Friday, August 21, 2015

This reRead is KILLING MY FANDOM-NESS (The Hunger Games)

I LOVED The Hunger Games when I devoured the series about 5 years ago. I rarely reread books but thought I’d give the series a shot since it’s available via audiobook. You know how I feel about audiobooks. I just started Book 2 and basically want to quit. The first book really disappointed my memory.

One problem: The sudden love for Gale despite having already said that there had never been anything romantic between them. I’m not saying that feelings don’t change. And I also recognize that Gale was hinting around about it all along, but it’s part of the boys- and- girls- can’t- just- be-friends- and- wouldn’t- a- love- triangle- make- this- whole- thing- better trope that is just so unnecessary. If Katniss had acknowledged ANY feelings for Gale before The Games, it would have felt less contrived. Apparently, my brain had contrived this addition.

Katniss seems so dense or na├»ve or something this time around. She’s not a completely uninformed narrator, a la Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, so why does she sound so dumb all the time!? She’s been living a hard life and still seems completely bewildered by humans. I understand that she is supposed to be one of those girls that is so clueless to her own fabulousness she doesn’t think anyone could love her. I understood it the first time, but this time it gets on my nerves. Her self- blinders seem like a well- beaten device for creating miscommunication between the characters.

Part of this problem is in the reader of the audio book. The person reading it is clearly not a teenager. It may be that we are meant to be hearing Katniss reliving the story as an adult, through the filter of age and distance. But the reader is pretty bland. She actually, sometimes, makes Katniss seem more clueless than even the words suggest in the moment. When I read her myself, Katniss is shrewd and calculating, but not due to ignorance and dullness, due to having lived in the Seam and being responsible for the lives of her family. She's strong and capable and doesn't fall apart so easily. She's sarcastic and little rough. She owns her flaws and scars and is less apologetic. She’s also less whiney.

I love Peeta more. This likely contributes to my increased dislike of Katniss since she’s basically taking him on a roller coaster of mood swings and intentions. If it wasn’t for him, I’d likely abandon my reread endeavor entirely.

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