Most avid Hunger Games fans started off simply as curious readers rather than reading the books in the hopes of becoming fangirls and fanboys. Surely, many of of us were skeptical at first.
Among those numbers was Kendra, AKA Hunger Games Bookclub, who talks about her conversion from everyday reader to fangirl in today’s guest post!
I’m a reader, an avid reader. My mother used to give me a 12-book limit on how many I could check out from the library each week. I paid five years of college tuition so that I could devour good books. I. Like. To. Read.
But something unexpected happened to me when I read The Hunger Games trilogy. Something happened that has never occurred with the other book series that I re-read periodically every few years or with the other 5,000 books that I’ve probably read in my lifetime: I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
For days, I stumbled around my normal life with one foot in reality and one foot in Panem! I tried to read another book to break the spell but it tasted like mental sawdust… meaningless compared to the words I’d just digested. I kept hearing Haymitch in my head. I saw Peeta in my husband, whose steady nature is solid as a rock. I felt the hunger of District 12 when I watched the news about impoverished countries. I knew the desperation of Katniss’ vow when I looked in my innocent children’s eyes.
Seemingly without choice, I had crossed over the Great Divide into uncharted territory. I became not just a reader, but a fan. And chances are, if you’re reading this blog post on a Hunger Games fansite, YOU’VE become a fan too.
As I’ve watched and perused countless interviews and comments of fans, one thing seems clear: we all have a different reason for crossing over. Suzanne Collins herself remarked that some fans are drawn to the action; some fall in love with the characters; others appreciate the writing style; many enjoy the romance; others become inspired by the themes of social justice, poverty, and war. There’s something here for everyone.
What made YOU cross the Great Divide between reader and fan?
As for me, these are a few of the reasons that propelled me to jump…
OH, THE FORESHADOWING!
Perhaps because of my literature major, I found myself reading The Hunger Games and involuntarily saying things like, “Just look at that sentence!” and “Oh, the foreshadowing!” Suzanne Collins is the Queen of Consistency & Repetition. She repeats phrases, songs, imagery, and memories. For instance, scan through The Hunger Games and count how many times she describes Peeta with the word “steady” or President Snow with “snake”. Each mention of a memory brings something new to light about the past or the characters involved (such as memories of Katniss and her father singing). Suzanne Collins might be Queen of the Cliffhanger, too. Didn’t your stomach lurch when you read the ending of Catching Fire? Perhaps, like me, you ran to your nearest bookstore for Mockingjay so that you could find out what happened next.
Katniss is no James Bond. She is not a trained killer. She might be calculating, but she is not cold. She’s a sixteen year old girl who is scared out of her mind, but brave enough to protect the ones she loves and stubborn enough to keep trying. I could use a little bit of Katniss’ courage to face my own troubles.
GIVE US OUR DAILY BREAD…
By my anecdotal count, 50% of The Hunger Games fandom passionately declares Peeta to be their favorite character of THG. Some fans might even go so far as to describe him as their favorite fictional male character PERIOD! It would take more than one paragraph, or even one blog post, to describe, explain, or adequately portray Peeta. The fact that Peeta is willing to die for this girl – who has never even spoken to him and does not love him – is a testimony to his strength of character. His self-sacrifice is the way he resolves in his mind to stay true to himself, “to not become a piece in their games”. Peeta is steady and strong, not only in body, but mind and purpose. Despite his gift for words (and let’s face it, manipulation), he does not manipulate Katniss. He gives her the time and space to choose him. Peeta inspires us to be our very best selves.
See you on the other side…
The Hunger Games Bookclub