[Editor's Note: Is your teen all excited about the Hunger Games movie? Are you curious about this popular book series? Here, a local teen gives her take on this pop culture phenomenon.]
The book The Hunger Games has become impossible to put down. The author, Suzanne Collins, has turned her second series of books into a name that virtually everyone knows. Not only has it become a highly anticipated movie, but the well-known slogan, “May the odds be ever in your favor”, has trickled down even to Putnam City North High School’s English contest.
Theatres around the city have sold out opening night’s tickets. Bookstores proudly display Collin’s trilogy on wide tables and end caps.
Collins caught the world with not only her heroine, Katniss Everdeen who steps up to save her sister, but with all of her writing. She wastes no time with the exposition, quickly painting a scene of a starving family and establishing Katniss as their sole provider. Without hesitating, there is a catch: she’s going into the Hunger Games, and only one of the 24 can leave victorious. She is stretched between two boys, and the terror that comes with looking in to the eyes of murderers. Throughout the book, Katniss stays busy—she is either falling in love or facing her death.
In the very beginning, the reader is hooked by the fast paced story line. As a girl, it is impossible to turn away at the point that a love interest comes into play, not that Collins seems to have an issue with grabbing her audience. If guys considered putting down a “girls” book, that thought would fly as the bloodbath begins. Enter twenty-four tributes, some trained to kill, all thrown together in an arena with weapons. This fast-paced thriller lacks nothing.
Collins takes a totally unrelatable situation and draws points to every day American life. A girl who can’t decide between two guys, a girl who loves her family. That’s something that is easily applicable to real life. Also, Collins draws simple ties between our world and the world of Paneam. Take the members of the capital, with their dyed hair and forced weight loss—not to mention their idle gossip of the prep team as they prepare Katnis for her death. It makes readers ask, “Where does their vanity end?” and leaves them with the startling realization that American life runs as a parallel. Part of Paneam starves while the other has more luxuries than they know what to do with. Her points are well noted.
Not only does the story have action, love and drama, but it has an ending that sugar-coats nothing. Katniss does not fall so easily into her love as similar heroines do. Some believe this is disappointing, but others remark that it is simply rational. Could you accept your love for a boy you were supposed to kill? Would you turn away from your childhood friend for a new and dangerous life? Those questions do come, brought on by the readers’ ability to step into Katniss’ shoes.
The Hunger Games draws you in from the first line about an ugly cat to the last heartbreaking scent on the train. Picking it up is worth it, and ends with a want for more.
Brette Deimund, a 10th grader at Putnam City North High School, is the daughter of Tim Deimund and Brenda Bennett. She is planning to see the movie on opening night and will share her thoughts about how the movie compares to the books—stay tuned!