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.

"The Hunger Games" has a better central role model for young women: better storytelling, healthier supporting characters and depictions of male/female relationships. It poses questions through a dystopian universe that easily resonate into our real lives.

Although many of the characters in "The Hunger Games" are forced into action against their will, the struggle against oppression is a very real fight for people to this day. And while the characters' fight against The Capitol (the dictatorial government in "The Hunger Games") is very much dramatized, it serves as a reminder that we have to fight for what we believe in, sometimes for much longer than our legs have the strength to carry us.

This is headier stuff than sparkly vampires.

Railing into Stephenie Meyer's supernatural romance series is old territory and doesn't necessarily get to the heart of "The Hunger Games" fan movement. The cultural impact of the "Twilight" stories is one of strong division. Rabid TwiHards will go to the ends of the earth to tell you why they love it and why it makes them feel good, while haters preach the evils of the stereotypes set in place by Bella and Edward and swear it's poison.

"The Hunger Games" story, like "Twilight," also centers on a young female character. Both Katniss and Bella are archetypes that a large segment of the fan population can relate deeply to, regardless of age.

Bella is the girl that many women have once been: unsure of herself, feeling alienated, and finding some form of salvation through a source outside of herself. In this case, it's handsome werewolves and vampires, but at any rate, it all makes sense. Who doesn't want to be saved by a powerful being who adores you (and who is super hot, to boot)?

Despite what people who hate "Twilight" say, there's nothing wrong with not knowing who you are or wanting to be saved.

Bella is a blank slate, the way most of us are at some point in our lives. She needs a reason to live. Through her story, readers have hope that they can be saved, too. That they can find an enduring love, and most of all, that they can be loved exactly how they are - even if they have no idea who that is yet.

But in 2012, many women long to do more in this world, to be more than an object of affection. And when we look to Katniss Everdeen, we see that desire brought to life in a burst of flame.

This young girl, from the beginning, is a warrior in the truest sense of the word. Her first concern is for her family's safety. Katniss has flaws and insecurities too, but there is one key element she possesses that Bella does not: integrity.

Like Bella, Katniss has feelings about the men around her. She is human. She makes discoveries. She is confused about her emotions. However, while Bella's gaze is consistently turned inward to her own thoughts and feelings, Katniss' is always turned outward.

I'd venture to say we all enjoy, to some degree, how it feels to be self-centered. But there is something greater in reaching outside of ourselves to help others. Helping others gain strength teaches us to be stronger, ourselves.

If I had a daughter, I would understand if she chose Bella as a role model. She has an exciting life (although the pregnancy part didn't seem so great - since when was it a great idea for vampires to knock up humans anyway?). I have to admit, though, that if she chose Katniss as a role model, I'd be thrilled. Because women deserve role models that teach them to be plucky, yet forthright - to carefully measure their choices and actions, and still comprehend their own flaws, and live bravely through both of those things.

When I look at Bella, I hear her words in my head, although she never utters them aloud: "Save me." I understand how that feels. Yet, when I face the fire of Katniss' determination, imagine her steely gaze, her carefully aimed bow, I hear another message altogether: "I will save myself."

Fans love her courage. And so do I.

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Filed under: Fandom
soundoff (214 Responses)
  1. vero

    actually. i could relate to bella. but i couldnt relate to katniss at all
    i cannot stand the hunger games.
    at least twilight works as as fluffy romance novel.
    hunger games sucks
    *goes back to reading the manga monster*

    December 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
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  11. shruti

    people already knows that The Hunger Game is better and it is not a love story, the story is about becoming a rebel and throwing the capitol. Katniss is a amazing role model, she is not selfish like stupid bella. In ur face TWILIGHT, The Hunger Game is more than a love story, its about rebellion and freedom, so stop comparing as one is a Masterpiece and the other is stupidest movie ever!

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  16. Amanda

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  31. Kitty

    I loved Buffy, and still think it is one of the best TV shows out there. I just rewatched some of it, and it is still fresh and so funny, and Sarah did such an amazing job portraying Buffy. I also really liked Katniss from the Hunger Games. She reminds me of Buffy. Both are strong, capable women, who carry a heavy burden on their shoulders and still manage to be soft and feminine.. These are the kinds of girls I want as role models for my kids; not Bella, who just whines and mopes when Edward isn't around. The Twilight books were poorly written and in general, just awful. I loved the Harry Potter series too, and what a writer J.K. Rowling is. Hermoine is another great female character.

    March 27, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  32. Scott

    Seems like people have completely missed the big point here....

    We are looking to Movies for our role models?????

    March 27, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • svann

      Fictional characters are generally more perfect than real people.

      March 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Dwight

      Actually plenty of people have been saying we shouldn't have movie character as our role models. However, there are those who do anyway and the flaws of these characters should at least be pointed out to them I think. Personally I don;t think any of the characters from these books are worth emulating.

      March 27, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  33. bryankearney

    The issue between the two is simple by reading book 2 of each. Book 2 of Twilight is "My boyfriend does not love me, I should kill myself". Book 2 of HG, "The capital will take my life, I will save those I love". As a parent I want my daught readint the latter.. nto the former.

    March 27, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
  34. DB5

    Twilight was retarded because the lame author broke away from the Vampire canon. That is like a person making up a word that is not found in any dictionary or encyclopedia. All of the brain dead teenyboppers that are in love with the impotent characters know nothing about vampires mythology.

    March 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Dwight

      Out of curiosity, why do you use the word "retarded' to say something is stupid rather than just call it stupid?

      March 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • JustSayin

      You do realize vampires are fictional right? So technically, there's no such thin as a "vampire mythology".

      March 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
      • James Hawk III

        Well, actually, yes, there would be, since myths are by definition stories of whose truth cannot be proven. The Greek gods are mythical–and that makes them fiction, doesn't it?

        March 27, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • Holyballs

        Dude that is a really stupid thing to say. Fo rizzle nizzle shizzle bizzzle fizzle tizzle in the hizzle nitzzle.

        March 30, 2012 at 1:08 am |
  35. Kevin

    This movie looks bad but that girl is cute. I need to put 2 in the goal and one in the stink to know more.

    March 27, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Balogun

      I find it very weird that I did not cry AT ALL while I read the Hunger Games but all these damn clips of this movie make me cry. Every. Time. Lord only know how much I'll be blubbering when Rue kicks it.

      July 3, 2012 at 2:14 am |
  36. Dana

    People can be so pathetic at times...for three years it's been Team Edward and Team a discussion about which FICTIONAL character is more compelling. A Teen girl in a love triangle or this...whatever...Hunter girl?..."NOBLE" tribute girl? What the hell do you call this woman in fact? It reminds me of all the crap about which Star Trek Captain was better...Kirk or Picard...or Sisko...or whoever... Does it really matter? Each was shaped by both the era and the story around them. I would bet the if you dumped Bella Swan into this Panem sewer she would fight like hell to survive it and try to help this uprising. I would bet that if Katniss wound up falling for Edward or Jacob, she would cope fine...and kill whichever suitor she didn't want (or at least try to). The comparison is silly. Enjoy both if you've a mind to. Frankly...I ignored Twilight, and I will likely be ignoring this as well...and waiting for SuperHero Summer to start.

    March 25, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • Dwight

      I am also looking forward to SuperHero summer, but why did you bother to come on here and insult everyone? I could say anyone who like super hero movies are loser. Instead I will point out that what is truly pathetic is coming onto a comment section to mock everyone over books you never read.

      March 25, 2012 at 11:53 pm |
  37. Phil

    It looks like an apples and oranges comparison. Bella is menaced by supernatural beings and in the story cannot possibly fight them on her own. In the next movie you can assume she is a supernatural being and will probably be less helpless.

    March 25, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
    • Ava

      Phil, I would argue that in this case the Capitol is its own supertnatural creature that Katniss can not possibly fight on her own. She stands, essentially alone (at first), against a huge corrupt power structure that controls everything from what people eat to what jobs they are allowed to have. I would not only say that Katniss has the more formidable opponent but she also has the weight of knowing an entire nation is depending on her to lead them to freedom.

