I'm a writer. The one thing I do want to do is evoke emotion. I want to tug at my reader's heartstrings. Perhaps have them walk away from my stories thinking and wondering about them. And characters? There is no bigger compliment than having someone tell me they couldn't stop thinking about one of my characters.
Well, this weekend I finished "The Hunger Games" trilogy and I've got to tell you, I'm less than happy. (*** NOTE: This will probably contain spoilers, so if you haven't read all three books and you're thinking about it, you may not want to continue reading ... just saying) I mean, okay, the premise itself is gruesome, but really that's kind of the point in the world Suzanne Collins created.
But the first book (which is what the current movie focuses on) the reluctant heroine is simply trying to make the best of a horrible situation and in the process begins a revolution against a controlling government that is long overdue. Every one of her actions is motivated by her need to survive. I could cheer for her and accept her actions even as she killed her compeitors. Why? because the author entangled my emotions and made me care about her and cheer her on to victory.
I LOVED the first book! The rest of the series ... not so much!
I don't know, maybe it's just me, but I'm really angry with the direction of the story, the love triangle and ... the number of people (that I was rooting for) who didn't live to see the end of the revolution. I understand it's a war and people will die, but seriously ... everyone? I'm pissed. Disguested. Frustrated.
And in the end I'm no longer in love with the surviving characters. I really didn't even care if they survived. Now at this point I do have to clarify. I read primarily romance, all genres, but romance nonetheless. I'm not going to pretend the main characters don't walk off into the proverbial sunset. (Even if the villain has killed off several characters I loved along the way.) But I like it this way. "The Hunger Games" is not a romance. I get that. But a little feel good at the end would have been nice. This series has left me with raw, negative feelings.
And I'm wondering if that's a bad thing. The heroine, Katniss will definitely stay with me for a very long time. So did the author do her job? I'm not sure. I'm really mixed on whether I should congratulate her or set the books in the way, way back of my bookshelf never to see the light of day. I know I won't be going to see the movies if they make them. I did however absolutely have to finish the series even as the stories (in my opinion) ... completely fell apart.
What about you? Have you had this kind of reaction to a book or series? Do you think the author did his/her job or completely miss the mark?