The Twilight Games

Two Bad Ass Bitches of Fiction. Well, sorta

Dear Twilight,

This past weekend I read an article in the Sunday paper about the chick who plays Katniss and the guy who plays Peeta in The Hunger Games (yes, yes, they have real, actual names, I know, Jennifer something and um, someone… sorry, I’m writing this over lunch because I have ZERO time so I’m not going to look it up) as they were here at the Mall of America causing a hullabaloo with the masses. In the article, there was this emphasis on how huge, no, HUGE The Hunger Games was and the movie already is, especially since it hasn’t even hit theaters yet.

It got me thinking… Shouldn’t Stephenie Meyers, at the very least, get some sort of credit / recognition/ nod for jump starting this series into success? I honestly don’t think that The Hunger Games would be quite the ginormous thing it is without her recommendation of the books starting right when The Hunger Games first came out.

I hear your gasps. Your “boos” your “hisses” and your “nays” (yep, we have those who go old school and still prefer to show their disagreement with nay saying).

But think about it; how did you find out about The Hunger Games? I’m guessing that the large majority of you found out about and/or read The Hunger Games because of Twilight in some way, shape or form. Right?

Katniss. Shooting Beller & Edward

Personally, I asked for The Hunger Games as a gift with the blind recommendation from Stephenie on her site (then thought I was crazy to own a book by blind recommendation after I read the coverlet… and again when I read the first few pages). Of course I did pick the book back up months later, forcing myself to give it “the old college try” (since I did already own it and all) and found, not much further into it, I was hooked. But there was probably no way, without SM’s glowing, “I couldn’t put this book down, I even brought it with me out to eat so I could keep reading”* recommendation, that I would have been sitting here, stoked about the movie (finally) coming out since I read the first book shortly after it first came out.

I am by no means saying that The Hunger Games wouldn’t have been popular. It probably would have ended up pretty big anyway. But this epic cultural phenomenon that it is before the first movie is even out? I really don’t think so. At least not yet. Without Stephenie, I think the books/movies probably would have grown like Twilight did after its first movie came about… organically.

I mean, I personally am responsible for about 20 people first hearing about The Hunger Games from me and either borrowing the book(s) from me or buying them themselves and/or for their kids. And I know that many of them have recommended them to others. All because Stephenie said she couldn’t put the book down.

So, if no one else has given Stephenie a nod for this, I will; look what you helped spawn Stephenie!

What do you think? Do you agree? Is Twilight/Stephenie responsible for you getting hooked on The Hunger Games? How about other things? Percy Jackson? Volvos? Little bottles? Jorts? Purple bedding?


*This is a paraphrase from memory and not a direct quote from Stephenie Meyer

I loved this letter. And thought it was QUITE TIMELY as The Hunger Games is now OUT World-wide (right? Y’all have it over across the big pond?) I didn’t read HG after reading about it on Stephenie’s website (but I remember seeing it) but it WAS through a recommendation from a friend I met right here on LTT. So Thank you, Stephenie! You owe me $11.50 if the movie sucks tonight.

After the jump, another quick Twilight-Hunger Games thought!

We couldn't talk about one without the other.... right?

Dear Twilight,

So, you might have heard about this movie, based on a young adult novel, just like you, right? Well, yes and no, sure, it’s better written, sorry, has a stronger female character, and lacks vampires and shape-shifting werewolves – and like you, it has a love triangle, the threat of death, and finding where you belong in the world. I am going to see this new movie but don’t worry, I will not break up with you.

Who knows, there might just be a Buttcrack Santa with his little minibar bottles in Panem, but I doubt it. I’m writing to let you know that the lovely commentator on NPR was doing a wee bit of Twilight bashing today – WHAT? you say!! Yes, on NPR, she is very much looking forward to the Hunger Games movie, that I can accept but did she have to belittle Twilight along the way? She called you – Crybabies – “The characters in the Hunger Games make the ones in Twilight seem like crybabies.”

I’ve read what various people have said about you, Twilight, I don’t understand the hate. Stephen King said all you are about is getting a boyfriend – which is not true. To me, you are “about” finding where you fit in the world – finding who makes you happy – where you belong – who you belong with – which is NOT trivial. So, don’t worry, Twilight, I’m not going anywhere – Just don’t like people talking smack about you.

