I have to confess something Twilight fans might not like: I've never been able to get into the series, and it's mostly because of Bella. I just found her kind of mopey. All that mooning over her vampire boyfriend, and then her werewolf sort-of boyfriend. And what's with Edward trying to control her -- even though he can't? She came across as a pretty wimpy female to me, but her creator, Stephenie Meyer, says she's all about girl power. It's the humans against the supernatural creatures! I guess I can see that.
But then The Hunger Games came along and just blew Bella's girl power out of the water. Here's a real feminist heroine: Katniss, a warrior fighting for her survival! No time for moping over boys, she has a family to support. But the more I think about it, Katniss actually has more in common with the supernatural women of Twilight. Maybe the Twilight chicks should get some credit for being pro-girl power after all.
After all, the women in the Cullen coven are pretty tough. Alice may be small, but she's a fighter. Rosalie is a rape victim who got revenge against her rapists as a vampire. Don't mess with her! Then there's Victoria -- Bella's enemy, sure, but a formidable woman. And eventually Leah manages to crack the, er, wolf pack glass ceiling to become a female werewolf. There's plenty of kick-ass women in Twilight, if you think about it. And even Bella hangs in there and does her best as a human, using her wits instead of her strength.
I haven't read The Hunger Games -- or seen the movie yet. But I think I'd better, soon. I already love what I've heard about Katniss. When the story begins, she's supporting her family. When her younger sister is chosen as a tribute, she takes her place. She learns to fight and compete alongside the boys -- and she's amazing.
Still, I'm glad The Hunger Games is arriving at the tail end of Twilight-fever. It's not even really a Bella vs. Katniss thing -- but I kind of feel like Katniss takes the feminist hero up another level for fans. It's like Katniss was invented for fans who love Bella but wish she could have fought more against the vampires!
Which do you like better so far, Bella or Katniss?