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Kassie Klasen column: Hunger Games series has more than violence to offer

I have to hear a lot of good things about a book before I can start reading it. Once I start reading, it has to be very catchy and interesting for me to finish it. It usually takes me a long time to read a book because I don’t set time out to read.

Two of the few books I have read in the past four years are the first two books to the Hunger Games trilogy.

I heard countless raves about the books. I gave them a shot and ended up loving it. After reading the second, it became my favorite book series I had ever read. I haven’t read too many but it’s hard to imagine one I’d love more than the Hunger Games.

I know some people are totally against the book’s plot and think the story is gross and inhumane. I went to the first movie with my cousin and my aunt, who would not stop talking about how the movie made her sick to her stomach and how she couldn’t imagine what would provoke someone to write such a story.

I get where people with that view are coming from, but I think people need to remember this is just a book. This is imagination, fiction, a make-believe story.

When I watch The Hun-ger Games I don’t get the same vibe as they do. I think the books are incredibly well written and have a great story behind all the “violence.”

If The Hunger Games is violent, then the popular crime shows Americans watch every night on TV must be extremely violent.

I went to see Catching Fire at 11 p.m. the night it came out. It was one of the best movies I have ever seen. Not only the story and the script, but the special effects, the set, the actors. I can’t name one thing I didn’t like about it.

The movie pretty much followed the book except a few minor things, which is impressive considering most movies miss major parts. There was never a dull moment.

I don’t have a proper way to describe how great a movie I thought it was, I’m just flat out speechless to this day. I wasn’t the only one, either. My whole Twitter feed last weekend was people raving about how great it was. I believe reading the book before the movie is way more rewarding in the end, but even if people choose not to read the books, I still think The Hunger Games and Catching Fire are phenomenal movies.

Everyone needs to look past the violence in the books. The Hunger Games has taught me to not only cherish my life, my belongings and my family, but to be happy we live in the country we do. We may complain about taxes, who is elected in office and other things, but we need to remember we should be happy we live in a country with a working government. That we live in a country where the government is not out to make every citizens life miserable. That we don’t have a “reaping,” peacekeepers and district lines to keep us in our homeland.

Someday when I have kids, I will let them read the books. There is a story in there. A fictional, make-believe story with a purpose. I believe Suzanne Collins wrote a phenomenal book that should not be ignored because of the violence. There is way more violence on television shows than this book. Let the children read and turn off the television.