Talk to Me

beautiful creatures

My goodness, it’s been dead on this blog lately! Are you all finishing up with finals, or enjoying the gorgeous, spring-like weather outside?

I watched Beautiful Creatures the other day. I didn’t like the heavy anti-Christian elements but I LOVED the overall plot… the magic… the love story that manages to be charming instead of stupid… I’m torn between my annoyances that Christians are always depicted as book-banning, hypocritical jackasses, and my fondness for the awesomeness of the movie itself.

The fact is, books and movies with magic in them (or in this case, Casters … witches) are taboo in Christian circles for a reason, but it doesn’t stop me from loving them. I’d give my back teeth for a Christian alternative with magic in it that is just as cool as all these witch books are. (Which is why I wrote one… and so far 40+ agents have said no thanks. Which means, I now get to decide between my historical/religious fantasy epic and the Pratchett-fantasy epic, and decide which version of the story to print on demand.)

Anyway, it revisited my love of magical fiction, and got me to wondering (both in terms of book recommendations and in my own writing) – what’s missing in Christian fiction that you wish wasn’t? What kinds of stories would YOU like to read? Does magic enter into it at all? Would you prefer a historical-set magical adventure, or a modern one? What don’t Christian publishers publish that you would like to read?

Talk to me. I’m starving for intelligent conversation … but I’ll take ANY conversation at this point!

42 Replies to “Talk to Me”

    1. I haven’t read it, but I know what it’s about — I watched a heavily-made-up documentary on Pilate in which Wroe was one of the main “consulted biographers” and the conclusions it reached really ticked me off — she seems to support the theory that Pilate wanted the messiah arrested and conspired with the Sanhedrin to do so, which in turn defeats the idea that Jesus was a willing sacrifice and therefore that He was God. I actually have a ranty post I wrote about the Pilate fiasco, but I haven’t put it up yet.

      1. You know a lot of us are really looking forward to that post right? 😉 (Or at least I am, because the number of historical/archaeological rants is sadly outnumbered by fandom related rants… )

        PSPS
        I wrote a preposterously lengthy comment yesterday–did you get it? (If you did and were just too tired to reply that’s fine–I just wonder if something’s up with my browser * sighs * 😦 )

        1. I wasn’t sure if anyone would care, which is why I didn’t post it. 😉

          Um… no, actually, I didn’t — if I had, I would have replied promptly! I hope you didn’t lose it altogether because of your browser! 😦

          1. What! Gosh darn it! I pour out my soul, with eloquence I have never seen before or since and firefox goes and–ah well * sighs * 😛

            Well, to summarize, I commented on a couple of things, and asked if you were still looking for blog topics, and if so, did you have any insights on certain subjects, such as how/why a lot of young Christians drift away from their faith, in many cases undergoing a very radical change of views. This has been blamed on too strict/not strict enough upbringing, teen rebellion, etc; But I think it goes beyond this. Disillusionment, coming under the influence of mainstream culture, are part of it–but there’s something more I just can’t put my finger on and I wondered if you had any insights.

          2. When I used to livejournal, sometimes I WOULD lose long, well-thought out comments if their server “blinked” when I hit “post.” I learned to copy everything I wrote before hitting “send” — but I’m out of practice in doing that now, so I’ll probably lose something sooner or later.

            Anyway — I’m always looking for blog topics!

            Why do young believers drift away from their faith?

            1) It didn’t impact their life in the first place (it was “cultural” and just a Sunday thing)

            2) They go to secular colleges where liberal professors tell them how immature, contrite, and lacking in logic religion is, so to fit in with their professors and friends, they abandon conservative beliefs and religion

            Those are my working theories, based on watching people go through it. 😦

          3. Or, to branch off on your first point, religion was forced on them, and left a bad taste in their mouths. But instead of searching out the truth, they let their bitterness push them away from the truth.

          4. Ugh yes, and it always seems to be the more lengthy, thoughtful comments, never the brief niceties 😛 (Of course I think someone explained that it had to do with the longer you type, the more chance the server “times out”, but non-ultra tech savvy me is still a bit uncertain 😛 )

            I think both the reasons you give are among the causes, * ponders *, I think another (one of many) probable reasons is disillusionment. I notice a lot of homeschoolers seem to want to have this feel good, wholesome view of the world–and reality can’t hold up that.