Thanks for being you,


Awwwww… this was so sweet. I love you all. I’m super Emo right now. You know why….

(No it’s not because I watched 10 Matthew/Mary Fan vids right before posting this, although that might be part of it….)

Our internet game is ridiculous: LTR, The Forum, Twitter, The Store

  • RobRomVamp

    I will admit that I only read the book because I was only going to see the movie to see the BD2 trailer.  Now that I’ve read the book, I will say that I like it … but it’s not Twilight.  It will never be Twilight.  Enough said.

    Oh, and I also have the purple bedding set from Target.  I bought it for my 8 year old daughter’s room .. who has not choice but to like Twilight (whether she realizes it or not).  Ha!

  • MarbleNutSlut

    I will even take issue with Katniss being “stronger” than Bella. After she decides to save (Prunella? Peep? her sister), she seriously does not have another emotion or make another decision. She just seems buffeted by events and controlled by other people. It’s a compelling enough story, I enjoyed it, but I was so tired of her being like, “But I don’t wanna take down the Capitol” and then Hamish is all, “Doooo it!” and then Peeta is like, “I loves you Katniss” and she is all”which boy are you again?”

    At least Bella knows what she wants and goes for it. And throws herself into a pile of blood thirsty vampires to get it (more than once) which doesn’t seem too crybaby to me.

    • Late Convert

      I think she manages to be a strong character in HG but it’s all downhill from there. After that she’s really a pawn in other people’s games. The last book really annoyed me as she seems to spend the whole time either being ‘made up’ or getting knocked out and spending three weeks recovering.

      • MarbleNutSlut

         Yes, the last book especially was annoying. I was invested enough to finish it, but I hated everyone by the end. A pawn, exactly.

        • The Old One

          Your opinion of these books is exactly my opinion.  Thanks for reading my mind and articulating my thoughts for me.  
          And I guess I read The Hunger Games because of Twilight only in that I never read YA fiction before Twilight, but since I had enjoyed the one, maybe I could enjoy another.

        • Thanks, NuttlySlut – now I am for sure not going to read books 2 and 3.  I hated the characters by the end of the first book so I won’t waste my time further.
          But *Shiver* on the other hand…. I just finished it and I am very excited that there are TWO MORE in this series.  Grace is cool shiz.

          • MarbleNutSlut

             eeee! I love Grace. Have you read the second one? Cole. Bad boy swoon…

            If you were annoyed by the end of HG1, yeah don’t bother. Read some spoilers online if you feel the need to find out what happens

          • GoWithIt

            the second book felt too The same, and the third was a little hard to follow. First was best for sore (keeping that typo).

          • celestialchic

            I’m sorry, I found it to be Shiver, Linger, Whatever.  meh.

          • MariaCecilia

            I’m interested. What didn’t you like? Her command of the English language is way beyond Stephenie’s and her characters are more complex – and maybe less likeable, but more interesting, I think. (Twilight still has a special place in my heart, don’t worry..)

          • MariaCecilia

            Oh, envy!! I’m waiting a while to re-read them so I won’t wear them out.. Don’t miss out on her other books, they are all different but just as good. *vicarious jumping for joy*

          • GoWithIt

            I am going to get those books out of the library next. I have been reading Anita Blake, which I like, but they don’t provide any romantic relief between the monsters. Apparently Anita, a sexy independent 24 year old does not have a romantic encounter until book 6! and she says “Naw” a lot.

        • GoWithIt

          I had to hang on during the last book too, but I did love when she sticks it to Coin instead of Blood n Roses!

      • ladyofthemeadow

        I agree, she is a pawn, especially by the third book, and that detracts from the story to a degree. But for me, it also supports a theme of living life where you have no control, having to make the best of a situation when you have no control, and the overall scariness and tragedy of the situation she’s fallen into.

        It made it a lot scarier for me that she was just a pawn.

    • Luludee

       Wow, I hadn’t really thought of it like that. You are so right.

    • TeamJacobEdward


  • Sisterpenguin

    ‘Tis true, ’tis true! I read it from The Goddess’ recommendation, loved it and it’s now on it’s umpteenth loan out.

