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.)