Well, I finally did it. Read The Hunger Games, that is. I needed a book for my birthday trip, I didn’t have time to check the library and, well, I couldn’t turn 21 without reading this ubiquitous book, right? Right.
I’m not sure what took me so long to get in on the phenomenon. Perhaps I’m still bitter about the hatred for Twilight? I was fourteen when I first read that book, I loved it and that’s okay. Can we please stop being making prejorative comments about stories because they are written for adolescent girls and mainly attract adolescent girls? No one is saying that every book can be Zeno’s Conscience and that’s good. Phew, now that that’s said…
I still don’t understand The Hunger Games obsession. I liked it, I liked it a lot, but, frankly, I preferred Twilight. Could this be a sign that I am a real twenty-one year old? My goodness, that’s a scary thought.
The Hunger Games, for those who, like me, don’t know, tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, a resident in a post-apocolyptic version of America, who ends up competing in her country’s annual killing-bacchanal, called The Hunger Games. It’s the anti-Eurovision.
The story follows each part of her journey competing in the games. From the explanation of the game’s rules to Katniss’s arrival at the arena and varying strategies during play itself, The Hunger Games creates a complete world that the reader cannot help but get caught up in. The book becomes like a tv reality show, you get completely wrapped up in another world and develop a passion for the characters, eager to tune in for the next installment or chapter.
There’s a definite allegory in The Hunger Games and trying to figure out the finer points will occupy the minds of the most aware readers, while still infiltrating the consciouness of those eating the plot. After reading the first page, it was impossible for me not to try and deduce the specific message Collins wanted to illustrate with the story. I’m still not completely sure what it is, but the attempt to figure it out continues long after I’ve finished reading.
It’s difficult to describe much of the book without giving away crucial plot details, the points that, when you don’t know them, make the book exciting to read. Part of what’s so appealing about the story is that, despite the twists and turns, nothing is foreseeable and everything is plausabile. The changes rarely feel contrived and the reactions are honest, meaning the story discusses human nature in extreme circumstances as much as Katniss’s unique experience of the games.
If you haven’t read The Hunger Games, read it now. Not only is it important modern pop culture, it’s also a fun romp through an apocolyptic/warning society. I guess the only thing left is to watch the movie. You’ll have to wait for my next plane ride for that.
Have you read The Hunger Games? Do you enjoy allegories?