The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
I must be turning into a grouchy old lady. I read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – you know, that hit YA fantasy that’s scheduled to be made into a movie next year – and all I could do was cringe at the diction.
The story is nice enough, if not entirely original. In a dystopian future, the government forces children from each of the twelve Districts to battle each other to death on live television. When her little sister gets chosen to be this year’s contestant from District Twelve, Katniss Everdeen, warrior girl, volunteers to take her place. There is also a subplot in which Katniss has difficulty deciding between two boyfriends.
I shouldn’t be sweating the small stuff, but what bothers me the most about this book are the adverbs. Katniss is forever doing things “quickly” or “slowly.” Not a semicolon in sight, dozens of places where one should have been. Collins even goes so far as to word “actually” in a non-ironic fashion.
We are expected to believe that Katniss Everdeen likes dresses. Katniss the pragmatic survivalist. Katniss, who is reported to break out of the electrified fence surrounding the compound where she lives to hunt food for her family. Okay, she’s a kid. I liked dresses too, briefly. When I was eight. But you can’t move around in a dress and you can’t afford to spill rabbit guts all over it.
What is it with kids these days?