Monday, October 18, 2010

Hunger Games

I realized after pondering on my last post that I haven't shared any of my thoughts on "Hunger Games," nor the link that I supplied (Misfit Cygnet). Here goes:

Overall, HG was a page-turner for me, so in that respect the author wrote well. I was completely drawn into the story, and read each book in one sitting, I think. (Meaning three different sittings, one for each book, not all at once.) I could never decide if I liked Katniss's character, and it bothered me how unrealistic Peeta's character was. I mean, who really loves a person no matter how that person treats them? Too idealistic for me.

The whole premise of the first story is horrid, but I thought the story line of the first book was the best of the three. I loved reading the Katniss and Gale interactions; they were my favorite, I think because they seemed the most real to me.

The books are incredibly violent (for me). I am a very sensitive reading/media viewer, and I don't think that this material is suitable for the age level they're written for: 5th and 6th graders. I've read just a couple of reviews of the books, and the reviewers criticized the superficial depth of the characters and events in the stories. I don't think that the depth level is inappropriate for the reading level, but the subject material is, and therefore the books seemed incongruous. I appreciate that there wasn't any sex, though major make-out scenes were mentioned.

From an LDS perspective, I've been thinking a lot about the level of violence and sexual content in the books I read, meaning I've been questioning what I should let into my brain/thoughts. The violent scenes don't really stick with me, but I don't think this should be a justification of my reading violent material. The last two or three books I've read have had at least one "seductive" scene - nothing too graphic or lengthy, but enough to affect me. I went to the temple on Friday and had something not temple-worthy jump to the forefront of my thoughts. Ugh. Not what I wanted to have happen, yet I put that material into my head.

Regarding the Misfit Cygnet post and blog, I think she did the best job she could to inform readers of her biases and what she believes to be right and wrong. I think that she challenges LDS and Christians generally to live to a higher standard, but I worry that she condemns those who choose differently than she. That is something I want to stay away from. I choose to watch mostly PG- and G-rated movies because there is so much junk in so many movies that I don't like to watch, but I try not to judge those that make different choices, my husband included. We have standards about what we let into the home, because I believe that media with inappropriate content can affect the spirit of our home, but if my husband, or even I, want to see a movie that isn't "home worthy," that's our choice.

In summary, Hunger Games is a page-turner, violent, easy to read, and may get you thinking. Don't forget who you are, and don't let it get you down.


Michael Family said...

Well put, Shauna. I read a little from your link to that lady's blog. I didn't really agree with her. Actually, I agree that HG is way too violent, and I was surprised that it was for 5th graders. I didn't know that. I actually ended up skimming/skipping lots of the violent parts, because it was just too much for me. And I felt like I could enjoy and understand the story without it. I think it's a really individual decision as to what media you use, and to evaluate how it effects you. I thoroughly enjoyed HG as an engrossing story that was well-written. But I wouldn't want a 5th grader to read it.

Tawny Crane said...

my thoughts on HG;
Violent parts were annoying and gross, I too skimmed over them. I didn't think Peta was too unrealistic, only because I have known a few people like that, so to me it was very real. I was acutally pleasently surpised to see how she changed him because it made it that much more real to me. As for the ending of the book I was glad that Katniss didn't have to do the dirty deed of killing Snow, but the deed of killing Coin that might of cost her life in order to keep the games from happening(although it was a little to OBVIOUS that she wasn't going to die for that- I hated the depresssion part). I liked that Kat ended up with Peta because in my opinion she didn't deserve Gale, Kat annoyed me, I was happy her and Peta ended up together because I thought they were both changed and scared for life because of the games and they would be able to support eachother. I also agree about keeping clean thing in my house; ie books, TV, movies, but I can't lie I was really disapointed with the end of the book and how she said "and they grew to love eachother and had kids THE END" REALLY? where is the real kiss! Not the caculated kiss that she always gives? I wanted that. DON't JUDGE!;) But overall how I judge books is if I want Amelia to be reading them.. these 3HGs along with twiglight I'd prefer her not to read them until after she is married and understand that how much guys are driven by sexuality, obviously I don't want her reading junky books after she's married but I think she'll better understand, and not be swept up by a book and try to rush into anything. SO I won't buy these book and have them sitting on my shelf for her to read. But if she decides to read them, I will read them with her and try to help explain.... maybe... we'll see