The Hunger Games: a must read
For those of you that know me in person, you are likely tired of hearing about The Hunger Games. So I decided I should take a few minutes and spread the wealth of my obsession to my virtual friends and followers too. 😛 I will say though, this post does NOT contain any spoilers, in case you are reading the books or heading to the theatre.
I hadn’t heard much about The Hunger Games, certainly not at all when the books first came out. A couple of months before the movie released I heard the odd thing, someone read the books, someone else asked for a gist of the story….from what I overheard I thought it sounded like a book I read a long time ago called “The Long Walk” by Richard Bachman (an alias belonging to Stephen King). A similar premise in some ways…but it turned out to be very very different.
I don’t need to tell anyone about all of the hype surrounding The Hunger Games. It was certainly the most anticipated movie of 2012. Based on the novels written by Suzanne Collins, Gary Ross directed this adaptation and got it ready for the big screen. On opening weekend, The Hunger Games was the third highest grossing movie of all time, falling only behind The Dark Knight and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2. In the first four days of its release, The Hunger Games became the highest grossing film in Lionsgate history!
For anyone that doesn’t know (perhaps you live under a rock) IMDB gives The Hunger Games a tagline of :
“Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister’s place for the latest match.”
Knowing my husband wanted nothing to do with the movie, I decided when Samira and I were heading to the theatre in Quebec City, it would be a great opportunity to see it. I remember enjoying the movie a lot, I remember thinking “huh, that was pretty cool”. I wasn’t floored by any means, but I was intrigued. I thought “what an incredibly interesting story”. I wanted to know more, I had some questions I wanted answered. That night I spoke on the phone with my husband about how he was off the hook and how he no longer had to fear being dragged to the movie theatre to see The Hunger Games…he sounded thrilled that we weren’t going to have to have that discussion! 🙂
When Samira and I arrived home 4 days later I was presented with a gift, one that was wrapped by someone you could tell didn’t normally wrap gifts…but certainly tried his best. ❤
Tearing off the ribbon and paper, I discovered the full hard cover set of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Now I am someone that used to love to read and I used to read a lot. It has been a couple of years since I’ve taken the time to enjoy a good book…but this opportunity that I was presented with, seemed like the perfect time to sit down and get back into a hobby I used to truly love. A couple of days later, I started into the first novel in the series. Within 7 days, I had finished all three of them.
The novels are so engrossing! You don’t care about eating, or tv, or your emails. You just want to get to the next page. The hours flew by and when I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about reading. I was thinking about the characters, I was thinking about their world. I was anticipating where the story would go, what would happen. These books are, in a word, phenomenal.
I don’t ever remember caring about characters as much as I cared about Katniss, Peeta and Gale. When I finished the books, I saw the movie again. This time I felt super torn about the film. Half of me was upset about the glaring omissions from the book. I kept wishing that the movie had been just 15 minutes longer….if they could’ve just added one more thing here or there….(even though the film was already 2 hours and 22 minutes) The other half of me was filling in the blanks with what I knew from the novels. How I already felt about the characters, how I knew what they were feeling, even if it wasn’t clear in the movie. I filled in the gaps and by the end of the movie I was almost in tears, applying everything I had in my mind about the characters to what I was seeing on screen. The actors were no longer just these characters on screen I knew nothing about. They were instead Katniss and Peeta and Haymitch and Effie, straight out of my books.
I definitely recommend, if you have the chance, to see the movie after you have read the book. Everything on screen will make more sense and if you give yourself over to it, it will be more enjoyable. If I were to conduct a full analysis of the movie, I would come up with about a billion problems with the adaptation as The Hunger Games made it’s way to the big screen. I would describe it as “scraping the plot surface” in an effort to tell the story and not much else. Yet somehow, every time I see the trailer for the movie, it makes me just want to watch the movie again…so it is hard for me to be very convincing when I say the movie just scraped the plot surface. I am however, 100% sure that the gem in all of this, is the novels. If I hadn’t read the books, I don’t believe the trailers or the movie would have the same affect on me as they do currently. So if you happen to walk by the novels and think to yourself “I wonder if they are any good”, the answer is yes. Make time to read them, you won’t be sorry.
Catching Fire, the sequel is rumoured to be hitting theatres in November of 2013. I will be eagerly awaiting it and will likely even re-read the books before going to see it. I hope it is four hours long, because that is probably the only way I will be truly satisfied! 🙂
But isn’t it always like that with a book and movie adaptation? Have you ever found a movie based on a book that didn’t disappoint you as a reader in some way?
May the odds be ever in your favor!