On the Hunger Games trilogy

Why So Hungry for the Hunger Games?

Or, the Game of Making Readers Hungry for More, Why Readers’ Imaginations Caught Fire, and My Sad Inability to Come Up with a Wordplay for Mockingjay

By Sarah Rees Brennan

As you can tell from all the atrocious puns in the title, this essay will be studying the elements in the Hunger Games trilogy that inspire its tremendous popularity. It’s fascinating to analyze the mixture of elements that has caught readers’ imaginations around the world. What is so alluring about the Hunger Games’ particular mixture of adventure, romance, and philosophy? Many of the elements present in the series are familiar, so how does Suzanne Collins make it all seem fresh and compelling?

For a long time I avoided the Hunger Games because, well, I’d seen Battle Royale, thank you very much. (Battle Royale is a Japanese movie, based on the book of the same name by Koushun Takami, about high school students who are chosen by lottery to kill each other under new legislation introduced by a futuristic government.) I finally buckled under the weight of hearing everybody’s enthusiastic recommendations for six months, and then I read the Hunger Games voraciously and was extremely annoyed when interrupted by such inconsequential things as “Christmas dinner.” (God, Mom, did you not understand Katniss was being pursued by the mutts? You have several children, why does it always have to be about collecting the whole set all the time?)

So my assumption made an ass out of me, and I missed out on the Hunger Games for six months! My reason for avoiding the Hunger Games really was ridiculous, as we all know there are no brand-new plots under the sun: what really matters is the way you tell the stories and the passion you have for them. Battle Royale, as I’ve said,  …

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