Submitted by Friesandmayo2665 t3_11z9zcj in books

This might seem a little silly, but I’m a bit frustrated at the reception of the Hunger Games in this subreddit. There’s so much blind judgement and an unwillingness to critically think due to preconceived notion about the series and stories in general. Yes it’s YA, but that doesn’t mean it’s badly written. It’s written well for its target audience and it explores themes and ideas, particularly trauma in many different forms and responses, quite well. So many people comment or think about the series like it’s a romance (I put some blame on. Movie marketing ) or reduce it to some other YA tm trope, but it’s just not accurate. It’s not as gory or dark(I have so thoughts about these kinds of descriptions) as other books, but that doesn’t make it worse. Again, it has a target audience and stories don’t need to include gore and “mature” (read explicit) concepts to be dark. I don’t think this is this is the deepest book to ever exist, but there is noticeable and deliberate depth. I really do think this book was made to explore ideas through the world and characters rather than making a world or characters first or using the rule of cool. It has so much to offer, but I feel like it’s been unfairly written off. I’m saying all of this as someone who doesn’t really read YA. Thanks for reading my semi-rant.



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wazzy360 t1_jdc5m6y wrote

Katniss’ ending still sticks with me. In all ways it seems “happy” but it’s pretty clear she hasn’t really gotten over her trauma. Thought it was a pretty courageous way to end a YA series.


NoWorthierTurnip t1_jddh5ij wrote

She hadn’t dealt with all of it, but the fact that she felt safe enough to have children in the post-Revolution world is huge.


riverrabbit1116 t1_jdklny2 wrote

It took a decade before Katniss was willing to have the first child.


HillbillygalSD t1_jdccre8 wrote

I loved the Hunger Games Trilogy, and I’m a 52-year-old woman. My husband really liked reading them too, and he doesn’t normally read YA. I’m kind of glad I’m less sophisticated than many readers on this subreddit because I am able to enjoy many books that are looked on with disdain. I was working in a middle school library at the time when the Hunger Games came out. Many of my reluctant readers actually enjoyed it. We chose it as our first book for a newly formed Book Club. Both the boys and girls enjoyed it. It was our most popular selection in that particular book club.


Admirable_Ad_8296 t1_jddepuf wrote

As a former middle/high school English teacher, I have really learned to appreciate and enjoy YA books. I read the Twilight series (up to book 4 I think) because so many of my students were in to it. I didn't love it, but I read it anyway.

I really enjoyed The Hunger Games trilogy (this week, I just began reading A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes). I think it stands up as a strong novel/trilogy that happens to have teens as its main characters.

I hadn't yet realized there is a lot of hate toward this trilogy on the subreddit. :( That's sad.


Beautiful-Story2379 t1_jddueqp wrote

> I’m kind of glad I’m less sophisticated than many readers on this subreddit

lol You’re not.


AtraMikaDelia t1_jdbk0ym wrote

Anything that gets too popular for it's own good will get a lot of hate. There's obviously a reason it got so popular in the first place, so now you get people who want to feel smart by hating on it.

And really I don't think Hunger Games gets that much hate compared to some other popular books, like Twilight or RPO. Even Project Hail Mary gets a post calling it horrible for every post there is praising it.


Insomniac_Tales t1_jdcqg2a wrote

To be fair, I think Twilight gets as much hate as it does because of how problematic it is and that it's target audience buys wholesale into the idea that this is what romance should be (when in fact it's borderline abusive).

This is the same as teenagers saying Romeo and Juliet is the greatest love story, when... No kids, everyone ends up dead at the end. They tell you right at the beginning that it's a tragedy and not a model to emulate!


RenzoARG t1_jdd5cwq wrote

Any teenager claiming that is openly admitting that he/she did not read Shakespeare. Because the attitudes described in that story depict things that today are frowned upon instead of romantized.
•They knew each other for a day
•Romeo was friendzoned by Rosaline, Juliet was his second choice... a leftover.
•He was a sick stalker and a manipulator. "O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do / They pray; grant thou, lest faith turn to despair" (amazing how Shakespeare, with a single line of text, could unleash HOURS of literature study)... He's literally coercing her using faith as leverage. And lets not talk about how he stalks her, hiding at the backyard... Not revealing himself until he was spotted.
•His words about love after meeting her for a few hours would be a redlight for any woman today, hinting that he's being nice only to get in her pants.
The dual suicide drama is so... toxic


BKM558 t1_jddiy67 wrote

To be fair, I don't think Romeo and Juliet was really written as an ideal relationship guide to follow.


Hazel_nut1992 t1_jddojp4 wrote

You’re right, it’s not, it’s written as a tragedy, these two people cost themselves their lives due to impulsiveness and thoughtlessness, while destroying a lot of other people in the process. And it’s clearly outlined in the text but I think too many people, especially teens who haven’t been exposed to the text, just get the summary, two young lovers whose families won’t let them be together die for their love.


likelatin_ t1_jdeqezd wrote

That's not why Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy. It's a tragedy because their families are so blinded by hate for each other that it leads to two innocent (yes, impulsive, but innocent—especially for the time of writing and the literary and stage conventions of the age, nothing Romeo does would be considered creepy or weird) teenagers losing their lives because the adults around them make them think they have no alternative and no future just because they love each other. Act V, scene 3 (specifically the part where Prince Escalus chastises Capulet and Montague) makes this pretty explicit ("See what a scourge is laid upon your hate, / That Heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!") and blames them for Romeo and Juliet's death. West Side Story (an adaptation) makes this even more explicit by having Maria, the Juliet character, survive and blame the rival gangs for killing Tony (Romeo).


monty_kurns t1_jddw5hk wrote

That makes me think of the musical of Reefer Madness where a running joke in songs between the leads was talking about being happy like Romeo & Juliet because they only just started reading it.


