The Hunger Games versus Harry Potter

I’ve been unwell for the past couple of days; I’ve had the cold that has been going around the kids’ school, and while it isn’t devastating, it is annoying in one of those “I just went through an entire box of Kleenex” sort of way.
Yesterday was spent in a cold medication-induced fog, the kind of day that not only gets in the way of any kind of productivity, but also gets in the way of basic functioning.  I spent the afternoon dozing in and out on the couch while Jake watched TV – active parenting, no? – and woke up to find his stuffed Quatchi on my face.  “I thought you might want to snuggle him!” Jake said happily, which made me happy although somewhat leery of being smothered.
I couldn’t even focus enough to read.  On the weekend I read The Hunger Games, which Mark’s teacher had lent me with a high recommendation.  I didn’t pick it up for a week or so, because it just didn’t seem like my type of book, and also I realize that the trilogy is very popular and the last time I tried to read something that popular – Harry Potter – I hated it and found myself alone on an island of non-enchantment.  I still avoid mentioning that I dislike Harry Potter in certain circles, due to the emotional tarring-and-feathering I received from my feelings.  So I worried that I would try to read this and hate it, and then I would be all alone again.  Here I go again on my own…
But I loved it.  I couldn’t put it down.  It greatly surprised me and so if you, like me, have been putting off reading The Hunger Games because you think it looks terrible, it might surprise you!  I took it to my hair appointment on the weekend because I couldn’t bear to pick up any of the usual tabloid magazines. 
Last Thursday I was grocery shopping and I came upon two checkout lines: one with a senior couple who had only a few items left to unload in their cart, and one with a woman who had a full-to-overflowing cart, and so I lined up behind the seniors.  I soon realized my mistake as the woman sped through the other lineup, and several other people after her, while I stood there waiting, waiting for the elderly woman to SLOWLY take one small item at a time out of her cart and the cashier SLOWLY rang it through and SLOWLY set each item with the utmost care in a shopping bag.  I kept thinking to myself, be patient, it’s only five minutes out of your day, then be patient, it’s only ten minutes out of your day, then OMG how can it take fifteen minutes to unload six items, no, be patient, finally TWENTY MINUTES!  IT’S BEEN TWENTY MINUTES ALREADY!!!  While I was deep breathing and focusing on not shoving everyone out of the way and bagging all the damn groceries myself, I started looking at the magazine display.  “Bachelor Brad Betrayed by Emily!” one magazine screamed, and went on to reveal that “engagement to dead Nascar driver was a lie!”  Okay.  Since this was last Thursday, and I know with 100% certainty that the Final Rose was only given out two days ago, I idly wondered if the network would be upset at this very important security leak.  Another magazine claimed to be the Cellulite Edition.  On the cover were various celebrities in various skimpy outfits, with circles around various body parts.  Yippee.  “Guess Who?” the magazine asked about someone in a bikini with “flabby love handles.”  I wondered if people actually buy this magazine.  They must, I guess, but how depressing.  How depressing would it be to be someone who writes those “articles”?  Even more depressing, those were the only two magazines that did not have Charlie Sheen’s and his crazy face splashed across the cover.  When I finally left the store twenty-five minutes later, I felt like I had lost actual IQ points from just reading magazine covers. 
And today I appear to be oscillating between being completely high, jittery, and unfocused due to cold medication, or completely foggy, slow, and unfocused due to having a cold.  Apologies if this post makes no sense.  But The Hunger Games!  You should try it; you may like it!


  1. I liked both but they are very different beasts: The Hunger Games is a Y/A-crossover work of dystopic realism while the Harry Potter series begins with books for 8-12ers that become Y/A by the time the series ends; throughout, the Potter books are flat-out fantasy. The two series don’t really don’t have much in common other than their immense popularity. I’m glad you enjoyed at least one of them.

  2. Hunger Games! I’ve already read it and loved it.

    I also read Harry Potter and loved it, but my husband thought Harry Potter was just okay. If I can stay married to him after his crazy-ass declaration, I suppose I can manage to continue liking you after yours. 😉

  3. I’ve not read either.
    I know.
    It’s a bit of a self-righteous protest against the overcommercialization of kids lit. (I told you it was self-righteous.)
    I will have to read it at some point (much to the chagrin of my very conservative relatives) so I can discuss it intelligently with the boys when they read it.
    I was looking at the cellulite cover yesterday and all I could think was “who gives a flying fig?”

  4. What Sue said. I loved Harry Potter because it was good fun. I loved the Hunger Games because it was something a little more, in both story and character. You’re allowed to have an opinion — I actually think reading it and not liking it is a better protest than just refusing to read it. Sometimes over-commercialized stuff is crap and sometimes it’s just over-commercialized.

  5. I don’t do post-apocalyptic anything, so I’ve no interest in The Hunger Games. Also the last 2 really popular books I read were both HORRIBLE: Twilight and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

  6. Hope you’re soon feeling better, having a cold is no fun at all!! I’m participating in the Canadian Charisma blog hop and I’m now your newest follower of your great site. Hope you have a chance to check out my blog, have a look around and maybe follow me back!!

  7. I hope you feel better soon. I promise not to make any comment about your dislike of Harry Potter.


  8. My friends have subjected me to twilight novels…psha if you can even call that shit a novel. Three pages in I wanted to claw my eyes out and I didn’t even have a head cold. Oh le sigh

  9. I LOVED Hunger Games – all 3 of them in fact. I also have to admit that I love Harry Potter & the Twilight series.

    One thing that really stood out for me about Hunger Games was how horrified I was by what was going on in the book, and in turn, by how fascinated I was by it all!

    Great, easy, fun read, for sure!

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