I just finished powering through the Hunger Games Trilogy. It’s always fun to power through a book and I haven’t really done so since the day I read Harry Potter 7.
They’re fun page-turners which I will have no problems recommending to teenagers or anyone who hasn’t read many books or seen many movies. But for the rest of us who have been through a fair number of books and movies, the series ends up being an exercise in “name that plot.” Especially if you get into the post-apocalyptic stuff since it sort of borrows from the entire spectrum—The Lottery, to Watership Down,* to 1984, to The White Mountains.
*Yes, I consider Watership Down to be a post-apocalyptic book.
Not that this is a bad thing. If this series can function as another gateway drug into reading, who am I to knock Scholastic about peddling it. But yes, as I was reading this, my wife would periodically ask where I was and I would describe my location in terms of another book.
In terms of movies, I can’t help but see the comparison to Hidden Fortress—and by extension, Star Wars.* The main character of the series is, for the most part, completely clueless about the actual plot. We don’t have to worry about the messy details of how the plot is actually being advanced, we only have to worry about those things which affect Katniss.
So yeah, there’s a reason this is young-adult fiction. And I can say that I think it’s good young-adult fiction. It does enough to get you thinking but not enough to keep you from being frustrated by the limitations…