I just finished book one of the highly crazed trilogy, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I found the first three quarters of the book to be thrilling and addictive but the last few chapters fell flat and left me unimpressed. The novel left me feeling once Katniss reunited with Peeta. Up until that point in the novel Katniss’ badass, independent attitude was believable and likeable. Once she meets up with Peeta that entire image of her is smashed to pieces. She becomes the typical needy girl who loses her edgy, ‘I’m gonna kick yo ass and jab an arrow through your neck’ attitude. On top of having to witness one of the coolest female protagonists in YA literature get shot down in flames, the last 5 or so chapters fall flat! It was like Suzanne Collins had suddenly decided that she was going to make it a trilogy. Once they got to the final 3 with Peeta, Cato and Katniss, everything seemed rushed even though it didn’t have to be. I personally think the last 2 chapters were wasted on Katniss being in the recovery hospital, I would’ve much preferred that part kept in Catching Fire instead. Also, I really hate how perfect the end of the Games was done. In my imagination the shot Katniss was required to make during the final scene with Cato seems unrealistic. Her. Hanging over the edge. One last arrow. OH PLEASE.
A lot of people have told me that if I’m unimpressed with this that I should probably just give up on the trilogy now. I’ve been trying to refrain myself from reading spoilers on Goodreads.com (awesome book recommendation site!) about Catching Fire. I’m not sure how much of the obvious love triangle I can put up with either between Katniss, Peeta and Gale. I’m hoping in the end that Gale is the winner of her heart. He seems like a better fit and I personally like the character Katniss is around him during book one in the trilogy. Peeta is too emotional for me and I can’t stand the type of character Katniss while they’re in each others presence.
I’m guessing for the other 99% who have read it that the suspense and thrill of the last few chapters didn’t really affect them. I work in a bookstore and even before the movie hype of The Hunger Games, the books have been a consistent top seller for years. I host the YA book club once a month and we’ve read lots of similar dystopian fiction that, IMO were possibly better than this. Just to drop a few titles; The Maze Runner Series, The Chemical Garden Trilogy, Divergent, Delirium.. I can go on..
I still think it’s worthy of being a great recommendation and I’m hoping Catching Fire and Mockingjay make up for what Hunger Games left me feeling absent of.
3 out of 5 stars