The Hunger Games: Gale vs. Peeta

A day late and a dollar short.  The story of my life.

Spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t read the books don’t blame me…

Last week, I finally finished reading Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games Trilogy.  I usually don’t read fad books, but I found a copy at the library and the premise got me — dark and gory, the story of one girl fighting for survival against other kids isn’t for the faint of heart.  I really liked the first book The Hunger Games, which displayed Katniss and her world in a very vivid and Outsiders’ fashion.  The boy Peeta who’s always had this ominous presence in her life is actually in love with her, and she starts falling for him and ignoring her survival instincts.  The second book, Catching Fire, took a little warming up to because the early chapters are Katniss being bored and thus we’re bored but eventually it picked up momentum when she ended up back in the ring for the Quarter Quell game.  Catching Fire also showed a bit more of the other districts and introduced Gale’s love for Katniss beyond friendship and the start of the rebellions.  Finally, Katniss becomes the symbol of the revolution in Mockinjay.  This book I had a hard time deciding if I liked or not, because either you love it or you hate it.  I’m somewhere in the middle, with parts I liked and those I didn’t.

Mostly, I didn’t like what they did to Gale at the end.  He doesn’t seem remotely like the boy Katniss grew up with, and while I liked how they drifted apart, I think attaching him to Prim’s death or District 2 (traitors to rebellion and lapdogs to the Capitol) was too extreme.   Though Gale in real time did not match Katniss’ memories of him this was actually a good literary technique, because it shows she doesn’t see things as objectively as she’d like to think.  Her affection for Gale does cloud her thoughts of him, and even in Catching Fire she learns he kissed other girls and that he knew he cared about her for a long time.  We know so much about Peeta, but he seemed hollow to me at some points, existing solely as Katniss’ personal Jiminy Cricket.

 

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