Friesandmayo2665 OP t1_jdbnhmk wrote

I agree, but that comparison is my partly my point. I don’t think the hunger games is on similar level as Twilight and I think if popularity was the largest factor, then Project Hail Mary would get more hate. (From what I’ve seen it’s more like 1 negative for every 10+ positive). I don’t want to seem like I’m discovering something new, and yeah, the reasons why aren’t exactly a secret, but I’m just annoyed that even after all these years, people still think the same of the YA and what I consider to be near the top of that genre. The difference in hate shows, in my opinion, the prejudice people still have and the limits in some ways of how people define a good story.

Also, what’s RPO?


AtraMikaDelia t1_jdcwvmc wrote

Give it 10 years, and I bet PHM will be much less well regarded on this subreddit. You have to take time into account, Project Hail Mary is nearly at the peak of its popularity right now, while Hunger Games has obviously fallen quite a ways.

RPO is Ready Player One, which is another book that started off very popular and now mostly just gets hated on this subreddit.


kjm6351 t1_jdfylov wrote

That first sentence is just too true, Marvel latest example.

Hunger Games is 100% cut above the rest when it comes to YA dystopia


EvokeWonder t1_jdbr85z wrote

It’s great series for discussing how it is a story about surviving under an oppressive government and how that can cause trauma. How it’s not about a love story, but a story of people binding together to survive, when everyone knew in the end they would still be fucked over by the government.


Fish_fingers_for_tea t1_jdcslzd wrote

I did an English degree. I spent three years solid reading and researching serious classic literature week after week, and by the time I graduated I barely ever read a book for fun any more.

It took a few months, but then The Hunger Games was the first thing I read that I actually enjoyed reading purely for fun again. It brought back that feeling I had as an older kid or young teenager where I got dropped into a new world, introduced to a bunch of characters, and wanted to see who would make it to the end.

Like everything that has a wave of popularity - especially if it's popular with teenage girls - there's a backlash, but I agree most of the criticism isn't justified when you remember the target market. It does very well for the genre and age group.

It's an immersive setting, but with a fast-paced plot and many dystopian novels struggle to balance the two. I really got into the details of different Games and Districts. Love triangles are a YA staple but the HG one is different, a lot of the push and pull comes from Katniss' attempts to survive and how she thinks she needs to be perceived rather than just liking Boy A more than Boy B. The classical references are clunky to an adult, but would have been new hidden depths to me at 12 or 13.

I struggled a little with the third one, as Katniss is so deep in trauma for a lot of the book, but on reflection I appreciate the darker turn. She can't be an action girl after everything in the first two books and the series doesn't try to resolve things in a neat, happy way.

I also got a little tired of the Battle Royale comparisons people often made. There's a shared concept, but that pre-dates both pieces. In BR, the horror relies on the fact it's your friends and classmates being forced against you, while the Hunger Games always focussed on a system that would create and celebrate the big killing spree.

People can dismiss it as a series for Middle Schoolers of they want, but hey, it's a very good series for Middle Schoolers.


monty_kurns t1_jddxaig wrote

I graduated with my masters in international relations and had just spent years reading political biographies, history, and political theory. I even read that stuff for fun that was unrelated to my degree. Once I got the degree I needed to unwind from it all and decided to give Hunger Games a shot when I found the trilogy in hardback at Costco for like $15. Turns out, they were exactly what I needed. Way below the reading level I was used to but good page turners that kept me engaged with the story. That was 10 years ago and I might actually go back and give them another read!

One time I was at a restaurant with a friend and this guy was there with a girl he was very much trying to impress. He kept talking about his love of German beer but the one he kept gushing about was Beck's...that's what all the Battle Royale comparisons sounded like to me. I like Battle Royale, but it's not even an original concept on its own!


LegalAssassin13 t1_jdds2bw wrote

Whatever you feel about the Hunger Games, it’s one of the few YA dystopians that actually have a point to make. And Collins toned it down just enough to be appropriate for her intended audience without watering down the themes and implications.


flouronmypjs t1_jddq98d wrote

I honestly think they are the darkest books I've ever read. I don't understand when they are criticized for a lack of darkness, that doesn't resonate with my experience of reading those books. The movies glossed over or removed a lot of the darkest stuff but the books have some truly dark stuff.

I think there's room for criticism in any book. But I do think with Hunger Games there is a bit of an odd mixture of both the movies influencing people's perceptions of the books and inherent bias against YA books.


