Hungry? This Hits the Spot

After mowing the lawn, what better to read than an action-packed, fast-paced thriller like Hunger Games. 

ImageI know it’s been out for a while, and it’s super popular what with the new movie (which I thought director Gary Ross did a great job with), but I read it before there there were even hints of a movie. And it’s still a great read now. Am I the only one who wanted to learn archery and braid my hair after reading it? No, probably not. While I really can’t pull the arrow-slinging, braided-bad-A look off, I sure do love to read about it. A girl can imagine, right?

I’ve always been a fan of government conspiracy theories, strong females, underdogs, espionage, rebellions, and the like. And as someone interested in how the younger mind interacts with dark themes in such books, including young characters in the books themselves, this story hits the spot. Maybe I should branch out a little?

Still, it’s good to see what’s cliched, what works, and what doesn’t work. Unfortunately, now everyone is copying Collins, much like the influx of books similar to Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series when the movie came out. What’s overdone now:

Bow-and-arrow-slinging female leads

Government conspiracies

Pitting youth against each other in survival-esque situations

Love triangles

Underdogs who don’t realize people actually think they’re really cool until later in the book

Close-mouthed, cynical protagonists with chips on their shoulders

Rising from poverty to become an iconic hero

Is it that these things are archetypal? Or that they’ve been done successfully enough in more recent times in enough different ways to keep the motifs going? Either way, it’s good to be wary of them, and if I find myself using any of them, try to be original.

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