    Film opened in UK last night at midnight. Excitemonted to go see but have a wait a week (bleah)
    The difference is I only have one copy of the trilogy. And I’ve only read it once. I loved it but I’m not IN LOVE with it.

    • TeamJacobEdward

      Exactly. I’ve only read the books once and I only own one copy of the Hunger Games books, two of which hadn’t been out on loan for a LOOOOONG time. If that would have been any of my Twilight books, I would have been twitching from withdraws and I would have been hounding the people who had them, telling them “I need them back, get your own fricking copy!” because I would need them back…that is (one of the) reason(s) I have two sets of the Twilight books. Plus, I have read then do many times myself, the books are looking ragged and I know it’s not just from loaning… I mean I do have two sets and all.

      Yep , it’s like I said the other day (or week); I love the Hurt Games, I’m IN LOVE with Twilight. Irrevocably. The way I feel about Twilight… Well there is just nothing else that can compare. 🙂

      • Luludee

         HG is the Jacob to our Twilight Edward.

        I also pretty much only read them because I heard about them right here. I enjoyed them, but I’m not as excited or fired up about the movie as I have been and will be again about the Twilight movies.

        • MarbleNutSlut

           Not even Jacob. HG is our Tyler Crowley. Don’t even think of asking me to prom.

          • MariaCecilia

            Meh. I wouldn’t take Tyler Crawley out of the library and I BOUGHT Jacob. (aka HG. Oh, you get it!)

          • TeamSeth

             You should put your seat belt on.

    • MariaCecilia

      You’re spot on there. Twilight changed my life. HG was a good read. Way different, and probably nothing to do with the actual qualities of the work. Twilight was just like “Accio heart!” Magic.

    • ladyofthemeadow

      I see HG out did Twilight at the box office this weekend. Bah. Wasn’t due to me. I haven’t seen HG yet. I will once the hoopla dies down. I have less in common with other HG-goers than I do with other Twilight-goers.

      Here’s an article on why HG outdid Twilight at the box office:

      When I was in the Caribbean last week, I saw tons of adults reading HG on the beach, too.

      • TeamSeth

        I think it might be the males? I had it recommended to me by 3 different males. Twilight… um, no.

  • Nelle

    I only heard of Hunger Games through LTT and read it. My feeling then and now hasn’t changed. The critics of course will love it- especially the Twilight haters. But to me it’s a story about kids killing kids. And a tepid love triangle where Katniss doesn’t seem to know or care which guy she ends up with so I don’t either. I’ll go see the movie sometime-maybe putting faces on the characters will help me care about them. Unlike Twilight where I fell in love with all the characters in the book because they were so well written by Stephenie!!

    • “. And a tepid love triangle where Katniss doesn’t seem to know or care which guy she ends up with so I don’t either.”

      Interesting point.. I never really connected with the guys, either…. Gale if I had to choose, but I think that’s it..I never felt like Katniss connected with them… I mean.. it’s about survival.. who has time for romance?

    • Yes! Exactly what Nelle said for me too.

      LTT is my Oprah Book Club.

      • MariaCecilia

        *pushing glasses up on nose*
        My dear boy, let me tell you a secret: this is a society of horny librarians, all waiting to lead you astray. Are you afraid? *leering*

        • Afraid?! Haha. No. Horny Librarians get me very excited.  The tighter the bun, the better.

          • Sisterpenguin

            I like male librarians: the tighter the buns, the better. Heh heh heh *lascivious grin*

        • ladyofthemeadow

          Um, we should do a roll call for this group. I’m in.

          • MarbleNutSlut

             We should do a Letters to KStewBoy blog.

  • suzyb49

    Completely agree!  I saw Steph’s recommendation but it didn’t sound like my kind of story.  I finally bought it after my daughter’s 7th grade LA teacher recommended it for her and then read the trilogy myself after a Twi friend said I would really like it. I did love them and recommended them to all my RL twi friends and most are just getting around to reading them now.

    I took my daughter and friends to the midnight showing of HG last night. The movie was so so good and the BD2 preview was very short and sweet.
    Differences – I’ll never reread the HG books (lost count on Twilight rereads).  And I honestly have no desire to the see the movie again.  I’ve seen every Twilight movie in the theater multiple times.

