I had no pre-conceived notions when I picked this book up. I haven’t seen the movie nor read it before. It was published after my time at high school.
Although it had overtones of that Japanese cult movie Battle Royale, I don’t think the Japanese were trying to convey messages of identity and society quite like Collins is. But I can’t say I looked too deeply into that movie! The most important point I want to make, however, is that I thought this book is far superior to the Twilight series. Primarily because Katniss has more depth of character than Bella. The way Collins weaves character into narrative is done in a more satisfactory way. That is, using personal anecdotes of Katniss’ to highlight different facets of her personality rather than resorting to other characters to give an impression of her.
There were parts where I thought Collins was floundering to write enough words such as when the Tributes spend time in the Capitol before the Hunger Games get underway. But what do I know what it’s like to write a whole novel for a publisher?
I would personally have teenagers read this over Twilight. Katniss’ struggle to grow up in a far out setting just seems more real to me.