Thursday, May 20, 2010

Peeta or Gale: The Great Debate


If you've seen anything strange lately, like normally calm bookish-type people coming close to fisticuffs over the terms "Team Peeta" or "Team Gale," I thought I might explain what all the ruckus is about.



It's about Peeta and Gale - characters from the first two books in the Hunger Games Trilogy. Now I am not normally a series type person (Huge confession here - Gulp. I never read the Harry Potter books or the Twilight Series - something about vampires just make me *shudder*)


But when I read The Hunger Games (in like, one sitting) I immediately found my way to the nearest bookstore and bought Catching Fire, the second in the series of three, by author Suzanne Collins.



The main character is a fearless young woman named Katniss, who finds herself trapped in a deadly game in which she must fight for her life, her family, and for her own humanity.





In the middle of this life and death struggle are two young men. Peeta is the son of a baker, who has loved Katniss since he was young. Gale is a young man of the woods, who has taught Katniss how to hunt and provide for her family.



I will not say more. You really, really need to read these books. But what amazes me through this entire wonderful story is that what has readers most wondering about, as they wait with bated breath for Mockingjay (the last in the series due out in August/ 2010) is not whether Katniss and her family will survive, or even whether the districts will prevail in their rebellion over the evil government known as the Capitol.

No! What has people most up in arms is whether, in the third book of this trilogy, Katniss will choose:





Peeta



or



Gale!








The Internet is full of various discussion boards where the merits of each are debated. Twitter is rife with back and forth discussions, and facebook is filled with fan pages championing both Team Peeta and Team Gale.



Comments range from


  • Peeta has loved Katniss forever

  • Gale is a hunter and he can provide for Katniss and her family

  • Peeta can bake bread for her family

  • Peeta is nothing more than a Pillsbury doughboy

  • There is something really sexy about Gale's anarchist attitude

  • Peeta is sweet and sensitive and adores her

  • Gale can outwit the evil army, is straightforward and true

  • Peeta has leadership skills and will be an ideal partner for Katniss

  • Gale will beat Peeta with a skewered rabbit.

See what I mean? The fans of each are rabid. Actually rabid.


Some readers are even hoping Katniss will pick neither of the young men, and just take more time to grow up. Some hope she picks both. Phooey, I say. Phooey. But I don't see how the author can let Katniss choose one, or allow one to die, without upsetting half of the reading nation.


At any rate, if I were in Suzanne Collins' shoes, I'd be plenty excited about all the buzz building for my next book. But more importantly as a writer, I wonder how in the world she is able to write characters that people become so attached to. Hmm - I must reread these books and study how she created such an emotional following.

Here are a few more sites with much more on the Peeta/Gale controversy:

http://thelitconnection.wordpress.com/2009/09/12/team-gale-vs-team-peeta/

http://onourmindsatscholastic.blogspot.com/2010/03/blogger-battle-are-you-team-peeta-or.html

http://alleyofbooks.blogspot.com/2010/05/librarian-alyson-beecher-weighs-in-on.html


So, who can hardly wait for Mockingjay?



And let's hear it . . .



Team Peeta or Team Gale?









P.S. Want to know my pick? His name has four letters, not five :-)

6 comments:

Loretta Nyhan said...

I'm for the hunter. Team Gale!

Laura Marcella said...

Goodness, I can't believe I haven't read these yet! I think I'll be making a much-needed trip to the bookstore this weekend!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Linda,
I haven't read the Hunger Games yet. I won a copy of the second book, but want to buy the first book and read it first. I'm a rule follower...1 is always followed by 2. :)

middle grade ninja said...

I'm listening to Catching Fire on audio book now and I love it! But seriously, you haven't read Harry Potter!?! Seriously!?! And even I suffered through Twilight. It was not a story intended for boys over twenty, but I forced myself through it anyway. I considered it my duty as a ninja.

I'm for Team Gale. Sucks for Peeta. Now email me your address so I can rush deliver Harry Potter to your door:)

Linda Benson said...

Yes! We have two for Team Gale! (The Peeta people are eating scones and are scared to comment LOL)

Laura and Sharon, let me know what you think when you read them. And Sharon, even though each book could be read as a stand-alone, I would read Hunger Games first.

MGN - I never said I was a ninja. That is you. And in my defense, when Harry Potter first came out I worked as a children's librarian. I rescued him (and subsequent titles)from a group that wanted to ban the books, and promptly had long waiting lists for all of the books. Yay for books!

Lynne Kelly Hoenig said...

Peeta. It's just meant to be. I know Katniss loves Gale too, but as a friend.