Gale Hawthorne

The conceptual similarities between Suzanne Collins’s “The Hunger Games” series and Stephenie Meyer’s “The Twilight Saga” series are slim – and anyone who tells you otherwise is delusional, illiterate, and incapable of complex thoughts related to literary exploration. However, while their content does differ, their initial appeal to a YA audience, the insistence of declaring “teams” for romantic paramours, and their large-scale cinematic adaptations do beg for some discussion about their surface similarities, and how those will translate into stuff like audience appeal and ultimate impact on readers and viewers. While I find “Twilight” to be the infinitely weaker and less compelling of the two properties, I’m not some sort of blind “Twilight” hater – I’ve read all the books and seen all the movies, and I get why it’s appealing to all sorts of readers and watchers, particularly those looking to consume something that provides escape – but I also think that there is far better material out there for public consumption. Smarter, wiser, more applicable to the real world, and more compelling material – like “The Hunger Games.” Let’s put it this way – if I had a fifteen-year-old daughter, I’d want her to read “The Hunger Games,” and here’s why.

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The Internet can get kind of obsessive when it comes to its young adult action/adventure novels. The Hunger Games is the latest severely popular book series about young people facing grave peril while forming tumultuous love triangles that is in pre-production for a film adaptation, and speculation about the casting has been running wild. To this point, most of the talk has been about who would play the lead character Katniss Everdeen. We’ve reported that Hailee Steinfeld is one of the front-runners for the role. In addition to Steinfeld, the most oft mentioned young actresses that keep getting drug through the rumor mill seem to be Chloe Moretz and, most recently, Jennifer Lawrence. While debate over who is likely and who would be best rages over the Katniss casting, some talk about the male lead has started up as well. The Playlist talked with Alex Pettyfer, and he confirmed that he is being courted to possibly join the Gary Ross directed film. While he has been sent a script, Pettyfer says that he has yet to read it. You might recognize Pettyfer, as he’s a ridiculously dreamy young guy, he’s had two big films released in the last couple weeks, and he is probably poised to be young Hollywood’s next it boy. His two recent releases were the super-heroic I Am Number Four and the super-pathetic Beastly. That’s one marketed toward the boys and one toward the girls. All he probably needs is one high profile role to really break […]

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