I had been hearing about The Hunger Games for awhile before I read it. I kept hearing that it was incredibly suspenseful and that the next books weren't coming out for a long time and that the suspense was killing people. I am such a baby for this type of thing, so I waited until all of the books were out before I read anything. I'm glad I did because I was so hooked that I read the books back to back within days of each other. I couldn't put them down.
I know some people might be worried that these go the way of the Twilight series in that Young Adult fantasy love (wait, that sounds bad) genre. But, I assure you, these are better than Twilight. Much better.
How can I explain without giving anything away? The books are set in the future and the future's looking grim. The U.S.of A is broken up into twelve districts and the government is rather oppressive leaving the districts poor and desolate.
Just for fun (and to repress any thought of an uprising), the government stages these super fun games for the country's youth. The games involve two youth luckily selected from each district who get to play to the death. Yes, that's right, there is only one victor and that person is only a victor because they aren't dead. It's gruesome and morbid and kind of difficult to actually read.
Our hero, Katniss Everdeen decides that she's not really about that shit and she tries her hand at fighting the government. It's hard to really say more without giving things away. The book definitely throws a lot of curve balls at you. I kind of thought I had the ending pegged and then something totally different happens. Plus, when the book was done I could not wait to get my grubby little paws on the next book. So, 4/5 or 8/10 stars!
I can't review the book without talking about the movie. The Hunger Games has the potential to be an awesome movie. Like hella awesome. The author has a seriously creative imagination (is that an oxymoron?) But, I'm worried that Hollywood will ruin it. I've seen it happen before, and yes, I'm looking at you Twilight.
First of all, the casting. I'm not super down with the casting of this Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. Peeta's a major character to screw around with. He's supposed to be all stocky, all-American, straight laced hotness. And they have a short, non-buff stoner. He's not even really that cute. Then they cast Lenny Kravitz as Cinna. I loved Cinna in the books. Loved him. Lenny Kravitz...ummm....does he act? I mean besides playing himself? It's either brilliant or terrible.
The second point of concern is the timing of it. The filming ended in mid-September and it's going to be out at the end of March. That seems really, really fast. Like, we aren't going to spend enough time on the special effects fast.
I also don't like the message of a March release. What good movies have you seen in March? And you can't say Hot Tub Time Machine. That was just a fluke. I just hate when Hollywood comes in and takes this really great book that could be a really great movie and ruins it because they want to make money fast. That's just wrong. Because once they make this movie, they can't remake it for at least 20 years.