The author uses buckets of exclamation points. And I mean buckets!!!!! They must have been going out of style at the local Wal-Mart. My copy of the book had seven exclamation points on page 22 alone as part of the dialogue. It's almost unreadable. I'm surprised she didn't use capital letters too. But she did at least tell me someone was shouting. "'Look at her. Look at this one!' he hollers..." Thank you, Ms. Collins, I had no idea he was hollering but I'm glad you cleared that up. I mean, what the hell is the exclamation point for anyway, right?
Another point of mine: Dad's (read as "men") work in these brutal mines, yet the narrator states that there are people with lots of kids in town and they have trouble feeding them. How the hell does a guy get the energy to come home and have sex to make a big family after choking on coal dust all day for 18-hours with nothing to eat? The semen for these babies had to come from somewhere...
Yet another point: To accent the misery and to go with a starvation theme, our protagonist and her sister have no food to eat. "For three days, we'd had nothing but boiled water with some old dried mint leaves I'd found in the back of a cupboard." You can't eat boiled water...just sayin'.
"Starvation's not an uncommon fate in District 12. Who hasn't seen the victims? Older people who can't work. Children from a family with too many to feed. Those injured in the mines. Straggling through the streets. And one day, you come upon them sitting motionless against a wall or lying in the Meadow, ye hear the wails from a house, and the Peacekeepers are called in to retrieve the body. Starvation is never the cause of death officially. It's always the flu, or exposure, or pneumonia. But that fools no one."
Really? At left is a picture of a starving person.
At right is a person with the flu.
You're absolutely f*cking correct...I can see how no one is fooled at all.
My point in this post is that I think the bar for publishing a novel is pretty damn low in America. If you aren't getting published, it's because you fail at social networking, it's because you fail at query letters, it's because you fail at pitches, it's because your face is kind of ugly, or your novel is too gay for a straight audience or doesn't have enough "romance" to open the pocketbooks of the huge section of the publishing pie dominated by female readers. Or, it's because what you want to say (whether or not it is well written) is not what the people in power want to hear. It isn't because your writing is bad. Oh no...that is not the problem. A baboon with a talented editor could write like this.
I'm not here to hack on any author. This is not a review. This is to tell you, oh struggling author out there that lacks my unique precision to examine modern literature, that the reason you are not getting published is not because you suck. That may be what those who are published would like you to feel because as long as you suck, then they are geniuses in comparison...right? Who doesn't want to be looked up to and admired? I think that this is inherent within human nature. Nobody sets out saying, "Man, I'd really like to be seen as stupid by a lot of people today..." No, no, no... they want people to say uplifting words about them... "Did you hear that so and so is getting published by Scholastic? Wow...I always knew they were a genius..." Ayep. That's what they want to hear. But too much worship...too much of lifting these people up and setting them on a pedestal...it isn't healthy...and in my opinion, it isn't deserved.
Sure...someone wrote a book. It got published. It made millions of dollars. But you can too. You just need to have the right people behind you and to do that...honestly...from where I stand, it has nothing to do with the quality of the writing. Whew...I'm glad I got that off my chest. Now you can go back to worshiping Ms. Collins while I toss it in the pile of books of which I won't read the sequels. The movies will be out soon anyway and at least then, I can go with someone and talk during the movie.