The Hunger Games: Mini Review

I just finished reading the first hunger games book and thought I would share my thoughts on it. I would love to hear yours and whether you agree with me or not! 😊

My rating: 1 out of 5 stars.

What an intriguing story. Twenty-four teenagers, thrown into the arena to battle each other to the death. One winner. One survivor.

What I liked

The story was engaging and I read the whole thing in a few days. I enjoyed the world building – how it was familiar but unique. I loved the contrast between District 12 and the Capital.
The devotion that Katniss had for her family was beautiful. They were the motivation for why she chose to volunteer and why she kept going, even when things seemed hopeless.
I loved how we learned about Katniss’s past. It was woven so well into the rest of the story, it was seamless and perfect.

What I disliked

Surviving was too easy.

Personal opinion here, but I felt like Katniss survived pretty much out of luck and because of other people. Yes, she had skills that helped her, but the reason she did so well in the first place was because of Cinna, her team, Haymitch, etc.  It wasn’t her skill, her wit or anything that she did.
When she actually got into the arena, it was circumstances more than skill that kept her alive. I kept waiting for a chapter where she would struggle, really have to rely on her intelligence or talents and get out of some impossible situation. That never came. Her need for water on the first day was the closest thing.

Otherwise she either found someone else who helped her or she got a gift right at the moment she needed it. There was no real suspense because I knew that she would be fine and within a few pages she would have whatever she needed.

Peeta was even worse. I’m really not sure how he lasted so long because he did nothing. He didn’t even have the survival skills that Katniss had. He was a sniveling, weak, annoying little boy who probably would have laid down and let anyone kill him if they asked nicely enough. All he could do was gush over his beloved Katniss and how much he loved her and blah blah blah. Cut out some of the stupid romance, please! (I get that it was for the games, yes, but it didn’t need to be so mushy.)

*spoiler* Can I just say how much it annoyed me that Thresh let Katniss go when he could have killed her. Yes, I get that he felt he owed her a debt, but my goodness, it was so convenient. He could have taken out two of his dangerous opponents, but he just lets one go? Seriously? The debt thing just felt like such a cheap way out, a cheap way to save Katniss’s life and get her out of a tough situation. And again, she had nothing to do with her survival at the feast! Thresh saved her from Clove. She was able to get away because Cato was sniffling over his dead companion instead of chasing her or Thresh in rage and furry to avenge Clove. *end of spoiler*

Katniss and Peeta didn’t have a lot of personality. They were bland and flat. I think out of all of the characters, Rue had the most personality and she was only in a couple chapters (and was annoyingly perfect). You had very little pity or sadness when any of the tributes died because you knew nothing about them. They were just characters with barely a name and their deaths meant nothing to the reader (or me, at least).

The violence. I don’t mind it as long as it adds to the story. Obviously, this book is centered on death and slaughter. I started reading with that in mind. It wasn’t as graphic as I had envisioned. Not too many overly gory scenes. But every time I put the book down, I just felt sick and like I didn’t want to read any more. I’m kinda torn on the violence part. The heartless killing, the slaughter…how they all function just fine after having killed another human being, even though none of them were warriors, they were just kids. Not realistic.
On the violence note, how horrible is it to be killing children? Especially defenseless, tiny girls?! Would the people really allow the games to go on for so many years and not become enraged and put an end to the slaughter?

The last thing I disliked was the way that it was written. All of the words were cheap and childish. (Of course I was reading The Count of Monte Cristo at the same time, so that tainted my view.) All the modern, fiction books I read are so bland and so empty word-wise, whereas the classics are dense, heavy and so beautiful. I can’t blame this book for being written as it is, because it agrees with the modern style of today. I’m just not a fan of that type of writing. XD

All in all, it was an intriguing idea that was poorly executed. I wouldn’t recommend and I won’t be reading it again. I do want to finish the series and see how it ends, but I don’t have high hopes.