PinkMoonbow t1_jdem3kw wrote

Ikr this is the first I'm reading these books aren't dark?! The one thing I will describe them as is dark. There is a dark undertone running through the entire series when you read it. The background music score captures that very well in the film adaptation too.


baker8590 t1_jdf9tif wrote

Yeah the movie kinda go ooh look how horrible kids are killing each other but it's fun action. But the books really go in depth about how dark and horrible it all is. Plus the starvation, punishments, and other things the capitol does to keep them in line.


flouronmypjs t1_jdfbi1e wrote

Yeah the stuff that really sticks out to me is some of the more horrifying stuff that the Capitol and District 13 do in the books. Off the top of my head: The mutts at the end of Katniss's first Hunger Games are much darker in the books than in the movies. The avoxes are more fleshed out in the books, and speak to just how far the Capitol will go to oppress people. The imprisonment and torture of Octavia, Venus and Flavia in District 13 was completely left out of the movies, to terrible effect I think because in the books that's a huge signifier that Coin should not become President. And just in general the suffering of people in the outer districts is a lot clearer in the books. The movies kinda take a lot of that out and replace it with an emphasis on a love triangle that barely even exists in the books.


baker8590 t1_jdfgmta wrote

One thing that stuck with me from my recent reread that they didn't have in the movies was what happened with the traps they set against the rebels in the capitol when the final fight was happening. That as the rebels advanced pods started to go off and mutts attacking the capitol citizens. They cared more about keeping control than protecting the citizens. But that was why the strike against the kids that killed Prim was so easily attributed to them and why Katniss had more trouble figuring out who did it.


flouronmypjs t1_jdfgtrz wrote

Man, I haven't reread the series in a few years. I didn't even remember that detail but it is a great one. Time for a reread!


MutantNinjaAnole t1_jdcmiyg wrote

The Hunger Games isn’t my favorite, but it is odd in that it is seen as exemplifying the “YA Dystopia” tropes associated with the genre but sort of doesn’t live up to most of them? Katniss by the last book is more a broken protagonist than a wish fulfillment hero. She isn’t much of an actual “chosen one” except by happenstance and was used, for good or for ill, as a symbol for the rebellion and wasn’t the one who defeated the Capital, and who knows whether the peace will last. The love triangle was barely even there for me as I read it. For me, it’s a bit of an unusual series to reflect upon, which isn’t bad.

Possibly most controversially, I think the movies were better.


AhsokaSolo t1_jddshfv wrote

All of your examples are things I like about it.

Wish fulfillment heroes are boring imo. Chosen one stories are boring. Hunger Games almost does what Dune does in that sense, and Dune is my favorite book. Obviously Hunger Games is nowhere near as good as Dune (which is fine, HG is more like candy than a French pastry), nor is Katniss as much of an inversion of the trope as Paul, but these themes are more interesting to me than the standard stuff.

Also, I hate love triangles. Hunger Games had too much love triangle stuff for my taste, but at least it wasn't so much that I couldn't read it.


MutantNinjaAnole t1_jddtt20 wrote

To be clear, I’m not listing those as reasons it is bad, just where it isn’t quite like what people think of when they think of YA. Similar to how Lord of the Rings actually subverts some fantasy tropes.


AhsokaSolo t1_jddv3ck wrote

Oh gotcha, I did slightly misread what you said. Actually I think I agree with you. It isn't a typical YA book in terms of the stereotypical themes.


SparklingSarcasm99 t1_jdkm67h wrote

Interestingly I think it’s because Tolkien and Collins were pioneers for their genres. Tolkien is widely considered the forefather of modern fantasy and Collins work spearheaded the wave of YA dystopia which wasn’t as huge a market as it became. In trying to be those writers the ones that came after actually cemented the tropes in the genre. Most of the YA dystopian writers that came after Collins focused on the wrong things, for example YA dystopia went all in on the love triangles, liked how badass Katniss could be making their characters wish fulfilment, and overusing the chosen one narratives. It’s like they were trying to emulate Suzanne Collins but fundamentally misunderstood her work and what she was trying to say


NoWorthierTurnip t1_jddhjrx wrote

People take it superficially because it was written for a younger audience — and because the movies fell into the same trap that the Capitol does in the movies (focusing on the love interest storyline).

It’s actually an incredibly thought out trilogy and an amazing book about tyranny. I wrote one of my SAT essays about THG and I still remember it.


AhsokaSolo t1_jddr2lw wrote

Agreed. After I read the Hunger Games, I thought maybe I'm a fan of YA because I loved it. I tried a bunch of YA books after that, and didn't like any of them. It turns out I'm not a YA fan, I'm just a fan of Hunger Games. That book was really well done.

(Not that I'm saying YA is generally not well done. I'm sure there is plenty of great stuff, and my preferences are not a condemnation of the genre)


Key-Wallaby-9276 t1_jdgjy05 wrote

Have you read Gregor the overlander? Her other series. It’s similar but in my opinion better then hunger games


[deleted] t1_jdbwmnc wrote



Insomniac_Tales t1_jdcqzva wrote

I get the parallels with Battle Royale, but it was on a smaller scale compared to what Hunger Games was trying to say. Battle Royale was about controlling students from being too wild in the Japanese school system. Hunger Games was about controlling an entire populace with menace. Same concept, but Hunger Games had more to say about it and expanded outward where Battle Royale mostly stayed on the island.


Friesandmayo2665 OP t1_jdcnza5 wrote

I don’t really understand some of the point you’re making. Why would the polity called Panem put you out? The reference to the name makes sense. Also, do you really think Battle Royale and the Hunger Games set out to do the same thing? Lastly, you’re absolutely correct about my post not having much depth. My title is not fully accurate. The objections to criticism isn’t Hunger Games specific, it’s more an an example of a trend I’ve seen.


