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Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud

The Hunger Games (Hunger Games Series #1)

The Hunger Games  - Suzanne  Collins Pearl RuledRating: 1* of five (p81)What was I thinking? I don't like books about teens. Well, that's not entirely true...I am not a Serial Killer is about a teen boy who's sure he's the evilest thing ever born, is told from his PoV, and yet that gets darn close to 4 stars. I don't like books about teen girls. Well, that's not entirely true, either...Deathless is told from the PoV of a teen girl in a magical struggle for her life, and yet it got four full and eager stars.So why didn't I like this book?Because the whole thing is a cynical exercise in marketing a product that has elements the publisher recognized as hot and trending: Strong teen girl; dystopian setting; children in battle for their lives. Sound familiar? Think Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and forward. Same situation. Female hero. Technology not magic. No humor, ungraceful writing, and cold business calculation set it apart from the Potter books.I don't know Ms. Collins, and I impute no impure motives to her. She might very well have written the story dearest to her heart, for all I know. But I do know, and have for quite some years, publishers. This is a product promoted to fill a gap in the line-up, like the Chrysler 200.Awful. That it succeeded so well is depressing. That it's so unquestioningly lauded is either life-sappingly grim or suicide-inducingly terrible. In a country where free speech is ever under attack (hence the First Amendment, and laws supporting it...no one legislates the safety of a thing unquestioned), we waste our collective breath lauding a second-rate industrial product, a foolish simplistic ramshackle pastiche of better books that, in a better world, would merit only silence and oblivion.Shame. Shame. And more shame on me for adding to the chorus.If in a minor key.