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.”