      March 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
  38. voice-of-reason

    The role models for my kids come from within our family, extended family and friends. They will never need to look outside this circle to know how to live their lives. Books(fiction) are for entertainment and if they actually learn something WORTHWHILE as well, then that's great. But I fully trust that they know the difference between fiction and reality.
    I read these books myself so I can keep in touch with pop culture and trends. I have read both series multiple times and will let my kids decide what qualities of Bella and Katniss they would emulate in life.
    Personally, I have rarely encountered a character who is as one-dimensional and selfish as Bella....though Katniss is no boquet of roses, I would be proud to have her as my daughter.

    March 25, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
  39. Billie

    I don't support anything Twilight as the author gives money to anti-gay organizations. Boycott Twilight!

    March 25, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Billi Jean

      I have always been very against Twilight but now that you told me that about Myers, I will fully support her books and movies!!

      March 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  40. Sorry Folks

    Bella is rejected because of her introversion. Extroverts are just weak people, that's all. Not trying to offend, just stating a simple fact folks.

    March 25, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Dwight

      How is this fact? I know extreme receivers who are strong and extreme introverts who are weak. I myself am an introvert and call foul on your supposed fact. Don't make things up and call it fact.

      March 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Pamela

      That's absurd. I'm an introvert and I have extroverted friends, some of whom I consider very strong and wonderful people. Your comment is one of ignorance. Bella is weak, by the way, not merely introverted.

      March 25, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  41. kevin

    The only reason Bella is popular is because females, at various points in their lives, love to play victim.

    March 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
  42. Brad

    I just want to add to this comment thread....when I used to see Potter Vs Twilight threads.....and now Twilight Vs Hunger's threads like this that let me know that Ray Bradbury was really on to something when he created Fahrenheit 451. 🙂

    March 25, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • Leo

      My friend, as someone who is a big fan of the classics and sees A. Asimov, R.A Heinlein, O.S. Card, D. Simmons and S. King as my favourite authors, I have to say that you are a snob sir. Oh and R. Bradbury would not have any issues with the Hunger Games... I don't know anything about the other books though, they do not seem interesting or worth my time. The Hunger Games may be pop literature but it is not shallow or garbage. In fact I am encouraged that this story of self reliance is in the mainstream.

      March 25, 2012 at 8:42 am |
      • Sorry Folks

        People who say 'sir' are mentally handicapped.

        March 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • Dwight

        Uncalled for sorry folks. As someone with relatives who actually are handicapped you are pretty offensive.

        March 25, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
      • wOw

        @ Dwight – Not to defend Sorry Folks but what exactly would be the appropriate way to tell someone they are not an intelligent being? Mentally handicapped is about as politically correct as one can get. Again, NOT defending S.F but at least he/she didn't post the R word. I think the intent of their post was to jokingly call out someone's stupidity (in S.F's opinion) without offending. Lighten up a bit. I'm sure no harm was meant.

        March 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
      • Dwight

        wOw How it becomes offensive is the commenter uses a term describing people with a disability to say that someone else is stupid, and in turn is calling others with that disability stupid, and that most certainly is not politically correct. Really it goes beyond political correctness. It doesn;t matter what word you use to describe a type of people. If the use results in also being an insult to them then it is offensive. He could of said retarded, mentally handicapped, special, autistic. I don;t care what word he used no matter what word he used it implies calling those type of peoples stupid by correlation of the context. I'm honestly not trying to be politically correct since I don;t think that's always the best thing. What I am trying to do is give others some awareness that when they use a disability like mentally handicapped to call someone stupid, they are offending anyone who has a loved one who is mentally handicapped. I hope this makes sense, and that it helped you see things in a new light.

        The fact that a commenter needs to result to insulting someones intelligence implies they were unable to actually give a rational reason to disagree.

        March 26, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
      • svann

        Should I not call someone an idiot because the idiots might be offended?

        March 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
      • Dwight


        No because an idiot is an idiot. Wanting to call someone stupid and using a term like retarded or mentally handicapped means you are saying people who suffer with that disability are stupid. Why not just call someone stupid for being stupid. I have a hard time not believing that you are capable of understanding the difference here.

        March 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
  43. FayeMass

    I would like to address the comparison of Bella and Katniss. Please keep in mind that I have not read the Hunger Games Trilogy.

    Katniss from what I can gather is regarded as strong, resourceful, etc and better than Bella. Bella is characterized by her haters (at least for this article) as weak, clinging and borderline nuts. Well Bella is actually strong and resourceful as well. She cooks and cleans and grocery shops for her father. When she lived with her mother(whom she describes as harebrained?). She does her homework and even has a job(not portrayed in the movies). She is not materialistic like most teenagers and was willing to help pay for her own vehicle when she moved in with her father. Further Bella is not weak minded. In fact her her mental ability is what saves the Cullen clan and prevents deaths at the end of the saga.

    Women come in all shapes, sizes and abilities. Some women choose to stay home and raise a family, some women choose to join the army. Both choices are praise worthy. We praise and relish Katniss(in the context of this article and
    comments) for her overt strength and abilities, but diss Bella because she is not out fighting on the front lines.

    March 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • gavilansalvaje

      I've read all the books and seen the movies and what you say about Bella applies to Katniss as well. Bella "..cooks and cleans and grocery shops for her father. When she lived with her mother(whom she describes as harebrained?). She does her homework and even has a job(not portrayed in the movies). She is not materialistic like most teenagers and was willing to help pay for her own vehicle when she moved in with her father"? The HG movie does not show that Katniss cooks and cleans and hunts for her family (food in 12 is even harder to get than in the old USSR – and hunting is illegal in 12) and kept her family together when her mother's mind went AWOL after the death of her father. The HG movie does not show the "domestic" side of Katniss, and really did not show enough of her "tough" side.

      The ultimate difference between Bella and Katniss is that Bella wanted to die so that she could "live" and Katniss wanted to live so that her family would not die.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:49 pm |
      • Monet

        "The ultimate difference between Bella and Katniss is that Bella wanted to die so that she could "live" and Katniss wanted to live so that her family would not die."

        I really liked that.

        March 26, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Noway

      Are you honestly praising Bella for doing things all young people should do, and have done? Doing her homework, cooking, cleaning etc? Those are the hallmarks of a well disciplined and well raised child, NOT an indication that the teen in question is a pillar of feminine strength. Stephanie Mayer wrote books that appeal to those who are lost, and who perhaps haven't always had the best in self confidence. The Hunger Games specifically appeals to those who don't need men to tell them who they are, or give them a reason to live. Bella is no role model; Katniss shows everyone that you can indeed remain true to yourself, give yourself a reason to survive, to live, and focus on things that really matter – and none of those happen to be whether she will marry a vampire or a werewolf.

      March 25, 2012 at 1:19 am |
      • FayeMass

        Bella is responsible for basically running the household for both her mother and father when she lives with them. she is left alone a lot. She has to fend for herself most of the time. No wonder she runs with vampires and wolves. Most teenagers balk at any form of household work and only do it with threat of punishment, not because they are well behaved and raised well. Bella does it because there is no one else!

        March 25, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
      • Pravin

        I haven't seen her in any movies but I've heard she's a good asrcets . Looking at the picture, I can't imagine her as Katniss but as long as she can act, I don't mind so much.I hope they choose a good actor for Peeta too.Misha Mathewb4s last post ..

        April 8, 2012 at 1:18 am |
      • Zari

        About the face and neck: a little bit, yeah. I also think her waist looks rnaatuunlly small in the pic on the left, although that could be because her hair makes the top of her body look so big.They're both beautiful pictures, but tbh, they're not the way I pictured them at all. I didn't picture the veil to be so long, and I thought there was a bunch of lace on the actual dress. Ah well. They're still beautiful. I can't wait for the illustrated guide! I've been looking forward to it for FOREVER. I can't wait to learn all the back-stories of all the characters. Sometimes it feels like I'm the only one who's excited, though.

        April 14, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • Valentijn

      If you think Bella is strong, then I think you really DO need to read The Hunger Games, and quite a few other books as well. I think the best illustration of Bella's weakness and dependence can be seen in a youtube mashup of "Buffy vs Edward". In fact, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a great series for teenage girls that aren't into reading much.

      If you had read the entirety of the Twilight novels (I did, God help me), it gets even worse. Any time Edward disappears, Bella turns into a non-person for 100 pages or so. All she does is obsess about him and how she is incapable of existing without him. That's not romantic ... it's sick. Someone should've taken that girl to see a shrink.

