The casualness of our conversation ended there.
I gasped and said, “What? Kill Peeta? Why would she kill off Peeta? No, it’s Gale that has to get out of the way.”
Ashlee gasped, too. “What? How can you be in love with Peeta? It’s got to be Gale! You and I always have the same taste in books! How can you be in love with Peeta?”
And both of us decided right then that we were going to blog about it and create polls and see what everyone else thinks.
Now, admittedly my track record is not perfect. Take my experience reading I Capture the Castle for example. Here’s a chunk of what I wrote in my goodreads review when I read that book a year ago:
Halfway through this I wanted to buy it for everyone on my Christmas list. Three-quarters through I wanted to hurl it at the wall. With twenty pages to go I felt very sure there was no possible ending I could be satisfied with. And then, on the very last page, I fell in love [with the book] again. . . . Really, it’s an amazing novel, so honest and fair–fair both to the reader and to the characters. My main trouble was that I fell in love with the wrong guy, which was my own fault.
For me, it brings up an interesting issue of how much we as readers bring to a book. My sister and I are similar in so many ways, especially as English teaching majors (she’s still in college), so it’s weird for us to be opposites on this Gale/Peeta thing. Do we have fundamentally different taste in guys?
Maybe I should have her read I Capture the Castle and see if she picks the guy I did.
But this becomes not only a reading issue but a writing issue. After all, Suzanne Collins is going to have to disappoint half her fan base. Should she have given more clues going along about who we’re “supposed” to love? Does a writer have a responsibility to make that clear? Do I even dare mention the Edward/Jacob controversy, where it seems to me that it is made clear and yet so many fans choose to hope for the out guy?
My current WIP has five teenage guys all the same age, and when Ashlee first read the first 40 pages of the first draft, her first question was, “Who’s Wendy going to end up with?” I’ve worked hard since then to make everything seem, while not cut and dry, sort of inevitable in my novel, so that readers would be satisfied with the ending. But maybe some will still wish that a different guy got with Wendy.
It’s possible. After all, I do try to make all five of the guys likeable. What’s a writer to do?
So now I’m curious not only about your vote for Peeta vs Gale but how confident you are in your prediction. Please weigh in below! Maybe even leave a comment about other books you’ve had this trouble with, like my review above.
I’m already feeling a little outnumbered since my writer friend Brodi Ashton blogged a few weeks ago about preferring Gale, too (her rationale is in her comments section).
Any other Peeta supporters out there? How can you not love the guy who paints himself like he’s frosting a cake as a form of self-preservation? And whose self-preservation is entirely for the sake of saving the girl he loves? Just thinking about him makes me want to set my huge to-read stack aside and reread Hunger Games and Catching Fire right now.
Come on, Peeta fans! Show your love!
p.s. if anybody wants to vote on my sister’s poll, too, it’s on her sidebar here