Yes, I Really Do Hate 'The Hunger Games' | Teen Ink

Yes, I Really Do Hate 'The Hunger Games'

July 1, 2012
By MadMouse GOLD, Springfield, Missouri
MadMouse GOLD, Springfield, Missouri
15 articles 11 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
'The only things worth doing on the weekend are completely pointless and wastes of time."

The Hunger Games crashed through the New York Times Bestseller list like a hungry lion in a meat shop. The numbers were astounding; approval ratings crashed through the sky. But behind all of the popular applause, there are a fair amount of faults that I can find in Collins’ trendy novel ‘The Hunger Games’.

But why, exactly, is this novel so well-liked?

To begin with, it’s an easy read. Embarrassingly easy. Most kids I know that read this book consisted of 13-17 year olds. They bragged that they read ‘The Hunger Games’ in one day. But I see no great accomplishment in this feat, because the book was written for, by my standards, 10-12 year olds, and so people probably should have finished it in a couple of hours. No surprise there; there’s nothing to brag about when you finish a kids’ book. But do you hear people saying how great ‘The Three Musketeers’ or ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ is? Nope. That’s because the books are really huge, and nobody bothers to read them. Popularity starts with an easy read.

Secondly, the gladiatorial draw is intoxicating. It takes the reader on emotional ups and downs and might make a more tender person cry (like when Rue died). Admit it; the book was grotesquely, horrifically amusing because the main character constantly in a life-or-death situation that was (supposed to be) intense. Blood, forced murder, innocent children dying, the works.

Let’s move on to the actual writing job. There are many things I find distasteful about ‘The Hunger Games.’ Primarily, I find Collins’ lack of description remarkable. The book reads more like an emotionless screenplay rather than a good novel. The only reason people feel sad or happy or triumphant is not because Suzanne actually describes the characters’ feelings; it’s because the gladiatorial plot has a built-in intense system that makes the reader ready to cry or laugh or gasp with horror. Take away the horrific plotline, and you would feel as much emotion as a brick wall. But Collins’ lack of description extends further, to places, people, setup, and scenery. She describes place settings like a children’s book: short sentences without analogies, parallels, good use of words, etc. Just ‘the wall was blue.’, not ‘the long wall was sickly forget-me-not blue that made me want to puke.’. A good writer needs to know how to describe, not just tell.

Somewhat related to the writing, I find the plot unrealistic. Yes, a hero or heroine generally faces incredible odds, but a good author should know where to draw the line between ‘heroism/luck/good fortune’ and ‘completely unrealistic’. For example, Katniss is a malnourished, starving, and thus weak girl (and by nature, girls are physically weaker than guys anyway). Do you really think a person like that would stand a chance against older, buffer guys that had been training their entire lives for the Hunger Games? Do you honestly think she could have survived? The ‘careers’ were prepared for the Hunger Games, she was not. For instance, when Katniss is in a tree and the girl tries to shoot an arrow at her: the girl was a career. Don’t you think they would have taught her how to use every possible weapon if they wanted her to win? And yet she was poorly trained: hmm, Katniss has some pretty extreme luck there. When the boy tries to climb the tree, he gives up after one try. They wanted to murder her. Do you think they would give up after one try? At least have thrown knives at her, or chucked rocks at her, or something. Even if one girl couldn’t shoot an arrow, you would think that out of that many careers, at least one would be able to handle a bow!

Minor note here: when Katniss’s urine is brown, she should be dead or passed out. Scientific fact: you cannot be conscious and be that dehydrated. It’s impossible for your body. Collins might have wanted to do a little medical research if she was going to have her characters heroically wounded/incapacitated in some way.

Lastly, I find it slightly sexist. A weak girl bypasses logic, rationality, a few basic laws of physics, and has some completely unrealistic doses of huge luck that make her survive until the end. And what does Peeta do? He gets wounded and hides in the mud like a wimpy dude. Of course, Katniss, being the strong brave invincible girl she is, had to go save the poor guy. You’d think she had Achilles’ curse or something; the ways she survives are ridiculous. If an author has a heroine, especially a girl, they’ve got to learn not take it so far as to seem fantastically outlandish.

To sum, I loathe ‘The Hunger Games’ because of the dumb reasons people like it, it’s unrealistic, and sexist. Glad you bothered reading this much of my opinion.