      March 25, 2012 at 3:49 am |
    • Ava

      Yea, Bella is so strong. She went comatose when he boyfriend left her. Picture of mental health and what a great role model!

      March 27, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • sally

      you haven't read the hunger games

      March 27, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
  44. Ryan

    I loved the Hunger Games. I'm not usually much of a series reader, but I'm a big fan of dystopian literature. For me, The Hunger Games had the right amount of mix between Lord of the Flies, 1984, and Marathon Man...perhaps even with a little hint of Handmaid's Tale. Great representation of the inequality of social classes in the United States and the rest of the world. Very well-written.

    March 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  45. FayeMass

    First, it amazes me that any piece of fiction not written in iambic pentameter even gets published based on some of the comments I've read here.
    Second, these books are pure fiction targeted at young adults written by adult women. Why are so many adults treating the books as if they are supposed to solve the worlds problems. Why are are we not having this discussion about Lord of the flies or Star Wars?

    Third, it's ok to like (or not) either series. You can also like John Grisham and Schindlers List at the same time.

    Fourth, Hunger Games looks like Total Recall or Running Man and I did not care for either one. I haven't read the books because to ME the trailers didn't do anything to peak my interest.

    Finally, did read Twilight and if you could provide book, chapter and page numbers for physical and emotional abuse by the character Edward Cullen so I can go back and read.

    Oh just one more thing. We all need heroes. Maybe some people embrace the books and characters because the people (parents, priests, aunts, uncles). Just saying.

    March 24, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Dwight

      Who said they expect these books to solve the worlds problems? People need to stop over exaggerating things that have been said.

      March 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Hereyago

      I'll do you one better. Here's a blog where the pages are literally scanned in from Twilight and every sentence of psychological abuse is pointed out.

      March 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Hereyago

      Actually, let me be really clear and link you directly to one of the most recently spotted moments of abuse:

      It's a good exemplar.

      March 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  46. Number6

    The truth about "Hunger Games"? It's an unimaginative ripoff of "Battle Royale".

    March 24, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • LL

      Please – while are a number of stories with SIMILAR plots I am so sick of hearing this. I did see that movie and it is not that similar. No more so than Stephen King's Running Man (also a better movie than Battle Royale)

      March 24, 2012 at 9:36 am |
      • MLE

        I read Hunger Games and loved it, but it IS a ripoff of Battle Royale. While the movie version of Battle Royale shares some similarities, the book it is based on is freakishly similar to Hunger Games and has far too many things in common with it for it to be just a coincidence. Read the book Battle Royale, you'll see.

        March 24, 2012 at 11:51 am |
      • Paul

        Regardless of who had the idea first, Hunger Games is about 5 versions of the same story too late, to be of any interest to me.

        March 26, 2012 at 7:59 am |
      • The Fume

        Battle Royale is much better in my opinion.

        March 27, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Cashcleaner

      Sure, but while we're at it, you'll have to agree that Battle Royale is a rip-off of Stephan King's book The Long Walk.

      Hunger Games is still superior, though.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • gavilansalvaje

      That, and a commentary on how people who desire power will take a "hero" and use the hero to further a cause that the hero may or may not espouse. This is done both by the Capitol and by the leaders of the rebellion in 13.

      March 24, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  47. Antoinette

    I'm sick & tired of everyone comparing Hunger Games to Twilight, I loved Twilight, I thought they were wonderful books, if you read the books you would understand her character better, get a better more in-depth perception of who Bella was, she sacrificed her safety in order to save her mother in the first book, she learned how to live again after her heart was broken in the second book, and sacrificed her safety again just to save Edward, she was willing to let him go after he saw that she was still alive, she was not weak, spineless, needy or anything like that. It's a fictional character people, and it was well written by Stephanie Meyers, there are millions & millions of fans to prove that. Then there is Katniss, I am reading the Hunger Games right now, and so far I love it... I'm sure I'll love the movie too, but I'm not going to be comparing Katniss to Bella or the Hunger Games to Twilight, it's two different worlds, they are not to be compared, love Hunger Games for what it is, love Twilight for what it is, leave it at that. You can love more than one series of books, you can love more than one character. Please quit putting Twilight down if you haven't read the books, because you really don't need to slam a book or character if you don't understand it, you just sound stupid andi illiterate.

    March 24, 2012 at 8:07 am |
    • Dwight

      Popularity does not prove quality.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:43 am |
      • Antoinette

        I disagree, when you have a passionate fan base as large as Twilight, that involves people all around the world, that continued to grow with every movie, that speaks volumes over the minority of people that wouldn't know a good story if it come up & bit them on the ass.

        March 24, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
      • Dwight


        Plenty of people dislike the Twilight series, but have perfectly fine taste in other good stories. To top it off Twilight as well as hunger games are mainly popular with a specific crowd where as other books are well received by all kinds of demographics, which in my opinion puts those works at a much higher level of quality. If you like the books that is fine, but realize others will dislike them, and that is perfectly acceptable to. If you can't get that then go live in a cave where you can;t here anyone throw any insults about anything you like.

        March 24, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
      • gavilansalvaje

        The only reason that we consider the works of Mozart and Beethoven and Shakespeare "quality" is because they were popular enough to survive to our times.

        March 24, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • LL

      I did read the Twilight books, all of them unfortunately, and so can tell you they are poorly written and incredibly awful characters and plot. My daughter had them and after bringing home the first movie (also incredibly awful, and probably the most BORING movie I have ever had to sit through) told me I'd like the books, really. Being a fast reader, I went ahead and read them all........... Bella is a frigging idiot. Katniss, however, is a strong interesting character.

      March 24, 2012 at 9:33 am |
      • Antoinette

        I am sorry you seem to be the type of person that finds flaws in things that a vast majority of people love very much, I'm sorry that you are so unhappy that you have to rain on everyone's parade to make yourself feel better.

        March 24, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
      • Dwight


        Perhaps you can at least agree that enjoying a book or not enjoying it is largely based off of personal opinion. In other words, there is nothing wrong with someone who dislikes a book that you may enjoy? Either way the fact that you are getting so upset at people saying they disliked twilight and should keep their mouths shut tells me you probably shouldn't even be on this comment section in the first place. This article is about comparing twilight and hunger games with the premise being that twilight is worse. Don't get upset at people for agreeing with this article, and actually talking on topic. All you have done is called people an ass (something you still haven't apologized for by the way.) We are discussing are dislike with the book, but you are making it personal by hurling insults at other commenters. If it

        March 24, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • Annie

      While it's fine to enjoy Twilight, it is also okay for one to think it is not so great. Disliking a book series or character does not make someone "stupid" or "illiterate". Twilight may have a huge fanbase, but that alone does not make it good. Their are many compelling arguments against it as well. But if you like it, hey, that's cool. Just do you thing. It's all a matter of personal opinion.

      March 27, 2012 at 3:34 pm |
  48. SilentBoy741

    Twilight fans are called TwiHards, so Hunger Games fandom makes you what - HungHard?

    March 24, 2012 at 6:41 am |
  49. Joxer the Mighty

    HA HA HA HA HA HA, CNN must have read my post. The original article said people were wearing mockingbird hoodies and I pointed that out. Someone replied to my post saying I need to read it again. I laughed out loud when I did because I know it said mockingbird. I'm glad to know I made a difference!

    March 24, 2012 at 5:43 am |
  50. Cashcleaner

    Twilight is inherently dis-empowering to women. Bella exists as a character only to complement her opposite male protagonist. Her behaviour borders on that of an obsessed stalker at times. She contemplates suicide when he rejects her. She even puts her life at severe risk to carry his child – not out of consideration of her own moral code and ethics, but because it's simply another piece of the "relationship puzzle" she needs to complete. Bella COULD have been a truly unique and interesting character, but sadly the writer of the Twilight series didn't think she warranted that level of attention.

    Hunger Games, conversely empowers women. Katniss actually makes decisions on her own and her actions have a much larger scope. She volunteers for the games to save her sister. She almost sacrifices herself to humiliate an evil authoritarian government. She eventually contributes to the downfall of that government.

    March 24, 2012 at 4:56 am |
    • sharky

      Yeah, you didn't read the Twilight books.

