The Jane Doe Novel Experiment

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The Hunger Games – Example of “Voice”

About three weeks before the movie came out-which I hadn’t heard of at this point-my friend handed me the book.

“I think you’ll like this.”

I take the book home and from page one, I love it.  I don’t have the book in front of me, so I must paraphrase the first line that grabbed my attention. Literally, it was on page one. After describing her sister, Katniss says, “My mother was beautiful once, too. Or so they tell me.”

I loved the way that one little line said so much: she never saw her mother as beautiful, she may not even believe the tales. Something is “wrong” with their relationship.

Second line, second page: “Entrails. No hissing. This is as close to love as we’re going to get.”

In short, I loved the narrator’s-in this case, Katniss-voice. I didn’t have a crisis to worry about yet or a real concern one way or another that I knew about. I simply enjoyed her language. Suzanne Collins did a wonderful job giving Katniss her own voice and a mind of a sixteen year old forced to grow up quickly, but, still sixteen. I believed Katniss. I believed that she was what a sixteen year old in her circumstances with her mindset talked like. And I loved it.

Truthfully, by the time I read the plot I almost put the book down.

“I don’t want to read about a bunch of kids killing each other,” I told my friend once the meaning of, “The Hunger Games” became clear. (Yes, I did not read the jacket before hand. ^.^)

“Don’t worry. It’s not gruesome like you think.”

Going on my friend’s word, I finished the book in one night. Katniss, as the narrator, never let me down. She kept her “voice”, her vocabulary, her speech pattern that I enjoyed on page one through all of the ups and downs until the very last page. The plot as well kept me turning the pages until the book was complete at 2 in the morning.

Needless to say, I was in the movie theatre on opening night!

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4 comments on “The Hunger Games – Example of “Voice”

  1. D. Bryant Simmons
    June 6, 2012

    It’s the poetry in her words. The themes and emotions that she hints on very simply. You do that in Disillusioned. That’s you.

  2. Will Hall
    June 6, 2012

    It’s a rare case of the hype being deserved! I agree with what you say about the unique narrator – her voice is so strong and consistent, it keeps you reading. Because you go on the journey with her. Great post 🙂

    • Jane Doe
      June 6, 2012

      “A rare case of the hype being deserved!” Well, put! It’s one of my favorite cases of both a character driven AND plot driven stories without one being sacraficed for the other. Standing O.

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