Hungry For More

Up until now, The Hunger Games in my life went something like this: It’s late. I’m laying in bed, I promised myself I would NOT eat another thing tonight. But now I’m hungry. And so the battle begins–To get up and get a snack or not to get up and get a snack? Last night my mental arch enemy was a Rice Krispy treat.
But now. Now I have literally just finished reading the REAL Hunger Games and I’m hooked. I’m a fan–and it’s surprising me a little bit. I read a lot. As in, probably a book a week. And normally, books that even hint of fantasy or science fiction would NEVER grace my nightstand. It’s just not a genre I enjoy. And on top of that, word on the street was that The Hunger Games were written towards and marketed towards a younger crowd–and this reminded me of Twilight. And I wanted to throw up in my mouth a little bit. I read Twilight. And I wish I could get those hours back. (Sorry-you’re reading Real Life. Truthfully. Remember? It’s true!)
The Hunger Games was riveting. It was a genuine page turner. Because I love to read so much, I normally “restrict” my reading hours to bedtime–but I found myself drawn back to the book all day long, thinking about the story and the characters and anxiously anticipating what would happen next. It did not disappoint.
But here’s the other really surprising part of The Hunger Games for me–in some of the circles I travel, there had been talk that this book was not great reading material for Christians. I honestly hate to even broach this topic because after reading the book (and I’m not certain that everyone involved in those conversations had), it’s a little embarrassing. From my humble and albeit limited perspective, the prevailing theme of The Hunger Games is the indomitable power of the Human Spirit. It is the triumph of good over evil. It is a showcase of our ability to endure horrific circumstances long after we think we’re able to. It is the glorious display of an incredibly strong and level-headed young female heroine. Unlike the Twilight series, Katniss Everdeen cares less about romancing her male counterparts and more about fighting for her life and not allowing the evil empire of government to change the essence of who she is. I don’t know about you, but that’s a story that’s worth my time. And although much has been made about the “kids killing kids” aspect of the story–that is not nearly the central theme the reader comes away with, nor a part of the story that is emphasized, dwelt upon, or championed.
I want my 14-year-old daughter to read this book, and my younger daughter when she’s of age. Not just for the brilliant and thrilling storyline, but for the inspiring and empowering role model of The Hunger Games’ rock star girl character. There has always been a shortage of these girls in our movies and our books and I want them to see her fierce ability to triumph over adversity. Unlike their mother, who caved and ate the last Rice Krispy treat.