[deleted] t1_jdcsg4r wrote



Friesandmayo2665 OP t1_jde4a5g wrote

I understand where the name comes from. I just think that it’s meaningless in-world. It’s purely for the reader. I think there are multiple ways to world building and types of world to create, and the type you’re describing matters more for books like those in(but not limited to) the epic fantasy genre.


[deleted] t1_jde9o1a wrote



Friesandmayo2665 OP t1_jdedws8 wrote

Because I don’t believe it adds to the depth of the depiction. If we want a more realistic name, would we get the backstory to that? Would it really add to anything or would it even be worth the effort or make sense to get a backstory to it? I don’t think it would.


Bruarios t1_jddanx5 wrote

For Panem, it's too on the nose. It would be like having a state run brainwashing/mind-melting TV network that placates the masses having Lotus in the name


Parametric_Or_Treat t1_jddfsmt wrote

And having everyone in the capital having Roman names etc. It was probably just going a little too hard


RenzoARG t1_jdd5qjq wrote

>So Hunger Games wasn't bad, it was just a little... underdone and overly derivative?

YES, these are the words that define my "I didn't like neither book or movies... But I loved the idea behind them"


lucyjayne t1_jdcp3nw wrote

I feel like I might have bad taste or something lmao, because I love things a lot of people criticize like The Hunger Games, and Eragon, and Ready Player One. A lot of people seems to dislike the last two especially. But you know what, I don't care in the least. I like what I like and I have the best time reading books like that!


sekhmet1010 t1_jdd3eat wrote

I think that there is something called objectively good and objectively bad. It's not gatekeeping to acknowledge that.

I enjoy the Eragon series a lot. All 4 books, in fact, not just the first. But i do absolutely see what others are talking about when they critique it.

That critique however doesn't take away my enjoyment of it at all.

I might know that french fries and chicken nuggets aren't delicacies, but i enjoy them thoroughly nonetheless.

I think that many people attach their identities too much to their likes/hobbies, so when someone criticises or even critiques something, they feel personally insulted. It's a silly way of living one's life.

It is completely possible to love a flawed book, and to hate a great one, whilst being fully aware of the flaws and the greatness.


PinkMoonbow t1_jdemnqe wrote

I love both Hunger Games and the Eragon/Inheritance series too ! Can't wait to re-read both.


typically-me t1_jdfpx6c wrote

I think you can see the flaws in something and still appreciate it. With Hunger Games it’s simple writing (but for YA so that’s kind of understandable) and Katniss is a bit too conveniently good at everything and has the whole “not like other girls” thing going on which is very out of vogue nowadays. But it does have some interesting themes and does a good job of subverting certain tropes in a way that is interesting and actually has something to say.

Eragon doesn’t have a whole lot of depth to it and is largely Star Wars in a high fantasy setting (like I wouldn’t be surprised if it actually started out as a fanfic with that premise), but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. I can’t really speak for Ready Player One since I’ve only seen the movie, but I’m guessing it’s kind of similar in that way. And ultimately one could argue that being entertained is largely the purpose of reading.


iNeedScissorsSixty7 t1_jdxmaes wrote

I know what you mean. I'm reading the Stormlight Archives right now and to me it's the best goddamn thing since sliced cinnamon bread, and then I see people in this sub calling it the "McDonalds of literature." I read strictly to be entertained, so I like straightforward, entertaining books. I read No Country For Old Men a couple of months ago and found it to be middling and tedious. I read the Scarlet Letter a couple of years ago and I fucking hated it. The only thing that overly flowery prose does for me is cause annoyance, so most of the widely-regarded classics are books that I couldn't stand.


lauracalmer t1_jdd36rx wrote

I read this series around the time that the Free Britney movement was really picking up, and I think it really reflects the way young women were treated by the media in the early 2000s. As I followed Katniss’s story and Britney’s, I saw so many parallels. You could even draw parallels between Katniss and Jennifer Lawrence, the way the media built each of the up and then tore them down. It may not be the best writing, but it’s a compelling artifact of its time.


LucidDream-Reader t1_jdd6w2x wrote

Currently reading it now and thoroughly enjoying it!

Something I think Collins does remarkably well is the WORLDBUILDING!

Seriously, anyone interested in the craft needs to look at how she does it because it’s basically a masterclass in effective Infodump.

Not once have I felt that, “alright. Lore, info, next.”

The way her worldbuilding of history and science and region in Panem comes out of the character is so clean and succinct. There’s always a reason for it in the story. And it’s always just enough that you understand, the world grows depth, and then you’re moving on back into the plot right away.

