Outlaw Mama: Putting the “End” in Trend– My Thoughts on The Hunger Games

Outlaw Mama's Hunger games

Where I keep my copy of The Hunger Games

As I carried around a copy of The Hunger Games last week, no less than 15 people stopped me to say something along the lines of “Don’t you love it? Cancel your day because you are going to HAVE to finish it and order the other 2 by nightfall.”  People at the gym, people on the train, neighbors, strangers, and even an oddly erudite homeless man engaged me about the book.  People who can’t even spell their names read this book in 24 hours.  I took a staggering 8 days to read it; George W. Bush read this faster than I did.  What is wrong with me?

With all due respect to Ms. Collins who does not (and should not) give an Avox’s ass what I think about her book, I just hated it.  And I really wanted to love it.  Having missed the whole vampire craze and the entire series Lost and currently poised to miss the Twitter boat any day now, I wanted to join the Katniss fever and adore this book.  I wanted to be that person who wore a costume when I went to see the movie– after standing in line all night long to get a front-row seat. Believe me when I say I was willing to be in love with or at the very least thoroughly enjoy this story.

As I read, my neck hurt, and I had a funny taste in my mouth– metallic and citrus mixed in an unsavory combination. I don’t like being that tense and that upset.  The worst combination for me is kids + violence, which is why I don’t know if I will be cut out for cafeteria duty when the time comes.  I thought I was prepared for the violence and suspense, but like childbirth or a visit to Etsy.com, you just don’t know how you will handle it until you get there yourself.

I almost called it quits when Rue expired, but I have a book quota for the year and I was losing time on this one (and THIS book was supposed to be a quickie!).  I kept going.  I just wanted it to end.  My distaste doesn’t make sense:  I like to escape; I like dark stories (see Swamplandia or Glass Castle); I like stories with strong female leads.  I should have loved this book.  I feel so robbed.

And lonely.  Billions of people love this book.  People I respect on every level (political, literary, intellectual, moral) enjoyed this book and took it for what it is– a compelling story with an original, dystopian storyline.  I am a little despondent that just like those yellow Livestrong rubber bracelets (benefiting Lance Armstrong’s foundation) I never got around to buying, I have missed a trend.  Maybe I am too old, too soft or too neurotic for science fiction, which I can begrudgingly accept.

My only question is: Am I alone here?


11 thoughts on “Outlaw Mama: Putting the “End” in Trend– My Thoughts on The Hunger Games

  1. Well at least you finished! I read 8 and 1/2 pages and quit. I used to be able to just push through, whenever I began a book and didn’t immediately enjoy it. Finish it just to say that I did. But since I began writing and reviewing books my heart has hardened and my tolerance has lowered.
    I also never read any of the Twilight or Harry Potter books. Maybe one day.

    • Exactly! I have never read any Harry Potter. I thought I would be forbidden to have children if I didn’t like them, but I started one and it was about owls and wizard and I put it down and read the Style Section of the nearest newspaper (which doesn’t mean I have any style, but I digress). I did like The Help, so I have that piece of popular culture behind me! Thanks for letting me know I am not alone!

  2. You have compelled me to break my ‘no blogging on weekends’ rule. I loved the first 150 pages of this book. I bothered everyone, “isn’t this book awesome?”. I refuse to see a movie before I’ve read the book. So I was on a mission.

    As soon as the games started the book fell apart. The last of the games I couldn’t read a paragraph without clucking my tongue in disgust. Such. A. Disappointment.

    • I have that rule too but can’t keep it any better than my “no tv” or “no Carb” or “no ice cream if I curse” rule. So glad I am not alone. Those games were the worst. The other part I hate is the alleged love story. That wasn’t love and I didn’t buy the story.

  3. i just looked up dystopian. i don’t think i would like it.
    i just read Call the Midwife–memoirs of a midwife apprentice living among nuns in a convent in post wwll london. and people cringe about obamacare…give me a break.

  4. I’ve felt no inclination whatsoever to read The Hunger Games. My husband starting reading it, but that was a few weeks ago and to my knowledge he hasn’t picked it up since. Reading your post underscores my disinterest, and I will simply leave it at that.

    Did you ever read any of the Twilight Books? I did not – and I really don’t have a reason as to why.

    But I will admit to being an obsessive Harry Potter fan, although I started reading the series 10+ years ago before J.K. Rowling became a household name. And to all their own!

    • I am saving Harry Potter for my kids. I hope I can enjoy the magic. I haven’t read twilight but I might like them more than Hunger Games. It’s all about the marketplace of ideas right?

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