Monday, August 30, 2010

A book club take on Mockingjay

Okay, one last post on Mockingjay, and then I'm done talking about it (at least until the inevitable movie* comes out). The online magazine Slate has chosen Mockingjay as the subject of one of their book clubs, and I thought they raised several good issues, including the series' hugely imbalanced sex-to-violence ratio. (If you're new to the site, our review of the book was mixed. So is Slate's.)

In general, I too am irritated by the way YA publishers are more comfortable dealing with violence than sex (for example, many high school libraries contain Stephen King books—some of which contain sex, although it isn't their primary focus—but wouldn't dream of stocking romance novels). However, I'm not sure the lack of sexual urges in this series is unrealistic—after all, it's not like Katniss has much time to sit around mooning over boys (unlike, say, Bella Swan), and even if she did, there are some cold, hard, unpleasant realities she'd have to consider first. I don't know about you, but I suspect I would find the existence of the Hunger Games—and the idea that I would have to submit any potential children to them—a real incentive to keep my pants on.

*Which I'm really, really, really hoping will not star Miley Cyrus.

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