Truly well done!


drcutiesaurus t1_jddztcl wrote

This is what I like. The info we have is appropriate too. It's not like Katniss has information on all of the inner workings of the Snow government, for example. Or even something as simple as when she's talking to Rue and learns that they go hungry there a lot despite being major food producers. Katniss is still in school (which is government run and very very narrowly curated to what the Capitol wants from District 12). We only know what Katniss inherently knows or sees and what only makes sense for her to know and see. It's one major benefit from first person limited writing, but I often find it more immersive when done well and imo HG does it very well. Even BOSAS does it well and it's such a beautiful juxtaposition from how Katniss sees the world and why she makes her choices and he makes his. Katniss' thoughts are often quite selfless overall whereas Snow, while it seems like the world is against him, he only concerns himself with him. Not even the rest of his family for the most part. He dismissed Tigress' sacrifices for him. Didn't really actually care about his injured classmate. Felt Lucy-Gray was his to possess... that she owed him... honestly, I love BOSAS so much because of how horrible Snow is in it and how much you can see into his justifications for his choices. Katniss was very "for the good of all". Snow is very "ends justify the means". And it's amazing to see how he justifies his sociopathic tendencies throughout- and how he's rewarded for it. I really really want there to be a sequel. I want to see what happens when Mags is chosen and wins. She's the oldest Victor by far in CF. I want to know why Snow left her alive without any "unfortunate accidents". (Never mind how much I desperately want to know how and why Tigress becomes his enemy given what she sacrifices for Snow throughout!)


PinkMoonbow t1_jdenyh4 wrote

'Clean and succint' is how I thought her writing was when I read it. It was after reading some books with heavy exposition and flowery language so Collins writing style was a breath of fresh air for me; it is easy to read, she presents perfect amount of facts + emotions+ plot twists for my liking. I find her writing style intelligent and her world building extremely IMMERSIVE.

Most importantly, she made me feel so strongly for all characters and their fate- that's huge for me because I increasingly find myself not feeling anything while reading a book. Either shoddy writing or convenient plot twists or unconvincing character portrayals take me out of the experience.

To sum up - I love Collins and I love The Hunger Games 🙃.


LucidDream-Reader t1_jdepe4i wrote

Lol there’s nothing wrong with that! I love both, flowery language and succinct but I think a balance is the best and tone of the story is too! The style of the Hunger Games fits perfectly!

It’s my first read through actually, and I’m so excited to get to Book 2 as that was my favorite movie. As always, the book is already better and something I’ve loved — over the movies — is learning about the Capitol’s experiments! So much better in the book!


PinkMoonbow t1_jdesyl3 wrote

Oh I'm so jealous you're reading it currently!!! I tore through them, they are so engaging. You said it so accurately- BALANCE. Her writing has that. I cannot find any flaw with her writing or this series honestly and I don't even like dystopian fiction, this was the first I loved.


LucidDream-Reader t1_jdetb6v wrote

You know one of my favorite parts so far that speaks volumes to world building and character building: Katniss and Peeta AND EVENTUALLY Hamish all dipping whatever they’re eating into Hot Chocolate! Lol

It’s also kinda sad — in a way — but it’s also just so colorful and funny but is just such a simple yet effect gag that came up a few times I thought was just brilliant!


boxer_dogs_dance t1_jdcir4f wrote

There are millions of subscribers to this subreddit. There are purists and gatekeepers in any hobby. Don't let someone else yuck your yum.

Hunger Games gave me an excellent reading experience and I didn't find it until my 40s.


purplegiraffe23 t1_jdg0x73 wrote

>Don't let someone else yuck your yum.

I love this and will be using it from now on!


anticosmo t1_jddelwf wrote

the hunger games being about romance is capitol propaganda!


CDWeisman t1_jddzh15 wrote

Many people instinctively talk shit about things that are popular. Why? I can think of a few possible reasons, but I don’t know for certain. It’s just the way it is. The Hunger Games is brilliant and that rubs some people the wrong way.


wedonttalkabouTB t1_jddcy3o wrote

I loved hunger games!! I read it before the movies came out (I know I know bragging). But seriously I thought it was very exciting, pretty original, drama handled well, and creative. I liked the movies as well — they tell a slightly different story but a lot of the best parts of the books came through.

But as you said they aren’t the deepest series, so I think there is less to talk about it than some other books. And it’s hard to recommend a book after the big box movie has already come out, because people have seen that and usually don’t want to read the book when they already know what will happen!


casualroadtrip t1_jdcjpz8 wrote

The Hunger Games to this day is one of my favourite series. I really need to reread it soon.


notonetimes t1_jddcu41 wrote

Amazing series of books, who gives a shit if other people don’t like it. Millions of others did.


msk2n8 t1_jddgz07 wrote

Reading is like a flavor palate. Not everyone will like the same books/dishes. That’s ok. Don’t let the opinions of others rain on your parade. If you find an author, genre, or medium you enjoy, then celebrate and embrace it. Haters are going to hate either way. Lots of so called canon wasn’t for me. And I avoided graphic novels for far too long because I thought the art form was less than in some way. Taste in cooking and literature is subjective. Read on


Previous_Injury_8664 t1_jdeaasq wrote

I enjoyed them a lot, as a mid 30s person whose favorite books are Jane Eyre, Persuasion, and Les Miserables. It could be that they just didn’t click for some people, but I didn’t find them badly written.


npeggsy t1_jdd1ltb wrote

My girlfriend in 6th form was really into them, and wanted me to read them. As a 17-year-old male, I definitely wasn't the target audience, but they were ok. The romance was there, but it felt like that characters weren't purely acting out of romantic interest, which is a trend that seems to happen in a lot of these sorts of books. There were probably more clichés than I noticed at that age, but I did think the world was interesting, and the actual "Hunger Games" (which, to my disappointment, took a back seat in Book 3) were really interesting. I'm not planning a re-read, but I'd say it's one of the better YA novels I've come across, especially taking into account I was not the target audience for them.


