Why I love The Hunger Games book series

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The reason why I love the The Hunger Games book series is not because of the violence. Suzanne Collins’ popular novel, turned into a big Hollywood movie, has sparked teens’ interest mainly because it’s an adventurous story about teenagers with interesting skills and lovable personalities. These teens act just like us, but we see how they learn to survive when thrown in a dangerous situation.

Part of the magic of the books is walking through the pages, trodding in the character’s footsteps throughout the story. As I read through the books, the character that became one of my favorites was Katniss Everdeen, the protagonist.

We first meet her on reaping day. On this day, government officials pick one boy and one girl ages 12-18 from 12 districts in the dystopian North American society to participate in the Hunger Games. This is an annual event where 24 participants compete to the death until only one remains. This event is the government’s way to prevent rebellion.

Katniss’s sister, Primrose, is picked. Katniss’s true and admirable character is revealed in this moment. She volunteers to take her sister’s place. Her pure motivation is to save her family, not a lover or any sort of self-interest. What’s even more amazing is that this is not an isolated act of kindness. She has always been selfless. She hunts illegally to make sure that her family has enough to eat and risks her life to protect them from harm.

I also think she is great because she isn’t afraid to fight for her family, consisting of her mother, sister and herself. She’s been through a lot, struggling poverty and near starvation. Now, she is willing to fight to the death against 23 other teens to save her sister. The deadly hunting skills she acquired to keep her family alive become an asset in the Hunger Games.

Though violence is one aspect that makes her admirable, it isn’t the thick of it. Katniss shows us what it means to be clever, brave, courageous, tough, protective and loyal to the people she loves most. All of these things are what help her to keep on track and hold onto her main goal, which is why I think fans love her.

She doesn’t want to become a mindless killer. She’s forced to play along in the deadly Hunger Games, but remains aware that the government is trying to control her and the other participants. Katniss, with the help of a boy from her district named Peeta, eventually stand up to the authorities by outwitting the game. It really goes to show the power kids have in the world. That teens do have a voice and have an impact on lives of others. There are a lot of things we can do as young individuals.

And we do have voices. Even though we sometimes lack the support and the “go for it” signal from parents, teachers or other adults in our lives that helps us stand up for what we believe in, we can look to Katniss, who had to make her own choices in intense situations, for inspiration. As young individuals, we can bring new insights to certain problems that other people haven’t thought of before. Although we do make mistakes, we must not let that discourage us from what we had in mind. Like Katniss, we can accomplish a lot.

I’m pretty shy myself, and when I read about this heroine who can stand up for herself, despite things that are preventing her, I feel influenced to do the same. I’m energized to help anyone out, make the world greener and give back to the community. I feel more encouraged to tell people about my ideas and to get feedback to put them into action.

These are the reasons why I love The Hunger Games book series. It’s not for the violence but for the meaningful messages telling us to speak up and project our voices so we can be heard when we feel something isn’t right. The books remind us to always remember to love our families and help out when we can. And of course, I like how the major part of the story takes place outdoors and the main character beats the odds with a bow and arrow.

- Isaura Greene, ThreeSixty Journalism teen reporter

Isaura Greene
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