3 Things To Love about The Hunger Games

Like many readers, I have fallen in love with the Hunger Games trilogy. (I just finished book two, so no spoilers, please.) When I posted on Facebook about my newest literary love, Michelle Rafter asked for some reasons why these books are so great. Having been ruminating on that very thought, I decided to draft a blog post.

Reason one: strong female protagonist

The main character, Katniss, is one tough cookie. Although she’s “only” a teenager, since the death of her father a few years prior, she has been the person responsible for putting food on her family’s table. She hunts wild game and then barters (illegally) in order to support her mother and younger sister. And then, as the book begins, she volunteers to take her sister’s place when her sister is selected to represent their district in the annual hunger games. (A competition in which one of 24 youth survives.) In comparison to the heroines of the Sweet Valley High books that I read back in the day, Katniss is a nice change.

Reason two: what if?!?!

Just like The Handmaid’s Tale, these books have captured my non-science fiction heart and made me think “what if”? In particular, I’ve found some analogies between reality television and how some characters in this book get excited by watching the hunger games. Other folks, like the science fiction author Nancy Kress, don’t agree. She says that the plot just isn’t plausible. You can read what she thinks of the Hunger Games here.

Reason three: compelling story arc

I have two young kids. I read book one from this series in a day. That says a lot. Suzanne Collins knows what she’s doing with the story arc, with characterization, with dialogue and with scene. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stop myself from thinking that I’ve seen these books on the screen. (First movie comes out March 2012, by the way.) She’s created powerful images that stick with this reader.

Share your thoughts on the Hunger Games. Have you read them? Why or why not? (Remember…no spoilers, please. I’m waiting on book three.)

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5 Responses to 3 Things To Love about The Hunger Games

  1. Andrea says:

    Hmm…interesting. I have not read these, have read mixed reviews (from raving to meh). What age kid do you think they’d be appropriate for?

  2. Liz says:

    Good to “see” you, Andrea! I’m not sure on the age…there is definitely violence in these books that makes me wonder about them for kids younger than 12 years old or 7th grade. Maybe 13 years old? But I did think, as I finished them, that they will (someday in the future) provide the basis for great discussions about love, civil unrest, honor, friendship, even depression with my boys.

  3. Alana says:

    I loved the first book (The Hunger Games); it would be on my top dystopia books list hands down. The world of Katniss made sense to this long time science fiction/dystopia/future history fan. I loved the satire, also. I did not like the second one as much because it seemed to revolve too much around a love triangle. I hung on because sometimes the second book in a trilogy lags and then the story picks up again in the third. However, I was very disappointed by the third book. It’s hard to say why without being a spoiler. (Incidentally, I love Nancy Kress and will be interested in coming back here and reading what she had to say.) . As for the violence level, it is very necessary but also very graphic. If my son was still a preteen, I would hesitate to recommend it to him.

  4. Liz says:

    Thanks for the comments, Alana — and for holding off on book three details! I’m glad to hear that the world of Katniss made sense to you, too! I’ll post again after I read book three.

  5. Tia Bach says:

    I, like you, have read 1 & 2. Loved Hunger Games, but I felt Catching Fire stalled a bit and suffered from sequel-syndrome. The second book in a trilogy tends to disappoint me. I know the author needs to build to the glorious third book climax, but sometimes it leaves number 2 in filler-mode.

    Still, I have Mockingjay in my pile of to-reads and I look forward to the movie version of Hunger Games.

    I do love Katniss, her strength and honor. When I first started this series it reminded me of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, The Running Man, which I believe was taken from a Stephen King novel.

    As far as plausibility, I don’t need an author to choose a topic that absolutely could happen. I just want them to create a story I can believe and invest in.

    Great post!

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