Sure-Setting-8256 t1_jdebakk wrote

ive never read it completley as deathgame series give me too much second hand anxiety, but what i did read i admit was a amazing, i couldnt put it down


DoomDroid79 t1_jdebfrx wrote

I have only read the first book and really enjoyed it, I take people's perception of books and genres with a pinch of salt anyway.


MaichenM t1_jdegzoi wrote

The most popular book of a period of time stretching from 2007-2015, the definer of an entire subgenre, four high budget blockbuster movies, an obsessive fanbase at the time that it was popular, and not even close to the amount of backlash that other series like twilight or divergent have gotten.

Seems underrated.


LikePaleFire t1_jdehxta wrote

I feel like THG would have been better if Katniss wasn't the protag the entirety of the trilogy. It would have been great if Haymitch or Johanna or Finnick had gotten some POV chapters.


Theher0not t1_jdf6ejg wrote

Catching Fire was so damn good (def my fav of the trilogy). The clock arena was super creative and a really clever way to spice things up from the first book.

All 3 books were good, but Catching Fire was by far the one I enjoyed the most.


LamppostBoy t1_jdc286t wrote

I liked the style of it. It felt distinctive, although it was the only piece of dystopian YA I read during the time that was super popular. The substance was my real issue. Felt very 'baby's first revolution.' Didn't explore the material conditions enough to do anything beyond introduce kids to the general rebel mindset. Is the capital full of decadent coastal elitists keeping the real country folk down, or are they the capitalist class exploring the panem proletariat? The moment you answer that question, you cut your audience in half.


stonernerd710 t1_jddgza2 wrote

I really enjoyed the series. I thought it was well written, esp the trauma. I read the one about president snow as well and thought it was an interesting look into the growth of that character, his ability to be so reasonable about the awful choices he makes was intriguing. The author really has the ability to make you care about this man that you know is HORRIBLE. I thought it was great writing.


Chief_Christmas t1_jdeb9az wrote

I read The Hunger Games when I was in middle school--I'm in college now--but from what I remember, it was pretty good and kept my attention long enough for me to finish the whole trilogy. I bought the prequel that Collins wrote, something about songbirds and snakes, but I haven't started yet because people said it was boring lol.


thinkitthrough83 t1_jdeg065 wrote

The prequel is not bad but it is more psychological in some ways


Chief_Christmas t1_jdema2h wrote

I'm looking forward to hopefully reading it over the summer. Snow was one of my favorite characters and I think a whole book dedicated to his early years sounds neat!


thinkitthrough83 t1_jdevvqs wrote

It is interesting and gives incite into how he became the villain in the HG books


PandasAreBears57 t1_jdefsx7 wrote

I found the first two books engaging and fun to read; enjoyed the final one less for reasons some people have already commented on, though not to the point that I had to force myself to finish, just had to push through certain slow or filler sections. The best book imho was the prequel - the ballad of songbirds and snakes. She really did a great job of tricking you into routing for character development from a character you know doesn’t develop in that way.

Ultimately I think some people work too hard to dismiss popular fiction because it’s popular or easier to read.


kompootor t1_jdelruo wrote

If you want a great example of how to establish your main character in a complex setting while driving you straight into the plot, all in 12 pages, read the HG first book, first chapter. It gets you into the world and action faster than books I've seen start in medias re (even decent ones).

YA and youth writing, when it's good, is excellent instructional material for learning essential brevity and active pacing. (The other things on that vein that I'd say is useful to practice with are soeechwriting, screenwriting, and newspaper journalistic writing -- all with some guidance, of course.)


PrettySweet419 t1_jdes1t4 wrote

For me it’s the third one that sours it. Like one and two had good stories and the third was an extra jumbled mess.


LMurch13 t1_jdetyol wrote

I REALLY enjoyed the first book. The second book was darker but I liked it. The third book, I was just trying to get through it.


baker8590 t1_jdf97mi wrote

I love the books and just reread the trilogy. I appreciate how it really discusses the trauma. I forgot until rereading that in the second book the first half is just about how their are handling their return to home and dealing with their trauma. The second movie scans past that quickly and goes to the second game action parts. For YA it's so good to focus on the emotions, that even though they did what they had to do to survive it still affects them. It sometimes feels like a lot of the criticisms about them are based on some of the copy cats in the genre that do just focus on factions/ fighting/ love triangle!


typically-me t1_jdfn45g wrote

Hunger Games gets lumped in with all the other (mostly lacking in substance) dystopian novels that came out during that era, but what what people forget is that Hunger Games is really what kicked off that whole craze because it was actually pretty good. There’s this interesting phenomenon where when something is good enough it will kick off a bunch of bad to mediocre copycats until everyone is sick of that thing and decides that it’s a tired cliche. And with Hunger Games I think the copycats came out so quickly and got enough traction that people forget or don’t realize that Hunger Games was actually the original.

Currently I’m noticing this with the whole “humanizing the villain” trope. It was cool for a while, but now it’s tired and everyone wants to have a villain who’s just an actual bad guy again.


Interesting-Fish6065 t1_jdfpjhp wrote

My brother and I—both middle-aged people who have read widely and have fancy educations—love The Hinger Games.

My brother talked to me about a hard-to-define quality that some books and movies have that he calls “heart.” The Hunger Games had a lot of heart. There are many other good things you could say about it, but that’s it’s finest quality IMHO.


