The short review: Did I like this book? Meh.
Will I let Kiki read it? Yeah.
The long review:
So, I read the book. I tried really hard to read it with an open mind (because to be honest, I hated it before I ever started it. The whole premise of the story is just something I didn’t care to read.) I found that it was a good story in that it sucks you in… you find yourself interested in the characters, you want to know how it works out. So in that respect, I guess I can understand why it’s a popular book.
However. Technically speaking, I think it’s a very poorly written book. Did this author never take a grammar class? Did she take one but fail miserably?? She doesn’t seem to be able to write a decent sentence; they are either 27 word run-on sentences, or mostly, they are fragments. Oh dear me the fragments!! I would say they account for about 80% of the book, and that drove me absolutely crazy! Now, I don’t mind a fragment or two, heaven knows I use them a lot here in my blog… but, well, it’s a blog… not a novel. I wouldn’t even mind a few in a book,; sometimes they just work – but she takes it to ridiculous extremes. Urgh.
Then there is the main character, Katniss. I don’t really like her. She’s sort of – emotionless in a way, I guess. Clueless. I can understand why I suppose, but that doesn’t make me like her any more. And tho none of the characters are really fully developed, she just seems really flat.
Another issue I have is that there is not nearly enough background to the story, and there are things that happen that don’t make sense – things that couldn’t happen. Things that simply wouldn’t work. Like little silver parachutes falling at just the correct moment. Uh-huh. Explanation, please, on the timing of those?
I suppose that much of what bothers me is completely overlooked by the young kids who read this, and after all, they are the target audience… not middle-aged moms. I asked my daughter, and the things that annoy me about this book, she didn’t even notice until I brought it up, and even after I pointed these out to my daughter, they don’t bother her. I also spoke to 3 teen girls who have read this book, and they all think the main character is this awesome, brave, strong girl. As I said, I am not the target audience, and I suppose Suzanne Collins must be quite thankful for that!
As for letting my daughter read it, I decided that it would be alright. Though it’s full of killing, it’s not gratuitous. There are lessons to be learned, like not letting governments get out of control… or that whole “when good people do nothing” business and all that. There’s no sex, and to a parent of a teen, that’s good! There really isn’t much of a love story even… very mild.
I don’t know if I will read the rest of the series. On one hand, I kind of want to see it through to the end. On the other hand I’m not sure it’s worth the time and effort – after all, there are so many good books out there to read!