Mash-up. Like a piece of wheat bread with strawberry jam slathered all over it, gooping down the sides and making your fingers sticky, slapped together with a piece of rye with corned beef, hot mustard, and sauerkraut. That is nasty, but when I think of a mash-up, I want some gore, something messy and gag-inducing and a “let’s kick this sandwich’s ass” sort of feel to it.
My choices for a literary mash-up are ripped from the shelves of the most popular tomes in young adult literature. In this corner, weighing in at a hefty 118,000 words, full of way too many adverbs, and a main character who couldn’t save herself from a fight with Smurfs, we have Twilight. And in the other corner, representing the welter weight category at a respectable, trim 77,000 words, with tight sentences, an economy of well-chosen words, and a sharp heroine with some bad-ass archery skillz, we have The Hunger Games.
Can you imagine? We’d have Bella running and hiding, trying (and failing) to climb trees and having to be saved by her vampirish sparkler of a boyfriend — oh my God, this might involve more references to spider monkeys — while Katniss builds snares and traps to entangle the well-clad legs of the Cullen clan (they do have amazing fashion sense, you must admit) and hang them upside down until they hiss their way free. Of course, if the (impotent) Volturi show up and throw their long-caped weight around, Peeta can just paint them into a tree and then unleash Cato and the Careers on their pale, undead flesh capsules.
But what about the werewolves? Katniss is fierce with the bow. Can shoot a squirrel through the eye from 20 yards. What I’m most concerned about, though, is not Katniss running out of arrows or the werewolves running at her with such speed that she can’t recover. No, I’d be most concerned about Jacob imprinting on poor, doomed Rue. Yes, Katniss, definitely take Jacob Black out first. He has a “thing” for little girls. *shudder* Creepy, dude. Just creepy.
-Jennifer Sommersby Young