I'm here to discuss it's utter mind-blowingness (new word???) =) and why, from what I've read and gathered, it's so dang popular. Though I honestly wouldn't have it any other way. ;) (Sidenote: every time I use the word check, I'm virtually placing a check mark next to reasons why, I believe, the trilogy is so successful.)
For those of you out there who've yet to discover anything Hunger Games (go buy a copy NOW) I'll brief you on the trilogy's premise: in a ruined, no-longer-exists America's future lies a harsh capitol that controls twelve districts. Because the districts (at that time there were thirteen) once rebelled against the capitol causing a war (yeah, the districts lost), the captiol conjured up a maniacal form of punishment to remind the disctricts of who's in charge every year. That form of punishment, my friends, is The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a televised fight to the death, where two young citizens of each district (a boy and a girl, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, respectively) are sent and, well, shoved in a being-filmed arena where they all have to kill each other until there's one person left--a winner. (Check! The plot is just awesome, yet so simple. Very easy to understand with quite a wow-that-sounds-like-a-great-book hook.)
That's one colossal reason I feel this trilogy's seen the success it's seen, and arguably the biggest one of all. The plot.
It's gruesome, yes. (Check! Who doesn't like a little terror/gore (toned down gore, mind you) every once in a while?) And suspenseful. (Check! Suspense is delicious.) And young adult, my favorite genre EVER. (Check! This is just my opinion; I'm certainly biased, thinking young adult is amazing and all.) And, to top it all off, it has downright memorable characters who've truly jumped into my heart and stayed there, even though I've long ago turned the last page in the third novel. (Check! Perfectly created characters are essential when writing.)
It's written by Suzanne Collins, a woman whom I've come to respect because of the truly imaginative world she's created in the trilogy. Here's a fun piece of trivia for those of you who didnt know: I was watching her talk in a YouTube video (watch it here) where she talks about how she got the idea for the whole story. She explains that one night while watching television, she found herself flipping back and forth between reality TV and footage of the Iraq war. The two shows ended up swirling together, and thus, The Hunger Games was born! (Cue applause and confetti!)
If you didn't notice already, I said that the story of The Hunger Games is a trilogy, with the second novel being titled Catching Fire and the third and final novel being titled Mockingjay. I highly recommend this series not only because of its snappy, raw writing and its to die for plot, but because, as you'll see in the videos following the video I've linked to above, Suzanne explains that the whole idea of how far we humans are taking entertainment is the basis for the series. Quite simply, when we watch horror and thriller movies and see people getting slashed, chopped, and murdered in the most brutal ways imaginable, when or where do we draw the line? (Check! This just stuns me, the whole "story behind the story." It's very interesting.) At times, I feel, that line never really exists. It's a thought-provoking subject to ponder, one I've pondered for quite some time myself. Overall, it's simply a brilliant backstory to main character Katniss Everdeen's adventure, one you'll see is filled with surprises, cliffhangers, and of course, romance. (Check! Romance isn't essential, but it certainly spices up any story!)
So let's review. These are the reasons why I feel The Hunger Games has been such a success:
- The plot. It's utterly amazing.
- It's raw goriness; Suzanne never "writes down" to her young adult audience, and I respect her for that.
- The suspense! This trilogy's oozing with suspense.
- The fact that it's young adult, which therefore, in my opinion, attracts readers of all genres
- The "story behind the story," or whole how far are we taking entertainment? idea.
- Lastly, the romance. Gale and Peeta. Peeta and Gale. Katniss torn between the two. Throw in this love triangle on top of all that's mentioned above, and you've got yourself a darn good story.
I just love this trilogy. It tops my list of best novels EVER, residing rightfully next to Harry Potter and Pendragon. It's amazing. It's brutal. It's suspenseful. It's romantic. It has lovable characters, memorable characters, truly great characters, and even some ugh-please-get-away characters--but isn't that what makes stories so great?
It's The Hunger Games.
5 out of 5 stars, for sure. All three books were a thrill ride that had my heart pounding until the final page. Plus, the cliffhangers peppered throughout it were downright fantastic.
By the way, the movie's coming in the next few years, so look for it! (Suzanne's writing the screenplay, so I'm certain it'll be AMAZING.) So excited!
With that, I end what I believe is my longest post ever. But it's for The Hunger Games, so I'm completely fine with it. :) Until next time, write on!
Oh, and by the way, I'm team Peeta.