Three of the hottest movies from 2014 (which now seems so long ago after the decade that is now “2020”) were based off of award winning books, and as a result the Nerdfighters (The Fault in Our Stars), Initiates (Divergent), and Tributes (The Hunger Games) fandoms were at war on social media sites, classrooms, and occasional coffee shops. Let’s take a page out of The Hunger Games, and set them against eachother to see which is the best book standing. May the odds ever be in *the books* favor.
“The Fault in Our Stars” is written by well-known author and vlogger/historian John Green. It is an emotionally heartfelt story, and can only be described as “[a] rollercoaster that only goes up, my friend.” (Green, 11). Honestly, I was extremely late onto the TFIOS bandwagon because I was not into sappy romances where it is inevitable that a boys ends up with a girl…or so I thought. The book completely took me by surprise. The main character, Hazel Grace, isn’t the usual heroine. She doesn’t have a perfect body, or the captain of the cheer squad. She’s a cancer survivor. And not the damsel-in-distress-look-at-me-suffering brat I would have thought the author would make her out to be. Hazel is a fiery, sarcastic, beautiful-in-her-own-way teenager. Yeah, her lungs suck at being lungs and she’s anti-social but that all changes when fellow survivor Augustus Waters walks into her Support Group. This book is similar to “The Miraculous Tale of Edward Tulane” by Kate DiCamillo, as it jerks an emotional response from the reader, while keeping still them engrossed in the storyline. I am not going to ruin the story for you by explaining the plot (not that you don’t already know the ending), but there has never been a book until TFIOS that has left me pondering life with bittersweet tears in my eyes. And for that Mr. Green, I fervently thank you.
Next on our list is “Divergent” by the talented Veronica Roth. The book, in my eyes, was similar to “The Giver”, being that both are based on futuristic worlds and every person had a “place” in society that they were allocated. But the key difference between the books is that in “Divergent”, the characters had a choice, a decision that they themselves make for where they end up. There are five “factions” or cliques to choose from. Abnegation, Erudite, Dauntless, Amity, and Candor. Our protagonist, Tris (Beatrice), fits into the stereotypical “heroine” mold more than TFIOS Hazel Grace. Tris, starts off as a formidable underdog when she finds out she’s “Divergent”, meaning she has no specific faction in which she belongs; her mind works in a million different ways. Being Divergent isn’t something to be proud of, because Erudite wants to maintain a strict order in their world. But as Tris begins her training, she finds that hiding who she is, is easier said than done. This book is successfully incorporates innovative ideas and allows the reader to envision themselves in the setting, fighting alongside Tris. I give props to Veronica Roth, because it takes a lot of imagination to think outside the glass box.
Similar to Divergent, “The Hunger Games” created by Suzanne Collins in 2008, is seemingly the basis of many recent sci-fi books. But nothing can measure up to the original masterpiece that inspired them all. Personally, while I enjoyed the dialogue between the characters, I wasn’t as huge a fan of this trilogy when I first began to read it and I couldn’t get into the plot as well as I do in other books. But even I can’t deny the aesthetic elaboration that Collins used to illustrate this appealing novel. The Hunger Games is literally a fight to the death, and each district (comparable to the Divergent factions) send one boy and one girl to represent the district. Some districts viewed being chosen as an honor, while some view it as a death sentence. Katniss Everdeen, our courageous leading lady, is one of those that views it as a death sentence, but offers herself as “tribute” in place of her younger sister who was selected to participate in the Games. Before she knows it, Katniss is whisked away to a world of politics while also struggling to survive. Suzanne Collins is an artist when it comes to crafting a suspenseful plot that leaves the reader breathless and begging for more.
Each of these books are unique in their own way and every book generates a barrage of feelings that the reader will cherish to the last page, until they immerse themselves in the plot once more. In the words of one of the greatest authors to this age, Jane Austen, “If a book is well written, I always find it too short.” The Fault in Our Stars, Divergent, and The Hunger Games were all too fleeting but the memories that accompanied them are infinite.