Gouda Buddha Books

Devouring books since 2009.

The Hunger Games Trilogy.

with 6 comments

The Hunger Games had been on my list of “to reads” for awhile, and this summer my mom mailed me her box set of the trilogy.  She teaches junior high English (heaven is not reward enough for this career), and her students had torn through the three books so quickly she could hardly keep track of who had which one.  It took me about fifty pages, but I was absolutely hooked and stayed up reading WHILE THE BABY SLEPT as I could not put these books down.  There is no higher praise from a new mom than to willingly give up sleep, and I gave it up in not just minutes but hours for Katniss and Peeta.

Not so much for Gale.

I won’t spend time recapping the story of kids being forced to duel to the death, but I will say these books are as dark as they sound, which has apparently caused some controversy.  Oh, to have such time on my hands!  I found myself agreeing with a column on NPR, “Seeing Teenagers As We Wish They Were: The Debate over YA Fiction,” as Linda Holmes notes, “… I’m more intrigued by the aspirational nature of the quaint but sad idea that teenagers, if you don’t give them The Hunger Games, can be effectively surrounded by images of joy and beauty.”

Word.  I remember a bit too vividly for my own comfort what it is like to be a teenager, and there were not pillows made of cotton candy.

Holmes says: “Honestly, the kids who are reading the scary YA fiction — the dark stuff, the creepy stuff, the adventurous and weird and dirty stuff — are the same kids who, if YA fiction weren’t dark and creepy sometimes, would just read dark and creepy books for adults.”

It’s so true- and I would argue that perhaps more important than what any teenager reads is the fact that they’re reading.  On a selfish note, however, I’m just glad there’s a young adult series out there in which one of the main characters is not repeatedly described as “glistening.”

In case anyone was wondering, there’s absolutely no way Bella Swan would survive The Hunger Games.

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Written by questionsandanchors

June 22, 2011 at 3:57 am

6 Responses

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  1. interesting. i think i will definitely have to check these out now. i hated the twilight novels, which i realise places me thoroughly in the minority, but now that you’ve said these aren’t like them — or the many other books to have been published in the wake of the success of meyer’s novels — i will check them out.

    heidi.

    June 22, 2011 at 6:00 am

    • I would definitely recommend them. The first two are solid, and the third one I had mixed feelings about characters and plot, but I can’t get into specifics without giving away spoilers. I did appreciate having a strong lead female character, even if there was a love triangle, and there’s much more action than Twilight (and a lot less puking in my mouth over the propaganda and false “strong female”). With Twilight, I told my mom that when I was a teenager, I always wondered why there wasn’t a book that tracked the daily torture of liking someone who didn’t like you or who you weren’t with, and then I realized after reading that series WHY it was there wasn’t a book like that: NO ONE WANTS TO READ IT. Except people going through that.

      questionsandanchors

      June 22, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      • haha. probably true. though, if it was better written, perhaps we’d want to read it. there were lots of reasons i just didn’t really like the twilight novels, but chief among them was (is) the fact that they’re so badly written. and all the heavy handed no-sex-before-marriage stuff. it just read as pseudo-religious proselytising to me. and, oh, how badly executed every single metaphor she attempted was.

        heidi.

        June 22, 2011 at 6:04 pm

      • ps. also agree with the column you linked to. then again, i started reading stephen king when i was nine-years-old. HA 🙂

        heidi.

        June 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm

  2. Did you see Sherman Alexie’s piece about YA lit? http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2011/06/09/why-the-best-kids-books-are-written-in-blood/

    I loved this series, too (though enthusiastically on Team Gale!).

    Anne

    July 11, 2011 at 5:07 pm


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