Katniss Everdeen lives up to her name, and in a flaming ball of glory, takes down the Capitol while taking young adult fiction up a couple of notches. That author Suzanne Collins has the imagination to create such a tale isn’t the most amazing thing, the fact that she can write a story with such violence, tenderness and brutality is. If there was a Tomatometer for books, she’d have a Certified Fresh Rating (probably in the 95% range) and kids are starting to chew through her series like the over-published Harry P.
There are times when a ‘children’s series’ captivates everyone, though they are few and far between. I have a feeling that this series is only just catching fire. And unlike Twilight, Hunger Games is well-written, by an author who doesn’t pull punches, but slams her reader in the face with the full force of violence, brutality, and what it takes to win a war. Combining our present culture’s fascination with celebrity, everyone’s 15 minutes of fame, and our addiction to embedded journalists, Collins stirs up memories of Crete’s Labyrinth or even the Biblical Molech.
Of course a movie deal is in the works, and Lions Gate films will have to go at least PG 13 in order to capture the grittiness of the novel. The book brings up important topics and is one parents should read with or at least at the same time as their children.
Let’s hope this resets the bar for the genre. And let’s look forward to authors who try to reach it.