(I tell you what, it was because of that controversy that I started reading the Harry Potter books to begin with. I thought all the critical talk was pure rubbish but needed to read the books first before joining the fray. Kind of hard to speak with any authority on the subject if you haven't actually read the books...which, I might add, were what many of the critics were doing. They hadn't even read the stories before completely dismissing them out of hand!)
And yet...it's not that simple is it? Because as much we as adults say "it's just a story, FICTION...for heavens sake!" children's minds are more malleable. As much as I did indeed love the Twilight story (and stayed up till 3:00 AM reading the first book because I was enjoying myself so much) I suppose if I really think about it, I don't want my daughters using Bella and Edward as an example of what a real relationship is or should be like. But realistically, my daughters are smart. And I would hope that when they read those books it never once occurred to them to wish and hope for a sexy, sparkly vampire to sneak into their rooms at night to watch them sleep. Critics of The Hunger Games whine that it's an awful premise and much, much too violent. Well, yes, I suppose. But it's a story. A story with a deeper meaning and symbolism? Maybe. I fully admit that the story spun around in my mind for days after I read it. And made me wonder a lot about reality TV and what we consider entertainment in our own world. It's always great when a book can grip your mind and keep your brain busy for a few days. But first and foremost...The Hunger Games was a STORY. Pure escapism. Who doesn't like to lose themselves in a great story? (Truth be told, as a mother reading to her children, I was inordinately glad that good triumphs evil in the world of Harry Potter. But unfortunately, that's not always how the real world works.)
(Okay...that last one may be not so out of the realms of reality, unfortunately, in certain countries.) But I suppose if it were that simple I wouldn't have to consciously make a choice to stay away from intense and scary movies/books for fear of nightmares. Bryan's always telling me when I'm afraid to turn out the lights, "It's just a story, Sarah. It's not real."