Bet you haven't seen those three together yet, huh? If I've lost the bet, oh well.
I just finished the first book of Hunger Games. Yep, I know, way behind. I'm hunting for the next two but they've been checked out. I actually think all three works have something to say to each other. That all three mark how our generation has grown up and speak to different issues.
Harry Potter was us hitting adolescence, Twilight marks us hitting romance and Hunger Games? Finally growing up and looking back at the world.
Harry Potter, great series and captured the imaginations of children (and children at heart) everywhere. It's not the best written Young Adult novel I've ever met to deal with the themes it tackles, but is really gripping. Why?
It deals with growing up,and moving on, and just not fitting into the world you're born into. Harry Potter, as much as it's about a boy and his two friends having adventures and defeating He-Who-Must-Not-be-Named is about us, too. It's about friends, and it's cool to be a smart chick, and self-sacrifice and finding magic not in words or in spells, but in the people around you. It's also about taking some really complicated issues and boiling them down to a simple conflict of good vs. evil, then building them back up again so we can face them. It's about issues and questions and and learning. Most of all, it's about wonder.
Why is Snape so many people's favorite character? Why does Draco Malfoy only get really interesting in the last two books? Because they aren't simply "evil" characters, they're finally being developed.
Why do you think the new My Little Pony is such a runaway success?
Twilight? Twilight is about the scary, unforgiving and too-memorable first romance you had. I read Twilight. I have a hate/love/AARGH! relationship with those books. (Another post, if anyone cares) Why has Twilight grabbed onto adolescentistas? One reason is because it takes romance and packages it without sex.
Our generation of young women, and young men, has grown up too aware of these areas. I think this has been one way of demanding the loss of the knowledge. This is a world where the hero desperately desires the heroine but will not act on it until after they're married no matter how much the heroine wants him to do so.
What does that sound like to you?
Yay for metaphors.
Now, the Hunger Games. Why am I not really bothered about books two and three? I think book one stands on its own as a complete story and doesn't need sequels. This book isn't, really, about Twue Love, but about the idea of love and what shows love. I think one reason this book has gripped so many is because it deals with a lot of issues USA youths have had to tackle.
1. Being in one of the wealthiest lands and having it all handed to them - while a good chunk of the rest of the world suffers dire poverty, and yes, hunger.
2. Having their issues marketed for entertainment on reality tv or elsewhere. For instance, marketing your own issues on blogs to attract readers. (Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa...)
3. Having the one resource everyone covets: youth. Most americans and particularly american women, are hungry to stay in their twenties forever. In some ways, it's nightmarish how entertainment and advertisements (particularly cosmetics) capitalize on this fact.
4. Celebrities are as much a product of their PR team as they are actually themselves.
So, we're looking at a young adult reading public that's been captivated by good vs evil, twue love, and massive societal issues. I think we're growing up. What do you guys think? I'm up for criticism, discussion and debate.
Now, who's up for some really adult reading? Y'know, the kind of stuff every mature adult reads? That's right people, you've guessed it: DC comics 52, "Our Bodies, Our Souls" by Rebbetzin Heller and Starfist.
Summer break, I'm reading fun stuff.