    Last difference but in favor of HG – can’t think of anything they should have done different or left out of the movie – no regrets like I had with each of the Twilight films where they didn’t get something right or left something that was important to me out.

    HG was a great way of taking the sting out of having to wait a year for BD2

    • suzyb49

      I have no idea why the RobRomVamp link ended up in the middle of my post ?!?

      • MariaCecilia

        Oh, there’s no telling where RobRomVamp may end up! *wiggling eyebrows*

    • Nelle

      I so agree.  The Twilight books are on my nightstand and get re-read all the time. I just pick one up- doesn’t even matter which one- doesn’t matter where I start reading. I read HGs once and no desire to read again- although I did like them and thought the concept was clever enough.  Just could not get too invested in the characters like I did with Twilight. 

    • celestialchic

      Really?  You didn’t miss Haymitch falling off the stage drunk?  I did.  I thought the movie was way disappointing. I’ll admit that it might have been mostly because I knew I couldn’t come on LTT and read snarky/funny comments, that made the Twi movies so much more enjoyable for me.

      • MariaCecilia

        Go ahead, feel free to bring the snark! Oh, wait, just hold on until I’ve seen the movie first so that I’ll be able to catch on…

  • TeamJacobEdward

    Yey! I’m so glad I took the time to vent over my lunch! I needed to get that out. And the imagined boos I know were just that. I knew you would actually understand. After all, we are here, on this site because if that wonderful leg hitch, headboard busting magic that is Twilight. 🙂

    • MarbleNutSlut

       “headboard busting magic!”

    • MariaCecilia

      “Leg hitch”! “Headboard busting”!! Lucky I’m not still at work, because now I’m hyperVENTilating…

  • operarose

    TeamJacobEdward you have said what I have been thinking these past few weeks (but didn’t dare say!) – I don’t think Hunger Games would have had as much momentum or potential without Twilight. Although the two stories are not easily comparable other than they deal with some vaguely similar themes and settings at time and have been successful YA books within the same or similar demographics of readers, I too think they got their push into the limelight and owe a lot of their success to SMeyer. I first heard about it and read it because of her endorsement years ago. Also, I think Twilight (and, to be fair, Harry Potter) gave birth to this “book fandom” culture that Hunger Games was able to catapult to success in. This whole culture or demographic was cultivated by Twilight (and Harry Potter). I don’t mean to discount HG as a legit book series in its own right, but rather, consider it as an interesting part of a larger phenomenon. Now, what really annoys me is when friends (Facebook…sigh) who have lambasted Twilight for months or years are suddenly all gushing about their love for HG and posting fan pictures of their HG nail polish, etc. I mean…really? So, HG is ok to like, but Twilight is unacceptable and mock-worthy? But that’s another story.

    • MariaCecilia

      Actually, I think HG had its own quite respectable following before Stephenie had her say: it was hugely successful as a YA novel and got translated to many languages really quickly. I think the difference is it got a wider audience once all age groups who enjoyed Twilight thought this might be something for them.
      So, maybe no big budget movie without Twilight? I guess our beloved books generally opened up the tweens/teens/moms market awareness to a lot of greedy people, and there we are… Edward dolls, Bella’s bed clothes and wedding dress for all and sundry.

      • TeamJacobEdward

        Actually, Stephenie posted her glowing rec of The Hunger Games just a few days after it’s first publication date in September of 2008…

        • MariaCecilia

          Weird,because her rec wasn’t included when it first came out here, that showed up like a year later? Maybe a PR mistake? But my point is that it sold well here without her recommendation.

          • TeamJacobEdward

            Included? You mean like on the book itself? No, I’m talking about Stephenie posting her recommendation of The Hunger Games on her site (see September 17, 2008 post):


            But yes, I don’t believe it was until some time later that HG/Suzanne Collins/Scholastic said, hey look what SMeyer said about the book themselves.

    • TeamJacobEdward

      Yes! Thank you. Yes. Exactly.

  • Late Convert

    What I don’t get is why you have to be either/or. Why don’t people have space in their heads to love both?

    And yes, I only moved on to HG after reading lots of comments on LTT that this was a series with the same addictive qualities as Twilight.

    I’m afraid though I can’t find any sort of emotional attachment with either Peeta or Gale. Maybe the movies will change that. 

