (Gossip Girl, anyone?). Great message Suzanne Collins, clearly if you aren't a stuck up masculine bitch, you are bad. Here's what I thought the Capitol was like:
But if you're like me and happen to like that song, you are bad! Shame on people who like to dye their hair, wear makeup, or not fit into a patriarchal gender role! Look at those bright colors, they must be destroyed! Oh yeah, that song is way better then the book will ever be.
The girl who was on fire? That is far from original, it's been out since 2001 as a radio single.
The book did not keep me reading other then when Rue was there, after that the book was always slow, no matter how much boring action there was.
Suzanne Collins was homophobic in this book. We know why they changed the rule in the book, so the straight couple of Peeta and Katniss could be together, even though it was fake.Only a boy and girl were sent from each district, not two boys or two girls. It's veiled homophobia since you know, who cares about gay teens when we have horny straight teens, anyway? The gays never get their chance to survive together since they'd be from different districts. It'd most likely have been an even more powerful story if it had been two boys or two girls, but it's a gay relationship, so who cares? Either way it probably wouldn't be a New York Times bestseller. I'm surprised no one else has pointed this out. This is just sad, once again everyone in the LGBT community are reminded they are unimportant and don't exist, heterosexuals are the only ones who matter.
Also, this only mirrors one side of our American society. Shouldn't it mirror more to be a believable and plausible dystopia? I didn't think this was close to possible through most of the book. Brave New World is far more believable. However, Brave New World doesn't have a love triangle with a game show, so it must suck.
The Recipe for The Hunger Games:
Battle Royale (I don't believe for a minute Collins hadn't heard of this or had been pointed out how similar these stories were before the book was published) + The Running Man + The Long Walk + 1984 (for "Big Brother) + parts of Lord of the Flies + Random Game Shows like Wheel of Fortune + Survival Based Game Shows + Stereotypical American Consumers + Love Triangle + Horny Teenagers + Wolf Creatures (big wtf moment) + Vague world building + Science is a No-No = The Hunger Games Maybe environmentalists will like this book for being "recycled".
So, on with my earlier story. The evil librarian and her evil daughter forced me to also watch the movie trailer to try to get me interested. It didn't work, I refuse to watch the movie. Why did I "over think" the society Katniss lives in? Dystopias are supposed to make you think about if they could happen and this did not make me scared that it could happen due to all the gaping, senseless plot holes. This wasn't entertainment, either. I could have read a nice Margaret Atwood novel. Suzanne Collins didn't even scare me in the slightest. So, I'm going to stay on my island and hopefully never see this book again. But I ended kind of happily, I got my $10 Barnes and Noble gift card! I only wen t through so many pages of this junk, no t to mention dozens of typos.
I have heard of someone who also didn't like this book had been told by someone they must have a mental problem (they said the person was mentally retarded just because they didn't like this book). I have a form of autism called Asperger's Syndrome and it didn't change how I felt about this book. Respect me and respect people who are worse off than me. I know mentally retarded people and their life is tough. My island is metaphorical, I do actually live in Indiana. I didn't like this book. If you did, please try to understand me. Don't make remarks that ultimately damage people less fortunate people than you who have mental problems. But don't pity me, either. I face my life, fighting people to stop disrespecting people who have mental issues. I know longer say the word "retarded" as an insult, it's only in my vocabulary to tell whether a person has a mental issue or not. I am currently the only person in my school who I know didn't like this book.
So, want good books about corrupted governments and controlling hate groups that are non-fiction and much more real than this and who do the kinds of things you hear about in this book or worse? That are a real threat to us?
These are real stories of real people and real groups who either overcome oppression or violently hurt people, or present a harsh reality. If you think any dystopia is truly scary, read these because fiction is nothing compared to this. I highly recommend these.
Fiction you should read instead:
Movies you should watch instead:
(Sorry they're all Nazi movies, if you can tell me any good North Korea, Russian Communist, or any good hate group documentary or movie, it would be appreciated, these are all I know.)
So why did I post all those books and movies? Because I want you to think about real threats we face. I definitely suggest Execution By Hunger if you're interested in hunger and starvation.
I give this book 2 stars because I liked Rue and only kept reading during the parts where she was in the book. I will not be reading the rest of the series or seeing the movie.