This weekend, Americans will finally find out whether the newest young-adult-book-turned-movie lives up to the fanfare. Suzanne Collins's Hunger Games trilogy attained vast popularity before the movie, and the addition of young, sexy Hollywood has only increased the mania.

Without having seen the movie, it's difficult to know how Hollywood treats the trilogy's gruesome violence—to put it lightly. Collins spares no detail in her description of the cold-blooded killing the central characters, all children, are forced into and at times enjoy. The trilogy is set in Panem, a nation that arose from the ashes of North America. Twelve districts are ruled by the all-powerful Capitol. Every year, as punishment for a rebellion, each district must send one boy and one girl to the Capitol for the Hunger Games—a fight to the death, with only one teenager left standing. (Think the Roman Coliseum with futuristic technology.) One teenager, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, has volunteered for the 74th Hunger Games in place of her younger sister, Prim. Also participating from District 12 is Peeta Mellark, a boy who has loved Katniss from the moment he laid eyes on her.

What has drawn over 1 million Kindle readers alone to a story about teenagers killing each other, placing the first book on the New York Times bestseller list for over 100 consecutive weeks? And what place—if any—does the trilogy have on a Christian's bookshelf?

Some of the new dystopian novels (such as the popular Matched trilogy) are more about mind control and manipulation than about physical violence. But the Hunger Games is definitely about the latter. As Collins told the Times, "I don't write about adolescence. I write about war. For adolescents." In ...

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