We recently caught up with Caroline Forbes at the Mystic Grill to talk about the the “book club” she recently joined and the first book she’s undertaking: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.
Caroline: Okay, so, now that I’m part of the vampire population of Mystic Falls, I guess Damon decided that he should educate me or something. And not in the same way Stefan did when he taught me how to control my urges. Damon said I needed to “better myself intellectually” through literature. *dramatic eye roll* So he gave me a list of books I apparently NEED to read. It had stuff like Call of the Wild, Lord of the Flies, 1984, Slaughterhouse Five, The Metamorphosis, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and Survivor by some guy named Chuck Palahniuk. Whew. There are more, but that’s all I can remember. Oh! And this book was on there — The Hunger Games.
This one is the first in the triology — they’re all on the list. It’s about this girl named Katniss who is selected to compete in this nation-wide competition between all the Districts, which are like states in this country called Panem. Panem is what used to be the United States, but in the future it’s called Panem. Anyway, I guess Katniss is not actually selected. Her little sister, Prim, is selected and Katniss volunteers to take her place.
The reason Katniss takes her sister’s place is that all the kids (all children between 12 and 18) chosen have to fight to the death for the amusement of the government, the Capitol. I know President Snow is a guy, but he TOTALLY reminds me of Katherine, sort of. That just seems like something she would do.
Anyway, the book follows Katniss as she goes to the Capitol, where they train all the kids, or Tributes, who have come to fight, and stays with her when they’re put in the arena and actually have to fight. It was bloody and violent and upsetting. It was awful. But it was so, so good.
While they were in the arena, Katniss makes friends with one of the other tributes, a little 12-year-old from District 11 (Katniss is from District 12) named Rue. The little girl immediately reminds Katniss of her sister Prim so she feels the need to protect her for as long as she can. They become allies and friends. As much as they could be. When a boy from another district kills her, Katniss is so upset, she kills him. I definitely know THAT urge. It’s funny. Katniss really reminded me of Elena when she was with Rue. She was so super protective, and it’s like how Elena gets about Jer. And everyone, for that matter. She’s brave too, like Elena. Brave to a fault sometimes.
Another thing I really liked about this book was the relationship Katniss had with her other District 12 Tribute, Peeta Mellark. At the beginning, Katniss is clearly in love with her friend Gale, who she goes hunting with every day. They’re a lot alike, and they really get each other. But then things change when she meets Peeta. Peeta is just the SWEETEST! Katniss knows that in order for her to survive, he’d have to die, but when the rules change halfway through the Games, and it was announced that both Tributes from a District could win, she was almost desperate to find him. I don’t totally believe it was just because she was afraid of the people from District 12 who would be angry for her not trying to save him. And there was so much desperation in her voice when she called out his name. I mean…*swoon*… how could anyone NOT love him? And after he declared on national television that he loved her!
Cin & Christina: We know!!
Caroline: So… Oh! Hi, Matt. *beams*
Matt: *quirky smile* Hey, Caroline. *turning to Cin & Christina* Ladies. *walks away carrying busboy tray*
*Cin, Christina and Caroline turn to watch him walk away, admiring his arm muscles, and maybe his butt.*
Cin: You realize Matt IS Peeta.
Christina: TOTES! You know, minus the baking.
Caroline: *blushes* So where was I?
Cin & Christina: Matty/Peeta!
Caroline: I guess there are similarities between them. When the Tributes first got to the arena, Katniss couldn’t figure out if Peeta was trying to protect her or lead her to die, especially when he teams up with the bigger, badder Tributes who had been trained for this — the “Careers”. It kind of reminded me of… You know, when Katherine compelled Matt… And he tried to kill Tyler. That was crazy. But it turned out that he wasn’t trying to kill her after all. He turned out to be really sweet, and actually did love her.
Cin & Christina: *grins* Uh-huh…
Caroline: I seriously have a book-crush on Peeta.
Cin & Christina: We wonder why…
Caroline: You guys!
Oh! Another detail that I thought was really cool was this one part when Katniss was thinking about going to the Games and having to kill people. She was thinking about how it was hunting, only it was people. She was thinking that she only have to flip a switch in her mind and pretend that they AREN’T people. That is SO the humanity switch Damon talks about sometimes! It’s like when the switch flips and I feed on a person. I know it’s a person, and it tastes so good, but it’s… still a person. It’s easier if you pretend it’s not. So maybe Stefan has it right with his bunny-hunting. No guilt. Like Katniss had no guilt. It was just a way to survive, and she doesn’t have to accidentally kill anyone. Or compel anyone to forget. I guess THAT’S not so bad. I don’t know. It’s hard.
But to get back to the book, I love the way we get to see Katniss’ struggles with everything — with the Games, with her conscience, with Peeta and Gale. It’s just this teenage girl forced into war, a war she doesn’t like or support, but a war she has to participate in anyway. It becomes her war, and, even though she continues to hate it, she kind of does embrace it. I want to be like that. Stefan and Damon seem to think I can be like that, but Katniss is SO much more.
It was such a good book. It was violent, but the violence has a point. There was a love triangle, and as much as I love Peeta, it wasn’t the focus of the book. And Katniss is such a strong heroine! I can’t wait to start reading the next one!
That Caroline! So apt. Plus, I think we have another HG convert here! Have you read The Hunger Games too? Wanna discuss? The space below is yours!!