Hunger Games Tattoos
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins has taken the world by storm. As a dystopian-based novel, it surprised me when critics began comparing its infamy to the Harry Potter series and the Twilight books. What could children fighting to the death on reality tv have in common with wizards and vampires? As it turns out: the audience factor.
Unlike Harry Potter, THG plays to a heavier audience, but they play to a big audience nonetheless. There's a lot more violence and Collins doesn't mind doling out details that may make some lighthearted people cringe. While I thought the book could have used a few more bloody fight scenes, it was written towards a young adult audience, much like J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer's series.
Speaking of Twilight, it has been compared to THG so much you'd think they were two of the same novels, but alas, they are far from it. Where the love triangle in Twilight is focused around Bella's confusion of whether to be with a 100+ year old stalker or a possibly-pedophiliac werewolf, the love triangle in The Hunger Games is less the main feature and more a plot twist. We don't really focus on the Peeta-Katniss-Gale affair until Mockingjay. And while I hear Lionsgate is adding more scenes of Gale to make the romance a little more obvious in the first movie, all of us who've read the books are aware that it's about more than love story.
It's a story of survival, hope, and determination.
That's why it surprised me when I came across various tattoos people got to commemorate their love for the series. While most of them were of Mockingjays, the most famous symbol in the series, people got quotes tatted on their bodies as well. I've seen a blurry 'radiant as the sun' picture, referring to the moment Katniss sees herself in Cinna's costume. I've also seen people mimick the third book's conversation of 'real or not real' between Katniss and Peeta. THG is spawning what seems to be a rival movie franchise to two of the industries biggest novel-to-movies.
I've thought about getting a Hunger Games tattoo because, like Harry Potter, the series has meaning to me. Where Harry Potter grew up with me, THG was more personal. As a writer I'd come up with many ideas over the years, one of them having a Hunger Games feel to it; so imagine my surprise to find THG a rising sensation. While I'd have never come up with something as amazing as Suzanne Collins, just knowing that there was someone out there who had a vision like mine excited me. It gave me hope that maybe one day I could write something that would become this big, that would send people running to tattoo parlors to get a patch of their skin dedicated to my work.
Whenever I hear people asking why someone would get a tattoo of dedication to a book of all things, I don't know how to explain what novels mean to some people. How do you tell someone that a series got you through the hardest times in your life? That you found hope in the characters? That everything you ever knew was challenged and changed because one person who never knew you existed wrote something so profound?
People get tattoos every day. Some have meaning, some don't. The beauty of getting a tattoo to celebrate your attachment to a book is that whether someone else gets it or not, you'll always know how special it is to you. And isn't that what most tattoos are about? Celebrating, commemorating, something forever?