“Comparing lead female characters in books (and their movie counterparts) v3”

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All three of these selections star a female lead who is embroiled in a dystopian country or world situation. Each gains insight about her surroundings and becomes a rebel. Their ordeals are flush with danger, romance, and violence. One is a stand-alone story while the others offer the beginnings of a longer tale. Each one has an eponymous movie as well.


The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins, 2008



Poverty-stricken citizens are tortured with the annual reaping of their children by the legal government. Those children are placed into impossible situations against their peers from the other districts, fighting for their right to live. Some have minor skills to help survive the environment or to hide from the hunters, but some have a bit more. Take Katniss for example – daughter of a coal miner and herbalist/healer, she can hunt effectively, trained through necessity and years of near starvation. Will she make it to the end of the 74th annual Hunger Games?

Personal extra:

I appreciated the way Collins describes Katniss through her thoughts and actions. She’s not a very likeable character – she’s rude, brusque, proud and yet avoids the rigors of leadership because she doesn’t want that responsibility. The movie version is played very well by Jennifer Lawrence, but reading the character from the original book is extremely satisfying, especially as her relationships with those around her transform (Gale, her mother and sister, Peeta, Haymitch, etc.). If you haven’t seen Battle Royale (2000), know that it is extremely bloody but worth a(n adult) watch for the comparisons between this Japanese movie based on the 1999 novel by Koushun Takami and the 2012 film version of The Hunger Games.


The Host

Stephenie Meyer, 2010