The Hunger Games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sometime last week I grabbed a copy of The Hunger Games to read and watched the movie. I wasn't sure how it would be with all the extreme hype about the book I'd never heard of and all of a sudden it has a movie. This sort of appearance generally puts me in the whole 'it's going to be bad bad bad' mindset and while it wasn't overall bad, it wasn't good either.
The book was rushed and in my opinion, poorly written. Nowhere near as bad as some young adult books I have read previously. For example, I tried reading a series that made it feel as if though the oxygen were being sucked from the room. This was every thought and conversation the teenager had, a runaway train and oxygen deprivation. I stopped reading when my daughter started speaking that way to get a break.
Most of Hunger Games was a fast read, there were some slow parts where you wondered if Katniss was actually capable of making it, but then again, she's the main character and killing off main characters in books and movies tend to get you blackballed from your readers so you know she makes it. Trying to figure out how.. well that's where reading it makes it interesting. She spends a lot of time up trees, sleeping in trees, belting/tying herself into trees, climbing down the trees.
The best killing ability she has is killing when she doesn't think about it. Katniss automatically kills a little boy who killed Rue, no thought, no processing, she did it and it was over. I don't recall if she retrieved the arrow that killed the boy, but if she did then you know she was over the whole 'I have to kill people to live thing'.
If you are able to ignore the blatant disregard for grammar and style, you can read this book. If you're going to pause every time and have the urge to throw the book or kindle (or whatever you use) then you're going to want to read it fast and do your best to disregard the grammar. The book still wasn't good and the writing style made it worse the best way to get through it if you really want to read it is as fast as possible.
The movie wasn't all that great either and the thing was 132 minutes long! That doesn't even include the credits! The best parts of the movie were watching Haymitch work getting sponsors for Katniss and the Gamemakers. I don't think Haymitch even bothered to try for Peeta, but then again all he seemed to do after saving Katniss was hide. It was probably the best idea he had since he wasn't sure if he would make it or not. The Gamemakers were so cold and calculating. These people are killing children for a living and they are just going about their business, starting wild fires and building killing machine animals as if it's just another day at the office. For them, it is. You see absolutely no remorse on any of the gamemakers, only the Game Master himself when he realizes he's about to lose the game to a witty, sarcastic hate-filled 16yo girl who outsmarted him.
I truly enjoyed how they portrayed the people of the Capitol. They were outlandish and fabulous and absolutely insane. How else could you think of them? They were not only OKAY with killing children but made it their lifes work to dress them up for the world they knew to see, to send them to their deaths looking fabulous and nothing like who they really truly are. Do they ever stop to think 'this could be my child?' No. Because if they did stop and think such things they would never be capable of doing what they have decided to do in order to get paid and be famous. To be famous you have to send children to their death. They are okay with this, it's sickening and the movie makes you want to shake each and every one of them for accepting this.
Now, my total opinion of both book and movie together. If you read the book and then watch the movie (which is always **always** the best way to go) you'll actually find it enjoyable. This does not include you morons who were shocked that Rue and Thresh were black, either. This is for people who actually READ the book, not leaf through it and say 'oooh it's so fantastic, I must see the movie' then make an idiot of yourself by throwing tantrums.
Reading the book puts you inisde Katniss' head which is exactly where you want to be. Watching the movie gives you an advantage because as you are watching you know each and every thought that is flowing through her brain. They did fairly well sticking to the storyline. I was upset that Madge didn't make an appearance. I think it would've been so much better, it's not like they couldn't have worked it in with how much time they already had in the finished product! The characters looked (for the most part) the way I pictured them in my head. I was unsure of how to picture Cinna because I just wasn't sure which way to go, how to make his voice. I kept getting Prince believe it or not. (I know, I know!)
I really think the movie and the book go hand in hand. They show you what you aren't sure how to picture. You get to see what happens to the Game Master when everything goes down. When you start the second book you can visualize who you are reading about by taking it from the movie that much easier.
So, finally, while I dislike them apart and on their own, they do compliment each other quite well. Don't read the book and not see the movie and if you haven't read the book forget even bothering with the movie. Got it? Good. And... may the odds ever be in your favor. (Second and LAST time I use that line.)