Day 8 – A Book That is Over-rated

Again I’m going to allow myself a two-book choice for this challenge, covering both classic and modern periods.

For the most over-rated modern book, my vote goes to The Hunger Games.

An uninventive, at times awkward plot, a reasonably flat main character and a unimaginative story add up to a very average book.  

I thought the premise for the Hunger Games was interesting, but I think Collins missed a great opportunity.  The book revolves around these games which have children trying to kill each other, most of them quite happy to do it without any inward moral struggle.  Wouldn’t it have made the plot more interesting if Katniss went against what everyone else was doing and refused to kill?  How would she have gotten away with it?  What ramifications would her actions have had?  How many people could she have affected in a positive way? 

It’s not so much that I have a problem with violence in novels per-se.  I’ve read a number of excellent books where violence is the theme.  Like it or not, it’s part of the world in which we live and it’s important to face that.  My issue with this book (and many modern novels targeted at children) is HOW they portray the violence and the actions and characteristics of the protagonists.  Katniss puts survival (ie. self) before anything else (except her sister) and is presented as the hero that the reader should look up to.  IMO, there are many better roll models to admire.  

My second “classic” choice goes to The Catcher in the Rye.

A whiny main character who goes through the whole book finding fault with the rest of the world, one who never develops or changes throughout the entire story.  I could never see the appeal, except perhaps for the shock value of the times, but otherwise, a complete disappointment.

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