      March 24, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • FayeMass

      I would like to address the comparison of Bella and Katniss. Please keep in mind that I have not read the Hunger Games Trilogy.

      Katniss from what I can gather is regarded as strong, resourceful, etc and better than Bella. Bella is characterized by her haters (at least for this article) as weak, clinging and borderline nuts. Well Bella is actually strong and resourceful as well. She cooks and cleans and grocery shops for her father. When she lived with her mother(whom she describes as harebrained?). She does her homework and even has a job(not portrayed in the movies). She is not materialistic like most teenagers and was willing to help pay for her own vehicle when she moved in with her father. Further Bella is not weak minded. In fact her her mental ability is what saves the Cullen clan and prevents deaths at the end of the saga.

      Women come in all shapes, sizes and abilities. Some women choose to stay home and raise a family, some women choose to join the army. Both choices are praise worthy. We praise and relish Katniss(in the context of this article and
      comments) for her overt strength and abilities, but diss Bella because she is not out fighting on the front lines.

      Bella's strength is more subtle and should not be discounted.

      March 24, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  51. Gerald

    At it's heart, the hunger games trilogy is about tyranny and human cruelty. All this fluff about the 'game' and the 'love triangle' is great publicity but detracts from the primary focus of the story. Sensationalizing kids killing kids is SERIOUS evil and Ms. Collins masterfully shows us this through the eyes of her sixteen year old heroine. That is why schools, libraries, and educators the world over have embraced theses books so. I read all three volumes in four days. The filmmakers will be hard pressed to match the author's level of artistry. When it is time for Katniss to loose her last arrow you will KNOW where it is going, and it will be a triumph.

    March 24, 2012 at 2:17 am |
  52. Courage?

    Courage to what, kill another human being so you can survive.

    Please, thats not courage, that selfishness.

    What a STUPID outcome for the characters, they were ALL ignorant pawns that agreed to provide the 'government" a death show. Had they all had REAL courage not one damn contestant would have fought at all. Without no contestants to fight to the death, there is NO contest.

    The Hunger Games ends the message: "Its ok to kill human beings as long as you are forced to do so, like Nazis did to the Jews".

    What a ffed up book and movie.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • Guest

      Sadly, refusing to fight wouldn't have changed anything. It's been tried.

      Now, I haven't read the books myself (I just read this blog from curiosity about what they are, actually) so I don't exactly know what the tyrannical central government does to the families of "traitors" but I doubt if it's anything good. If you tell a bunch of teenagers "you fight, or we kill your and your whole family, and make you watch" - and if they have reason to believe you will do it, which the whole idea of having a setup like this makes it pretty clear they're sick enough SOBs to do exactly that - then they'll fight. It comes down to who you choose to kill: do nothing, and you're choosing the death of your family; do something, and you're choosing the death of a stranger. Most people are going to choose the latter.

      March 24, 2012 at 1:03 am |
      • in the books

        In the books an entire district was wiped out for daring to defy the Capitol. The whole Hunger Games idea came about as a way to remind the Districts of what happens to rebels. Even Katniss and Peeta's little rebellion doesn't go unpunished by the Capitol.

        March 25, 2012 at 11:10 pm |
    • Phil

      It's easy to sit on the sidelines and say what is right and wrong about a situation like this, but it's another thing entirely to know from experience how you would react. Words and ideas are all fine and good but until you have been in the same situation you will never know how you would react. You might find you have less "courage" than you thought you did. Reality isn't as clear cut as you imagine it. We don't live in a world with direct contrasts between light and dark, right and wrong, good and evil and only those with limited outlooks on reality will think we do.

      March 24, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • sqeptiq

      Refusing to fight because of conscience means that only those with no conscience survive. Leads to a really sad darwinian conclusion. Sometimes we have to tell conscience to "shut up for a minute" while we take on survival, both for ourselves and those we care about.

      March 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • gavilansalvaje

      Have you read the books? Have you read any books for that matter? Go read any book on the American Revolution and then tell everyone that it was not acceptable for the colonists to kill redcoats. Go read any book on the American Civil War. Go read any book on the World Wars. Go read a book on how our species has managed to become the only human species around.

      Go read any book.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:00 am |
    • Brad

      In this particular story.....this "death show" is to ensure the people remember that the government is in charge. If all of them decided not to's likely that that government would dictate some type of genocide towards the districts. You may consider that ridiculous in general....but in this fictional world, that is the case.

      Apply a similar story like this to our world. Yes, there are many strong human beings in this world....and if 20 or 30 of us had to travel to an arena to kill each other every year because we were forced by the government....a lot of people would be scared and do it because they would feel they had to. Eventually a group would come along that wouldn't fight till the death as you mentioned. It may be strong willpower from the human civilization, but if a greater power be it the government, some corporation, or whatever wanted us to not revolt and tried to keep us in check....they would fight back....and there would be some type of civil unrest/war.

      March 25, 2012 at 3:00 am |
    • doubelieve

      Try reading the entire series.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
  53. Margiey

    I am glad to say I didn't read theTwilight Series, but wanted to know what The Hunger Games was all about. I am 29 years old and I am proud to say that I love this series!! I could not stop reading and had to download the second and third book right after the other. The charcter jump out of the pages and the author did a wonderful job and it was well written. As soon as my daughter is old enough (she is 7), I will pass the book on to her so she can enjoy as well.

    March 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Erin

      i loved these books too. but i will say you should read twilight. i am 33 and refused to read them. all my friends did and went to the movies. but what would a career professional and mother of 2 small children get out of a "not real" story?? i could NOT put them down. read all 4 in 2 weeks and had christmas in between. if you liked the Hunger Games give Twilight a chance. you will not be disappointed!

      March 23, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
      • LL

        Strongly disagree – Twilight series, the characters, plot and writing all very bad. One dimensional characters.... Bella is a boring stupid girl

        March 24, 2012 at 9:42 am |
    • Biggs

      I'm a 40 year old man and enjoyed the Hunger Games. It is a series that went beyond a tween romance and frankly was entertaining as all he!!. My wife got me to read the first, I red the next two within a week. Great characters and story. Twilight was tripe. My wife got me to read the first, it was just a horrible romance novel and worse movies. Just terrible.

      March 23, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
      • Simonel

        As a kid, I'm pretty ctraein I picked up the first HP book, read a couple sentences, declared it stupid, then put it back on the bookstore shelf. Haha!I must admit, I'm intrigued by The Hunger Games, and a friend of mine recently read the trilogy and rec'd it, so I'll likely be checking it out sometime in the future. (But probably far ahead in the future, since I already have so many books in my TBR pile to read!)

        April 8, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  54. Really?

    First they are both fiction books! Second, why must everything that we read even if it is a fictional story must there be a lesson to learn or a role model to look up to? Why can't we have our children look up to real life role models? And in my opinion I don't think either of the characters in the books are a good role model for young women. For those of you who say Bella is in an abusive relationship, really I must have not read that version. But hypothetically speaking for arguments sake in relationships doesn't one person always love the other partner more and wouldn't they do anything for them???? Having children sometimes is a difficult decision to make in order for both partners to be ready at the same time???? Everyone is saying Bella is weak; therefore, shouldn't be a role model.....if that is the argument shouldn't the more relavant and worry some question be why can't our children have a real life model from history that changed the real world we live in? Weren't we all weak at one point of our lives? Don't we all try to work for a better relationship with our significant other and their families? Don't we preocupy ourselves when our children are in danger and will do anything for our kids?? The hunger games character Katniss is said to be strong, self sufficient, overcomes obstacles that she faces and that she is awesome because she self sacrifices.....why would we want our children to settle in relationships or anything in life??? The author writes off Gale as going to another district and Katniss ending with Peeta I don't think he was Katniss first choice. Katniss wanted to save Peeta the second time around of the hunger games sacrificing herself, isn't Katniss being selfish because she wants to save him and she is not respecting what Peeta wants (for her to live). Katniss also relied on Gale showing her how to set the traps how is that being independent. Katniss always tried to move forward for someone else (her sister) I thought that we encouraged our kids to be independent and to do things for themselves not to please anyone else.....I understand everyone's arguments but really.......When we are comparing fictional books to each other, which story line is better and which character is a better role model for young women now that is more worry some. IN THE END IT IS ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE.....

