Why does The Hunger Games matter

It is clearly not a stupid book. Maybe it might get people into reading. Maybe…

Almost everyday me and a couple of my friends like to talk about The Hunger Games where we say things like “which book are you on? And what chapter?” or “which of the books did you like better?” In the conversation, there will always be somebody who will say “What is the book about?” and I give the short answer “It’s about children that kill each other.” They either don’t say anything or tell me back “Oh, I don’t even like reading.” I give the short answer because there’s no point in giving a long answer about the trilogy if I were to get such a reply like that anyway. And I get that type of reply most of the time or the conversation turns into Twilight.

I got my boyfriend into reading The Hunger Games, then I bought Catching Fire and Mockingjay. He really enjoyed The Hunger Games because after every chapter he’ll ask me a question or make a comment or predict what’s going to happen next.

I read an article what happens to brain when reading fiction. It promotes empathy because when reading fiction, we get the opportunity to go inside someone’s thoughts and persepective and somehow find ourselves practicing empathy outside of a book.

When my boyfriend was reading Catching Fire (warning: SPOILER!), he asked me “why did the Peacekeeper shoot the man from District 11? Was it because he was whistling?” He thought it was ridiculous and I told him “It’s not too different in the real world. People get killed for doing seemingly innocent actions all the time.” Then the following day, we were watching CNN and there was a clip on an American teacher killed in Yemen. After the clip was over I told him “see? No different here!”

The best thing I like out of The Hunger Games Trilogy is inspiring people like my boyfriend to not just get into reading, but be more aware.

Still to this day, I’ll don’t understand people who don’t like to read. No matter how much I convinced them a good book. I don’t think I’ll ever understand.

Banned Books Week: Reviewing Hunger Games and Catching Fire

Since it’s Banned Books Week Until October 1st, I’m going to post reviews of banned books I’ve read since the start of this blog.

So to start off I’ll review the first two parts of the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. This was on the 2010 banned books list.

Why is the Hunger Games series a banned book?

The Hunger Games trilogy takes place in an unidentified future time period after the destruction of the current nations of North America, in a nation known as “Panem.” Panem used to consist of a rich Capitol, located somewhere in the Rocky Mountains, and thirteen surrounding, poorer districts which cater to the Capitol’s needs. As punishment for a previous rebellion against the Capitol wherein the thirteenth district was supposedly destroyed, every year one boy and one girl from each of the remaining twelve districts, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, are selected by lottery and forced to participate in the “Hunger Games.” The Games are a televised event where the participants, called “tributes,” must fight to the death in a dangerous outdoor arena until only one remains. The winning tribute and his/her corresponding district is then rewarded handsomely. It is required viewing for everyone in the districts.


Challenges: violence, inappropriate for age groups, causes nightmares

This book definitely lives up to the hype and I usually don’t like books that everyone is so hyped up about.

To me, what makes a good book is if I can draw some parallels to current events. Something that makes me think. Something that challenges me in some way. My favorite type of books are usually set in some sort of dystopia.

I do think Hunger Games qualifies for what makes a good book in my definition. It makes me think how people are into reality TV and what it’s like to be into reality TV. Like in reality TV you are this certain character that you’re portrayed in front of the camera for the audience, yet you are yourself. It’s hard to explain without trying to spoil it for you. I’m really trying to do a review without revealing the story. But think of any person reality who gets the bitch edit but they’re not really bitches in real life.

The book has anti-war tones…It made me think about our troops–being a volunteer yet still a pawn. Coming in with good intentions and come out a scapegoat. Attacking for the sake of shock and awe but nothing truly accomplished…just casualities and sad families.

I think what got me into with this book was that there’s so many references from classic and ancient literature. The whole idea came from Theseus and the Minotaur. It’s the longer version of “The Lottery” meets Orwell meets every Greek hero stories (I took a class on different heroes across different times–Katniss is definitely a Greek hero). This author is very well versed.

The only problem I do have with Hunger Games series is that in the first book Katniss can come off as annoying but it doesn’t stop me from not liking the book. She does develop in the next book, Catching Fire. She seems more mature and aware–the tone and way she just carries herself  is just different. I’m still reading it but so far I think it’s better than the first book–much more twisted.

To you, what makes a good book?

More to come: Naked Lunch, Slaughterhouse Five, and New Moon (yes it’s exactly what you think but it’s going to be a very short review)