I just have lots of things to say right now!
I had to try and articulate just what’s so important about these books and why everyone’s all crazy about them. I think a lot of people sort of write off fandoms like this because they think it’s vapid, or I don’t know, never as good as Harry Potter. Especially with the advent of Twilight, any young adult series that gets any attention is probably regarded as “just another stupid romance book.”
In the case of the Hunger Games, I’ve found that most people start pointing fingers that it’s “the same as that one movie/book/anime.” And that’s fine. If you haven’t read the book and all you know is its synopsis, then yeah, you’ll probably think it’s a straight hack. Well, guess what? Lots of things are reminiscent of previous works. Did you know The Lion King is Hamlet? Do you hate it now?
Anyway, I think The Hunger Games isn’t just some pointless love story. The main character is female and 16/17, so if you’re a 25 year old guy, I don’t really expect you to read the book and find it awe-inspiring (but if you do, yay!). But Katniss is really important as a strong character, especially in the light of a certain someone named Bella.
Katniss does not care what other people think about her. Personally, I care very much about what other people think about me. So I spend too much time on my hair, I buy a lot of makeup, I always want the newest and cutest clothes. Katniss, however, knows what’s important–her family and friends, and self-preservation (because, y’know, she’s under the constant threat of getting killed/starving to death!).
Katniss also has rather low self-esteem for being such an important part in the trilogy. I would say she’s humble, but there are times when she gets down on herself. Watching that struggle is just so interesting to me. I feel like I can relate to that.
And lastly, while the romance plot is central to the trilogy, it isn’t … stupid. Is that descriptive enough? Okay–Katniss isn’t defined by the romances. She is controlled and swayed by them (for self-preservation reasons, I can’t go too far into them without giving anything away), but this is always portrayed as highly negative, confusing, and undesirable. In the beginning, Katniss actually doesn’t want to ever get married or have children (breaking down the gender roles! ish. Don’t call me out on this. gawsh). Any time she’s forced to do something traditionally female (wear dresses, try to be nice and funny and “desirable”), she fails miserably. Because she doesn’t want to be that way, and neither do we if we don’t want to.
This got reallllyyyy long. I’ll leave you with my favorite creepy song from the soundtrack and something pretty from Tumblr.