I gave The Hunger Games trilogy a chance, I really did, but I found myself so frustrated with these books. I know all about the comparison to Battle Royale and here and there I do see where Suzanne Collins was influenced by it, but the books are different. For one thing Koushun Takami's book is better.
The problem for me, mainly was with the heroine Katniss. I wanted to like her, but I found I could not care about her at all, even after she did the noble sacrifice of taking her sister's place in The Hunger Games. She seems very cold, apathetic, and just drifting along. For a main character there isn't any depth to her and that's sorely disappointing considering the theme of these books. Then we have this pointless love story that is completely unnecessary to the book and it just seems awkward and forced. The only character who seems real to me at all is Peeta while the other characters seem one dimensional. I also found myself frustrated with Katniss because at so many intervals in the story she just gives up so easily like it's as simple as changing her hair color. Are you kidding me with this nonsense?
I had to keep reminding myself that these were books for young adults and while the writing wasn't bad, the story was not great. If the writing is so poor that you find you can not even care about the characters especially the main one, that's a serious problem. This didn't feel like a dystopian novel at all, sure it was dark and depressing, but that's pretty much it. I need more from something claiming to be a dystopian story. This was more like Dystopia with training wheels. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go read Fahrenheit 451 and Battle Royale again.