SamaritanPrime t1_jdfsdfd wrote

I’ve read better books, and I’ve read worse books.


akira2bee t1_jdg3vyn wrote

Wow, really? I feel like I only ever really see genuine compliments and critique of the Hunger Games.

Only time I ever see people trash it is over the ending


Independent_Boss3950 t1_jdg6e9v wrote

I loved the books. The movies took a lot of the enjoyment away for me, but I could see myself reading them again in a few years.


Key-Wallaby-9276 t1_jdgjtss wrote

Yes I so agree. Also hunger games got a lot of people into reading and that’s never a bad thing.


ddpherm t1_jdr6kfj wrote

I really enjoyed the books. The movies were okay. Overall, I think the series is a bit underrated.


RenzoARG t1_jdd3nyh wrote

I didn't like the Movies, I didn't like the books.
Yet, I still loved the idea. An idea that earned its place in my head right next to Orwell & Huxley's ones.


HiddenCity t1_jddkil5 wrote

The original hunger games book was great. The sloppy attempt of turning it into the next Harry Potter saga as fast as possible not so much. The sequels weren't that good IMO, especially the last one. It's inferior world building all to make a quick buck.


TheKinginLemonyellow t1_jddb6fs wrote

>I don’t think this is this is the deepest book to ever exist, but there is noticeable and deliberate depth.

I've actually found it's the exact opposite: the Hunger Games series has a quite noticeable lack of depth, that's part of the reason people still dismiss it as "YA Battle Royale". The whole revolutionary plot felt weightless because the setting and its big evil rulers were only ever loosely-sketched cartoon villains.


monty_kurns t1_jddy7h2 wrote

I didn't mind the bad guys being loosely-sketched cartoon villains because the story was told completely from Katniss' point of view, so that's all they would be to her. She has brief encounters with Snow, Coin, and a few others, but a lot of what we're told is speculation on her part and of course she's going to assume the worse in a way that might be over the top. I don't think the books are super amazing, but they're a solid read for the genre.


Bugsbunney2 t1_jddeuoi wrote

Agreed I found it very derivative, and quite honestly the writing was sub-par for the reception it received. One of the few book to movie adaptions where I prefer the movies.


CaptConstantine t1_jddlyyg wrote

It starts off okay, but the writing goes downhill fast.

By the third novel, we see Katniss replaying entire scenes in her head with emotional commentary. Scenes we have already read. That's filler, that's just empty pages.

Parts of the series were interesting if you're comfortable with the fact that everything in the story is borrowed from a different, better story. Overall I'd give the trilogy a 6/10.


QLC459 t1_jddnvfx wrote

The first book was fantastic, the second and third book weren't even worth finishing imo.


It went from an action packed adventure/survival story with a lot of good drama in book 1 to a political thriller for books 2 and 3.


ducky4223 t1_jde4e0i wrote

The first book was good. The second not quite as good, but a quality read. The third book was a hot mess. Collins didn't seem like she knew how to end it. Peeta was next level annoying and Katniss strung Gale along with seeming disregard for his feelings at all. And why kill Prim? It didn't add anything to the plot/story but more misery. She was the entire reason Katniss got involved, so why kill her in the third act of the third book?

Don't get me started on the movies. They were junk.


GarnetShaddow t1_jdeo84n wrote

I have to respectfully dissent. I hated the books, because I had already read all of the books she smacked together to make this one. I did feel that it was a master class in plagiarized stories.

The main characters: the love angle is basically Bella, but she ends up with Jacob instead of Edward. They aren't even really built out much more than that. We have lovely brunette damsel, tough broody dude, and more sensitive dude who is also somehow tough. Actually, I liked Twilight. It was an interesting twist on vampire lore. I didn't like the copy. It felt very flat. Katniss/Bella reacts. She takes no action. She is along for the ride in the story we are seeing through her. It's hard to care when she doesn't.

I have to say it. Hunger Ganes is heavily sanitized Battle Royale. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I have read it a lot. You follow 42 children as they die... Trying or trying not to. And in the end you find out the "game" is not an experiment. It is to show people that you cannot trust anybody... Even if you see them every day. So we go to the Hunger Games. It is set up like a cheap sports rivalry. These people have never met, don't really interact before the game, and have zero reason to kill anybody. Except that like in The Running Man, they are hyped up on stage to be... Whatever the public says they are. They are fighting to get back to their families and for a boost of food to their districts. There is literally nothing stopping any of them from protest by suicide at any time. If indeed they all grew up watching this on tv, don't they know that it's pointless? (Why would any district keep watching after their players have died anyways? They have literally no stake in this. What is this, 1984 where you can't turn the TV off?) No society this opressed would have no spark of rebellion. Plus, it IS on tv. No dictatorship would be dumb enough to run a fully live feed. They want blood, not a "rival" covering a somehow bloodless corpse in flowers. If they can't turn the TV off... Why show rebellion? Remember in The Running Man when they censored all his tapes so his proof of life could not also be a public statement? So, the game. They already know they are sending children to die. They already know it's some sort of ritual. The thing that makes it a method of control is the shadow of mystery. The Battle Experiment. What is the experiment? Why is it important? What really happened to those children besides a list of casualties and how they died? You see a "winner" coming out of a black box the public assumes they had no choice but to fight their way out of. That fear controls the public. Not the game as designed. They don't even have dumb fake rivalries as if it were a sport. Like district 8 out for blood after district 3 killed their player last year. That might at least have made it interesting.

