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The Hunger Games: I DON’T GET IT!

Oh lord, I know I am going to make myself pretty unpopular with this post but…here goes nothing.

I do not get what is so great about The Hunger Games. There. I said it. I started this book WEEKS ago and got to the point where Katniss and Gale were out in the woods, just before the reaping – I believe I was on page 11. And then I put it down because seriously? 24, 12 – 18 year old children fighting until their deaths? Horrifying! So I put it away for a few weeks because I was mad at it. Yes, mad at a book – I get that way sometimes. Nevertheless, after hearing all of the hype this past weekend for the opening of the movie, I decided to give it another chance.

This time, I got to page 39. Katniss has volunteered as tribute to take the place of her younger sister Prim, whose name was pulled as the reaping winner for the girls of District 12. And then, Peeta Melark, was named the reaping winner for the boys. “Peeta looks me right in the eye and gives my hand what I think is meant to be a reassuring squeeze…oh well, There will be 24 of us. Odds are someone else will kill him before I do.”

Next they are taken into custody, where they say emotional goodbyes to their families, who will HAVE TO WATCH them compete with the other winners from the districts, fight until there is 1 left standing. Meaning, all of the other 23 CHILDREN have been killed. It’s just…how do you…how do you keep reading from that point?

Back when the Harry Potter books were coming out, they captured my attention early in the first few pages. Same for the Twilight books, although I never did finish the 4th book as I also found that to be incredibly disturbing. So I guess that’s where I need the die-hard fans to step in and tell me what I’m missing because I simply don’t get it.

So dear readers, I’m handing this dilemma over to you. It’s yours now. Help me get it.


26 Responses to “The Hunger Games: I DON’T GET IT!”
  1. Cheryl says:

    As you saw last night, I’m even more clueless than you are! Can’t believe I thought The Reaping was a referral to the movie with Hilary Swank…LOL!

  2. theMrs says:

    i read them a few weeks ago. i normally would not have picked up this type of book but i promised my husband i would read them when he did three years ago. i said i would before the movie came out. so i did the week before, lol :) i had a hard time getting into the first book, for many of the reason you stated. if i had not promised him i would read them i probably would’ve stopped. however, once i got into it, i DEVOURED them. things pick up a bit after they get to the capitol and then of course the games. by the time i finished i immediately started the next one. i read all three in about four days. it is a really intense story line, kinda sad but turns out cool. there are some deeper themes that emerge in the first book that really interested me. you may give it another go! i’m interested to hear how it goes!

    p.s. i can’t believe you didn’t finish BD! was it because of the birth?? it gets SO good after that part! (which was admittedly super creepy and disturbing :)

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks for the advice! As for Breaking Dawn, you are absolutely correct – I could not get past the…violent birth scene. It scared me and so I hid the book…only now, I have no idea where I put it. :)

  3. Expat Mom says:

    I think you have to like some violence in books in order to enjoy the Hunger Games . . . and I do. :) It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, of course, but I tend to read dystopia/apocalyptic books anyway and it was one of the best written ones I’ve read, as well as having an interesting plot. Honestly, I think it is a love it or hate it kind of thing.

    • Lauren says:

      Thanks for your thoughts. I don’t dislike it at this point, it’s more that I am upset by it, I guess. I’m going to keep trying…

  4. I am with you!! I got through it because I wanted to know what all the hype was but afterwards I thought about it and I just don’t get it… I don’t understand how there are any underlying themes or why it’s so amazing. I’m glad I’m not alone!

  5. Susan, Mum to Molly says:

    Life is too short to read books – or watch movies – you do not like.

    Bin it and move on to something else.

  6. Just my two cents here:

    The books is an over-exaggeration of today’s Reality TV. I believe one of the themes in the book is trying to bring to light how utterly disgusting it is that we find such enjoyment and entertainment from watching people’s lives on TV. For example, Wife Swap?! We find entertainment in having husbands and wives trade each other? The Bachelor? Somehow it’s acceptable to make out with and date 35 women at the same time on TV. Not to mention ones like Cheaters that we can sit down and watch people’s marriages fall apart as if it were a sitcom.

    Yes, the book takes an extreme view on this “problem” as most of the Capitol (which I believe to be today’s Hollywood) sit around and watch with excitement as children kill each other… reality tv at it’s worst.