    I’d be Team Cinna all the way!

    • MariaCecilia

      “What I don’t get is why you have to be either/or.”
      You’re Switzerland, LC!!
      Don’t get your hopes up about any emotional attachment to Peeta and Gale, though. I’ve seen the pictures. I’m not holding my breath.

    • GoWithIt

      If they were smart they took advantage of that chance.

  • Luludee

    “I’m super Emo right now. You know why…”

    We do??

    Are you pregnant, UC?

    • MariaCecilia

      It’s Friday, she’s cranky and longing for cocktails and a nice dinner date with Mr UC is all. Right?? No more uterus horrors, please??

      • Luludee

         Haha, I was sort of trying to make an annoying joke, other than the fact that I really did not know why she’s super emo right now.
        I remember her saying once that she was getting asked if she was pregnant like every other day for awhile there, and her comment just seemed like the perfect set-up to ask that question again. So I did! 😀

  • CherryBomb

    I was just having pretty much this same converstion with someone the other day.  I read The Hunger Games 3 years ago for this same reason.  I enjoyed the first book a lot, the second and third ones not so much.  While I can sort of understand the comparisons to Twilight, these books are very different.  They will never be Twilight, at least not for me.

  • MariaCecilia

    Actually, I didn’t know Stephenie endorsed HG – I read about the hype when it came out here because I’m interested in YA literature, and picked it up on a 4-hour train trip and just COULDN’T STOP READING!!
    I agree it’s not similar to Twilight at all, but I’ve always liked science fiction and this was pretty action-packed and hard to put down. I’m going to see the movie this weekend, so please don’t put me off!! I love Jennifer, and will tolerate the rest. No comparison and no competition. HG doesn’t have Edward. 😉

  • me

    I read HG after searching desperately for something to recreate the feelings I got while reading Twilight. SM’s book blurb sealed the deal for me. HG is a very different kind of book but it hooked me.

  • TeamJacobEdward

    *face palm!*


    Why the hell did I put an “s”at the end of Stephenie Meyer? I know she doesn’t have an “s”at the end of her name!! (if you read this Steph, I’m sorry)

    I’m claiming a combination of rushing through writing the letter and TBI.

    Ugh. That is going to bother me. UC? Can you fix it?


  • Bubs

    The only reason I heard of and read HG was because of comments here. Picked it up and saw SM’s comments on the inside front cover/Stepehen Kings raving about it on the back. I was actually quite disappointed in it. Although I did buy all three just to find out what happens. I won’t be re-reading them. Once was enough for me.

     I feel Collins writing is excellent but the story line is depressing-it’s just Communism/Marxism [Russia, China in the recent past and Nth. Korea now-just starve your people] with a romantic triangle thrown in-even though the “heroine” doesn’t have any great emotional feeling at the end. Mind you who could blame her after what she’s gone through.

    Blah-not my idea of fun. Twi. however ahhhhhh ….. addictive. My daughter and son-in-law [ages 30 and 32] saw it last night in Sydney/Aust. their verdict-the Movie was well done but as my son-in-law said “the concept’s been done before in other Movies, so what’s everybody raving about?” He also said that people were clapping during the movie-it drove him nuts. Imagine how he’d react to a Twi movie audience-he’s never seen them at a theatre.

    However worst of all THERE WAS NO BD. PREVIEW!!!!!! That was the only reason I was going! I’ll give it a miss now.

    • TeamJacobEdward

      If it makes you feel better, it didn’t show much more than that 15 second teaser…

  • Stacey

    I an going to come out and admit my Hunger Games love. It’s depressing, violent and ultimately a smart series of books about a corrupt society’s role in forcing it’s citizens to obey in the most evil way possible. Plus, it has a tough female character that is pretty cool. Plus the movie stars Woody Harrleson, Elizabeth Banks and Lenny Kravitz! The thought makes me giddy!

    Does that make my irrational Twilight love any less? It’s like Twi romance apples to Hunger Games action packed oranges. Love them both! Of course, Twilight has Edward. Who equal parts is the male character I adore and the same time drives me crazy with annoyance. (Hey TJE, that kind of answers your review you sent me. I have a more detailed one on the way!)

