Welcome, welcome. It’s going to be a big, big, big week! The 74th Hunger Games is upon us and in the spirit of the Games, I am going to offer up four tributes for dissection. Today, will be the original Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Tomorrow, Catching Fire. Wednesday, Mockingjay. And Thursday I will come to you fresh (and tired) from the midnight release with a WHOLE LOT OF SPOILER-IFIC info on the movie and its potential awesomeness.
So, without further ado, let the Games begin!
The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
It was years ago. The buzz had already started and suddenly, everyone was talking about something called the Hunger Games. I checked out a wikipedia synopsis, joined a few Team Gale/Peeta chats and took off to Borders to buy the book. At this time, the cover was super lame and very MG/Sci Fi looking. I almost didn’t pick it up, but then I remembered the forums, the synopsis, and headed to the registers with the book face down.
I already had a vague idea of what would happen and how it’d end. I had no idea how great it would be.
I should probably note here that I have read the Hunger Games once, years ago, and my review is based on what I remember. I don’t want to reread it before the movie because I did that before six of the eight Harry Potter movies and with the comparison in my mind, the movies were seriously sucky.
I think this will turn out to be an awesome movie so I don’t want to pick on the specifics.
Now moving on.
At face value: Lame; seriously, wickedly lame. I was too embarrassed to carry that cover anywhere and I’d seen it on the shelf before I’d heard of what it was. The newer ones are okay, but if I wasn’t already into the series I doubt I would have picked those up either.
Immediate Reaction: From memory, I wanted Catching Fire like, yesterday.
High Five: Only a four. There are reasons. Promise.
I’m not going to include a ‘favourite quote’ section because I can’t remember any that really stood out to me. I did have two favourite parts, though so I’ll talk about them. First, predictably, is ‘Rue’s scene’. That broke my heart into a thousand, million pieces. The second part that I remember loving was the chariot ride. Cinna changed Games history then and there and I could feel it with every word Collins wrote.
I’m not going to bore any one with a recap on the book because by now, EVERYONE IN THE FRIGGEN STRATOSPHERE has heard of, and is bombarded by, the Hunger Games.
Katniss is awesome. Gale is a schmexy beast. Peeta is… I don’t want to say for fear of death. But I should clearly state that I was a Gale-gal from the start and that hasn’t changed. I’ll reread Catching Fire and Mockingjay with a much more open mind but I doubt that will make a difference. I’m really hoping Joshie Hutchinson can change my mind and be all swoonworthy and shiz but I’m yet to see any evidence of this.
The premise is the ultimate awesomeness. It’s a cross between ‘The Condemned’ and ‘Survivor’ but is ACTUALLY INTERESTING, you guys. This is a book that focuses on real characters and their emotions, the way they deal with the guinea-pig experiment that is their lives. It’s the first story in a long time that has smacked me in the face and made me PAY ATTENTION to the things going on around me. It made me question things; it made me look at the world around me in a different way. It made me look at the world around me, period.
Out of the tributes, there were a few that caught my attention. Rue, obviously, but Foxface was probably the main one I remembered. She was smart and cunning and probably could have outlasted the others if she hadn’t been tricked with those damn berries. The others formed a big, ambiguous blob. I forgot about Thresh completely until the end.
Then there were the really cool aspects. The tracker-jacker attack, the mutts, the sadistic Careers, and the fire. The cornucopia was also imbedded in my memory and I know exactly what I expect it to look like. Considering the movie has made it a completely different colour to the book can’t be a good sign. But we’ll see.
Now for the not-so-awesome. The main one was the lack of emotion in Katniss and Peeta’s relationship. I didn’t buy it. Peeta seemed like a creep. Katniss was forced into a relationship through the manipulation by Peeta, Haymitch, and the Capitol, and from the very beginning it was a relationship she didn’t want. She resented it because of the Games but even when they were over she didn’t immediately rush to Peeta’s side. And yeah I get it, Peeta is a massive babe, right? He was just so sweet WHAT HE DID WITH THAT BREAD. How he WATCHED KATNISS FROM AFAR AND NEVER EVEN BOTHERED TO SPEAK A WORD TO HER. That he seemed to know so much about her but NEVER ASKED HER A THING ABOUT HERSELF. How he teamed up with the Careers to protect her.
SPEW. BLAH. GROSS.
But that’s purely just my close-minded side of things. There are legions of Peeta fans EVERY WHERE I GO. I’ll bet a 90% of the people who read this will be Peeta fans. And that’s cool. I promise I am trying to like him but he just makes it so damn hard.
Coming tomorrow: Catching Fire. Let’s see if Peeta brightens in my eyes…