So, a bunch of kids get murdered, you say?

March 23, 2012 at 11:58 am (The Movie I'm not Seeing this Weekend) (, )

Yeah, I won’t be watching The Hunger Games this weekend.

Even though I do think Young Mystique is really pretty with dark hair and a bow.

(I also won’t be reading it, it turns out, even though it appears to be a well-written, interesting book.)

I've heard the writer was on some sort of crazy diet when she wrote it and had some sort of crazed obsession with food, which probably explains the title a bit.

I know, I know. “What is your problem?” I can hear you guys asking. (That, or I’ve had a psychotic break. Whichever.)

Anyway, my problem is this: When I asked all the teenagers I know (which is, you know, several teenagers), “Do all the kids die in the end?”, they were all like, “Well, yes, actually.”

And here’s the thing: I read Battle Royale. Or I tried to, anyway. I couldn’t finish it, because they kept killing all those kids. (And, yes, I know it was stupid of me to expect anything else from a series with a premise like “So a class of kids is taken off to this mysterious island, where they participate in a battle royale, leaving only one survivor,” but I kept thinking, “But not the basketball player, right? The basketball player’s a good kid! He’ll get out of this all right, won’t he? Right? Right?” [Spoiler alert: the basketball player does not get out of it all right.]) So I had to give up Battle Royale, unfinished. (I really liked the basketball player.)

Now, I don't mean to ruin the ending for anyone, but I'm pretty sure almost everyone dies. You know, premise and all.

And now you tell me The Hunger Games has a bunch of even younger kids facing off against each other in a … Battle Royale of sorts?

Do any of them -- *sniffle* -- play basketball?

So, yeah, I think I’ll be skipping it.

(Because I’m a wuss, that’s why.)

"One of the kids drowns in his own blood after he's shot in the throat with an arrow," the teenagers I know gleefully told me.



  1. Jamin said,

    I just can’t bring myself to even give it a chance, for two reasons. First, it’s a popular book aimed at teens, so i just can’t believe that it’s actually good. Second, the fact that it’s such a blatant ripoff of Battle Royale (despite the author’s claims of never having heard of Battle Royale). Not that i liked Battle Royale, either, so i guess that’s a third reason?

  2. C Guymon said,

    I do this to help and clarify. I, too, was a skeptic with mad nerd-rage over the Battle Royale ripoff-yness of the whole story. I looked around and noticed the book plague my life like a horde of tween glittery zombies! I hated its very premise. HATED the fact that it took the idea of Battle Royale into a more mainstream light and hated its very existence. Even my WIFE was reading it! I was doomed. Recently, I have been reading fantasy novels by Brandon Sanderson (books for adults, by adults, ranging around 800 pgs [that’s a guess b/c I can’t ever take the chance to check the last page and have the book ruined]). But my wife finished all three Hunger Games novels within days. Now, I had read Battle Royale. Mind you, that’s the ORIGINAL Battle Royale by Koushun Takami, not the not-as-well-written or -scripted manga and film. Takami gave me a certain emotion and elation as I read his book. There was laughter and anger and rolled into one. So how in the hell can Suzanne Collins betray us diehards?! The answer: she doesn’t. Just days ago I finished reading The Hunger Games and the hype may be huge, but the book is good. Now, this is coming from a grown man, not some internet dufus with no future goals and a thousand kittens. It was good. Sure, the first book had parallels. But it had no more parallels to Takami’s Battle Royale as Takami’s did to Ralph Ellison. I read the first book, hating myself for even touching it for 40 pgs, and then it all changed. This book is only connected to Takami in one way: the games produced by a raging dictator. That’s it. Period. When seeking further information, I found out that Suzanne Collins actually based her original idea off of the story or the ancient Minotaur, which you can see be shadowed during the first books final chapters (spoiler debuff, that was not a spoiler. There is no minotaur). But after you look at that one plot point, nothing remains the same. The second book completely changes the story’s basis, then the third even more. Mind you, Suzanna Collins was a military brat. Her father was in the Air Force and she definitely puts military politics in the heat of the trilogies subtext. with that said, try something new: read Takami’s Battle Royale and skip the manga. Try something even more new: give Suzanne Collins a chance. Maybe when the hype dies off. Maybe just leave it next to the toilet for those moments alone. It was a quick read and I felt not reading it would have been a mistake.

    From a skeptic, I’ve said my piece. Heck. I might even read it again some time.

    • lokifire said,

      Eh, I think you missed my point.
      I don’t care if there were similarities to Battle Royale. I just can’t stand to read a story about a bunch of children getting killed in horrible ways. No matter how well-written.
      Also, paragraphs would make your comment much easier to read.

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