March 21, 2012

May the odds be ever in your favor

The Hunger Games film is out in just a couple of days, and I can hardly wait.

I sat down last week to write a review of an anthology analyzing all the aspects of The Hunger Games (review here), and even though I usually have difficulty getting book reviews out, I couldn't type fast enough. It reminded me of when I practically wrote nothing but articles about Harry Potter when the last movie came out. The words just poured onto the page. I didn't quite realize how much the series affected me, and apparently it's the same with The Hunger Games.

I devoured the series about a year and a half ago. I remember finishing The Hunger Games late at night and considering whether I could speed to any store that was still open to get the next book. It wasn't available as an ebook yet, so I had to wait until the next day. I went ahead and bought the next two books.

I fell in love with Katniss. Here was a strong, yet fragile female protagonist who fought tooth and nail. Above all else, Katniss is a survivor. Sure, Gale and Peeta are there and I've had discussions about the merits of each of them, but I'm firmly on Team Katniss. To me, the illusion of love rather than the actual act is more influential throughout most of the series. It's the game within the Games.

The similarities between the dystopian world Suzanne Collins created and our very real world struck me, too. How many steps are our reality television shows away from the Hunger Games? We live in a world where gladiator arenas existed; it's not such a stretch. The Capitol of Panem reeks of excess, and I think some corners of our country are on par with the decadence we see there.

Besides the elements of the books that grab me, I love the enthusiasm of the fans. I usually encounter two groups of people when I mention the Hunger Games. The first group is passionate about it and ready to dive into intense debates about Coin vs. Snow and the parallels between Panem and our country. You know, like the wonderful folks who devised a map showing where Panem is in the United States. Or like my sister who had a mockingjay tattoo within just a few weeks of reading the series. The other group tends to be snobby naysayers. They either say that they don't read young adult stories or books teenage girls like (ugh) or ask me if I've heard of Battle Royale. For the most part, the latter refused to even pick up The Hunger Games because Battle Royale is better. Maybe it is, I don't know, I haven't read them both (see how I'm not just assuming the one I've read is better).


I point it out because I've rarely come across anyone who is just middle of the road on The Hunger Games. I also can't remember meeting anyone who hated the series. Several people think the third book is less than spectacular (while I don't love the ending, it fits the story and I admire Collins for not taking the easy path), but to hear such overwhelmingly positive feedback? It doesn't happen all that often.

Have you read the Hunger Games? Will you be seeing the movie this weekend? Let me know in the comments!

Also - speaking of, Busted Tees has an awesome Hunger Games tee on sale for just $12.99.

Two Years Ago:
Travis Hanson & The Bean

One Year Ago:
Bars & Coffee Shops That Speak Geek


  1. I agree with your assessment. I read the trilogy in two weeks having not read something that quickly since I read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy over 25 years ago. (It actually was a quadrilogy at that point so it was four books in like 3 weeks.) I found it to be far better written than the Harry Potter books in just about every way. It's at a higher reading level (though not quite the level of LOTR), so it's definitely not a children's book. It's probably on the edge between young adult and general fiction. I had no expectation that it would be anywhere near as good as it is.

    Sadly, my mockingjay pin will likely not arrive before I go see the film tomorrow. While I'm excited about the first film, I'm much less interested in seeing the remaining films. How about you?

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  2. I first read these books to preview them & decide if they were appropriate for my 2 impressionable teenage kids. I soon found myself completely enthralled in the story and unable to put them down until I had finished them all! I can't wait for my kids to read them so that we can discuss them. I have torn feelings, though, about the movies being made. It just seems to me to be a contradiction of the books. Even if it isn't reality, to put the gladiator games on screen as entertainment for the masses just seems wrong to me. But that is just my opinion.

  3. I loved the first book, and was less thrilled with the following books (but still enjoyed them).

    I saw the movie opening weekend with another friend who loved it. I thought they did a good job of bringing the story to life. The changes made seemed like changes that helped enhance the story for the screen (making it shorter, fewer minor characters, etc.)

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