So I just started my spring break, which means I actually have time to read...books other than the ones I have to read for my Victorian Lit class, anyway. Don't get me wrong, Villette, Mary Barton and Great Expectations are amazing books (I actually hae found them all interesting, which is a first when it comes to required reading). But there's something about being able to sit down on my bed and read a page of the book without having to analyze every single word on it and go to Sparknotes to figure out what the hell I just read.
And now for my first spring break read: The Hunger Games!
Anyway, in case you haven't seen, the books are about a dystopian society divided into 12 districts, each responsible for some form of the industry: mining, fishing, etc. Every year each district must send two children to fight in the Hunger Games. The twenty-four kids fight to the death, for there can be only one survivor. And the whole thing just happens to be broadcast on TV.
Yes, this is a teen book.
Barnes and Noble gave me a free copy of Mockingjay, the third book in the trilogy, when I bought my Nook Color a few weeks ago. I don't really know why, but it compelled me to read the books over again. You see, I read the first two books in high school before they became a big thing. At the time, I was meh about them...because they had already been done before.
At the time, I called The Hunger Games as a blatant rip-off of Battle Royale. However, upon rereading them I'm realizing how different the two books really are. Battle Royale is very descriptive of its killings, and is faster-paced...the whole thing takes place in 24-hours versus almost a week during the Hunger Games. Whereas in Royale all the students knew each other and we really delve into their backgrounds, there is little unity between the kids of The Hunger Games. And finally, the purpose of the Hunger Games is to provide entertainment for the country's citizens (how disgusting is that?), whereas in Battle Royale the whole thing is a top secret mission.
I recommend reading both books and seeing which you like better. I'm almost done with The Hunger Games, and for some reason I'm loving it a lot more than I remember. I have the other two books still to get through, but they're pretty quick reads and I think I'll finish them by the end of break.
I'm starting to realize why these books have made such an impact on teenagers, though. I was absolutely devastated when I first read Battle Royale, and I can honestly say the book changed my views on human nature: really, when it comes right down to it, do we all have the ability to kill, just for the sake of survival? The Hunger Games has a similar story, but it still is teaching the same message. We may all be humans, but that doesn't mean we're capable of killing each other.
I'll keep you postponed as I read Catching Fire and Mockingjay!