The author's comments:
Forgive the length. I'm afraid I was a bit overzealous in my...ah... expressingness. And I am a girl, by the way, for those that are already huffing up about the 'sexist' comment.

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This article has 34 comments.

nunyabizz said...
on Mar. 10 2015 at 7:18 pm
Funny how you criticize the writing, yet your article repeats the phrase "crashed through" twice within the first two sentences. That's pretty bad, especially for the opening paragraph. "The Hunger Games crashed through the New York Times Bestseller list like a hungry lion in a meat shop. The numbers were astounding; approval ratings crashed through the sky."

ShipraB BRONZE said...
on Jan. 24 2015 at 5:21 pm
ShipraB BRONZE, Greer, South Carolina
4 articles 5 photos 7 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Some infinities are bigger than other infinities."
-John Green
The Fault in Our Stars

You have some truly interesting points that have made me question why I religiously go to these movies!

on Nov. 2 2014 at 8:24 am
Deylanda XO SILVER, Accra, Other
8 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
Life is worth spending time alone to dream about making the impossible possible.

Okay, so apparently the greatest sin of Suzanne Collins in the writing of the Hunger Games is for the fact that she used simple vocabulary. Well, let's get this straight adults are busy working and all and seldom get time to read but teens and tweens have more time to dwell on books- but not (boring) classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and all. We actually desire easy reads with captivating themes and plots. Apparently, Collins was wise enough to consider the psychology of her dominating readers and drew a plot that could capture them. True, her descriptions were not awesome but truth is, most of the time when reading, our brrains skip out on the descriptions and does its own imagining. Additionally, the book is not sexist. Society has always been about strong men, weak damsels but books and movies that go against these try to inform us that it is okay for guys to cry, for ladies to own their lives, for men to struggle and not feel too humiliated for a failure, for ladies to be strong too. Isn't that what this modern what this modern world is about. Some adults really make me go nuts because if a guy dominates, he's sexist yet if a woman dominates, she's a feminist. Thank you for the advise and your opinions, but why don't you use them to create your own New York Bestseller... because frankly, I don't think a lot of people, including Collins herself, care.

SuzieQ777 GOLD said...
on Oct. 22 2014 at 11:20 am
SuzieQ777 GOLD, Franklin, Virginia
15 articles 0 photos 37 comments

Favorite Quote:
"La Vida Es Bella"

I disagree with you, The Hunger Games is a book for anyone of any age group to read. Though, I feel it should appeal more to teenagers and adults. It's a book on the possibilities of how our political or our government world could change through the eyes of a teenage girl who is head strong. Personally. I don't see too many 10-12 year olds reading about Politics. So if Collins writes in "lack of description" perhaps that's how the main character describes or sees things through her eyes. If you need some dramatic explanation for every detail in a book then, WOW.

on Sep. 30 2014 at 10:39 am
cami_cook314 BRONZE, Bremen, Indiana
1 article 0 photos 8 comments
I agree with some of the things you said but some of them not so much. I do not think that it is sexist because Suzanne Collins is trying to make girls think that they can be strong and have confidence in themselves

.... said...
on Sep. 27 2014 at 7:48 pm
they don't need the coal much. That's why the district is poor

on Jul. 17 2014 at 5:05 pm
PenOnParchment BRONZE, Chino Hills, California
2 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"What is literature
but the illumination of that which I would write?" -Rider Strong

I'm glad someone else saw this book like this! The Hunger Games was written in the style of a book for 10 year olds with the themes of a teen  fiction and nearly no substance at all

on Jun. 4 2014 at 1:13 pm
I read this and I'm 11- some of my friends were 8 when they read this. It took me 1 hour because of the stupid-arsed bits about her dress and sobbing on about Rue(who, although I go to a boys' school, so I wouldn't know) seems unrealistic (apparently she's 66 lbs, wtf?) and who seems ridiculously immature.

on May. 16 2014 at 4:15 pm
I must say, even as a 12 years old, I must agree with you. I thought it would be something like that Harry Potter series, but no. I especially despise the writing style, as I am a visual thinker, and the book does not provide me with enough detail to imagine the place. Also, Panem, the setting doesn't make sense. District 12- Coal? Why do you need coal for? You have holographic stuuf and a clock arena, isn't it time to move away from the old stuff like coal?