CW: alcoholism, murder, graphic description of wounds and stabbing/biting/getting shot, lots of blood, graphic animal killing human descriptions, nudity


10 thoughts on “The Hunger Games: Mini Review

  1. Oh yes! Another person who realized how easy it was to survive. For the “hardest grulingist games ever” they sure were easy😂 You thought the book was easy, have you seen the movie? My goodness. There is even less danger than in the books. And the characters in the movies are blander than a sugarless pancake. Why can’t we have decent movie book adaptations???! I have only seen probs 3 good adaptations. 2 were children’s books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s what I thought! I was seriously expecting a little more creativity in the fight for survival. It was all so easy! Oo the movies are worse? Wow. 🙄


  2. Thank you for sharing your take! It’s very interesting to see the different perceptions people have when reading the same thing.

    I actually think that her surviving based on luck is deliberate. She’s not a warrior. She doesn’t want to kill people. Same with Peeta. They’re just humans trying to survive. And as you’ll see in the coming books — her simply trying to survive and being fortunate enough to do so launches her into a role she never wanted, was never prepared for, etc.

    As far as Thresh letting Katniss go — again, these are humans being forced to fight each other. He’s from the farming district. He’s not a “career” fighter doing what’s “smartest” to “win” – he’s surviving and blundering through a horrendous situation. I feel like letting a stranger go out of recognition for what she did for Rue humanizes both of them.

    As far as “You had very little pity or sadness when any of the tributes died because you knew nothing about them. They were just characters with barely a name and their deaths meant nothing to the reader.”, I thought this was actually somewhat intentional – these really were strangers to Katniss. And even Katniss herself doesn’t get to have a huge amount of personality because she’s just trying to survive — even before the hunger games. Love for her family is about all she has, and I do think they showed that well. And then she develops love for several other characters, even ones like Effie Trinket who was raised in such a different world she’s ignorant of Katniss’s reality.

    “…they all function just fine after having killed another human being, even though none of them were warriors, they were just kids. Not realistic.”
    As you read on, no they definitely don’t all go on just fine. They go on, because there’s no other choice. But that doesn’t mean they do so well or without horrible scars. And again, I think this is a lot of the purpose and point of the books – to show how horrible both totalitarian governments and the wars to overthrow them both are.

    “Would the people really allow the games to go on for so many years and not become enraged and put an end to the slaughter?”
    That’s the thing about humans — almost anything can be normalized. We used to literally have gladiator fights and people watched and cheered. And strong totalitarian governments can literally make people so hopeless they don’t think it is possible to fight back. Both Pharaoh and Herod slaughtered all of the children in their entire land, and there was no immediate uprising from that. I highly recommend the true story “In Order to Live” by Yeonmi Park for a true story of the reality of living in a totalitarian regime and how hopeless people can feel to fight against it.

    Anyway — there’s some of my thoughts. When I first read it, I did not “enjoy” it. But as I reflected on it, over time, I began to feel like the overall message of the stories was actually quite brilliantly portrayed. But that doesn’t all show up until you get further into the series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Ray! I enjoyed hearing your perspectives and you made a lot of great points. 😊 I want to finish the series and come back and see how I feel about the whole thing.


  3. Honestly, I haven’t read Hunger Games. When I was younger, my parents didn’t want me to read it, and now that I’m older, I don’t really care enough. Despite that, your description of Peeta made me laugh. At least how you described him, he is like the WORST type of character being annoyingly weak and all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. *gasp*
    1 star?!
    I’m not like a Hunger Games super fan or anything, but I do enjoy the books. (well, about as much as you can enjoy books about teenagers being forced to kill each other to survive…) I was a little shocked to see some of your thoughts, but I mean, I can also see some of your points.
    We all like what we like, I guess!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. yeah, and that’s totally fair! My brain can’t really comprehend classics and THG is one of the better YA books honestly…like, I could see that one being read long after everything else that’s currently popular fades away.

        Liked by 1 person

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