The Games have begun.
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games (#1)
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Source: Self Purchased
Available as of October 31, 2008
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Epic. Yes, I described The Hunger Games in one word. This is one of a handful of books I wish I would have read when it was recommended many moons ago. My first reading happened in December of 2011 and even that wasn't soon enough.
Katniss Everdeen is smart, strong, and fierce. It is not just because of her history that she is all of these things, but her insistence to ignore the rules to provide for her mother and sister. Gale Hawthorne is her best friend. The boy she began hunting with when her father died. The boy who knows her secrets. Peeta Mellark is the boy with the bread. She doesn't know him very well, but she will soon enough.
I really enjoyed reading The Hunger Games. My first time through, I was sitting on the edge of my seat dying to know what would happen next. I actually purchased all three books and read them in two days. That is how hooked I was the first time. The second time around I knew what would happen, but there was still that thrill of not fully remembering the details, but still knowing what was coming.
What I really liked was how Katniss could never figure out Peeta's true intentions until the end. However, I didn't like that she took a lot of things for granted. Yes she is in a really crappy situation, but I didn't like that she couldn't figure out her feelings.
Overall, I really enjoyed the thrill of this book. It has opened my eyes to dystopian novels and I will forever be thankful for that. I highly recommend this book!
Book vs. Movie
First and foremost I would like to say that this is one of the better book-to-movie adaptions I've seen after reading the book. It follows the basic outline showing most all of the major scenes.
What I Liked:
- The scene that is added after Rue's death. No, I am not giving details, but my eyes got just a little wet.
- The focus wasn't always on Katniss. On occasion, the scene would switch to Gale, Haymitch or the Gamemakers. I liked knowing what was going outside of Katniss's world.
- The actors.
- Jennifer Lawrence was great! She made me believe she was Katniss. All of her expressions and reactions were exactly how I felt she should react in each of the situations; I never questioned her character.
- Josh Hutcherson was the perfect Peeta. I don't think they could have cast a better one because he is the epitome of Peeta.
- Woody Harrelson made an awesome Haymitch. His portrayal of the drunk turned mentor was absolutely fantastic. He was one of my favorite characters on screen.
- Lenny Kravits made me love Cinna even more than I did when reading. He brought life to a character who acted as Katniss's rock when she needed one the most.
- Costumes - The people of the capital looked absolutely stunning. I had an idea of how they would look based on the book, but the outcome in the movie was beyond amazing.
What I Didn't Like:
- The cornucopia! Based on the description in the book, I was really disappointed in the shape/size/texture of the one designed on screen.
- The very beginning was shot more like a documentary and was never steadily on any one object for more than a few seconds.
- Some of the scenes were clumped together. This could have been from having to keep the movie under a certain time, but overall it didn't really detract from the movie itself.
- Some scenes were completely ignored. For instance, the feast (provided by sponsors) & sleep syrup.
- Katniss stumbled upon water way too quickly after leaving the cornucopia.
What I'm Still Unsure About:
- The ending. I feel like a big chunk was taken out and replaced with a scene that wasn't fully true to the ending in the book. I liked it, but it could have been better with minor adjustments.
Overall, I would pay to see it again.
If you've seen the movie let me know what you think!