Hyrrokkin said...
on Feb. 26 2014 at 6:55 pm
I have to agree with you on a lot of things. Too many books and movies get away with major plot holes on the premises of "luck" and it gets really irritating. I also appreciate your point on Katniss' dehydration, as a story is infinitely much more impressive when it is factually correct. Your point on the description is difficult though- good description is critical, but you don’t want terrible, overly-detailed accounts abundant in, say, Stephenie Meyer’s works. Sometimes a succinct portrayal is better than a pompous, two page long blathering. And I vehemently agree with you on how unchallenging the book is. Bland diction can make any work intolerable.   But your sexism point is simply wrong. Katniss may be too perfect because of her "luck", but certainly not her gender. I'd say that books with weak females and strong males are 1) cliché and boring, everyone does that and 2) sexist, because they make people restricted to arbitrary gender roles. Defying them is not sexist, it is saying that people are not cookie cutter sheeple. For instance, Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga is sexist- the defenseless damsel in distress cliché is accompanied by countless abusive macho men, and that’s just “fact” that men are strong and women are weak. Albeit we are talking about freaking vampires and werewolves.  

on Feb. 3 2014 at 1:11 pm
Rose_13 PLATINUM, Farmington, New Mexico
40 articles 0 photos 26 comments

Favorite Quote:
If you try and teach a fish to climb a tree, it will live it's life forever thinking that it is dumb. ~Albert Einstein

It's not a book written for 10-12 year olds because there's a lot of murder in it. It's a game where people try and kill eachother off for Pete's sakes. Yeah, it didn't have the best vocabulary, but it was extremely creative and emotional.

peskylisa said...
on Dec. 17 2013 at 9:24 am
God bless you for writing this and seeing this novel for exactly what it is: hyped up drivel, written for 10 year olds, by someone on a 12 year old level, bereft of description and any thought or emotion at all. Thank you for telling your truth out loud and, examining the reasons we, as people, are so myopic, visceral, and childishly "in the moment" as to judge a book by its size and overhyped promotion.  You made a good deal of valid, and observant points there, some of them, I sensed, but could not discern in my own words. And yes, more research and effort needed to be put into the whole thing to make it truly good. Thank you again, for pointing that out. Good books require effort on the part of both the reader and the writer. Qualitiy does not depend on adolecent thrill romps.  One more thing, I wonder if you are aware of in the written style. It is written in the present tense. As in "I walk to the end of the room and look out the window" whereas "I arose from my seat and crossed to the window, my mind filled with what I would see there" Now, tell me truthfully , which one would you, the reader be more inclined to read?  I loathe this new trend of writing things in the present tense. It is usually reserved for foreign writers for whom English is not their native language. It makes me feel as if I am reading the personal pages of a whiny diary of someone truly self absorbed with no concept of literary tense or just well crafted style.  I'm constantly criticized for being too descriptive and old fashioned. But I don't care. I don't believe in dumbing down your own personal style after spending years working on it.  In short, you are completely right on the money in this. And I say, it's time to bring back quality. Stories which stood the test of time for decades, and to compose newer stories which follow the old truths and the beautifully descriptive style which kept you entranced, stories whose plots did not go so out of the way to defy belief that they insulted your intelligence, and above all stories that inspired people to become better and nobler than what they are now, rather than reverting to the animalistic nature and encouraged to do so for a sick source of entertainment. Bravo!!    

on Dec. 6 2013 at 12:52 pm
I was so turned off by the writing style. On top of that, usually half the second and third book consisted of Katniss hidding. I could understand the mental health problem associated, but it was just 'missing'. It lacked. It was not satisfying.

The only thing I loved so much was the idea. It would have been fantastic as an adult book with the chance of so many themes developped tenfold. My main probelms was the writing and the incomplete ideas of the book. The lack of realistism passed over me in most parts since I felt like it was minor problems compared to the other things I disliked about the book.

ZoeFanlol said...
on Oct. 23 2013 at 4:43 pm
Thank the Gods that someone actuallty agrees with me. To all the people who likes the Hunger games are cruel,they don't understand that she actually got this from watching tv. Even though your an author that is lik 51 years old or something you should be able to be more respective to the people who are dying in the Middle east. Sometimes the rain doesn't allways shine,but when it does it come back to kick you in the face.