So here’s the deal. I had this great post all ready to write about “insta-love” in YA novels (my new favorite term), followed by an actual, intelligent discussion of Team Edward and Team Jacob.
And then The Today Show ticked me off while I was at the gym (again…why can’t they change the channel?) and I decided to write up this fanatical little rant about The Hunger Games. As the film comes out this weekend, it seemed fitting. (And hell yes, I’m going to see it on Sunday.)
I loved every book in this trilogy. Loved them. It still bugs me that they’re written in first person present tense (if you ever have the urge to do that, PLEASE DON’T), but they are gorgeously written and incredibly fun…which is how it became this huge, colossal entity. (Unlike Twilight, the popularity of which still baffles me.)
What the Hunger Games is NOT, is a trilogy of romance novels. Sure, there are romantic elements in it, but there are more romantic elements in Castle, and that still qualifies as a Crime Drama. The Hunger Games is dystopian science fiction fantasy. Horror, even. It’s a story of surviving your teenage years–which the majority of us seemed to manage without 23 other people desperately trying to kill us (despite how it felt sometimes).
So it really tees me off when faces like the dolts on The Today Show start spouting crap about “Team Gale” and “Team Peeta” like the books are some kind of Twilight clones. A few of my guy friends actually stopped reading after the first book, because they were exposed to all this “Team” stuff and were afraid that’s what the books devolved into.
There is only one Team in The Hunger Games, and that is Team Katniss.
As I ranted on Facebook, The Hunger Games is not about finding a boy. It’s about taking responsibility and finding the strength in yourself to do what needs to be done. This is a really important talking point for teenagers that is now regrettably swept under this stupid “Team” rug.
YA author Malinda Lo agreed with me, in this article she wrote for “Enchanted Ink” before Mockingjay was even released. The “Teams” thing had already started up then. And while Malinda points out how fun it is to take a side, it’s a little silly when it’s NOT THE POINT OF THE BOOK.
No doubt this whole Peeta vs. Gale thing is perpetuated by Twilight-savvy publicists who’ve never read a page. All they see is, “What stupid thing can we say that will get young people talking?” Well, I’m talking. And what I’m saying is this:
The Hunger Games was, is, and will always be ABOUT KATNISS.
Cute boys will come and go, but strong girls will always be number one. Always.
I am Team Katniss.
That is all.
16 thoughts on “Team Katniss”
Alethea, hello. Wow, that was strong. Good and strong. You obviously love this book with a passion. I felt that for the first two books. Now I am on Chapter 21 of Mockingjay and I don’t understand why I’m feeling this sort of flatness about it. I was so amped up reading this whole time and now…hmm, do you think it’s maybe due to the fact it’s written in first person and there’s so much going on that we can’t know about? Please prescribe me something, Doctor Alethea, because I want to finish this series out with a bang. Oh, but no spoilers if you can help it. I’ve got what…six chapters to go?
I don’t know what to tell you, Carlene. It’s a book about war. At this point (in Mockingjay), Katniss is a Vietnam Vet on her third tour. As TS Eliot said, “This is the way the world ends / not with a bang, but with a whimper.”
You’re right. You’re so right. If anyone’s deserves to go out with less commotion and catastrophe, it’s Soldier Everdeen.
Great post, Princess. There are so many salient points From Hunger Ganes that should be discussed in a national forum, but those idiots chose the boy factor. Awesome.
I am Team Suzanne Collins. While I loved the entire trilogy, I thought the first book was pure genius, in the three-part structure, the turning points, the hooks, the execution. And yes, my latest ms was written in first person present tense, but we will take that up at a later point…or perhaps never. 🙂
I VOTE NEVER.
And I still sort of wish she’d won the Newbury. Even if it meant stealing it from Neil Gaiman. And that’s a tough thing for me to say.
Rock on, Alethea! I wholeheartedly agree. This team crap needs to stop. Team Edward. Team Aniston. Team Peeta. Who the hell cares. Team Katniss rocks my socks!
What I would like to hear a little more about in all of the massive press junkets is the parallel to our obsession with reality television. Because quite frankly, I feel like we are moving toward an actual live death on tv for entertainment value. That, I could write a thesis on.
It does inadvertently focus us (and by “us” I mean impressionable young people to whom the media for this film is aimed) on the wrong aspects of what is important about this book and its messages.
I would read that thesis.
Rock on! I completely agree – however, I will say I have an age-inappropriate crush on Peeta.
I do too…except that he is SO SHORT. omg!
Amen to strong girls! That’s all I gotta say. (oh and I agree with all the hype about “Team So-So” . My eldest daughter read the Twilight series before they became all that and the movie and the fads soured it for her so much she can’t stand the books now. It’s a shame when the media makes a mockery of something so wonderful.
Oh, man, that is such a shame!
I’ll chime in and say that the “Teams” talk takes everything important away from the book. What about finding our humanity in an inhumane situation? Learning the price for freedom is never really free? That family loyalty and sacrificing ourselves when the need arises are underrated in today’s world? At least the world I appear to be living in. But I guess it’s incredibly hard to put that on a t-shirt. Team Peeta or Team Gale fit much easier than “A strong girl sacrifices herself for her sister and learns that humanity can still be a part of life in inhumane situations.” Yeah. Not sure Cafe Press or Hot Topic will be borrowing that line anytime soon.
That being said, I love both Peeta and Gale. 🙂 And we’re forgetting the most important thing about these two. They help Katniss grow into the person that SHE’S meant to be. She can take the positive from each of them and move along with her life. If it ends up being with one of them, fine, but that’s not really the point. It’s HER growth. It’s her life. They are just a part of it.
I agree 100% Alethea! Go Team Katniss!
And I’m being an irresponsible mom tomorrow–taking my girls out of school early to watch the afternoon show. 🙂
Good for you! Enjoy the show!
You know, I think TEAM KATNISS would look just lovely on a shirt. I believe I need me one of those.
They do have them. They even have Team Cato–for whatever bizarre reason.
Thank you! I don’t understand why more people don’t REALIZE this isn’t a romance trilogy. It’s why so many fans were so mad about MOCKINGJAY (at least, one major reason). I’m sorry, but I never expected a super-romantic third book. This is war, people. This is not about love. And while MOCKINGJAY is incredibly sad, and maybe a bit rushed, it’s powerful and I applaud Suzanne Collins and I love it. Thank you for this post. THG is so far from being about romance!
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