I’ve watched the movie. I’ve read part 1 of The Hunger Games, but can’t seem to get past that point. Part 1 was great. Seeing the plight of District 12 juxtaposed next to the excess of the Capital was quite a striking picture. But now I’m frozen. I can’t seem to make my fingers turn to Part 2–The Games. Maybe there’s a reason, or five, for that. Mostly questions spinning around in my head. If you love The Hunger Games, help me answer these questions:
1. Is it too violent? The whole concept of the Hunger Games is barbaric and utterly violent by definition. Kids killing kids, can it get any worse? As a YA novel, the violence should be kept to a minimum. But I’m not sure if the publisher’s minimum and my maximum are at the same level. I’m a chick lit, romantic comedy, happily-ever-after kind of girl. Sure, I love the occasional sci-fi/fantasy like Neil Gammon’s Interworld, but it’s not too violent. My friends tried to convince me that the violence is minimal and tastefully done. Still, I hesitate. At some point I’ll have to just see for myself.
2. Is it too bleak? For me, fiction needs to have a redeeming quality to it. I love to learn a lesson or look at something different because of a great story. Since I’m very empathetic with the characters I read, I had to stop in the middle of Part 1 and do something happy. It was hard to picture myself in District 12. What a horrible place. Made me compare the conditions to how people live in third-world countries. It did open my eyes in that respect.
3. Is it completely hopeless? Katniss has to enter a game she can’t win, but all along I’m rooting for her to overcome. Is it even possible? These people in the Capital are horrible, unfeeling, double-crossing lunatics. (Is that how the rest of the world sees America? How sad.) Katniss has trained herself to survive, but the odds are completely against her. I just wonder how many hopeless situations she’ll have to overcome. I’m not a drama queen. In fact I hate it. My fear is that she’ll face too much drama and I’ll stop reading.
4. Where’s the romance? I wouldn’t call any of Katniss’ interactions with Peeta and Gale romantic. Gale is just trying to survive. It makes him a good guy, but I didn’t see the sparks fly. And Peeta’s doing the same, in his own way. At this point I’m not sure if I like him, but he’s unpredictable. Half the time he seems to hate Katniss, and then he doesn’t. That wishy-washy kind of character is true to life, but not any kind of man I’d want.
5. Can Katniss ever return to normal? After seeing the Capital and being in the Hunger Games, will Katniss survive? If she does I hope she doesn’t have to go back to the horror of District 12. She already knew it was awful. Her new experiences would certainly change her forever. Who can deal with such trauma and be the same? I guess that’s why there’s two more books to read. I wonder how Collins can twist such depressing circumstances into some kind of satisfying ending. I can’t see it. But I hope I’m wrong.
If you’re a Hunger Games fan, why do you love it? Could a happily-ever-after kind of girl love it, too? Go ahead, convince me. I dare you.