I could go on, but I suspect the downvoting started after saying I have a dissenting opinion.


sekhmet1010 t1_jdcbrig wrote

I am listening to the books for the first time (because i am learning a language and my skills aren't good enough yet to tackle the stuff that i actually like), but i have to say i disagree with you.

It's a good concept, but these are not well written books with good character development (so far. I am on book 3). It feels like such a missed opportunity. Their could have been details about the various districts, that the author could have delved more into like how the media was used to keep District 1 citizens insulated/oblivious or just downright apathetic. There could have been more of a history between Peeta and Katniss. Not romantic, just history since they lived so close by, there could have been more details regarding when and why the districts were made, and how bloody the wars were which lead to people becoming resigned to the Hunger Games.

There could have been so much more to make this a more layered novel series, but it feels almost lazy to me. The author had a great idea but a thoroughly indifferent execution. The writing is beyond meh.

It is one of those rare series where the movies are actually better, in my opinion.

I think Hunger Games deserved to become popular due to its idea, but it also deserves the criticism based on its literary merit, or the lack thereof.


talkbaseball2me t1_jdcv4tr wrote

I disagree, I loved the movies but the books are way better. The reason there aren’t more layers is because Katniss, as the narrator, doesn’t know those layers. It would be forced to add those layers in and the book wouldn’t work as well. I prefer the books over the movies because we can see inside Katniss’s head and know what she’s thinking/feeling. I actually think the movies lack a lot of emotional depth because we don’t know how much she’s struggling.


sekhmet1010 t1_jdd5eex wrote

I find it unbelievable that Katniss living in that very system would know and think so very little about it. If nothing else, there could have been glimpses of things, but there was nothing. Because the book has a very lazy world-building going on.

Seeing inside Katniss' head would have been lovely if she had more of a personality. Even her relationship dynamics with everyone else happens to be oversimplified. It just lacks any complex emotions, in my opinion. Every single relationship dynamic seems to be based off of one thing. That's so unrealistic.

In the movies, i think Jennifer Lawrence brought more to the table than there was on paper. Katniss is so bland. I have gained zero new insights into the character after having read the first two. Maybe the third one will be better, but i doubt it.

Except for The Godfather and this series, i have never enjoyed a movie adaptation more than the books.


drcutiesaurus t1_jde1tkz wrote

You have to remember that it was common in her district for people to literally just die from starvation in the street. She herself was bordering on starvation before Peeta tossed her that bread. When you're starving (or fighting for survival and your family's survival... dependent on a good hunt or forage) there's not a lot of time or energy people can (never mind want) to put into thinking about life outside survival. It's one of the reasons the Capitol is so effective in all their propaganda.

And her relationship dynamics are simplified... because she's a sheltered 16 year old. It's incredibly realistic for the character, her age, and setting imo.


sekhmet1010 t1_jde3z86 wrote

I did not find it to be so at all. Realistic, i mean.

And clearly you enjoyed the books and have quite a different view of them. So, let's agree to disagree.

I just hope that these aren't the best that YA has to offer, since besides the concept, these weren't very good books at all in my opinion.


drcutiesaurus t1_jde0o5a wrote

It would have made zero sense though for us to have those details. The books are written in first-person- limited. This means we only know what Katniss knows. Because the Capitol wants to limit interaction between districts (to prevent another uprising), the government mandated education and curriculum is going to be a) major propaganda and b) limited to essentially just their own district. Any outside info that the masses get about other districts is directly related to the Games (also major propaganda!).

It's one of the limitations of first-person-limited stories, but imo one of the reasons I find it most immersive. Had we known all this extra extraneous info, it would have detracted from the story and characters to me bc it wouldn't have made sense in universe for Katniss to have known all this details.


religionlies2u t1_jdcs04b wrote

My only complaint with the Hunger Games, and YA tropes of this type in general, is that it pushes the extremely common literary idea that City Folk Bad Country Folk Good. This propaganda is detrimental to real life, where, having lived in both areas, I find most of the horrible racist homophobic bigots I know are country folk (Trump Country) and most city folks I know are progressive and caring and expanding Medicaid etc.


nqustor t1_jdchv4w wrote

>Yes it’s YA, but that doesn’t mean it’s badly written.

Being YA doesn't necessarily mean it's poorly written, but in this case it happens to be both YA and poorly written.


nerdfartz t1_jdcrvys wrote

Five thousand years of literary history, some of which is great fun, some of which explores the deepest truths of our world and the human spirit, and I'm gonna waste my precious time on this earth reading the Hunger Games or any other cash motivated YA series? Get out of here, sell that shit somewhere else. I'm an adult and I have my dignity.


Wumbo_Anomaly t1_jdct1q3 wrote

You sound so fucking pretentious lol


kjm6351 t1_jdg92vt wrote

Literally sounds like a kid trying to act like a smart book worm lmao

That was just pathetic


nerdfartz t1_jdcu6of wrote

Yeah and I'm fucking proud of it; I have impeccable taste. Y'all YA dullards are embarrassing.


Wumbo_Anomaly t1_jdcuhq1 wrote

You don't actually have to broadcast the fact that nobody likes talking to you