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I've read books one and two and been thoroughly spoiled for three. I enjoyed the first book but didn't think it was the Best Thing Ever, and I was rather disappointed in book two.

I think I probably liked the movie better than I liked book one, largely because the worldbuilding of the book is a bit skimpy for text format, but makes for excellent visuals. Also, I really don't remember many of the details in book one, since I read it about three years ago and never reread. The movie had many of the same major flaws the book (the race stuff, my generally wanting it to be more about revolution and less about the Games), with a few of its own added in, and one major point of awesomeness that made me really love it.

Assorted unspoilery thoughts )

Assorted spoilery thoughts )

Mostly, though, Katniss made the movie for me.

Links (assume spoilers for first book/movie!):
- my review of Hunger Games the book and Catching Fire (spoilers for book 2 as well)
- [personal profile] sanguinity's review
- [personal profile] diceytillerman's review
- [personal profile] grrlpup's review
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Ha, my fluffy romance reading kick is now officially over. Instead, I am so depressed about school that I have turned to books in which you feel like you can trust no one and must fight tooth and nail for your life. I suspect the rationale is: "Hey, school sucks! But at least I am not stuck in a game arena with millions of killer traps or stuck in a sadistic school in which half the students would literally knife me in the back. My life now looks so much better!"

You can tell because the next books on my reading list are by Susan Beth Pfeffer and Octavia E. Butler. Any recs for other books like this welcome!

Second book in The Hunger Games trilogy

I liked the first book, and it was an incredibly compulsive read, but I wasn't quite as bowled over with it as most other people were. In the first third, I thought I would absolutely adore this book, but unfortunately, Collins makes some very strange authorial decisions. I don't dislike the book, but it's very flawed.

Also, while book one can be standalone, this one very much cannot.

Spoilers for both books )

I really hope the third book knocks it out of the park, because the trilogy deserves a great final book. Alas, this one doesn't just succumb to middle-of-the-trilogy problems (made particularly obvious because I read it right after Duey's book 2 in her trilogy), it succumbs to all the normal problems and then adds a few more of its own!
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And once again, I pick up a book that is the first of a trilogy, although it is never mentioned on the cover. Argh!

The really sad thing is that I am fairly certain people online made note of this, so I made note of it in my head, but it took so long for me to get my hands on the book that I forgot. My memory = sieve.

It's sometime in the future, and the United States (the book says North America, but there is no mention of Canada and Mexico, boo) has torn itself apart and reformed itself as Panem. There's the Capitol and twelve Districts, and when the then thirteen Districts once rebelled, the Capitol put them down, eradicted District Thirteen, and instituted the Hunger Games. Each District must send 2 teenagers, one boy and one girl, to the Games, in which they battle each other to death in several weeks, all televised. Katniss Everdeen is from District Twelve, the poorest District located in what once was Appalachia. When her twelve-year-old sister is picked, Katniss volunteers in her place.

I haven't read other books in the genre of teenagers-battle-to-death-while-televised, especially Battle Royale, so I can't compare this to any of them. That said, I'm not wowed by the social critique of dictatorship or conquering people via media, but that is because I have seen enough of the use of TV in dictators' hands. Still, I very much like the portrayal of political oppression in the book, particularly how Katniss and her friend Gale as so much more aware of some forms of oppression than her slightly-better-off teammate Peeta from District 12, simply because Peeta is the son of a baker and has a few more resources to draw on. My favorite thing about the book is Katniss, who is strong and brave and cunning and the exact opposite of spunky. I love that she will do nearly anything to survive, that she coldly calculates how to manipulate the viewers' emotions, and I very much like how the love story in the book ended up going.

The weaknesses of the book lie largely in the plot or how characters must act because of the plot. The other contestants in the Games are not fleshed out very well, and I was particularly bored by the final battle. I thought Collins was going to go a different route, but she settled on a more familiar and standard resolution instead. That said, the unresolved bits of story make me really anticipate the next two books.

Spoilers )

This can be read without having the next books in hand; a few things are left hanging, but the book comes to a very satisfactory conclusion by itself.

Definitely recommended. How is Battle Royale, especially in terms of heroines? I may look it up once my nerves recover from this book. (I spent the day I was reading it convinced I was living in a media dystopia where everyone was going to kill me. Not particularly comfortable, but it says something about the power of the book!)

Links:
- [livejournal.com profile] buymeaclue's review

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