Hunger Games Before Movie vs. Hunger Games After Movie (part 1)

I thought for my inaugural post I would write about my most recent read.  Well, technically it was my most recent listen, but its still the same book(s).  My newest read was the Hunger Games trilogy.  I know…I know…I jumped on the huge bandwagon after watching the first trailer.  It intrigued me and I really wanted to read the books before the movie came out.  I wasn’t really certain I would like the books.  I don’t normally gravitate to YA books, but I had heard such good things and loved the footage of the movie I just had to read them.  I wasn’t disappointed…well…maybe in parts, but I will get to that.

*****Possible SPOILERS*****

The very first book titled Hunger Games really sucks you in.  I would be hard pressed for anyone who reads this first book through to not want to continue on to the next.  The first book you meet the main three characters: Katniss, Peeta and Gale.  Generally speaking, every year in Panam (formally North America) holds a tournament to the death for children from 12-18 yrs old.  Each district, there are 12, has to send one female and one male participant.  When I first understood this concept it made me think of the movie “The Running Man” with Arnold Swartzanegger in the ’80s.  Except this is children fighting to the death with only one winner left.  I’m not gonna rehash the entire story, but needless to say Peeta and Katniss are the chosen two and get sent off to the Capital.  The underlying story line is a “made-up” unrequitted love that Peeta has for Katniss.  Now, all of this is televised and published and people are even betting on who will win in the arena.  You could also compare these games to the Roman’s games in the collaseum.  Anyway, to cut to the quick, there is a lot of blood and gore and you quickly forget that the people competing are just children and by the end of the book you really wonder how Peeta and Katniss could possibly cope with aftermath’s of such horrendous and cruel things both done to them and what they had to do.

This leads us to Catching Fire (the second book).  This starts about 6 months after the first book ends.  You find out that life has improved for Peeta and Katniss, but only marginally.  Katniss learns that after her stunt to end the first Hunger games she has become the symbol of a rebellion in a way.  In this book, you really see Katniss develop as a character.  You also remember how immature she is.  She is still young not even an adult.  Yet, these threats and pressures abound even when she is not doing anything intentionally except for following her heart.  Part of her development is that she must go back to yet another Hunger Games.  This time all participants are previous victors.  Since, Katniss is the incendiary device for the rebellion the “Capital” is out to get her and Peeta.  This book is the typical middle book in a trilogy.  It carries and develops both the story and the characters.  It even gives you a lot of “What The Hell” moments propelling the story forward.  Leaving the ending as much as a cliff hanger as one can get.

In the final book Mockingjay, the rebellion has come to a head, Peeta is captured and Katniss really becomes the symbol and soldier of the rebellion.  I must say this is the most disappointing of the books.  The book is very good until a certain point.  At around the final quarter of the book, the writing really faulters.  It speeds up and thins out.  Suzanne Collins, kills off a character that you learn to love for no real reason.  Why she spent words and time on this character only to have him killed off and his dying doesn’t even effect Katniss the way it really should.  I know this book was designed to be just one giant Hunger Games without the arena, but it really fell short.  It was disappointing that with everything else being so well written that the ending of character you learn to love and story lines that kept in grips are ended with a measley few sentences.  It was a real let down in the end.

Now, I am a huge believer in reading the books before the movie.  In reading the books you get so much more out of the plot and possibly understand more than just what the movie portrays.  I have high hopes for these movies.  Although, I must say I HOPE they change (rather elaborate more) in the movie the Mockingjay.  I think this could make all the fans happy and really do justice in a series that just because of the last few chapters undoes an entire trilogy.

Currently reading: RE-reading Lover Mine by J.R Ward

Currently listening (reading):  RE-reading First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost

Next Up: RE-Reading Lover Unleashed by J.R Ward, Lost December by Richard Paul Evans and 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James.

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