2. Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games movie came out on Netflix and my husband really wanted to watch it. But I have a rule in my house about watching movies before I read the books, which goes like this: I don’t. I did want to see the movie, but I feared the series a little bit. I didn’t want to read something out of obligation to curiosity and book pop culture and then feel let down like I had with Twilight.
I enjoyed Twilight, but I felt as though I had killed off more than a few brain cells by suffering through the commitment of all four books… but Twilight was a paranormal romance adventure… The Hunger Games is a dystopian society… there, there it is again “dystopian society” that little phrase that sucks me in every time!
So this week began project Hunger Games. I wanted to at least get through a chunk of the first book before movie date night, and I did get through a bit, but I did not have the book completed when I watched the movie. I tell you what though, I went through the movie and all three books in three days and I’m blown away. It was pretty awesome considering what I was expecting. The series is more comparable to Harry Potter than Twilight, in my opinion.
When I finished Mockingjay, I closed the book with a shake and had to go take a shower to wash the invisible grime off my skin and bask in the happiness of the epilogue. It was perfect.
A lot of people say the third book wasn’t good. I admit I was thoroughly disheartened about halfway through, and the emotional disconnect of some of the primary characters lasted way too long. But it was appropriate. It made the end that much sweeter.
On to the highlight of the purpose of my post:
Love triangles in young adult novels are pretty much a staple plot line. Everyone has them. They are always melodramatic, fitting considering the angst of being a teenager. But Collins wrote a tip of an iceberg beauty that I will actually be proud to share with my daughter.
Love is presented very clearly as a choice. In a world that is completely out of Katniss Everdeen’s control, in times when her family’s safety is based on how she behaves towards others, in a time when the choices don’t seem to be hers at all but a manipulation tactic from the authorities in her life… who she loves and how she loves them is still her choice.
I’m so exhausted of whirlwind romances in young adult novels that are out of the teen’s control. They fell in love… they were destined… they were fated…. blah, blah, blah.
I believe that everything happens for a reason, I do. I believe that God has a plan, I do. But I also believe that loving others and how we show them that is a choice every step of the way. What I like about Collins’ book is the importance one simple choice leads to another choice to another and another and steam rolls into larger choices. The whole book is about the importance of weighing consequences, realities, and feelings within the scales of logic, need, and want. Sure, events out of the characters’ control changes circumstances, but given new circumstances what is the new ‘right’ choice.
I love it.
If you haven’t read the books, I tried to write this in such a way so I would not overwhelm you with blatant spoilers. I hope you understand my meaning without clear cut examples. Maybe when the dust settles I’ll write a spoiler alert review.