            Speaking of how “illogical religion is”, often the very arguments used against religion are deeply flawed : https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/295466_471633966181410_1250365125_n.jpg , the sad thing is a lot of people aren’t going to get into the research behind it, and will probably swallow it whole.

            I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading the blog posts of former Christians, and some fit in with the first reason, a sort of gradual drifting away, because “it didn’t seem that important anymore” probably because it never was that important, just as you said.

            In other cases–I’m not sure how to put it–they feel that liberals were more in touch with reality? Now at first glance, this seems ridiculous, especially given how prone some liberals are to ignoring harsh truths, and how many happy pie-in-the-sky types are among there ranks. But then I started thinking it over, I could see what they meant. Conservatives are…squeamish about certain issues, or choose to avoid them. When I was little, I noticed that the A Beka homeschooling texts for history hardly mentioned slavery, Native American land-grabbing, or even the suffering of Eastern European immigrants. The same thing with a lot of unpleasant issues. It was as though anything “bad” in American history reflected badly on American Christians, and by extension, Christianity itself. But this shouldn’t be the case, at least not for Christians, we ought to seek truth, not shun it.

            A friend and I discussed this at length, and we don’t think (despite what many critics of homeschoolers love to claim), that racism is the problem. (People who throw the “word” racism around ought to read about 19th century lootings or massacres to get an idea of real racism in action) It seems to be more of a longing for a good old days–that maybe never really existed (Rather like the Amish or Pioneer fiction discussed above). Or maybe it’s the idea that if America’s past isn’t worth believing in–then its future isn’t either? Perhaps it’s a reluctance to be identified with the “social justice activism”, often organized along racial and ethnic lines of the left?

            I’ve also seen some homeschool (christian-based) blogs, that not only encourage stay-at-home moms (which I agree with), but also condemn women be employed outside the home as inherently sinful.(Some use the reasoning that she is “giving” herself to another man and acting as his “helpmeet”) Another friend pointed out the tendency to refer to single young women as “unmarried daughters”, as though marriage were a mandatory destiny, rather than a joyful possibility, along with the idea that the girl cannot exist “apart” from her family. But what happens to young women like these when things fall through? When marriage does not come, or tragedy strikes their family? While radical feminism isn’t the answer, neither is this alternative of ultra-conservative femininity.

            And I just realized that I’ve probably typed out most of what was in my lost comment yesterday 😛 But I would love to hear your insights on any of the above!

          5. It’s not the server. It’s your computer out to get you. 😛

            The reasons lambs stray from the fold are very complicated; I’m sure that for some people, yeah, disillusionment is part of it. And flat-out denial. Liberals are so far removed from reality it’s not even funny, yet they sell themselves as being totally in touch with it. Reality would teach them that none of their ideas would ever work in society, and that every society that adopts them fails, yet still they try the same tired tactics.

            Probably the reason homeschool curriculum strays away from the less shiny moments in history is because the liberals have so over-used them to hammer a liberal point home that they’re afraid to even “go there.” But the fact is – sometimes a liberal is right. Most of the time, they aren’t, but when it comes to a few things like our treatment of the Indians, they’re right. We should admit that, deal with it, and move on.

            America has always been a nation founded on Christian principles, with Christian behavior as its ideal – but it’s always been a nation of flawed people who make mistakes. It’s past is worth remembering and learning from (ALL OF IT) and its future is worth fighting for.

            Regarding the ultra-legalistic women who think all women are good for is marriage – no, I don’t agree with that. I think God raises up women just as much as He does men, for whatever purpose He calls them to. You can’t tell me that England would have been better off if Margaret Thatcher had stayed home making tea and sandwiches for her husband’s lunches. You can’t tell me India would be better off had Amy Carmichael not done something no man thought of doing. Some women are called to be just mothers, and that’s a wonderful, noble thing, because the most important thing anyone can do is to raise godly children. But some women are also called to work AND be a mother. And some women aren’t called to motherhood at all. Doing whatever God puts before you is an honorable task, and to train girls to think they can only be wives and mothers is wrong, when there’s no certainty that life will ever choose them.

  1. “Actually, I’ve started to notice more genres popping up in Inspirational fiction…”

    Agree with, Hope. This is true. There are at least two teen dystopian/futuristic novels coming this summer by popular Christian authors and I am tickled pink about it! Both would have been “iffy” for my reading tastes five years ago, but now I am very entertained by anything in the genre. In fact, my preferences probably tend more towards contemporaries (realistic) and futuristic. Historical was my (reading) life for years and now, I only like specific time frames. Or that is what I’ve found.

