Hunger Games: What's so great about a teen fight to the death?

Calling all Hunger Games fans: Help this  mom "get it." Why is a fight to the death among teens so great?

Hunger Game fans in Hurst, Tex. on March 22, 2012. Our contributing blogger doesn't get what's so great about children who are forced to compete in a live, televised death match.

I know I am going to make myself pretty unpopular with this post but … here goes nothing.

I do not “get” what is so great about “The Hunger Games.” There. I said it. I started this book weeks ago and got to the point where Katniss and Gale were out in the woods, just before the reaping – I believe I was on page 11. And then I put it down because – seriously? – 24, 12 - to 18-year-old children fighting until their deaths? Horrifying!

So I put it away for a few weeks because I was mad at it. Yes, mad at a book – I get that way sometimes. Nevertheless, after hearing all of the hype this past weekend for the opening of the movie, I decided to give it another chance. This time, I got to page 39. Katniss has volunteered as tribute to take the place of her younger sister Prim, whose name was pulled as the reaping winner for the girls of District 12.

And then, Peeta Melark, was named the reaping winner for the boys. “Peeta looks me right in the eye and gives my hand what I think is meant to be a reassuring squeeze," says Katniss. "Oh well, There will be 24 of us. Odds are someone else will kill him before I do.”

Next they are taken into custody, where they say emotional goodbyes to their families, who will have to watch them compete with the other winners from the districts, and fight until there is one left standing. Meaning, all of the other 23 children have been killed. It’s just … how do you …how do you keep reading from that point?

Back when the Harry Potter books were coming out, they captured my attention early in the first few pages. Same for the Twilight books, although I never did finish the fourth book as I also found that to be incredibly disturbing. I guess that’s where I need the die-hard fans to step in and tell me what I’m missing because I simply don’t get it.

So dear readers, I’m handing this dilemma over to you. It’s yours now. Help me get it.

– The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best family and parenting bloggers out there. Our contributing and guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor, and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. This blogger's own site is Spill the Beans.

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