Monday, January 9, 2012

Generally we talk Christian fiction here at the BB, but today I want to talk about those moments when we choose (or refuse) to read a general market book that might be outside of our normal reading selections. What makes us tune into the buzz and pick up a book that everyone's talking about? Or what makes us decide to tune out the buzz?

For Christmas, I asked for The Hunger Games trilogy. I'm currently on part two of the first book, and I'm quite enthralled! However, so far I have successfully avoided the Twilight movies and books. For some reason, with that particular series, I wanted to be rebellious and go against the pop. culture flow.

Here are some of my reasons for picking up The Hunger Games:

#1 - The Movie

...or in this case, the trailer. I saw the movie trailer on the Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot blog, and it certainly captured my attention! I've watched it over and over. Everything about it - the music, the quality, the cliffhanger, and the acting - engaged me. I wanted to know more about this unique and terrifying story! If you haven't seen the trailer yet, check it out:

(Another movie-to-book experience I had was with The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. I love movies directed by Michael Landon Jr., so I ended up getting the book and the movie. I watched the movie, then read the book. And I loved both!)

#2 - Word of Mouth

...especially from friends. With The Hunger Games, some of my blogging friends have been talking about the series and reviewing the books. My RA, some of my friends, and even my aunt have read the trilogy. And mostly I've been hearing great things about the books. Some have mentioned the violence and perhaps a dissatisfaction with how things turn out. But overall the WOM seems to be favorable.

#3 - The Plot thought-provoking. While Twilight seems to have "entertainment" buzz, The Hunger Games seems to raise some really difficult questions and make you ask, "What would I do if I were thrown into the world of this story? What is the message of this book (and the whole series), and what can I take away from it?" From the trailer and the descriptions of the book I really wanted to find out what my own opinions are and what my answers to these questions would be.

To Read or Not to Read?

So those are the main reasons why I chose to read The Hunger Games. I'm still in the process of discovering my answers to those questions I just mentioned, and I still don't know what my final opinion will be. So this is not necessarily an endorsement of the series. With all the buzz going on right now, though, I thought this would be a good time to talk about what makes us listen to or ignore that buzz.

What about you? Have you read The Hunger Games series? Are you going to? And does anybody want to try to convince me that Twilight is worth watching or reading?

(Cover image from the author's website.)


  1. I'm not the person to try and convince you that Twilight is worth watching or reading. LOL. I have absolutely no interest in vampire stories but I tried watching the movie and couldn't finish it because it was too sllllooooowwwww. And chalky white, emaciated guys are not my idea of a heartthrob hero. :-)

    One of the most common objections to the Twilight series that I've heard is that the heroine -- Bella, is it? -- is a victim. Things just seem to happen all around her. She reacts to the situation as opposed to moving out and making a change herself.

    That's very opposite to Hunger Games. I've read the first one only abut loved it. HG poses some very thought-provoking questions about society and relationships. I missed the spiritual connection that could have been there if it had been a CBA book. And it's gritty and violent but I still enjoyed it.

  2. Kav,

    LOL! That's totally fine. I think it would be a hard task for anyone. ;) I've enjoyed some vampire stories, including Dracula by Bram Stoker and Leanna Ellis' Plain Fear: Forsaken. But yeah, the "chalky white, emaciated" part isn't super attractive. ;)

    I appreciate your thoughts on Twilight and The Hunger Games, and I agree! I just finished The Hunger Games last night, and thoughts have been going 'round and 'round in my head. It's interesting to try and sort them out, and I'm considering doing a spoiler-filled discussion/review on my personal blog sometime just so I can write out some of my thoughts. But yes, I definitely missed the spiritual connection, too, and the violence and cruelty are a lot to handle. However, I do really appreciate that there is still some hope and beauty in the story that couldn't be destroyed - that's what really moved me.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! I love hearing your perspectives on all the books you read. :)


  3. I'm with you on avoiding Twilight, but that's a personal decision. I know plenty of Christian friends and family that have read the series and enjoyed it... just not my cuppa, so to speak.

    Hunger Games is another story entirely, and the plot line and characters had me from the first chapter on. I did throw down book number one at the end, disgusted with the cliffhanger, but Katniss and Peeta certainly drew me in for books two & three. The whole series is a multi-layered commentary on society. And I've discovered that different people are affected by the books in vastly different ways. If nothing else, HG is certainly a conversation starter :)

  4. Diana,

    I agree. :) And yeah, that is quite a cliffhanger ending for The Hunger Games! ;)

    It is great how much there is to discuss in The Hunger Games, and I'm curious to see where the story goes in books two and three. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! :)


  5. Wow...I've totally missed the buzz on this one, Amber. Must be the deadline looming over my head!! Thanks for bringing it to my attention. The trailer looks great!

    I read the Twilight books, mainly because my then teenaged daughter was asking to read them, and I wanted to check it out first. While I didn't necessarily agree with the content, I thought the books were very well written and definitely spoke to the things my teen was facing--like finding faithful friends, attraction to the opposite sex, what makes for a good boyfriend even! Yeah, she and I talked at great length about the books before I let her read them.

    And as a writer, I have to say, Stephenie Meyer KNOWS how to craft a hook! My word...I could certainly learn a thing by studying her books. Here's the first line from Twilight:

    "I'd never given much thought to how I would die - though I'd never had reason enough in the last few months - but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this."

    Interesting, eh? It was enough to catch my attention, just as that trailer was enough to catch yours, Amber.

    Great article!

  6. Lisa,

    Doesn't that trailer look great? Glad I could clue you in on the buzz surrounding The Hunger Games! ;)

    That is a pretty intriguing hook! I think it's great that you discussed the different aspects of Twilight with your daughter. :)

    Thank you for joining in the discussion, and I'm glad you liked the post!


  7. I've been meaning to read this. I'll have to add it to my stack. Thanks for reminding me.

    1. Michelle,

      I'm glad I could remind you! ;) Curious to hear what you think!



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