    March 23, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Nuhuh

      The problem with Twilight is that this isn't Bella's "moment" of weakness: her character is weak. Meyer specifically says that Bella is meant to be written as a kind of "blank slate" so that others can insert themselves into her shoes, so she is inviting the reader to "be" Bella. Not every character has to be written as strong and courageous, but when that person is the main character and she is viewed positively by other characters and never faces a dilemma over her weakness, then that is when it becomes a problem. At that point, the author is just asserting that it's ok to let people trample all over your wishes, and to rob you of your right to decide things for yourself; that is the path to true love. Edward makes decisions for her, takes away her right to make choices (see "car engine" scene for details), and generally disrespects her wishes. That's not love.

      March 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
      • Really?

        Meyer said Bella was written as a blank slate....key word written. Again in the end it is about perspective. It has been proven that just because everyone reads the same book not everyone will understand the characters in the same way. Some people like myself just see both books as that, books! In our own lives we might have people that might have the same qualities or might lack the qualities that some of the characters in the books may have or maybe they don' will be the judge of that.

        March 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Ollie

      Oh Really . . .
      Literature – Good literature – lets all who read it explore characters and values, see and feel, vicariously of course, what it is like to fail, to succeed, to strive through whatever life throws.
      That you call it merely fiction is missing the point of well written literature. If the only role models we are allowed to value must be from reality, then in a sense you are endorsing the 'reality entertainment' mentality. Ironically, that is just what Collins is holding up for us to examine. Every day we are 'entertained' by people who are living false lives just so we will watch them and buy things.
      Bella and the Twilight Saga is junk food, superficial. Entertaining and enjoyable, but nothing thought provoking or redeeming. Hunger Games has some bite, it forces us to examine human nature and watch as everything that Katniss is, everything she values plays a part in her tragic victory. Her life of desperation is exactly what prepared her to be something more than she ever thought she could.
      You can't ever say that about Bella.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
      • Really?

        Well written literature is also debatable.....Just because some expert is calling it well written literature is it really well written literature? (any kind of literature). I am playing devils advocate is up to yourself who you want your role model to be and if you want it to be from a fictional story or a real life person who influenced society for it to be more "equality". And by reality I didn't mean reality television, personally I think It's junk but it is out there and people can watch it or not. I prefer not to. Unfortunately I do think that there are a lot of kids who aim to be reality tv stars because they think they will be rich and have money but everyone is allowed to have their own opinion regardless of what the opinion is....that is why this is a great country freedom of expression. 🙂 As far as the books it may be of your opinion that both are complete garbage or not...totally up to the reader. Isn't that great?

        March 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
  55. Alej

    ok, personally, i've never liked Twilight because i thought the main heroine was spineless. i read the hunger games three years ago n loved it rit off the bat. katniss is an inspriration to all women. if only she were real...

    March 23, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Antoinette

      I think you take stories too seriously, just sayin'

      March 24, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • Bongo Bear

      Alej, there a plenty of real Katnisses among female US military veterans.

      March 24, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
      • Bongo Bear

        and active duty servicewomen.

        March 24, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
  56. snoop

    The real truth about hunger games as it relates to twilight is that the hunger games series goes downhill after the first book while the twilight's series does not. I expect the movies to do the same. So, enjoy the first book/movie and save yourself disappointment with the others.

    As far as Katniss vs Bella, I don't think either should be a role model... they both go down the crazy path. Katniss w/PTSD and Bella w/Edward withdrawl.

    March 23, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • Really?

      I'm with you. 🙂

      March 23, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Erin

      agree!! the first hunger games was my fav! the other 2 were good but not as good and whenever not in the arena i was bored.

      March 23, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • nicolamonk

      So if someone has a mental health issues as the result of severe trauma, they aren't a good role model because they went down the "crazy path"? What? Since when does a mental illness make someone a poor role model? After experiencing enough trauma almost everyone will get PTSD. The human brain is hardwired to develop PTSD.

      I have a lot of issues with how book 3 was written, but basically, she has PTSD, yet in the long run still manages to live a good life. Which is something extremely admirable in my opinion. And much, MUCH different than having your entire world revolve around some guy so much that if he's not there you can't function.

      March 25, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • Bagung

      Dear Krishnaji,Thank you very much for sending brief news about Ghandruk, it cerlniaty has given us pleasure to know what is going on in Ghandruk.I was born and bred in Ghandruk but due to global migration, currently living in the global village in the UK. As such I am always endeavoring to keep myself up to date with the news and views about Ghandruk. The step you have taken is good for those people living abroad. If you would kindly send us such brief notes at least every six months would be great?Thank you so much.Warmest regards

      August 3, 2012 at 3:04 am |
  57. Ieat

    Yay, no more Harry potter and twilight comparison!

    March 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Jennifer

      This is so true! They really didn't see the obiuvos opportunities they had about getting her down! I mean if they did want to climb the tree they could have sent clove, she was the smallest of the careers! but good job on the video!!!

      July 3, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  58. CAYLA


    March 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Dwight

      Some people just enjoy talking about books they liked an comparing them with others. There is nothing particularly wrong with that. As for why we are here and not doing something better with our time, I could ask you the same thing. I would also like to point out that you are so far the only one who has come on here and written in all caps suggesting you are yelling, this escalating this to a pretty higher level of ridiculousness.

      As for your last point on we need to be wealthy writers before we can go and speak about whether or not a book is bad.....
      I don't need to be a chef to know whether or not I enjoy the food I eat, I don't need to be a director to know whether or not a movie was bad. I don't need to be an artist to tell a difference between a 2nd graders finger painting and a master painters work. To top it off you also would need to of been a successful writer to make the statement that Twilight is good. So your logic is not looking to good here. According to this argument you cannot expressive positive or negative feedback, or any kind of feedback for that matter, on a topic unless you are a master at it.

      With all that being said I think it should be acceptable for people to continue to discuss these books despite your disapproval and boisterous yelling.

      March 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Nuhuh

      I'm not sure ethics is determined by "number of books sold" or "millions made." As a consumer of books, I can be critical of anything from the writing to the characterization to the message. And all three are wanting in Twilight.

      March 23, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  59. Eve

    Let's ask Congress to pass laws banning books, novels, movies, etc. that have so-called weak, stupid, clinging, needy characters either male or females. Every character should be a role model of exceptional physical and emotional strenght so actors won't be ripped apart for daring to play "bad role model" characters, our children can grow just like the good role models, and parents won't have to do any parenting. You are all pathetic people debating these books characters and looking for ways to knock out one or the other. I feel sorry for your children.

    March 23, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Dwight

      As a parent it is their responsibility to know the content of the material in the books their children read. There is nothing wrong with censoring material that gives an unhealthy view on something and portrays it in a positive light. Obviously I hope my children will look up to my wife and I as their role models. I also realize the potential for them to look at other outside material as their role models. I can't control what they put in that role. I can only strive to be someone worthy of modeling.

      Frankly your comment is coming off as childish, and you are making outrageous generalizations about the comments when in reality nothing has been close to saying the things you are claiming are being said.

      March 23, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Dwight

      Also no one is saying the government should ban these books, that's just stupid. However, it makes sense to make sure we teach our kids how to pick good quality material. ;m not going to be one of those parents who simply tells their kids they can;t read or watch something. I want to explain to them the need to have a filter, and realize that some kinds of material shouldn't be wasted on, and help them be able to learn how to distinguish between material on their own.

      March 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Nuhuh

      My god, there's a reasonable human being on CNN! Thank you for existing, Dwight. You make me feel better about humanity.

      March 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Ollie

      Again – missing the point. Literature is for the advanced mind to ponder. There is a LOT of fluff out there that just takes up time and space, but there are some enormously important works that people should read, if only to gain perspective.
      When you mock readers – deep readers – who enjoy the conversation, the comparisons and the connections, you mock critical thinking and intellectual discourse.

      We need to be able to think on multiple planes and hold multiple views. I pity your children that your first response is to scorch the earth sarcastically and then diminish comparative discussion and literary analysis. I bet you shut down just about any conversation that YOU decide is worthless and boring with an eye-roll.

      And now you'll call me some sort of intellectual snob or whatever. Figures.

      March 23, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
      • Biggs

        Actually Ollie no one will call you an intellectual. Ever.

