The Hunger Games And Me

I recently read The Hunger Games and I loved it. The main reason being the fantastically awesome heroine, Katniss. As far as underdogs go, she’s one of the best.

Extreme family situation? Check. Since her father’s death, she’s had to feed and take care of her severely depressed mother and her younger sister. Katniss is only sixteen.

Huge odds to overcome? Check. Not only does she live in the district of lowest stature, she’s been forced into a battle to the death with kids from the other districts. It’s been decades since anyone from her district has won.

Needless to say, this was a book right up my alley. But a weird thing happened when I started reading;

I couldn’t put the book down.

Why weird? Well, when I say I couldn’t put it down, I mean it literally bothered me to stop reading. I was annoyed that my lunch break was over or that I had to run an errand. On the other hand, if I grab the latest Jack Reacher, I’ll read it fast, but when I have to stop, I deal despite my eagerness to know what happens next.

Now if you wanted to know which one I thought was better, I couldn’t say. As far as I’m concerned, either book is an excellent reading choice. But there’s something about The Hunger Games that Jack Reacher doesn’t have. I’m not here to offer any kind of concrete explanation as to what this is, all I know is I had the same reaction when I discovered Harry Potter. Those books would not let me go once I opened them.

I think there’s a kind of magic that happens in a very small amount of books that no amount of training can prepare you for. And no one, not even the most experienced publisher, is going to know it’s there until the readers respond. This not to say all other books are lacking in the magic department. If you’re a storyteller (or any type of artist), then the creation of your art requires magic along with the technical stuff. Otherwise it’s not art. The most skilled artists will harness their magic into amazing works, but every so often someone comes along with a little extra magic he didn’t know he had and blammo! the story takes on a life of it’s own.

So in conclusion, we’ve learned nothing.

But I find it interesting how some books become phenomenons while others, just as good, fall short. I look at it as the difference between an A and an A+. What do you guys think?

4 comments on “The Hunger Games And Me

  1. I didn’t particularly enjoy it at all – I know, I’m the only one! – but I think it’s great when a book appeals to people in the kind of all-consuming way Harry Potter did (and who knows, maybe the film version will be less blah for me). I’ve been waiting for a new series to come along that would have the Buffy magic. As in, I can’t rest until I know what happens next, and I pity the fool that tries to get in the way of the next instalment. 😉

    Although, thinking back, I refused to read Harry Potter for years because I rarely enjoyed the popular books. Eventually, because it was a gift, I started at book 4 (random, I know) and absolutely loved it. If I had started with book 1, I don’t think I would have kept going. I *almost* missed something amazingly good.

    As for what makes a book amazingly good… I can’t explain it, but I know it when I see it. 🙂

  2. I couldn’t put the first Hunger Games down, either. Completely enthralled me. It does have a magic quality about it. I stayed up WAY too late one night to finish it.

  3. This is the holy grail for all writers, I think. This something extra that just resonates with readers and creates a phenomenon. Sometimes it’s clear what makes it pop. Sometimes it baffles us (:cough: Twilight :cough:) It’s a rare thing I come across a book with that kind of magic, and I really cherish it when I do.

  4. I knew someone would make certain remarks about Twilight, and I’m not surprised it was Kait. Bwa ha ha. Seriously, I have no idea what makes a book take off and be so popular that there has to be a movie or TV show that follows. There has to be some kind of magic, but how do you put your finger on it? I’ve seen books just explode in popularity, making me scratch my head and say “Really?”. What makes the reader say THIS is the book? Or THIS is the movie? My husband and I have a thing where we never expect too much out of a movie if the critics like it. But if it’s a hit because the REAL PEOPLE like it and it does well, we usually like it. Ok, I know I had a point there somewhere, but it kind of got lost in my rambling. LOL

    By the way, two books I read last year that I couldn’t put down? Heroes Til Curfew by Susan Bischoff and Red by Kait Nolan. Those books have magic. Seriously. I want movies.

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