WINNING MEANS WEALTH, FAME, AND A LIFE OF THERAPY. LOSING MEANS DEATH, BUT ALSO FAME! THIS IS THE HUNGER PAINS. When Kantkiss Neverclean replaces her sister as a contestant on the Hunger Games—the second-highest-rated reality TV show in Peaceland, behind Extreme Home Makeover—she has no idea what to expect. Having lived her entire life in the telemarketing district’s worst neighborhood, the Crack, Kantkiss feels unprepared to fight to the death while simultaneously winking and looking adorable for the cameras. But when her survival rests on choosing between the dreamy hunk from home, Carol Handsomestein, or the doughy klutz, Pita Malarkey, Kantkiss discovers that the toughest conflicts may not be found on the battlefield but in her own heart . . . which is unfortunately on a battlefield.
I’m a fan of The Hunger Games series (and yes, I read it before the movie because I’m so hipster), and when I saw The Hunger Pains: A Parody at the library-I just had to grab it off the shelf. It looked like a perfect short read (though fourteen bucks for such a tiny book baffles me.) I’ve read The Harvard Lampoon’s Twilight parody titled Nightlight, so I had an idea of what I was getting into: ridiculousness. Imagine 5% of the original Hunger Games mixed with lame fart jokes, Saturday Night Live, Jamaican accents, completely randomness, and no wit. The Hunger Pains is completely silly, the writing is laughably simplistic (reminiscent of the crazy stories I wrote as a kid with my friends), the characters borderline inane, but I enjoyed The Hunger Pains. The story was just so absurd, I couldn’t help giggling at its ridiculousness: Pita (incredibly fat with manboobs and constantly needs attention) in an effort to camouflage himself, turns himself into a wedding cake. If you didn’t think that was funny, this book isn’t for you.
I can see readers either go one way or the other: either they embrace the randomness, or be butthurt that their favorite characters are parodied as undesirable messes.