Now, on to the good stuff.
This summer I put aside some time to blitz my way through the most popular trilogy of the past year: The Hunger Games.
I have mixed feelings about this series. On the one hand, I enjoyed the storyline and the post-apocalyptic North America of Panem. I enjoyed cyphering through philosophies and old poetry and deciding whether or not this trilogy could put itself on the list of books rivalling George Orwell's '1984', or Ray Bradbury's 'Fahrenheit 451.' My decision? No.
See, despite a fast moving story filled with interesting characters, I had some pretty big literary bones to pick with this work.
1) I couldn't take Katniss's interior monologue. The sentence fragments were overwhelming to the point where they were distracting (something an editor should have picked up on). These sentence fragments meant that I had to pay extra attention to what Collins was trying to say, often rereading a sentence 3 or 4 times to weed through comma splices and other punctuation crimes.
2) Katniss had ZERO character development. By the end of the books, I felt that she hadn't grown up at all, she had just vocalized the problems every teenage girl has; which boy should I love? That being said, I liked that it took me a while to respect Peeta's character. I really did end up liking Peeta in the end, and felt genuinely sorry for his misfortune with the Capitol.
3) SPOILER ALERT. Now this is a big one. I'm all for state reform in fiction. It makes for a good story. Orwellian type dramas make me happy; but even Orwell didn't render his texts obsolete by stripping the hero's motivation for change from the storyline. It may not be fair to compare Suzanne Collins to George Orwell (he is a literary genius to compete with, after all), but killing the character who, in essence, motivated Katniss's rebellion was foolish. Katniss became involved with the Hunger Games because of her younger sister Prim. Call me old fashioned, but it wasn't the mark of a great writer to kill off her hero's inspiration (nor did it make Prim a martyr). It was just cruel.
Well, that's it. Hunger Games gets a 3 stars out of 5 rating from me. It isn't bad for a debut series. Perhaps when it is released in another edition, they will have a go at the comma splices and sentence fragments.