the moral queasiness and ick factor of reading about teens killing other teens ended up outweighing the series' merits, but anywho...)
While I enjoyed the series, this has been my one issue with the story. Whenever anyone asks me of they're worth reading, this is my one warning. She loses sight of the true villain, the government, and settles to turn fellow children who are in the same situation as Katniss, into the villains. The "career" tributes that are so hated are still victims of the government.
Have you read Mockingjay? I had a similar reaction as you did to the first two books, but the third one expands the scope and refocuses on the real evil in the Panem world.
Yeah, I have. And I appreciated that about it. Her choice to linger on felllow tributes as the villains just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the series, but there will always be that "but…" that goes along with it.