    Then there is the Amish scene which has also overtaken the Christian genre and it’s a trend I am not particularly fond of. There is too much similarities in those novels and that makes them seemingly merge into one “collective” narrative.

    Both of your ideas sound interesting. For more entertainment, I think your Pratchett version sounds likes the most fun! That being said, I trust you to make the right choice on which to share with the world. This is beyond exciting, girl! Happy for you.

    …and I should like to clarify that you were in no way being snubbed my friend. 😉 Hey, computers are a girl’s best friend! Sometimes.

    1. Yeah, since The Hunger Games, dystopian novels are very “in” right now; a lot of Christian publishers are looking for books in that market. (I’ve also noticed it’s “big” in movies right now… half the trailers I sat through this afternoon were for dystopian/futuristic/apocolyptic movies coming out this summer.) I’ve never loved that genre, so I don’t read much of it.

      Time periods do have an impact on whether or not I’ll read something — I favor certain periods (and places) much more than others. I love anything set in Ancient Rome, since there’s so much potential both for Biblical references and figures and for historic figures in Rome and Alexandria. I love stuff set in the Tudor period, but so many authors mess it up, I don’t read much of it anymore. And, I love the Victorian era.

      My opinions on Amish fiction pervading Christian publishing: please see comment above. Amish is a CULT; why are Christian publishers printing it? Yet they won’t print anything “Catholic.” Hypocrites.

      Ah, yes, the eternal question: staying power and impact, or humor and fun? I hate to write this book again; I’ve done it four times in 18 months, but I may wind up trying to find a combination of the two that suits. And don’t trust me, my judgment and self-worth sucks. Ask God to show me which one to go with — and while He’s at it, tell me how to end my book to boot. 😉

      Computers ARE a girl’s best friend… when they work. If not, they’re our most hated adversary!

      1. So why do we not have Mormon fiction? 😉 I mean, your reasoning is so right…I was into Amish fiction when I first started but it’s so true, and for some reason I never thought about it that way before.

  2. I think the best writer portrays Christians well in an Urban Fantasy setting is Jim Butcher. His series is getting more and more interesting.

    It is not a “Christian” book or series but it handles faith well.

    And the Christians in the books are cool people you would want to hang out with.

    I don’t really read “Christian” books anymore. At least not Fiction ones.

    Please go for the Prachett style series. I love Terry Prachett but would read either.

    I have no problem with Magic in a historical setting. I really like Larry Corriea’s Hard Magic which is set in 1930’s + Magic

    1. Thanks for two book recommendations! I’ll have to check out both! (I like the idea of a 1930’s magical era… my dad mentioned to me today that no one has really done that, usually they choose the Victorian Era instead of later on, which I’ve also done.)

      I love how my book reads in a Pratchett-esque-zany style, but my test reader said it also lost a lot of its spiritual impact, so I may have to do some revision if I go that route. It’s hard finding a balance between blatancy and subtly when it comes to allegories.

  3. As much as I adore historical fiction, I tend to think that magic in history isn’t quite as exciting as magic set in a more modern era. Perhaps it’s the absurdity of the impossible happening in my time…not sure.

    As for what Christian publishers are missing, I’d say it’s subtlety. I’m sick of “preachy” Christian books. If they’re not preachy then there romances with no depth & no real plot line. I think we need clever books in Christian fiction. Books that intrigue, inspire and (for lack of a better phrase.) blow out minds – without us even realizing it initially. We need more books that aren’t *Christian* but DO have a Christian worldview – same goes for Christian movies. No one like a Bible thumped in their face. We need to be more subtle.

    Also, we have too many books out there wherein the romance pervades the entire story. Supernatural is a good example of a good, interesting story that doesn’t have to be supported (or attract an audience) with a continual romance.

    Okay, I’ll stop now. 😀

    1. I have to agree with you about the Christian message in Christian books. I’ve wished so many times a Christian book I read had no reference to Christianity because it was so fake. I cannot stand it when people’s faith feels fake or robotic. And often the most “preachy” ones are the fakest. This is something they definitely need to work on.
      Another one of my pet peeves is “God’s Will” simply being another name for the author’s will.
      I also wish they could balance romance with an actual story that is interesting. Lol. I hope I’m not sounding too harsh on the Inspirational fiction industry. 🙂

      1. My favorite books either have minimal romance, none, or it as a secondary plot to another main plot; I’m not much of a romantic, so simply reading a love story (unless it’s in the guise of a classic) doesn’t do much for me. But… I admit, set a romance in a historical time period of significance, and suddenly it’s AWESOME.

