Saturday, March 24, 2012

YA Lit & Judgment

The Hunger Games came out yesterday (the movie). I saw it and liked it a lot. Love it. I'll buy it when it comes out on DVD. I've read the three Hunger Games books and enjoyed them very much.

You know what I also love and have read and enjoy and bought? Twilight. You know what? I'm allowed to like both, and so is everyone else.

Sure, Twilight  is cheesy with its teenage drama, love triangles, and sparkling vampires. And The Hunger Games doesn't have crap like teenage drama, love triangles, or genetically modified dog-creatures wearing the faces of dead contestants. Oh, wait. It does.

In the movie, Katniss is strong and smart, and I can understand someone calling her their hero. In the book? Not so much. All the way through, she is just as stupid, self-involved, and annoying as Bella is. One of the best part of the movie is NOT having to deal with her internal monologue.

Also, the HG books aren't a paragon of great literature while the Twilight books are the scribblings of a deranged 12 year-old. I place The Hunger Games in the same category as The DaVinci Code, though they are a bit above that: a good, page-turner of a story with crappy writing. Or at least lazy writing.
What Collins does have over Meyers is her world-building and a more long-form plot she's following. That is more interesting for a lot of people. (I don't comment on the writing style of Meyers here because, truly, it has been a couple years since I read them, and I don't remember being revolted by the writing, but I was in a weird place & was quite wrapped up in the stories.)

What I think many people are ripping on when they compare the two is the fact that the Twilight books are unashamedly girly. They're romances, written for teenage girls, but many adults and also plenty of guys have read them and enjoyed them. The Hunger Games books are full of violence and politics, so they appeal to even more guys and adults, and that's fine.

Am I saying that Bella is someone to be admired and that the Twilight books are to be held up as full of quality and role models? Not at all. Just double-check your vitriol and be sure that it isn't based mostly on the fact that something is girly. Everything fills a different niche and desire in people, and something you loved 4 months ago doesn't have to be trashed now because you love something else that happens to be loosely in the same genre. The world is big. Read lots and see lots of movies. Like them all, if you want.