Why are we all obsessed with the Hunger Games
Charlotte Paradise | 27 February 2017

There was no reason whatsoever for me to read thebooks. However, after picking up my brother’s copy of the first book andthrowing myself into the opening chapter, it is needless to say that I was welland truly hooked, just like the rest of you. So, seeing as we’re all in thegrip of this unexpectedly brilliant trilogy, let’s all ask ourselves onequestion: surely we should be disgusted by the idea of children killingchildren, rather than intrigued - what is it that makes us so engrossed andcompelled to read on?

For me, this is a questionwith one simple answer: Suzanne Collins. It is undeniable that her distinctlyaddictive writing technique overrules all moral conscience and whether webelieve the theme of ‘children at war’ to be right or wrong. Admittedly, beforeI read the series, the whole idea of the novels scared me because I could notquite understand how anyone could entertain the concept of a nation of peoplewatching children kill each other, even if not everyone in the books agreeswith it (not giving anything away!). But, as I have mentioned, after finishingthe first chapter, I could not put it down, which brings me to my belief thatCollins is some sort of Einstein when it comes to ending chapters. Her talentis so brutally effective that it came to the point where, if I wanted to stopreading, I would have to finish in the middle of a chapter rather than at theend because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to resist reading on. I’m sure allof you that have read the books know exactly what I mean!

Furthermore, what Collinsalso offers us is romance, which was especially dangerous for me if I wasn’tgoing to get drawn in like everyone else, being the hopeless romantic that Iam. The protagonist Katniss Everdeen’s intimate relationship with her adoredfriend Gale, along with her respect (and maybe more sensitive feelings) forfellow competitor in the games, Peeta, are so skilfully presented by Collinsthat we cannot help but side with either the handsome hunk or sensitivesweetheart.  Consequently, this makes us increasingly restless; desperateto find out who Katniss will choose. By shocking us with new discoveriesregarding their feelings for each other and by inviting us to explore theemotions that even Katniss herself cannot explain, Collins straps us onto arollercoaster of suspense and excitement which we just cannot, or will not, getoff.

Perhaps we should neverunderestimate the power of a writer, for they can shape our opinion or make ustotally forget our argument much more successfully than we ever believed theycould. So, when you pick up your next novel, I encourage you to fully lendyourself to the author and immerse yourself in the story, allowing them to doto you what they will.

James Routledge 2016