        So, how would you improve on the fakeness of faith in Christian books? What makes it seem fake? How could it be more real?

        (I ask as a writer! So help me out on this! Basically, I’m using you all as a focus group! Hah!)

        1. That’s a great question. I’m still trying to find the answer, lol. Only of lately have I even tried to write a “Christian” story – or one that involves characters who talk about being Christians and I have no idea if its coming off realistic or really fake. I’m just trying to practice and learn.
          Perhaps we, as writers, should try to make talking about God not feel so forced. Characters often have these robotic dorky speeches that sound like they came off a Christian Christmas card or something.
          You know what, now that I think of it, the real problem may be the characters were so one-dimensional in the first place. Sort of like watching a really bad, low-budget “Christian” movie where everything makes you cringe, lol.

          1. It’s a hard balance to find — it really is. I know someone who, in real life, actually DOES talk about God all the time, and atributes everything to Him, and at first I thought it was fake since it FELT fake — but she’s genuine; that’s who she is, and she actually MEANS it. But in literature, you never get to the point of realism with a character like that, since it seems like the author is speaking Christian-eeze!

    2. WOW! Well said, Jessica!

      There is a fine line to walk in being “preachy” and allowing the subtle message of Christianity to speak for itself. I’ve read both. Some are overwhelming and lead the reader to believe non-Christians would be turned off, others are beautiful in the simplicity with which they share the gospel. (Same with Christian films – I’ve seen both sides of the debate.)

      Having said that, is it sometimes better to “offend” someone now and MAYBE make them think… or hope that they pick up on the subtleties and seek out more about faith? I don’t have the answer certainly but I tend to prefer the subtle over the in-you-face arrogance.

      Also appreciate your opinion about fantasy being better in modern or futuristic worlds. But then, that Terry Pratchett miniseries is INSANE. In the best sense. 😉

      1. I think your writing should speak for itself. To pick a hotly debated topic, say your book is on abortion. Instead of saying, “Hey, this is wrong! It’s bad!” have your character face the situation and hear information from both sides. Even *gasp* give some good arguments (or at least arguments that sound good) so that the protagonist has to really struggle to know what the right choice is. It’s rarely black and white (not just abortion, but so many things in our lives we’re faced with) and if I feel the struggle with the character, even if I’m against what she’s for or vice versa, I always enjoy a book that makes me think, that challenges what I believe.

      2. I think whether a book offends or not is in how the author handles the topic; if a novel hammers you with a good message in a manner that’s condescending, it’s offensive; if you learn along with the character WHY this change needs to be made in their life, it isn’t offensive — it’s inspiring.

        Karenin in Anna Karenina finding it in his heart to forgive his wife’s adultery and love her instead of extracting vengeance on her isn’t preachy or superficial — it’s a life-altering, profoundly insightful and unexpected moment. It needed to happen. But it’s not what the audience expects, since we’d have a hard time doing it. And it’s not a forced change, either, it’s totally sincere and it FEELS RIGHT.

        What goes wrong is when an author FORCES a character to change, without any real build-up or reason to, other than to service the plot. They want it badly, but don’t want to take the time to flesh out (or in some cases, figure out) why the character DOES change. Most people don’t just spontaneously change — it’s a process that takes them to that moment of decision, of acceptance or rejection of truth.

        I like both approaches — C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books are subtle AND in your face at the same time; ironically, children noticed the spiritual parallels much more than adults! Yet, not all of us are C.S. Lewis, unfortunately.

        Pratchett actually never specifies any “age” for his novels, but since he uses things like wagons and horses, the BBC decided to go for a Steampunky theme for all the films, which in my opinion was a marvelous idea.

    3. I tend to agree with you — I think it’s also easier for a modern audience to understand and identify with more modern characters, since enough about their environment and individual struggle is like our own life, that counter-balances the “strangeness” of whatever magic / ghosts / etc is happening in their life.

      However, historical-set fantasy is never dated, since you intentionally set it in an era; I’m not sure the same could be said of modern-set fiction. Harry Potter won’t date, because it avoids most modern conveniences, but an author runs the risk of having his or her work “stuck in the past” in 50 years, if we’re no longer using cell phones or driving around in cars!

