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.