The Hunger Games
Hehe--what a daunting subject to tackle. Or maybe not. A few of you seem to have read it and have seen the movie...so yeah! Ahem. Here goes nothing. I've recently re-read the series (which I tend to do) so everything is fresh in my mind. Yay!
I didn't know what The Hunger Games was about until someone told me. Even then their explanation was very vague, just enough so that I knew it wasn't about vampires (which, pardon me, was my original belief). So, this girl, Katniss Everdeen takes the place of her sister in The Hunger Games, a fight to the death...it sounded interesting enough, if not a bit confusing.
Let me begin by saying this is my favorite series ever. Which is surprising. It wasn't mythical, it wasn't filled with fairytales or happiness or tons of romance. This book is definitely not a everything-will-be-okay-of-course-it-will kind of story.
The book drew me in at once. And from then on, I could not put it down. I fell in love with every character. They were dynamic, they were each their own. Every single one of them had a place. And towards the end of the book--I stayed up until four in the morning to finish it--my heart was pounding. It was unsettling, wince-worthy. I could not sleep for quite a long time after finishing it.
These books are popular. Extremely so. There's already been a movie (and I will get to that later). People might ask, Who would want to read a book about kids killing kids? The truth is, it's about a lot more than that. It explores so many different topics--self-preservation, survival, independence, courage, fear, suffering, friendship, love, and hate. There's several others as well.
In the Hunger Games, you start it with the knowledge that people are going to die. It's the fact that you don't know who that keeps you turning pages; that keeps you on the edge of your seat. And that suspension is accompanied by a sense of dread and foreboding, because you also know that people you like are going to die. That's what I felt with--SPOILER ALERT--Rue, who I liked. Eventually I found myself just wanting to get it over with. I was relieved when it did.
--SPOILER ALERT--But Cato's death scene, at the very end, is what bothered me most. It was vicious and brutal. But that's how Suzanne Collins writes. She's not going to pretty things up.
Now, while the book was one of my favorites of all time, the movie was a bit different. I initially came home from the theater complete satisfied, even thrilled with the outcome. But seeing it a second time (and recently, a third, after the DVD release--go ahead, laugh!) gave me a bit more perspective. They did not do all they could have. Important scenes, at least what I found to be, were cut short or made silly by the script. A great example of that would be Katniss's two "d-word you!"s to Gale and Peeta.
And the beginning of the movie felt forced. Not necessarily the scene with Prim, because that was okay. But the second Gale came onscreen, even the first time, my hopes sank. Because the acting is terrible. Not that I'm the best judge, but yeah. It was. It seemed horribly stiff and unnatural. So that was a bit disappointing. I actually deflated a little in that scene because I thought, "Oh dear. So this how it's going to be the whole movie?" But no, they picked things back up.
And Buttercup--Prim's cat, who dislikes Katniss--was all wrong. At least in my mind. I'd pictured him as orange.
Then there was the part with Peeta throwing Katniss the bread. There was no backstory whatsoever on the part, and I think there should have been. Plus, they should have used lookalike kids to portray them. The scene made less sense showing them as they already were.
And all that brings me to the cave scenes, which was perhaps the biggest let-down. They didn't go into the more meaningful conversations which took place in the book. That whole part of the movie was short. I wish they'd done more.
Overall, it was a good movie. It didn't quite live up to the book, but they tried, so that was good.
Now, to veer completely off-subject: A lot of people seem to think the book holds deep political messages. Ah, I'm not very good with politics. But, to me, it's just a book. I don't think of it as anything that could ever happen in our future. And I don't see the government in the book relevant to ours at all. But, like I said, I don't have an interest in that sort of stuff.
I loved this book. I loved all the books. I liked them way better than Twilight. (GASP. GASP. Go ahead, gasp at me. If you've read my previous Twilight posts, then, uh, you'll find that shocking).
I'd recommend The Hunger Games to anyone. I think a lot of people could find something to relate to in it. Be it the characters, the emotions, the actual Games--this book has something for everyone.