About ten days ago, the Kindle Lending Club went live. This is a website where you can list Kindle books you have to lend and borrow books from other users. You don't have to have a Kindle to participate, as you can use one of the Kindle apps for other devices. Although I love buying books and supporting other authors, I can easily speed through a book every two or three days with my Kindle, so it's better for my budget to borrow some books. It also gives me the opportunity to read some books that I might not have otherwise.
The first three books I borrowed were the ones in the Hunger Games trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.) I read them all in less than a week. Talk about intense! Here are some of my thoughts about the series:
1. As I was reading the first book, I kept thinking of myself as a parent in this society. I'll probably feel like Katniss; who'd want to raise children only to face the possibility of having them reaped? But if you did go ahead and have children, how would you prepare them for the Hunger Games? Would you raise them like a Career? Would you even have the resources and energy to give a child special training while trying to scrape out a subsistence living in this society?
2. I was Team Peeta from the start. I thought he was perhaps the most three-dimensional character in the series. Gale seemed flat in comparison to me. Perhaps some of this is due to seeing more of Peeta than Gale and seeing Peeta twice in the arena. I wonder how Gale and Katniss would have done if they'd been paired together in the Games. However, I honestly can't see him devoting himself to protecting Katniss the way Peeta did; Gale and Katniss would be allies for a while, but ultimately I think Gale would be willing to turn on her in the end.
3. Sometimes winning can still be losing.
4. The final book was the toughest read. I understand what Collins was doing in making it an anti-war novel, but after a while, all the deaths and suffering just numbed me. I think it was especially hard having read the other two book so soon before starting this one. I did think it was realistic showing Katniss spending much of her time recovering from her physical and psychic wounds. It's too bad there wasn't another narrator who could take over while she recuperated. One Hunger Games can be traumatizing enough, let alone having to endure two in a year. But it was disappointing that District 13 wasn't much better than the rest of Panem. I don't necessarily agree with everything that happened in the end, but I think the ending did what it needed to do.
5. I was annoyed that Katniss explained "The Hanging Tree" song; it seemed clear enough to me.
6. I wonder what role, if any, religion plays in a dystopia like this. Would it make life more bearable? What if tributes were assumed to go to Heaven automatically?
7. Present tense worked well for this story and helped keep the tension high.
8. It was a good, well-written story, and I'm glad I read it. However, I definitely needed a light, fun read afterward.