Whatcha Reading, Hunger Games?
Blogger Kait Silva has a talent for bringing fans of literature together in fun and interesting ways. Here, she imagines what The Hunger Games crew would read, minus the constraints of time and space:
In the dystopian nation of Panem, there isn’t a lot of time for leisure reading. Survival is the word of the day, but that’s doesn’t mean that the characters wouldn’t enjoy books if they were ever given the chance to sit back and relax. The real question is this: What would they like?
I thought about it a bit and asked around the Hunger Games fandom. Together, we came up with a fantastic list of books. With the impending release of the first film, we stuck to the mindsets of the characters as they are seen at the end of the first book.
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
This one may sound like too easy a choice, but the themes in Harry Potter apply to Katniss in more ways than you might think! Harry Potter’s strongest themes are love, selflessness, and sacrifice, all of which Katniss knows very well. J.K. Rowling doesn’t shy away from pain and death, but she also teaches her audience that there is more to a person’s life than their death. Not to mention teens being in the unjust position of leading a war. The reading experience would be cathartic from Katniss and in the end, she’d really connect with the series.
Peeta would love the cross-section between love and pain in all of Dickens’ novels, but especially A Tale of Two Cities. There’s such a rich, multifaceted story about social injustice featuring many great characters, but Peeta would be drawn to Sydney Carton. He is a lover in a time of war who puts the woman he loves above everything else in the hopes of a better future. Surely, Peeta could see the beauty in that.
If any character is going to take an introspective look at society, democracy, and the faults within human beings, it’s Gale. He has a much more political side than many of the other characters and could easily appreciate Golding’s look at governing a society and the fine line between order and chaos.
After his experiences in the arena, Haymitch struggles are mainly internal as he tries to deal with the horrors he’s seen and inflicted upon others. 1984 serves as a look at a society perhaps even more corrupt than Panem, in which even a single voiced doubt can lead to your death. Despite his drunken nature, Haymitch would connect with this cautionary tale of what can happen if you simply allow the government to control your mindset and thus turn you into a citizen-servant.
The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
From one dystopian society to another, The Uglies tells the story of Tally, a sixteen year-old who refuses to conform to a society that forces everyone to undergo an operation to make them “pretty”. The story is about inner-beauty trumping all other forms and features a strong female lead, so why wouldn’t Cinna love it?
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Seems like an odd choice, right? However, President Snow is a snakelike man who still needs a suave way to justify his decisions. Thus, he’d gladly pick up a book in which society controls ALL elements of a citizen’s life, then tell the citizens of Panem that they’re getting off easy with an annual death match amongst its children. He’s the type would would use a book like this to show that he is, in fact, a kind and merciful leader. Even though there is vast inequality among citizens, Snow would argue that he, at least, doesn’t control every aspect of the people’s lives.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Told from the perspective of Death, The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel, a young girl living in Nazi Germany during World War II. Since Rue and Liesel are both brought up under circumstances in which they are forced to deal with very adult issues at a young age, especially the realities of death, we think Rue would fall in love with this beautifully told tale.
The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner
Foxface is a problem solver. She is forced to use her wit and find clever solutions to complex situations in the arena. Chances are she’d be very intrigued by Thomas and the other “Gladers” in James Dashner’s series, who find themselves trapped in a small community surrounded by a giant, deadly maze that they must riddle out of. Foxface uses her reasoning skills to survive, so she would be a fan of seeing others do the same!
Divergent by Veronica Roth
While Katniss and Peeta embrace violence in a way similar to the Dauntless lifestyle, they wouldn’t want to relive it. Who would? The career tributes like Cato, Clove, Gilmmer and Marvel would appreciate the ways Divergent‘s main character, Tris, must develop both physical strength and the ability to conquer her fear in order to be successful. After all, that’s exactly what they’ve been doing their whole lives in preparation for the games. Deep down, we bet some of them would be suckers for the love story too (we’re looking at you, Cato!)
What books do you think the characters would love?