Crazy for Katniss

I get scared more easily than almost anyone you’ve ever met.

I had nightmares about Ursula, the evil, creepy sea lady from The Little Mermaid, when I was little. Actually, I was still scared of her when I hit double digits. To be fair, I still find her frightening.

I’m not scared of spiders even slightly, but her tentacles make me want to stand on top of a washing machine and scream.

I also have a habit of talking through nearly every scary movie. I am not, however, debating the fine points of the plot, but, rather, trying to distract myself from clawing my fingernails into whoever I am sitting next to. Of course, I’ve probably already bitten my fingernails off from fright at this point.

Growing up, I always asked to share a room. I can’t remember where the fear of sleeping alone in a room started, but neither of my sisters enjoyed this much. Let’s just say my sister Stacy often would sleep with two sweatshirts on.

My ability to be easily scared has proved to be surprising recently: I have been reading The Hunger Games and, like much of America, I have gotten completely wrapped up. The premise of the story is brutal. The story takes place a few hundred years from now, during a time where North America is completely obliterated. The Capitol, who is in control, has divided the area into 12 districts (once 13, but District 13 is in ruins) and forces every district to send one boy and girl (called “tributes”) to compete in “The Hunger Games.” The boys and girls (aged from 12-18) are selected based on a lottery system.

Only this is a lottery that no one desires to win.

The Capitol treats “The Hunger Games” as a glorified Olympics. The people in charge stay glued to their TVs and bet on the victor. There is an elaborate opening ceremony, and several prizes for the winner. However, no one dreams of taking part, and the results leave most in agony. The reason? The tributes fight to the death in the event, and only one of the 24 survives.

I love reading nearly anything—I sure would hope so, being an English teacher!—yet let’s just say this book wasn’t on my “must-read” list when I first heard about it. During high school anatomy class, I received an alternative assignment when my class viewed a surgery on a TV during class because I was so squeamish that my teacher was afraid I was going to be sick during class.

Yet I have gotten completely wrapped up in the brutal games. The main character, Katniss Everdeen, is a great female heroine. I don’t want to say much more, because the experience is far better simply if you read it. I really hope that the movie does her story justice.

The story has something that everyone can enjoy—even those who typically hate reading.  Even those, who, like me, sometimes cringe when I see dolls because they remind me of Chucky.

Have you read The Hunger Games? What did you think?