The truth about 'The Hunger Games:' Katniss is better than Bella
Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence, left) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) before a fiery debut at the Hunger Games.
March 23rd, 2012
08:15 AM ET

The truth about 'The Hunger Games:' Katniss is better than Bella

Editor's note: Colette Bennett, aside from being Geek Out's main otaku, is an obsessive fangirl. Recently, her love of "The Hunger Games" series led her to call it the "thinking woman's YA series." As fans across the country camp out to buy tickets to "The Hunger Games" movie premier, Bennett explains the singularity and relevance of Katniss worship.

In the era of obsessive young adult literature fandom, a new heroine towers above all the others - Miss Katniss Everdeen.

Friday marks a great day for avid fans of "The Hunger Games," as they anticipate public vindication for their devotion to the book's 17-year-old lead character, who has a handsome boy on each arm and a political uprising to lead.

The first movie adaptation of the popular book series opens Friday night, and the trailers have already whipped fans into a frenzy. The madness is sure to soar this weekend once moviegoers get their first real taste of Katniss. Fans will grab their friends and emit high-pitched squeals. Surely the sight of Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth will have some girls reaching for their smelling salts.

"It's sooooooo good," is a phrase that easily falls from "Hunger Games" fans' lips. But what makes people (especially women) love it?

As I watched the fan frenzy build up around Suzanne Collins' young adult trilogy over the last year, (it debuted in 2008 and spent 100 weeks on the New York Times best seller list) I remembered the similar, passionate fan reaction to another series: "Twilight" and its self-named fanbase, the "TwiHards."

It's easy to spot the similarities between these two fandoms and the objects of their affection: both "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight" focus on a central female character and two handsome young men fighting for her affections. Many fans of "Twilight" also praise "The Hunger Games." They proudly show off their Mockingjay hoodies and choose which boy to root for in the battle for Katniss' affection. (Instead of Team Edward of Team Jacob, there's Team Peeta and Team Gale.)

The thing is, "The Hunger Games" is nothing like "Twilight." It's much better, and the fans know it. FULL POST

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