why i didn't read the hunger games

So, first off, this is not meant to be any kind of controversial post. I'm just thinking some things out loud.

I may be one of the only few and far between kids on earth who have not read these books or watched these movies: I haven't read the hunger games, and I will never read the hunger games.

Why? I guess, that's the question, right?

What's wrong with the hunger games?

It's just a fictional story, come on. It's not a big deal.

...And that's where we're missing it.


At: "it's not a big deal".

Up top? That's an instagram photo from one of my favorite books: Dream: the words and inspiration of Martin Luther King Jr.   
This? Is something we need to think about more: that quote.

In 1958, Dr. King, seeming captivated by the concept Matthew recorded in his gospel, of Jesus' words, stated in a poetic speech that:

Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness. We must meet the forces of hate with the power of love...
“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

This is why I didn't read the Hunger Games.

Yes, who am I to speak, right? I've never read the hunger games. How dare I.
How dare I write a biased review on a book I've never read.

Well, nowadays you definitely don't have to read a book in order to know what it's content is. There's amazon reviews. Goodreads. Word of mouth. Etc.
I spent my 2012 summer working in a library listening to kids come in and positively gush about this book and movie.

And I heard enough to know that this book and movie largely contain content about teenagers killing other teenagers in order to survive themselves.

Kids plotting and committing willful murder against one another- and not to mention against animals.

And it's a game.

What more do I need to know?

"But come on. It's just a book! You act like this is a big deal. It's fiction!"

And books- fiction? They change everything.

For better or for worse.

Because they feed us- give us ideas, whether real or not- good or evil -they open up issues and often make things that used to be totally un-okay, sort of...hey...that's not all that bad. That's actually pretty acceptable.

It's funny how millions of kids were up in arms during KONY 2012- ready to take down Joseph Kony and the LRA; but yet, here we are, in the same breath, reading books about children who are forced to kill each other for a reality series.....and that's somehow 'epic'.

Kony 2012: man kidnaps children and forces them to kill their family and other kids.
Our response? "That's horrible! Someone needs to stop him!"

Hunger Games: Books about kids being kidnapped to participate in a reality series where they have to survive by killing one another til- tah-dah, there's only one person left and they win the game.
Our response? "OMG, I sooo wanna read/see that!"

...Am I the only one that sees something a little strange in that?

What about the kids that Kony captured- and forced to kill their own parents and siblings and friends?
Was that epic?

Should that be repeated?


Then why- why are we reading books about it? Talking about it? Accepting it as an okay thing to be filling our minds with?

Just as written good- ( i.e. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin) -can turn into literal good?

Written violence can also become real, literal violence.

And in fact? It already has.

Because through books like the Hunger Games? We've become just a little more conditioned to it.
Like, it's not that big of a deal anymore.
No need to freak out.

It starts with an idea.

Ideas about violence?
Should never be supported.

If we want our lives to be filled with light and compassion and peace? Then we had better keep our focus on "everything that is lovely, true, honest, of good report...". "Think on these things".

If we truly want that? We need to fix our eyes on Him. Jesus.

What we read matters.
What we watch matters.
What we spend time in matters.
Because ideas and books and films influence how we think- and ultimately? How we live.

I've had the privilege to work with my aunt in an organization called The African Well Fund; I've learned so much about what really matters because of it.
I've learned that hunger? It's not a game. It was never a game. And it should never be called a game, even if that's not the exact intent of the book title.

What make my skin crawl? Is the fact that while the words "hunger games" are being plastered up all over the world in glistening popularity- at the very same time that's happening? Every five seconds a child dies of hunger.

Every five seconds.

...Hunger isn't a game.

Maybe it's time we started filling the world with peace instead of violence.
Maybe it's time we start focusing on something other than darkness.
Maybe it's time to lift up our eyes and see that this? This is life. This is beautiful.
Maybe it's time to see that we- you and I? We have a terribly beautiful opportunity to absolutely change the world- to bring heaven to earth.
We have the power inside of us.

In his letters, Paul calls it "Christ IN YOU."

It's the hope of glory.
It's the hope of something better.

That's what I want to be in on.

You should join the party.

Kate the Sailor


  1. Good post. It really gave me a lot to think about. I totally agree with you, that fiction is powerful. So, so powerful. It's why I don't finish every book I start - because I do believe that words have the power to change you, and I don't want the wrong words becoming a part of who I am.

    On the other hand...I have read the Hunger Games and I think you missed the mark just a little bit. You're totally right that the idea that murder could be a game is horrible. The glorification of such a thing is awful and I agree with that...and so does the Hunger Games. The teenagers involved in the event are forced to do so, and I think that was more the point of the book. The corrupt government forcing this horrible torture, (because it was horrific and the book made that very clear) was more the point of the story. I didn't really see it as glorified.

    Now...whether or not you decide to read the Hunger Games is your choice, and I really respect you taking a stand on it. :) I think it's really cool that you're putting your thoughts out there like this, but I didn't really see the first book, at least (I haven't read the second two in a long time, so I can't speak for them) as portraying it like that. If that's what the readers saw...that is so sad.

    (sorry for the long rant. I'm pretty sure this is like my longest comment ever. O.o But yeah. Good post, solid logic...and again, good for you for standing up for what you believe in.)

    1. Stole the words right out of my mouth! :) I think one of the problems with the Hunger Games is that some readers miss the point and DO read it for the violence and the romance. The violence is a contrast for the themes. I think it works really well, but I totally see why people would chose not to read it.

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