The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games movie comes out today and I will be one of the hundred millions of people who go to see it- I CANNOT WAIT!!! (I do not use all caps lightly, my friends.) My heart is a-pitter-pattering with excitement. I just watched the trailer for the hundredth time and got chills yet again.

Dan’s been teasing me to no avail about my excitement over this film (and repeated trailer-viewing). The teasing took a turn for the worse when I sprung $6.99 to buy the People Magazine Hunger Games collector’s issue. I’ll admit: this was a low point. I like to think of myself as above celebrity magazines. But I am not above the cheesy interviews where the actors all pat each other on the back or the behind-the-scenes shots of Elizabeth Banks getting that crazy-awesome make-up done. No: I am down on the same level with all the other collector’s buying the COLLECTOR’S SPECIAL and I’m proud to be there.

I disappeared into these books. They engulfed me. When I finished them, I stared at the ceiling and clutched the Mocking Jay to my chest, not knowing how to leave them behind. I wanted to talk to everyone who had read them, but then I tried and realized that what I really wanted was just to read them all over again and go back that place, back to Peeta and Gale and Katniss and even Haymitch.

I worship authors that can create a reading experience like this, who inspire millions and millions of people to read. Suzanne Collins- you go sister! This is a great essay by Carolyn Ross on The Millions about the pleasure of reading YA novels, and the important purpose they serve for adults and children alike.

Katniss is a complicated heroine and she is rendered so well. She is brave because she has to be brave, and she is also afraid because she lives in a society that breeds fear. She is vulnerable, often in a state of despair, and yet she gives hope to everyone around her. She tries to hold on to her humanity while being forced to kill people or be killed.

My sister told me that Suzanne Collins came up with the idea for these books while flipping between Survivor and a news story about the Taliban, (or something along those lines.) Given this, it’s not hard to see why these books are not only great book to read, but also scarily relevant.

I look at the world and I look at Katniss and I wonder: would I…could I be so brave? Things are going on at home that deeply disturb me, and I keep asking myself: what are you going to do about it? Reading these novels reminded me that you can’t win if you don’t fight—if you don’t take a risk.

Happy Friday everyone. I’ll report back on the movie. For now, I raise a glass to brilliant authors, good books, real life heroines and heroes, the risk takers, the fighters. May we all be as badass as this:

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