You really should read the books if you're going to try and point out specific flaws.
I'm not pointing out "specific flaws" in the books though. I'm not saying "on page 18, they said this, then on page 157 they said something that contradicted that". For that, you'd have a point. But I'm making a general statement about the basic premise of the games themselves and assessing their effect from a socio-political point of view. For that, I don't need to know any specifics. Just how the games are constructed and what the alleged purpose is.
Children in District 12 have no opportunity to prepare for the Hunger Games. The book states that starvation is rampant in the district, with many families exerting all their efforts into simply obtaining enough food to survive. Additionally, weapons of any kind are forbidden under penalty of death. Katniss hunts using a bow she hides outside the district to avoid detection.
Yup. All things which by themselves serve well to prevent the districts from rising up against the capital. So why add the games to this? My point is that everything else staying the same, the primary result of the very existence of the games would (in any human society) be to increase the degree to which people hate the capital and increase the likelihood that children will train (in some way) in various skills which may help them in the games *and* which may help them if they ever decide to rise up against the capital again.
The kids are starving and struggling already. What do the games add to this?
To Totem's point, I read the books because my wife ordered me to and I enjoy sex, and I considered them trash novels in that they are enjoyable books, you read them at a fast pace and can throw away after reading. The movie was decent if you'd never read the books.
I'll almost certainly watch the film when it comes on cable and I'm sure I'll enjoy it. I'm not saying that this prevents enjoyment of the film. I'm just pointing out that the premise is pretty weak itself. Of course, without that premise, you wouldn't have the games, and you wouldn't have a novel.
Anyone want to take bets on whether at some point hatred of the games grows to a point where another uprising occurs in the novels? Want to take bets on which characters end out leading that uprising (or at least being key players)? Will such a thing (assuming it happens) be directly connected to the existence of the games? Absolutely. Will the skills of those who trained for (and even won) past games be critical to said uprising? Yeah. Probably. It would be a crappy story if they didn't. I mean, we all know where the plot will eventually lead in this series. It's like the author is hitting you over the head with it.
I'd absolutely love to be wrong about that btw. But I'm probably not.