        March 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • gavilansalvaje

      The main reason why I read these books is that my children were reading them and I wanted to be able to discuss the books with them. Some people like to be able to keep track of what their children are doing / thinking / feeling, and doing research into the things that interest them is part of that.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  60. LEE

    Katniss is prettier and Jennifer is a better actress. Bella is down right boring and Kristen can't act worth a darn.

    March 23, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • James

      Kristen Stewart is a beautiful girl who has had a long career with interesting roles, and she's only 21. Why the hate?

      March 24, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • Ryan

      Watch "Welcome to the Riley's" and "Panic Room" and see if you feel the same way. I've never seen Twilight but Stewart is actually quite a talented actress.

      March 24, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
  61. CeCe

    I didn't grow up in the American culture so I ask one question: Why do American children need or turn to fictional characters such as Bella and Katniss or celebrities or athletes for role models? Whatever happened to parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. Every one here talks like their daughters should be or should not be like Bella or Katniss. Also, the comparison between Twilight and The Hunger Games is borderline "bullish". Twilight brought happiness to many and so will The Hunger Games. Why is the comparisons (which are not needed) becoming so brutal and bullish. It seems to be encouraging bullying instead of fighting it. Thank.s

    March 23, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Dwight

      I think your bullying point is a bit extreme, however I strongly agree with your point about role models. The world could use more of that kind of philosophy.

      March 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • gavilansalvaje

      Cece, you should ask Charles Barkley to answer that question for you.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:04 am |
      • Halis

        What a great giveaway!! Katniss is awseome, for sure. I like Katsa, too, since Bitterblue's comin' out so soon just Kat for short, right?Have an awseome day!

        July 1, 2012 at 9:51 am |
  62. Twilight vs. THG...really?

    I've read both trilogies and enjoyed them both. They are completely different stories, set in different times, with different plots and not really sure comparing them to one another is fair to either author. Just curious because I've seen so many comments about Bella being in an abusive relationship and wanting to abort her fetus – I've read those books a couple of times and not really sure the people making those comments actually read the same books I did, because in the books I read, she was in a relationship with a very protective and doting boy and he was the one who wanted to abort the fetus because he thought it might kill her...wondering if there is an alternate version floating out there somewhere that I missed?

    March 23, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • Dwight

      Not sure anyone so far has said Bella wanted to abort her baby, so I'm not sure where you were reading that. As for the abusive aspect, Edward is very controlling of the relationship, and threatens to commit suicide when things don't go his way. I have heard women in abusive relationships read these books and quite literally cringe because of how similar it is. To top it all off Bella is unhealthily obsessed over Edward to the point that she puts herself in life threatening situations just to hear his voice, she would literally rather die than be without him, and Edward actually does try and kill himself when he thinks Bella is dead. This isn't love it is twisted obsession and threats of suicide should one not get there way. And before you say "Romeo and Juliet did it" I hated that storyline to because again it gives an incredible awful view of love.

      March 23, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
      • snoop

        Romeo and Juliet did it.

        If you're so super opposed to suicidal thoughts and threats you are reading the wrong books. THG/TWI are not for you.

        March 23, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
      • Dwight

        Read my comment ask the way through and you will see that I acknowledged romeo and juliet did it. You either were trying to be sarcastic or weren't paying attention. Either way it gives you a bad argument.

        March 24, 2012 at 8:47 am |
  63. Linda

    I have read both series a few times. While Twilight was enjoyable it annoyed me thoroughly. All the characters complain and their first thoughts are always to run from their problems, and multiple times Bella welcomes death to get away from her pain. I like the Hunger Games more because Katniss is fighting. She is standing up for what she believes in, and doesn't let her plight stop her from being there for her family and protecting others. The character of Bella just wallows in her own suffering. Katniss fights her suffering and shows you can be a female, be in a love triangle, and not lose yourself at all.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  64. Thorne

    Am I the only one who remembers that is it because of Meyer that THG got its first big push into popularity? It was Meyer raving about how good it was that brought it to the attention of the Twi-Hards to start with.
    Here's the thing... I like both series for very different reasons. I do think that THG books are better written. You can see Collins' experience as a writer. But I think both of the stories themselves are good. THG movie is just better than the Twilight movies.
    I always wonder if people who talk about Bella's "abusive relationship" have actually read all of the books. I mean... you realize that Bella saves EVERYONE in the end of Breaking Dawn right? That her immunity to Edward is actually the human manifestation of being able to protect everyone around her INCLUDING Edward. Bella is far from defenseless and far from vapid. I guess it's just too easy to hate something women like. And in typical fashion we allow other people to tell us that we can't have this, if we have this. We can't be pretty AND smart. If we like Katniss... we can never relate to Bella. Fantastic. I for one am going to get behind anything that gets kids to read and anything that gets young women thinking, "hey... maybe I can be an author too."

    March 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm |
    • Linda

      I don't think comparing the characters hurts but Bella only saves people when she becomes a vampire, when she gets supernatural powers. Until then she whines and doesn't have much self worth. In terms of being a strong female role model Katniss is more identifiable and worthy because she isn't supernatural. She is a strong woman fighting for her life and those around her. For a role model, girls don't need to believe they need some supernatural influence to make them strong and able to defend the people around them. They only need look in themselves like Katniss, and be comfortable being themselves, supernatural or not.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Dwight

      Honestly what bothers me about Twilight is that it also gets girls thinking that something portrayed in the book as a loving committed relationship is a healthy kind to pursue. In reality, the books portray one of the most horrid love stories I have ever seen, and this is coming from someone who is well aware of the story form beginning to end. It;' books that I will not be encouraging my daughters to read unless they want to learn how to do everything the exact opposite in their love life.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
      • Anonymous

        As a parent isn't it your job to make sure your daughters understand the difference between fiction and reality? And why would you want them to follow the example of Bella? Graduation, marriage, children in that order. And not a story where children are forced to fight to the death for food and overthrow the government? Aren't you worried about them misunderstanding that as well then?

        How about we respect the fact that various individuals will enjoy different forms of entertainment and that children should be supervised and encouraged to discuss any questions they may have about books and movies that are intended for a PG-13 and above audience?

        March 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
      • Dwight


        First off I didn't discuss anything about the hunger games in this comment and whether or not kids should read it so I'm not really sure why you bring that in as a compariosn.

        Secondly, it is also my responsibility as a parent to teach my children to ave a filter. Frankly there are some forms of entertainment where it would imply be best to avoid it. I don;t think there is anything wrong with that. I'm not telling other parents how they should do their job, but people on here have been asking why some people feel this way about Twilight, and I wanted to respond to those questions.

        I'm assuming you meant to ask why wouldn't I want my children to follow the example of Bella? I want my children to realize what a true loving relationship really is. I want them to understand that suicide should never be an option to escape the pain of this world. I want them to realize that they can do so much better than Bella does with Edward. I want them to understand how they can be in a loving relationship yet be a strong individual. They need to learn how to be strong as a person before they can walk through life with the spouse for the rest of their life.

        I don't mean to come off as disrespectful, but I will respond to people who question why I think these books are bad. I think it is a bad argument to simply say "It's just fiction" and leave it at that. I have seen lots of girls view these books as a healthy model for relationships, and I think that needs to be dealt with.

        March 23, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
      • Nonny Mouse

        Anonymous, The fact that children are forced to fight to the death is *supposed* to evoke horror and revulsion. The fact that the games even exist is the central problem of the series.

        March 23, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
      • snoop

        Sigh... apparently Dwight has never fell in love with a vampire.

        March 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  65. ArtInChicago

    Is this Hammer vs Michael Jackson 2.0? Why compare? Maybe they will do a celebrity death match with the characters though.

    March 23, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • gavilansalvaje

      Hammer? No! Jackson V. Prince.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:05 am |
  66. DeSi459

    Books are like food. There's the easily-available low-nutritional-value "fast food" (popular fiction), and there's gourmet, artisan, and delectable (true literature).

    Twilight books are the fast-food of literature – they're easy, quick, and addictive. The movies were just as mediocre as the books, but we devoured them the way a teenager digs into a Big Mac. But as much as we might want to believe the Hunger Games books are 'like, SO much more AMAZING' than Twilight, they are equally fast, easy, and mediocre. The movie seems more promising as a film, but the books were no better, the characters no deeper, and the plot line no more compelling.

