I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Friday, April 27, 2012

I Would Die For You (Maybe)

Hi! Jenness here, with a burning question for you. Ready? Here we go:

What do the Hunger Games and Twilight books have in common? (Besides the fact that you're either about to roll your eyes or grab pom-poms?)

Let's see. You could point out that they're young adult books. You might argue that they both have love triangles. (But I'll argue back, because, seriously...is Gale really ever in the running?) They're controversial.  And, not only are they best-sellers, but they have both gained a hugely devoted fan base. 

Don't worry, I'm not trying to create a hot debate or give a rambling lecture on why you should or should not allow your kids to read the books or watch the movies. I just want to make an observation. One more thing they have in common:  They're told from the viewpoints of very self-sacrificing heroines.

In Twilight, Bella is willing to face whatever and do whatever is necessary to be with the one she loves and to keep her father and the town safe. In Hunger Games, Katniss is willing to die for her sister first. Then her loved ones, her District, and for the good of the entire country.

Do you find that as interesting as I do? I admit I'm not familiar with the Harry Potter series so I don't know if that self-sacrificing theme holds over, but here it is in two HUGE, blockbuster series that won crazy-devoted fans (as in, weddings-themed-around-the-books kind of fans).


There's something about the sacrificing hero/heroine that has a universal appeal. This Easter season I can't help but feel like it has something to do with the Hero who sacrificed His very life to save us.

On Easter Sunday, I heard a sermon about the God-shaped hole in our hearts, about how He brings hope and healing, and how He holds everything together. Because of Who He is. Because of His great, sacrificial, I-will-die-for-you love.

I can't help but think stories that demonstrate real sacrificial love appeal to so many because of the tiny fragment of a mirror that it holds to the greatest story of all--that of Christ, dying on the cross for our sins and raising again. Because of His unfathomable love.

Your turn.
Writers, how have you worked sacrificial love into your story?
Readers, what's your favorite novel with allegorical elements?


  1. Great post, Jenness!
    Self-sacrifice is actually the premise of my current WIP. And whether or not the heroine will do that since it will cost her everything she holds dear in life. :-)

  2. Great post,Jenness. I haven't read the Twilight series, but I definitely saw the self-sacrificial acts of Katniss. You're making me think about how to make my heroine more self-sacrificing. :)

  3. Great post, Jenness!

    At the black moment, I think most heroes/heroines must have something significant at stake. But your post makes me think of how to up my game even more. Thanks!

    (And Paula, so glad to see your comment!)

  4. I love the important vibrant thread you've identified here. In my selection featured for this months's MBT challenge, Raymond certainly does that. You make me want to be careful to identify it clearly in the two major characters of the current historical I'm working on--great job. Thanks so much.

  5. I haven't read The Hunger Games, but I've read the Twilight series and the Harry Potter series. I love the HP series, and it totally has that self-sacrifice as good triumphs evil by the series end.

    I love the phrase--God-shaped hole. And I'm so extremely thankful He died for me. Great post, JP!

  6. Love this, Jenness. Absolutely love it. "I-will-die-for-you love." Love!

  7. It really is a great phrase, isn't it, LJ? A perfect description. Kudos to whoever first coined it. :-)

    Thanks, ladies! Looking forward to reading your books!

  8. Jenness~

    With our impromptu trip to California, and now across the state to Seattle, we've been listening to The Hunger Games (and now the 2nd book, Catching Fire) so for once, I was "in the know" about popular YA fiction. (I've not read HP or Twilight.) First of all, I completely agree with your assessment of Gale. Bless his heart, he can never compete with the bond that fighting for their lives together has forged between Katniss and Peeta.

    It's funny that you brought this up today, as we are getting ready to get back in the car to drive home from Canada, and I've been looking forward to finishing Catching Fire today. Listening to the two books has really given me a new look at how gripping that sacrificial love can be in a story. Even before your post I was rethinking my own story to see if/how I could incorporate it to ramp up the stakes. Reading your thoughts today has provided a little confirmation that not only do I need to include it, but WHY.

    Thank you for putting my recent pondering in writing!!