Here are the three things that I can come up with:
1) It’s in first person.
And it’s not very good first person. I have been very upfront about how much I don’t care for first person, generally. It has to be done incredibly well for me to actually feel comfortable reading that close of a POV.
I thought that the first few pages of Hunger Games read very rough, that the author hadn’t quite found her first person feet and it really felt like it needed a second, or third polish. At least to my sensitive first person palate.
2) She wanted to kill the cat.
Look, kill as many people as you want but leave the cat alone. I’m not kidding, As an author, you can kill the entire planet all in one swoop or one by one, Punisher style, but if you want me to like your character, the pets need to be left alone.
I get what she’s trying to do with the whole “I wanted to kill the cat” bit. It’s supposed to be a sign that the world is really tough, that times are awful, and that food is so scarce that the main character would be worried about feeding this additional mouth.
I don’t care. She wanted to kill the cat, game over. No, really. That was enough for me, I was done.
3) I’m just contrary.
I will admit it. I will, occasionally, NOT like something because everyone else likes it. I’ve been accused of that regarding Twilight, but I can honestly say that I’ve read the first book and thought it was shit. I hate Twilight.
Hunger Games, I haven’t really decided yet. I did not like the first few pages that I read and thus, I stopped. I have based my opinion on those pages from that point forward. I have been told by other readers that the first few pages are a bit rough, and that I just need to get past them.
I have also been told this regarding Doctor Who and David Tennant. I shouldn’t have to watch more than a season to get to like the new Doctor, that’s just stupid (I did love me some Christopher Eccleston, good lord did I love him). However, for a book that actually makes sense. It does take a few pages to set up the world and the characters, and to get the plot rolling.
However, it is a problem if the first page has rough writing and contains an element that makes certain readers (re: me) instantly dislike your main character. Maybe not the best way to get that ball rolling.
I will admit that I am more interested in reading the book now that the movie trailer has come out. I love Jennifer Lawrence. She was amazing in Winter’s Bone and X-Men First Class. She has this bad ass nature about her, an amazing figure, and this husky, sexy voice that just really works for me. When I saw her in the trailer, she looked hard core and I did find myself wanting to know more about her character and the world that she finds herself in.
I normally get all upset with people over stuff like that. You know, the only wanting to read something because it’s a movie kind of thing. I did that when P.S. I Love You came out and I discovered that while I liked the movie just fine (and cried my way through it) I really, really disliked the book. That one also has a horrible first person POV, unbelievable character set up, and a contrived plot that made no sense.
I can see why Hunger Games was sold- the whole post-apocalyptic story line, which is hot now, and the kick ass female lead, which we’re always looking for as both readers/consumers of stories and as producers. I’m just not sure it’s the story for me.
I will confess that I did buy a kindle copy of the book with my annual Christmas amazon.com gift card. It was less than $5, so I thought it would be okay even if I made it to page ten and still hated the damn thing.
I still have not read the book.
I will report back if I ever make to chapter 2.
(To be continued…)