    Great letters TJE and Julie! BTW, it’s really hard to type on a phone and walk a dog in the wind. This comment is taking a lot of effort to write!

  • Luludee

    Saw the movie this weekend. It was kinda meh. Underwhelming, more or less. I really had no expectations though, so I wasn’t disappointed. Some good parts, some not so good parts. I didn’t get lost in the story; I just felt like I was sitting in a movie theatre watching a movie. ::Shrug::

    BUT, on my way into work today, I heard a news blip on the radio about this being the 3rd largest opening for a movie and the highest for the first movie in a series, and so of course they compared it to the first Twilight movie. I immediately thought of this post! Normal.
    The first Twilight movie was like a sleeper; a cult film. Once it got out there it snowballed into the media frenzy it has been for all the sequels. HG has more or less had a build-up from Day 1, probably at least in part due to all the comparisons the media keeps making with Twilight, thus drawing lots of attention to it. Lets see how much money the next films draw in and how normal crazy the fandom gets, before we start drawing comparisons.    

  • TeamSeth

    Sigh. I can’t read the comments today because there’s going to be spoilers 🙁  I still haven’t seen Hunger Games (writing HG makes me think of Home and Garden, which makes me think of day-glo gay club scene in Sex and the City and Charlotte squealing)

    Anyway, I heard about Hunger Games via LTT and its people. But, I never read the books or went anywhere with it and was like “I’ll see the movie” and then finally I saw the trailer and it’s all dystopian coming of age story, which is so up my alley! Woot. It’s like HS Lit class all over again. I bet there’s even dying deer imagery (which is totally used in Twilight too, I know).  Dying deer is so the coming of age symbol. Learning what death is via deer’s demise. So normal.

    OKAY. Where were we? Oh yes. Me not reading comments. But, I will see it soon and then I can participate! 🙂

  • Raemar90

    I admit I wouldn’t have read HG if it wasn’t for Stephenie mentioning that she couldn’t put it down. Pretty much any book she mentions I’ll read because I love her taste. I got everyone I know to read it. I agree HG is a hit because Twilight fans are looking for the next obsession.  

  • afina12

    Late to the party – oops.  I have not seen the movies or read the books but I heard some grumblings about it being a knock-off of a Japanese movie “Battle Royale”. I guess you all can chime in with thoughts.  I saw Battle Royale and it sounds just like what is being described here with some differences of course, but the same concept.

    As for it being compared to Twilight – Twilight grew on me like a fungus – maybe this series will too.  I’ll get my penicillin ready.

  • RocketQueen

    I saw Stephanie Meyer’s name on the back and just rolled my eyes. Then I saw Stephen King’s name and was interested. Being honest here. I actually heard about the book from a friend…one that whose probably never heard or made a point to know about her.
    I Never read the Twilight books so I don’t have much to say about it other than the fact that these two books seem very different. Twilight is pretty much a love story right? Correct me if I’m wrong, but yes the Hunger Games has a love story within but the plot has more substance. I almost considered not reading the books because all I heard was Gale this or Peeta that and love triangles aren’t exactly my cup of tea. It wasn’t until I realized the concept of having a country whose leaders pit children against each other to fight for the death and pay for their ancestor’s defiance while passing it off as entertainment that I was hooked. And the rebellion? Don’t get me started! What did Twilight ever do for me? Ruin the basis of a creature that I’ve loved for ages: vampires. Seriously, can these character even be considered vampires?
    Anyways…call me crazy but I think all the credit goes to Suzanne Collins and those that inspired these concepts. Stephanie Meyer had little to do with anything other than jumping onto the bandwagon.

  • Mikey Lynn

    I read THG because an interviewer asked Rob what character he would like to play in it; I forget what he answered.  Because Rob intrigues me just by his existence, I picked up the book and was hooked.  But I absolutely agree:  THG would not have been this big of a success without Twilight; period, end of sentence.  One is a love story; one is a story about survival and an anti-war message.  Personally, I don’t see how they can make 3 more THG movies.  Didn’t Katniss get hooked on drugs?  And she was a very reluctant “savior.”  Love story?  Come on, not there at all!  Especially with the actors they picked.  Not feeling it. 
    So I wish they would thank Twilight a lot more.  Maybe some day, everyone associated with THG will….

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