      To be honest, that’s kind of why I don’t read a lot of Christian fiction anymore — either it was over the top, pages of sermons preaching to the choir, as it were, or it wasn’t really much of a Christian story, it just was a clean romance with salvation tacked on at the end. I want to deal with REAL struggles, REAL things…

      But, as a writer, that’s HARD. It’s hard to know when you’re pussyfooting around something and need to be stronger, and it’s hard to know when you’re being too overt and preachy. I do agree though that we need less Christian books, and more books written by Christian authors. Our worldview should impact the book — everyone else’s does in the literary world. Read a book, you know a lot about its author. (For some authors, that’s a scary thought, isn’t it?)

      YES! I loved Supernatural for that reason — it was about brotherhood, family, and bonding much more than romance. (Unfortunately, once they brought in the angels, I quit watching it… too much heresy for my taste.) I’d love it if someone could do a Christian series along those lines, but I’m too intimidated to try writing it!

      No, no, talk all you want — like I said, I love interaction and intelligent debate!

      1. I do agree though that we need less Christian books, and more books written by Christian authors.

        Yes, that’s it exactly. It’s kind of like our daily life; no matter what we do, there should be a difference that others see.

  4. I wish there were more diverse genres. Actually, I’ve started to notice more genres popping up in Inspirational fiction, but I definitely want a lot more. I mean, I like the occasional Western novel but when they are ALL Western and Amish novels, that’s just boring.
    I would love a lot more fantasy. And historical fiction set not just in 1800s America or Regency England.
    I really like Asian culture and have been writing my own historical fiction stories set in Asia – because if you can’t find what you like, you’ll just have to write it yourself. 😀

    1. Unfortunately, trends catch on and then drag literature into a rut — in both Christian and secular entertainment (for Christian fiction, the pioneer / western stuff was huge for awhile — in secular fiction, it’s all paranormal right now, which is fine for me because I like it, but it’ll get old too after awhile).

      I have one major question — why is it Christian publishers are so giddy over printing Amish fiction? The Amish religion IS A CULT. It relies on works in addition to faith for salvation. It “SHUNS” those who depart from the faith (first rule of a cult!). It demands its people live according to its own rules! WHAT ABOUT THE AMISH ISN’T A CULT, AND WHY DOES CHRISTIAN FICTION EMBRACE IT?

      Fantasy is good. I’m disappointed there isn’t more of it, especially since we need it now to counter the likes of Libba Bray.

      I love that, that’s very true — write what you like to read unless you happen to be a headcase like me, who loves about sixteen different genres and can’t decide which one to stay in … but I’d take it a step further: if it’s good, print it.

      1. You know, I never thought of the Amish as having a cult, but now that you bring it up, I guess they do! I think they were all the rage (or are they still?) because they lead such “good” lives. But still, if they’re relying on works, that’s not good. There’s only one way any of us is getting to heaven.

        1. I think the combination of the old world lifestyle in a modern world and their morality makes them interesting to readers… but nevertheless, their rules, their approach to women, their shunning of those who leave the fold, and their desire to “control” the flock mark them out as a cult — a peaceful one, but a cult nonetheless. Their belief system is faith in addition to keeping the rules of the Amish.

  5. I would love a good fantasy/magic story where the good and evil sides battle using the real powers of good and evil, (good guys side with God/bad guys side with Satan). I also would like to see more meaningful consequences for actions. I think one of the most powerfully creepy scenes in a movie is when the bad guy in Ghost dies and gets taken away by the evil he let into his life.

    1. I’m with you on that — there isn’t enough epic showdowns in literature, between the TRUE forces of good and evil, working in collaboration with their sources (God / Satan). The only thing remotely like it is Peretti, but even he’s pretty much angels vs. demons, not so much humans getting involved.

      Sometimes (okay, mostly with my own stuff) I’m torn between wanting redemption for the villain and wanting to see him pay for his actions. People sometimes get so caught up in the “coolness” of evil characters, they need to see some serious consequences for his actions!

  6. What’s missing in Christian fiction? Good writing!! Seriously, though, I love a bit of magic, a bit of fantasy, but if I want good writing, I so often have to resort to secular writers. Not that that’s a bad thing, but it’d be nice if there were more Christian writers who could actually, you know, write.