    I’m sure there are other themes, but I’m glad someone is finally taking a stand at how ridiculous it is that we watch other people’s lives as entertainment… and sometimes ruin those lives in the process.

    • Lauren says:

      That’s definitely an interesting way of looking at it – one I hadn’t considered before. Thanks for sharing!

    • Lauren says:

      wow. That was insightful. I just finished Catching Fire and was like, “why am I still watching this?” My friends tell me that I “just don’t get it” so I google searched and came to this page. I’m so glad you commented. Now I’m beginning to get it ;)

  7. Jess says:

    I read and reviewed the books on our blog not too long ago. This was my conclusion about the violence (which I am not a fan of in most cases).

    These books deal with violent, disturbing, terrifying issues. But that is why I loved them. I know, I sound like a very disturbed individual at this point, but here is my thinking…

    We read books like The Hunger Games and are shocked at the content. The things that an author could think up and put to paper. We’re so comfortable and safe and well-fed in our lives that these things seem so strange and distant and impossible to us. And maybe those things are impossible in your world. You may never feel the pain of starvation or the fear of oppression or the horror of violence. But there are real people in the world who do. Currently.

    That is why I loved the Hunger Games. Yes, the story was a wonderful one. But it also gave me a wake up call. It reminded me that what I thought to be so impossible and far away was closer to home and more real than I’d recognized.

    And in my opinion, things like that should inspire us to action. So that’s what made it work for me. Hope it makes sense :)

    • Lauren says:

      Thank you so much for your insightful thoughts… everyone has offered so many different ways of looking at these books, I think I need to open my mind and start again.

  8. Sana Sohel says:


    Well what i found interesting was the stark similarities between our reality and how the book captured that. There are people dying all over the world, while we sit in absolute comfort. They play videos of children in Africa and ask us to donate. Isn’t that what the book points out? How the people at capitol view them as a charity case. The book is an amazing diary of the world as it is now. Thats what i love about it and i hope people see that, rather then just like it because their so and so friend liked it.

    • Lauren says:

      I’ll be honest and say that I felt compelled to read it because I wanted to know what the fuss was all about – after all, I loved Harry Potter and 3 out of 4 Twilight books, so maybe this was the next “big thing.” I think I will give it another try…

  9. whitney says:

    the reason i read books in general, is to escape reality…. hunger games is obviously NOT reality. yes, i can kinda see how the hunger games part of this book could be disturbing, but that’s what brings me out of my everyday-day to day- life and into a world that is captivating and interesting, and yes, a little disturbing. i love these books, and am so glad that i don’t live in a world like that, and i’m especially glad that that’s not a reality anywhere on this planet.
    give it a second chance, from the perspective of complete fiction. :)

    • Lauren says:

      Gosh, everyone is giving me such good advice from both sides! The idea of removing myself from the reality of it, makes me think it’s more doable… I believe I will pick it up again. Thanks for your thoughts!

  10. becky says:

    I read the first book…. and (thanks to Twin mailing them to me) the other two. It’s like so many others have said to you… If you like to read books as a way to escape into someone else’s Reality, I enjoyed it for that. I also caved and took my hubby to the movie. He had NO idea what he was getting into. And hated every super long minute of it. He agreed that we’d seen better – and worse – movies too. I had mixed feelings on the movie. And I will probably just rent the other two… out of curiousity to see how they turn out.

  11. George says:

    I’m with you! I only saw the previews to the movie and couldn’t understand several things. 1. why 12 to 18? You would never put a 12 year old to fight with an 18 year old – even if it wasn’t to the death… 2. why fight to the death? 3. What’s wrong with OUR society that let’s these kids love the idea of seeing kids kill each other? Why don’t the people revolt and refuse to watch? I don’t get any of this either… I’m actually more worried about the violent video game that is bound to come out!!! Imagine… now they’ll be IN the game and killing each other!!! I only laughed when my parents said this type of thing to me when I was a kid… but today these video games make you FEEL the “pleasure” of killing children!! what’s next? I’m affraid to find out!

    • Lauren says:

      I still haven’t read past the point I wrote about. I am really unsure about it – but I have the feeling this is going to be shelved for awhile.

  12. Lee says:

    I find it extremely disturbing, however, unlike you, I couldn’t put it down. I am on the third book, and am still hoping ‘good’ will prevail. I’m guessing I’ll be disappointed.

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