Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Hunger Games vs. Uglies

Happy Hunger Games Week, everyone!

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I'm participating in Sweet Green Tangerine's weekly book chat again. Today's prompt is: Share your favorite Dystopian novel. This is too perfect because I've been brainstorming this post idea since January and finally have an excuse to sit down and write it!

Now, I'm sure there will be quite a few Hunger Games-related link-ups today, but mine has a twist. I want to compare Suzanne Collins' series with another young adult dystopian series I've read and enjoyed: Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld.

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For the purposes of this post, I'm going to ignore the fourth book: Extras. It wasn't in the original trilogy, and it's so different from the first three in terms of characters and setting that I don't want to include it in this analysis. Don't worry; I didn't include any spoiler alerts. In fact, you probably won't even understand the following comparisons unless you've read both series. Here are the most major of the many parallelisms I found in the series:

Katniss Everdeen <—> Tally Youngblood
Gale/Peeta <—> David/Zane
(I could make an argument for either pairing,
but I think David is more similar to Peeta, and Zane is more like Gale.)
President Coin <—> Dr. Cable
District 13 <—> The Smoke
The Capitol citizens <—> New Pretties
The Capitol government <—> Special Circumstances

Even the trilogy itself is set up similarly. (Warning: This section contains very general plot summaries, so there could be spoiler alerts, though I'll do my best to keep it vague.) First book: Teenage girl forced to personally face the dark secrets of her dystopic world rebels with the help of her friends. Second book: Girl must live with the choice she made at the end of the first book, a love triangle develops, and the tyrannical government keeps a close eye on her. Third book: Everything goes to hell. Battle!

And in case you were wondering, the Uglies series came out first. (That was the first thing I looked up when I started noticing the similarities.) I'm really surprised they haven't made a movie out of it yet, but I'm sure when they do it will blow up just as big as Twilight or The Hunger Games.

So tell me, have you read either or both of these series? What do you think of my analysis? If you haven't read the Uglies, do you think you might? Are you going to see The Hunger Games this weekend?

P.S. — Speaking of dystopic fiction, Goodreads published a pretty cool timeline/infographic on their blog today about the history of dystopian books. Check it out!

10 comments:

Kate @ Daffodils said...

I havent heard of this series, will have to check it out! And we arent going to see HG until next weekend...it is killing me!

Lindsay said...

I haven't read Hinger Games or Uglies, but here were some of my fave YA dystopian books:

1. The Giver. Duh!
2. The Shadow Children series, though I only read the first few
3. Gathering Blue (<3 Lois Lowry)
4. Running Out of Time (kind of not really dystopian... but still.)

Megan C. Stroup said...

Oh my gosh, The Giver! LOVE that book. I guess I read it before I knew what "dystopian" was, so I completely forgot about it. And I'll have to check those other ones out. :)

Megan C. Stroup said...

Oh no, a whole week?! Don't look at social media before then haha — that's all people will be talking about! And I forgot to say this, but the Uglies was also SUPER fast. I think I read the first three books in one or two days each. The fourth one took longer because I just wasn't excited about it.

Sweet Green Tangerine said...

Nice comparison! To be honest, I slightly bashed Uglies today but that's okay! I only read the first one and I enjoyed it while I read it, but I didn't continue because nothing about it seemed original to me. But it's interesting now that I now it came out first. Hmm....
Thanks for participating again! Always look forward to your posts :)

Shivarn said...

I have just finished reading the Hunger Games, but had read and loved the Uglies series many years ago. Must admit, while both were fantastic, the similarities made me kinda laugh at Hunger Games and I could predict a lot of what was going to happen (particularly with the guys) based on what happened in Uglies....

Megan C. Stroup said...

Awesome! I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed the similarities. :)

Mwahahahaha said...

I read uglies first, too, but when i read books i reset my mind so the only thing i can predict are children's book, like guessing the next color in the rainbow... <:D

Lissy said...

I think you prettty much hit it on the head. The last Hunger Games reminded me of the 7th Harry Potter (mainly because my fav supporting characters go bye-bye).

What I wonder is which society came first? Now that's a question.

Sarah Pete said...

I've read both! I enjoyed both series, but I almost think I like Uglies more (I know, sue me). I love how readable Hunger Games was, and I enjoyed some of the characters (esp Haymitch), but I just could not bring myself to like Katniss. I just . . . I tried and I tried and she just struck me as so terribly shallow and selfish. Yes, she was brave and resourceful, but, even when she was protecting Prim, it felt like it was all about HER. I enjoyed the first book and the second--the third one lost me. I just did not get her character.
Tally . . . I guess I gave her a little grace because she was completely oblivious, learned the truth, and then truly did sacrifice herself for those she loved (at the end of the first book). In the subsequent books, she was annoying, even infuriating, but she developed and she struggled and I loved watching the metamorphosis of her character. Was she likeable? Not really. But I felt her struggle way more than I did Katniss's. I do think I liked the ending to the Hunger Games Trilogy better than Uglies, but . . . I don't know.
I liked how you compared them, though. So many stories/novels are SO alike if you stop and look at them.
I enjoyed this post! :]