*This post is half rant and half review of the Hunger Games. SPOILERS ARE NOT COVERED FOR EITHER SERIES. I TRIED TO KEEP IT MOSTLY SPOILER FREE, BUT, AS YOU CAN SEE, I FAILED MISERABLY (it's inevitable in a rant ;)). READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!*
So going off of my previous post here, I think the Underland Chronicles were so much better than the Hunger Games and really underrated. I mean, the Hunger Games was entertaining, and the world building was pretty awesome, but to be honest, it wasn’t anything special. Nothing about it blew me away. Sure, it was a good story, and there were tons of symbolism and deep messages in these books, but there are quite a few books out there that address the same issues and have even better stories; the Hunger Games, I feel, only got attention because these issues were combined with a love triangle during that dark period where love triangles were rampant. (*shudders*) (Not to mention, the love triangle CONSUMED the books to the point where, unless you were digging for it, I felt the point of the books was lost by the end.)
The thing that got to me, and I’ve mentioned this before in my other review, was the lack of chemistry between all the characters. I’m sorry, but Gale and Katniss? Katniss and Peeta? There was no character development for both guys, first of all (not enough telling and not that much showing). Second of all, I just didn’t buy it. Um, why did she fall in love with Gale all of a sudden?? And the interactions between her and Peeta seemed forced, almost awkward. And Prim and Katniss? I felt the love Katniss felt for Prim was tinged with a little coldness and a little resentment. I mean yes, it was inevitable, I guess, as Prim was close to their mother and etc, but still. I’m not saying that Katniss wasn't fond of her sister, but I felt their relationship was just off ( a little awkward/forced). It also didn't help that Prim wasn't really fully developed; as a result, it was hard for me to care for her.
And that leads me to my next point: lack of character development for the major characters.
Katniss was an interesting character, but she, along with MAYBE Haymitch and Rue, were the only ones that I felt were fully developed. In contrast, in the Underland Chronicles, almost every character, minor or major, were fleshed out entirely; I was really invested in the lives of all the characters. In the Hunger Games, the only major person I knew that was fleshed out was Katniss.
Did I care for her? Not really. I cared for her story though, and what she stood for, but that was pretty much it. However, this was just a personal thing; her personality was noble, but I just didn’t click with her.
Did I care about Rue? Sure, but then she disappeared from the story. (Yes, her presence lingered on and etc., but she was dead.) I really wish the care that went into developing Rue, even in that short time that she was in the series, went into developing the other major characters as well.
I enjoyed Haymitch as the snarky mentor. He was also really similar to Ripred (except Ripred was gruffer, and he was a literal rat ;)). He and Katniss had pretty good chemistry (dare I say even better than what Katniss had with Peeta?). Obviously not romantic chemistry (EW!), but a sort of grudging respect for one another. Haymitch was actually a really interesting character, maybe even more so than Katniss herself, because of his complexity. Haymitch was very flawed and unpredictable, in contrast to Katniss, who we all knew as the heroine was going to do the right thing.
The last reason why I choose Gregor the Overlander over Katniss the Girl on Fire was because of the ending. I felt the Hunger Games got worse as the series went on. The first book was great, the second book was okay, and the third book was kind of bad. This series really depended on a solid ending, and Mockingjay wasn’t able to deliver. I felt Mockingjay just fell short of everything, especially after what had happened in the last two books; the ending was so abrupt and flat- not to mention, it lacked oomph, and there were so many unnecessary deaths. The Underland Chronicles ended on a bittersweet note, much like the Hunger Games, but it managed to resolve everything, logically, and it had that oomph. (A very satisfying oomph.)
I can’t deny the Hunger Games wasn’t an entertaining story because it was. But it really was waaay over rated. Girl on Fire? No thanks. I'd rather have an Overlander. ;)
Thanks for reading!