Wherein I admit to going on a YA fiction binge

I’m back in Kabul now, after spending several blissful weeks in the US with my family and friends. During my vacation, I went on a YA fcition binge and finished Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy.

A few (hopefully spoiler-free) thoughts on that:

  • I highly recommend it.
  • Yes, the violence is excessive, unrelenting and nauseating to the point of exhausting the reader, but that’s intentional.
  • Katniss Everdeen is quite possibly the most complex teen YA fiction teen heroine ever.
  • There is no way a faithful screen adaptation of the books will not get an R rating.
  • Book three, Mockingjay, turns into Battlestar Galactica about half way through –but in a good way.
  • As the trilogy careens toward its conclusion, Collins deftly raises uncomfortable questions about the ethics of taking human life (one’s own and those of others) in a wide variety of situations, justice and vengeance in the wake of mass atrocities, and the challenges of moving a society from war to peace when both the victors and the vanquished have innocent blood on their hands.
  • Collins’ ending is a powerful meditation on how survival doesn’t automatically mean “happily ever after.”
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