Background artiste from 'Better than Stars'

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Hunger Games vs Twilight

Well? I know which I prefer ... In fact, the one is so much better than the other in my opinion, I never even thought to compare them until I saw this article in the Metro.

I first heard about the Twilight novels from an American friend of mine, before they'd reached the UK. Her passion for the series was a foretaste of what was about to hit us, and when they were published here I read the first book.

I could see why it was popular, and I'm all for books being popular. Twilight has done for YA publishing what Harry Potter did for books for younger readers - even stolen one of its stars - what is it about Patso that links him cinematically to death? I also thought it was profoundly silly. I mean, a brooding, sexy but chaste vampire who is all but unattainable and glitters, for goodness sake ... I could almost forget we're reading about the undead, and think instead it's a teenage girl's dream of a rock star. But like I said, don't knock it. Clever stuff.

Hunger Games, on the other hand, is seriously good. Like all the best dystopian fantasy, it grows out of the development of aspects of our own society, in this case - amongst other things - social division, screen violence and the reality show. It engages completely, with skilful writing, believable characters and a tense plot.

As a reader, no contest between the books; nor as a writer: I know which I would like to emulate. And I also know which I would prefer a daughter of mine to read. The society Suzanne Collins writes about may be sick, but her heroine Katniss is feisty, resourceful and honest; and her book makes you think, rather than wallow in sentiment.

But hold on a minute ... I'm not the target audience here. Teenage years are a time for many things, including being silly. I seem to remember it was rather fun.

Perhaps I should remember my age and shut up ... and also be grateful that at least two authors are doing their bit for the popularity of the book.

1 comment:

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Loved Hunger Games - you are correct. It was amazing. But thank goodness for Twilight too, since it has done so much to bring readers of all kinds to YA. It was also good clean fun to read.