Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hunger Games

How many of you have read the first in The Hunger Games series books? How many of you have gone to see the movie? I admit, I’ve done both. Even if you’re not a fan of fantasy, there are other reasons to read the book. For one, it has a strong female lead character. For another, reading Hunger Games will convince you Suzanne Collins, the author, has a very creative mind. For me, it was one of those books where I finished it and thought, man, I wish I’d written that. Actually, I’ve read a lot of books recently that I wish I’d written.

Notice that I said the book has a strong female lead. The movie does, too, of course. But the book came first. We’ve had strong females in YA books long before this. Anyone remember Nancy Drew? We’re in different times now. Girls don’t just solve crimes, they fight for their lives and the lives of others. In the case of Katniss, the protagonist of The Hunger Games, girls also get hurt and bleed and come back fighting. Despite that or perhaps because of that, girls are the demographic making this book (and movie) a mega-seller. Yes, there were boys and men in the theater. And there were “old” folks there, myself included. But it’s the girls who have primarily raised this book, the movie, the franchise into the stratosphere.

People have compared its success to Harry Potter or Twilight. That’s probably correct, when it comes to the money made by the opening movie of each. But, to me, The Hunger Games is different. Harry Potter was a boy with a solid female sidekick. Twilight was mostly male vampires with a sulky female co-lead. The Hunger Games is all Katniss, her strength, her resilience, her determination.

Have you read the book? If not, borrow or buy a copy. Read it. If you’re a writer, analyze it.

16 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the first book so much I put it down and immediately picked up the second. I've just started the third. I'm not usually a fan of present tense, but after the first chapter the compelling story made me forget all about that.

    I look forward to seeing the movie. It sounds like you enjoyed that too.

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  2. I've been holding off because I haven't loved the premise of the story. But, I bought the first book on sale on Saturday...and my daughter took it with her back to school on Sunday. Based on all the comments I've read online over the last few years, and yes, the hype from the movie, I think I'll give the book a try when she brings it back.

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  3. I just finished the book because my husband wants to see the movie. I didn't love the book but did love that it had such a strong female character. The book is a LOT like Battle Royale, but toned down for a younger audience.

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  4. I've read the first book but not seen the movie yet. Like Laurita, I don't like reading present tense, but the storyline is powerful and I enjoyed it. Oddly enough, I haven't been compelled to read the second or third, though.

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  5. I haven't read the other two books in the series either. Don't know for sure that I will. The present tense didn't bother me. I got used to it pretty quickly.

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  6. I loved all three bOoks. I can't wait for the next movie!!

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  7. Well now, this book absolutely did not appeal to me at all until this review, Helen. Hmmmm.
    Karen

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  8. I gotta get out of my basement once in a while ... never heard of the Hunger Games until last weekend. Oh, and don't forget Cherry Ames.

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  9. I have not read it though most people look at me funny when i say that. 'Cause almost everybody has!

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  10. Young adult isn't a genre I read but I do plan to see the movie.

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  11. My son read all the books and loved them (except for the 3rd, which he didn't like.) We let a friend borrow our copy of the first book, so I'll have to wait for it to come back before I read it, myself!

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  12. great minds think alike. My post says the same thing - read the books AND see the movie. The books just give so much depth into the despair, real hunger, and into the characters. Katniss is a true heroine - strong and smart. I agree that this was smart writing.

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  13. Haven't seen the movie yet but the books were incredible. Brilliant writing.

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  14. First person, present tense is the go for the YA market. I was hoping you'd give your opinion of the movie. I'm off to see it this weekend.

    Denise

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  15. Love the Hunger Games. Incredible plot with strong, real characters. Loved it! Haven't seen the movie yet. Maybe soon!

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  16. Hi Denise. I liked it. It's not a carbon copy of the movie, but it was good. The theater I was in erupted in applause when it ended.

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