Sunday, February 23, 2014

Favorite Book!

What is my favorite book in the Hunger Games series...that is an extremely difficult question to answer! The answer is changes with my mood, and honestly can be different week to week. However, because I am at the advantage of having just re-read the series, I feel ready to take a stab at answering it. The easiest way for me to start is by eliminating Catching Fire, my least favorite of the series. There are several reasons why this book didn't capture me as much as the others, the strongest probably being the way the hunger games were written. During the arena scenes everything seems a little rushed, even forced at times, with out a great amount of detail given to the different characters deaths. I also did not enjoy the rapid change of pace between the easy going first half and the intensely violent second half.
Now my choice gets even more difficult. With great difficulty, I must eliminate Mockingjay from the running next. My reason for this is very much the same as my reason for eliminating Catching Fire, it was just too rushed. I loved the realism of this book, with Katniss's deteriorating mental state, as well as the raw violence of the war, yet I was left wanting more. When everything is resolved at the end it seems sort of pulled out of a hat, with no appropriate build up or after explanation. Once the "star squad" get to the capitol, things begin accelerating quickly, but no always in a way that seems logical. The deaths of characters add to the realism, as well as the dystopian feel which I enjoy, but we are not given enough time to process or mourn. All of this leads me to say that The Hunger Games is my favorite book of the trilogy.
My favorite part of the first book was the balance of the writing. Collins really thought this book out well, and every part got, in my opinion, the appropriate amount of time and detail. Starting in the districts, a good, yet now drawn out, picture of the suffering there is painted for readers. By telling about Katniss's father, the hunger games, Gale's family, the poverty, and other hardships you are able to gain a look into the world of suffering. Then, before this can become too tedious, Collins slaps you with the shock of the Hunger Games, and whisks the readers into a land of decadence and intrigue. But not for too long, for readers are soon dropped once more into a new world, this time the violent, suspenseful land of the arena. These interesting twists and turns kept me waiting, with out feeling as though the book was disjointed or jarring. The characters are also in my favorite mind sets at this point in the series, and go down hill quickly after. Katniss is the best example of this, as she is still her fiesty, lively self during this point. The games really take a lot out of Katniss, sparking severe PTSD symptoms. This in turn effects her relationship with Peeta later on, an upsetting turn of events for me as I am support their relationship. But in this book, Katniss is just herself. She's fighting the man and she's full of strength and life. Peeta loves her freely and openly in a way that he can scarcely ever get back to and despite her denials Katniss really begins to fall for him. They are both teenagers who have been touched by tragedy but not yet lost that touch of innocence which makes them so lovable.

Peeta and Katniss together for training

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