    As a high school teacher, I love the fact that these books get kids to read. I just hope that some of them take that love of reading and apply it to more complex and richer texts in the future.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
    • MSKATE!

      As a HS teacher, isn't that part of your job?

      March 23, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
      • Dwight

        The student still needs to be willing to learn.

        March 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Nonny Mouse

      Actually, the plot was much deeper and the characters much richer in Hunger Games. There is a lot of moral ambiguity, a lot of opportunity to question what is really right and wrong as opposed to what some characters are saying. Katniss runs into this over and over again. And she's got way more depth, and the relationships are more complicated. I'm a very critical reader and I read a lot of YA lit to know the landscape where my kids are headed, and I see a huge difference between these.

      March 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Panta

      Of course Katniss is way up there, as I have read the book and just saw the movie today, but I think my fonnurreer is Rachel Morgan Thank you for participating in this fun hop.

      July 3, 2012 at 12:09 am |
  67. Snorlax

    Katniss exemplifies all of the best qualities of being a conservative, including strength, self-reliance and courage. Bella is a liberal all the way, in that all she does is take, and her first impulse is to abort her fetus. Bella is the future welfare mom, while Katniss should be the president of Panem.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      wow, only 16 responses and someone already brought up politics. You need to get a life.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
      • Thorne

        Are you kidding me? The mind boggles at the lengths some people will go to.

        March 23, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • ArtInChicago

      Mommy!!!! Make the crazy man stop!!!!

      March 23, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
      • Joxer the Mighty

        LOL 🙂

        March 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • Snorlax

      It is obvious that the left hates strong and confident women. You all should take a lesson from Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. You will learn something.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
      • Joxer the Mighty

        That's why the left gave birth to the likes of Rick Santorum?

        March 23, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
      • Thorne

        Did you forget your meds this morning? I don't dislike Ann Coulter because she's a conservative OR because she's a woman... I just think she is mean and has an ugly spirit. Get over yourself.

        March 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm |
      • Nuhuh

        Ok, now we KNOW this is a troll. No one puts forward Ann Coulter as a "strong conservative woman role model" with a straight face.

        March 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
      • Snorlax

        You're right...I forgot to add "Beautiful".

        March 23, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • shawleigh17

      Honestly, she struck me as a socialist in all of the books...

      March 23, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
      • gavilansalvaje

        Did you read the books???

        March 25, 2012 at 12:06 am |
      • shawleigh17

        Yes... you've asked that of multiple people, but you didn't offer a reason as to why you don't think that would make sense. She takes care of everyone. She makes sure everyone is fed/taken care of before herself. When they go into the capitol and see that the citizens are hoarding food during the shortages while there are people out there with nothing, they are disgusted. She's disgusted at the party in the capitol when they talk about throwing up so that they can eat more (as she thinks about the people starving in her district). Now, I'm not really into politics, nor do I care, but in general, she strikes me as she herself caring about others and ensuring that everyone is taken care of. To me, that is a socialist, in the basest sense of the word. She NEVER struck me as being "conservative," though, unless you are strictly talking about being anti-government, which could really encompass a large number of different political styles or people. That's really a pretty blanket idea. So yes, I read the books.

        March 25, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • Guest

      Um, and what about us strong, self-reliant, and (hopefully) courageous liberals?

      Nice stereotyping there, except that it's more fictional than anything in either series. :p

      March 24, 2012 at 1:12 am |
      • Snorlax

        There is no such as a strong independant or courageous liberal. It is not in their DNA. If it were, they'd be conservatives.

        March 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  68. Jennifer

    I hate the comparisions of THG to Twilight. They are just two completely different stories. Now I've never read or seen Twilight (nor will I, sorry Vampires don't sparkle) but I don't understand the constant comparisons. And any real THG fan knows this story is much more than the love triangle and I for one loathe those who use Team Peeta or Gale. It is not a love story.

    March 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • selunesmom

      This, exactly.
      The central thrust to Bella is a dependent, needy personality. She whines at her father, she's not a good student, she's immensely unsympathetic, etc. The Twilight series is full of plot holes and logical problems that one has to seriously overlook in order to force oneself to read them. (Cut finger = feeding frenzy, but classmates having their periods doesn't? Even when it's said the smell of blood sets them off?)
      Katniss, on the other hand, is the very opposite. Having been helpless and weak, she hates being dependent and relying on outside help. She doesn't want romance or marriage, or children, because of the state of the world around her.

      THG is a war story, a political story, not a love story. The only real love story in the series is Finnick and Annie.

      March 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
  69. Joxer the Mighty

    The author of this article says she's a fan of the Hunger Games yet she said people are proud of their MOCKINGBIRD hoodies? Seriously? She thinks she can relate to true hunger games fans AND SHE CALLS IT A MOCKINGBIRD? If you were a true fan of the series you would know it's called a Mockingjay.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • mustang ali

      this is a case of go back and read it again... it says Mockingjay.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
      • Joxer the Mighty

        Well, apparently you must have read it after CNN edited it so they don't look like morons.

        March 24, 2012 at 5:45 am |
  70. Kelsey

    I'm really hating ever other article comparing The Hunger Games to Twilight. They are 2 totally different genres. It's like if you like the Hunger Games you can't like Twilight and vice versa. Just let these 2 movies and authors stand alone for their own merit.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • valkyrie

      It's impossible not to compare the two series since they're both aimed at the same exact demographic, have female main characters, both of whom are involved in some sort of love triangle. However, that's where the comparison ends. Bella is a devoid of personality, defines herself by those around her, and gleefully enters into a controlling, abusive relationship. Katniss is independent, self-sufficient, and caring. She's somewhat involved in a love triangle that she wants no part of but will sacrifice herself to save the ones she loves.

      March 23, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Dwight

      You're right there is no comparison. One glorifies abusive relationships and suicide when your boyfriend breaks up with you. The other one doesn't.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
      • Anonymous

        The other has nearly two dozen kids aged 12 to 18 die by machete, sword, blows with a brick, a spear to the chest, arrows, having their necks snapped. All damage inflicted by each other. Much better for your kids.

        March 23, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
      • Dwight

        TO clarify Anonymous. i don;lt think Hunger Games is a very good series for children to read. However I feel equally as strongly over Twilight if not more. I have never seen 12 year old kill each other from reading hunger games. I have seen teenage girls in very unhealthy relationships because of Twilight. That said you do bring up a point, and I agree neither series should probably be encouraged to be read by young children. Then again that is just my opinion, and I wouldn't want to tell other parents what to do.

        March 23, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
      • Antoinette

        Stupid ass, Bella never attempted to commit suicide, quit making stupid comments, if you haven't read THE BOOKS!! She placed herself in dangerous situations to save people she loved, that's not suicide... It's not to be interpreted that way by any means. It's fiction, but well written, and millions of people of all different ages could relate to Bella's character, and millions of people can relate to Katniss, to me that doesn't make one character better than the other or the one writer better than the other, it makes them both successful.

        March 24, 2012 at 8:14 am |
      • Dwight

        Frankly you are proving why I rarely speak on cnn. This comment should likely be removed for its attempts to get a cheap rise out of me for use of insults.
        I most certainly did read the books. In the second one bella pours herself in dangerous situations not to save others, but so she can hear from her ex who she is u increasingly obsessed over, edward tries to kill himself when he believes bela is dead, and even makes thats on doing so if things should never go three way in the relationship.

        In the future try and be a little respectful. Again I have read the books, and I stand by this view and frankly don't care one bit how it makes you think about me since you clearly have no desire to be civil.

        March 24, 2012 at 8:41 am |
  71. BermudaBound

    Collins can write; Meyers can't. Katniss is a fully formed character who lives and breathes from page to page. Bella is a vapid creation who is even more lifeless than her undead lover.

    March 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • gavilansalvaje

      And it was Meyer who put the words to paper that convinced you to hate Bella so vehemently.

      March 25, 2012 at 12:08 am |
  72. Mary

    At 56, I am not the Twilight or the Hunger Games target reader but l enjoy a good story. I could not get through the first few chapters of the twilight series but I enjoyed all three of the Hunger games books. Better story, a very human heroine.