    I’ve been busy this week with lots of things, but I’ve also let the computer suck me in too much. I will be working on limiting my computer time this coming week. If I don’t, I’m going to look up from the screen one of these days and say, “Wait, it’s September already? Where did the summer go?” And as I have plans for this fall, I want to enjoy my free time while I can!

    1. What’s your definition of good writing? Does it have more to do with style or substance?

      (I ask simply because in many cases, good writing is subjective to taste — one person may say this book is excellent writing; the next may say the writing is dreadful!)

      But… but… the computer is a girl’s best friend! You leave it alone and it’ll cry! 😉

      1. That’s a really good question. I like a tight plot, one that keeps me interested, but there are some books that are more rambly that still drag me in. I like description, but not too much (really, if there’s too much, I tend to skim). And I like strong characters, characters that I can believe are real. To use a recent example, in Bridge to Terabithia all of the characters feel real. Jess and Leslie are kids experiencing things I’d expect children their ages to experience, but the not-as-important characters are drawn realistically, as well. I believe that Jess’s parents are exasperated but love him, I believe his teacher is a real person who finally sees a good student in Leslie, I believe his art teacher sees Jess’s crush, but also sees the potential that’s in him, I believe so much in the book, and that’s what makes the magic happen. You can believe the magic because the realistic is so real.

        I think a good book is one where you can become lost in the story. The characters are well drawn, the setting is believable (and yes, that’s possible even if your story is set in a fictional world), the plot has a good pacing (some are slower, some are faster; it has to work for each story), the ending is tied up well (the one reason I didn’t like the last book in the Series of Unfortunate Events series–I don’t expect everything to be wrapped up in a pretty bow, but there were SO MANY unanswered questions). But my favorite book won’t be your favorite book simply because, as you said, taste is subjective. I think there’s a lot of trash being published now, but there are also lots of good books if we’re willing to take the time to look for them.

        I have a feeling it may be me crying without my bff the internet. 😉

        1. I think you’ve hit on something with the realistic characters thing — if the characters don’t make you feel, if they’re not fully human (flawed but heroic at the same time), the book (or movie, for that matter) truly falls flat. That’s why some things work so well (like Supernatural or even Star Trek) and others don’t — we have to identify with, or at least LIKE, the main characters.

          Hence why I never could really get into the ultra-cold characters in The Hunger Games, but that’s another topic for a different day.

          The real shame of it is — you have to search through a lot of bad books to find the good ones, since as you said, good books aren’t the ONLY thing being published now! The agents supposed to weed through the trash for us sometimes print it instead!

          … the internet… it creys! it wants its bff back! 😉

          1. You know, maybe that’s why they were never my favorite books. Yes, I liked them, but not to the extent everyone else did. And though others have said *SPOILER* that there were never any other games, I have my doubts. And I hated that ending. I should reread them, though, and see if I still come to the same conclusion.

            Internet: 1, Carol:0

          2. I found them interesting (and sickening) but I could not connect to Katniss; I think my lack of emotion as a reader found it hard to connect to her coldness. (You’d think it would be the opposite, that I’d go “ooh, someone like me!” but no.) Unlike the majority of readers, I also never really bought the Katniss / Peeta love story, and I found it impossible to hate Gale — the only INTJ of the bunch! Plus, it really irritated me that Katniss never chose between the boys — Gale made the decision for her, to leave her with Peeta. So essentially, Katniss never made the most important decision of her life!

          3. Definitely. Seriously, girl, pick one. And then I felt bad for whoever got her because she didn’t make the choice herself and she kinda still had feelings for the other.

          4. It just seemed a really strange choice for the author to make — the entire series is about Katniss having decisions taken away from her; because of circumstances, she must choose to enter the Games to save her sister; then she’s forced to be an iconic image for the resistance; she’s forced to fight again and again… yet, in the end, her decision about her romantic future isn’t hers? Isn’t that one more person taking that decision away from her?

            But then, maybe that was the point, to illustrate why Peeta is better for her? Because Gale never let her make that choice? If so, I can forgive it — but I still like Gale. Everyone hates Gale. I don’t understand why. Yes, he built a bomb — and people died. That’s what happens in war. It’s sad and it sucks, but it’s true.

          5. I never hated Gale…I just agreed that Peeta was better because he helped her heal vs. fed her hate. But I agree…don’t get the Gale hatred.

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