Not Bad, Not Great – Overtly Simple, Yet Creative and Suspenseful.
DUNNO HOW THIS REVIEW GOT ATTACHED TO THE CD LISTING - BUT I READ THE BOOK...
Anyway, had never heard of this series/author before all the recent movie hype. Nonetheless, I wanted to explore the book(s) first, before seeing the movie.
This review is not intended to be a spoiler – I will try to generalize, but may give away a bit of the plot through my comments, so be warned.
First of all, let me say that this book is not complicated - no overt sexual overtones, explicitly graphic details, extensive literary vocabulary, or complex descriptions/adjectives – unfortunately.
With that being said, I found this characteristic to be somewhat disappointing. I wasn’t expecting Anne Rice or Charles Dickens, but was hoping for more – more romance, passion, evil, action – more details, more description, more situational and character development...
Even the main character, Katniss, is somewhat drab, dull, and boring – never concerned with her appearance, self-conscious/low self-esteem, and a tomboy to boot – with no mention of any cognizant sexual libido (I know she is a teenager, but really?). She never mentions any physical attraction to any member of the opposite sex, or development of sexual attraction – period.
Also, throughout the book, the character development, relationships between characters is often underdeveloped, awkward, and confusing. Most of Katniss’s relationships with others exclusively reside in her “head,” and are underexplored, unresolved, and undefined. Thus, based on the limited dialogue between her and others, I often found myself questioning why her sentiments or actual connections surrounding characters were important, or even valid.
In addition, some of Katniss’s own thoughts/statements often seemed contradicting to the storyline and her relationships unbelievable – e.g., why should she be concerned with Gale’s opinion of her - a person she loves like a brother? Why does she trust Cinna so much – one of Captial’s own citizens, that she despises/hates? Why, after being told to be herself, did Katniss make a bizarre remark about loving her dress during the interview, and spin? – she had never been appreciative of beauty (or her looks for that matter) before…
So, although reading a book written from a first person viewpoint can be interesting, it is also very limiting – the reader knows nothing of the thoughts of others, and therefore has to constantly guess/speculate at the purported relationships.
At any rate, the book is somewhat fun, interesting, and had some poignant/altruistic themes, e.g. – the underdog, government, life/death, romance, coming of age, friendship, integrity, courage, love, etc. Also, the author had some very suspenseful moments, and creative situations/resolutions to problems, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
What I found kind of ironic was the dichotomy of emotions I felt after reading the book. I despised the sadistic methodologies of the Captial, yet intrigued to vicariously experience the events of the games themselves, as any despicable Capital spectator would… hehe.
Indeed, this is definitely not a challenging book to read, probably geared for middle-school age. Don’t expect to be too shocked, scared, or enthralled – but do expect some creative situations/resolutions, a tiny bit of romance, some suspense, and some positive underlying themes. Check out “Battle Circle” by Piers Anthony instead (at least he is provocative).Read full review