    March 23, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • gman

      me too. i am a 49yo male and hardly the demographic this was aimed at (big wheel of time fan). I was waiting for the final wheel of time book when i picked this up mostly out of curiosity about all of the hype of the movie. I was pleasantly surprised. these books (i've read all 3) are very good and actually keep you wanting to pick them back up and keep reading even though it is time to go to work. the only really slow part is the beginning of the first book but after you get past that it is non stop. Suzanne Collins did a fine piece of work with these. Congratulations to you.

      March 23, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
      • Gayle

        It's interesting to me how passionate some people are in their defense of or attack on one series or the other. I think both books have found fans in widely varying demobragraphcs. I'm a 37 year old female. I have read, and loved, both series. Why do we have to pit one against the other? Why do we have to look for role models in one or the other? Why can't we just be entertained by whatever it is we like to read, whatever gives us an escape. I've been teased about liking the Twilight series, and from my point of view, it's pure escapism. It's fun. What's wrong with that? If I want to find a role model for myself or my daughter, I'll check out those around me... I'll point to real women who have faced real challenges and succeeded. Lighten up people!! Both series are able to suck you in, and for different reasons and in different ways. When I started on the 1st Twilight book, I couldn't put it down, nor any of the following 3 books. When I started on Hunger Games, I couldn't put it down, nor any of the last two books in that series. So let's all just accept fiction for what it is - entertainment. If you're looking for the answers to today's ills in these stories, or role models for yourself or your kids, you're bound to fail in either case. Read. Enjoy. Be happy to spend some time in a world of someone else's imagination. Then put your book away and get back to real life.

        March 27, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
      • Dwight

        The problem though is when others aren't viewing it as fiction to leave aside and not bring into thier life. Girls read the relationship between Bella, Edward, and Jacob and want to emulate it flaws and all. I've seen it happen. Shouldn't we then at least be aware of the flaws in the literature we read? We can enjoy them, but we also need to be willing to acknowledge that dangerous habit may develop from them, and at the very least make teenagers aware of it. People say it is just a sotry and I agree. The problem is that not everyone takes it as just a story. That's the issue that people are dealing with.

        Should people look up to either Katniss or Bella as a role model over someone in real life? Of course not. DO people do it anyway? They most certainly do.

        March 27, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  73. Lauren

    I agree – TEAM HAYMITCH!!!!! He is the greatest!!!!! And Katniss – well – her character and Jennifer Lawrence's approach to playing her are enviable and wonderful role model material in a time when it takes alot of guts to survive out there sometimes!!!! Love it!

    March 23, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  74. Ohnoetry

    I agree with Marti's sentiment. I would also caution that Bella is not an "ok" as opposed to "great" role model. She is essentially involved in an emotionally abusive, controlling relationship, and rather than setting her foot down, she revels in it and labels it as "true love." That's someone none of us want for our daughters or friends, and the message IS poisonous.

    If you don't think about it too hard, you can see the appeal of the books: supernatural creature whisks plain jane girl into world of other magical creatures, and said supernatural creature is in love with the girl. Lots of stories thrive on a similar premise. However, this book glorifies some weird behaviors out of their relationship – if that was happening to any of our friends, we'd throw up the red flags for them and say "Ok, what is going on? You know it's not ok that he's telling you who you can and cannot be friends with. Or telling you that you're going to leave town whether you like it or not. Or that he disables your car so you can't leave your house." Or a thousand other messed up things (see every page of the series for reference). It's hard enough for the inside person to tell if they are in an abusive relationship, why are we letting the waters be muddied?

    tl;dr – No more Twilight comparisons. They're not good books.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  75. Nonny Mouse

    I agree with this article. Most women have felt like Bella at some point, but later we look back on that as a weak point in our lives. Eventually we come to realize that no one is going to save us, and take away all our problems in life; we must rise to the challenge ourselves.

    Katniss keeps going because she sees no other option; this defines womanhood in so many respects. She has confusing feelings but isn't dominated by them. Both her men are wonderful and either would be a great choice. But later, because right now she has go survive. She cares about her family in a powerful way; Bella never cared about anything other than herself. Even her love was selfish. They never say it, but Katniss seems to know that she can't love properly, really give, until the bigger problem is solved.

    March 23, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Josie

      It sounds like Katniss is the idealized girl– with the superhuman strength and determination we wish we could have and want our daughters to have, even though it's just as unhealthy as expecting our daughters' to be physically perfect. Nobody is physically or emotionally perfect, and no one could live up to Katniss. The total self-sacrifice and taking on of such a huge burden is unfair.

      Neither of these are realistic expectations.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
      • Nonny Mouse

        No, Katniss isn't perfect emotionally. She struggles the entire time, she is confused and angry and knows she is shut down in some respects, and she questions herself. But she keeps doing the best she can, putting one foot in front of the other regardless, and that IS an ideal I think is worth holding up as something to admire and emulate. For many of us, it will be necessary.

        Being strong isn't being perfect. It means persevering in spite of the imperfections. That what Katniss succeeds at. Every young woman should believe she can too – or else they're selling themselves short.

        March 23, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  76. Marti

    Good article, and I am glad and hoping that this is the begining of the end of young girls falling into the Twilight Trap. Yes, Katniss is way better than Bella, and yes the Hunger Games is by leaps and bounds better than that trash, but seriously can we please stop comparing stuff to Twilight? To me, it's like saying that something is better than Twilight is redundant...because well, if Twilight is your measure of how things are, then that bar has been set so low it's practically burring in the ground.

    And since we're on the subject of good role model's for young girls in todays lit...why isn't anyone comparing Katniss to characters like Hermione Granger, Luna Lovegood or any of the amazing female characters in Harry Potter? Lyra from the "His Dark Materials" triology, etc. Girls have already had a good role model for years now before Twilight, before the horrible character that is Bella and the insesant screams of "Team Edward! Team Jacob" flodded our society. Stop it. Just stop comparing Hunger Games, Harry Potter or any other literature that IS trying to convey a complex plot, character developement and comentary to what is essentially a cheap dime-store novel of the YA section. Stop insuliting readers intelligence and let's move away from the Twilight Trainwreck. Please.

    March 23, 2012 at 10:27 am |
    • sally

      well said!

      March 23, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • ckav

      I couldn't have said it better Marti. The Hunger Games series is tops in my book. Much better message for both our girls and our boys in this series. I couldn't get past the first Twilight book, and never will.

      March 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • MashaSobaka

      I came here to say that. You want to talk about sacrifice, about complexity? Look at what Hermione did. Look at what Luna did. It's already damaging that we tell young girls that they can ONLY be inspired by female characters (personally I have many male role models and don't believe that my uterus disqualifies me from emulating them). Now we're telling young girls that they can ONLY be inspired by women who, what, have a few men fighting over them? Give me a freaking break. Katniss is great. But Hermione is just as great. So is Lina. Even Ginny, who annoys me, had enormous strength. The young girls of this generation already had a host of female role models thanks to JK Rowling. We shouldn't be using Bella Swan as a measuring stick for all if our cultural heroines. It just doesn't make any sense.

      March 24, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
      • Me

        Bella is pathetic.

        March 25, 2012 at 2:20 am |
      • Dang

        She's not who I would have picked, but I think she's much ebtter than some of the people whose names were being thrown around for the role. She was excellent in Winter's Bone and I think that proved she could get down and dirty for a role. We'll see how she does.Melissab4s last post ..

        April 8, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • Me

      I just like well written books and movies. My list of favorite books includes HP, LOTR, Iliad, Odyssey, Hamlet... I haven't read HG, but have seen the movie. I read a book sampler though, and I can't wait to buy it. I read the first few chapters of Twilight, couldn't carry on... Awful. The movie... Horrible.
      The HG trailer was not good. If my kids didn't beg to see it, I wouldn't have gone. Looked blah. The actual HG movie was good, but lacking scenes/ dialog regarding the relationship between Katniss with Gale,Peeta and Rue. I sniffled when Rue died, but I was crying when Dobby died. I'm going to buy the book tomorrow. Maybe I'll be reaching for the kleenex box when Rue dies.

      March 25, 2012 at 2:15 am |
  77. THG

    TEAM HAYMITCH all the way!

    March 23, 2012 at 9:41 am |
    • gman

      i'll drink to that!

      March 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm |