Why the odds were in The Hunger Games' favour: a retrospective on the bestselling series, 10 years later
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10 years ago yesterday, the first book in Suzanne Collins' bestselling trilogy, The Hunger Games, was released. Now, the series has become a phenomenon, with the books selling millions of copies and having a four film hit franchise. In the years following, many other teen dystopias appeared on the scene hoping to have the same success, but none reached quite the same heights. In honour of the book's milestone anniversary, TNS explores what exactly put it above the rest.
Image courtesy of Kendra Miller on FlickrThe Hunger Games emerged on the scene at the exact right time: in 2008, the markets were crashing, world economies were facing economic disaster and teenagers were facing an uncertain future, given the huge job losses and unemployment that came with the crash. In that context, it seems inevitable that a book about a teenager rising up from the most desperate of circumstances would strike a chord with audiences. It also appeared at just the right time market wise, because at that point Harry Potter had finished, as had Twilight - it was time for a new YA hit, and The Hunger Games was right there to fill the void. The books, espeically the first one, were compulsively easy to read; not just for avid readers, they also captured the attention of non-readers as well. Those who picked it up were able to follow Katniss' journey very intimately, as we saw all the events and horrors happening from her eyes, allowing you to feel involved in the story, and as a protagonist, Katniss appealed to both male and female readers. The exciting plot, plus the political commentary, relatable and complex characters and a richly developed world, all made for a winning formula for The Hunger Games books.
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