I suppose it’s unfair to compare The Hunger Games’s Katniss Everdeen to Twilight’s Bella Swan, but it’s also inevitable. Both are the heroine narrators of a wildly popular teen trilogy. Both are introduced to sinister worlds far away from their families and forced to grow up quickly. Both are involved in a love triangle of sorts. But the similarities end there.
While Bella is awkward and accident prone (vampire Edward is positively charmed by her clumsiness), Katniss is strong of body and mind. While Bella is obsessed with a boy and willing to abandon her family (and her very humanity) to be with him, Katniss is obsessed with taking care of her own family and staying alive.
I’ve complained many times that Bella is not a character I want young girls looking up to. Katniss, on the other hand, is a heroine I would like to babysit America’s collective tween daughter.
The book The Hunger Games—about a ruling class (“the Capitol”) that keeps its commoners in line by mounting an elaborate yearly competition that pits teens against each other in a battle to the death—has become a world-wide phenomenon. I just started reading it a few days ago myself and I can already see...