Happy Hunger Games!

Okay I know I’m really late to this party. But I just read the Hunger Games books the week before last. And saw the movie last weekend. Twice. Jason and I have spent the last week scouring You Tube for anything remotely HG related. We might be slightly obsessed.

I was extremely wary of reading this series. Not only for the obvious reasons, I mean who really gets excited reading books about kids killing kids? I never could finish Lord of the Flies either. But I also have family issues that made me seriously doubt I would like these books. Mother issues. Little Sister issues. I know what it’s like to have a mom who’s “checked out”. I know what it’s like to need to provide when other people can’t. And I especially know about sacrificing your life to protect someone else. Only in my case it wasn’t literally, thank goodness.

I absolutely without a doubt would have done what Katniss did at the Reaping. I would have volunteered. No question. Then I promptly would have tripped and fallen off my platform and gotten myself blown up before the games could even start. Because I am no Katniss. I am also very clumsy  and have not an ounce of badass-ness. But on a very deep level I do understand her character.

So I didn’t want to read them. And when my sister read the first one, she told me not to read them. And when my husband read the first one, he told me not to read them. But he kept going in the series. And he loved it. And he told me to read them anyway. He told me that while the mother/sister stuff was important, it was so much bigger than that.

He finally talked me into reading them when I was waiting for my eyelid I&D to heal up. I said I would, under one condition. I wanted to be spoiled. I didn’t want any surprises. I wanted to know about every disaster, every death. I wanted to be mentally prepared. So I kept him updated on my progress, then over the course of a couple of nights he would feed me spoilers after work. I love him for that. He told me just enough, but not too much. He baby-ed me through reading them and I’m so glad he did. Because it was worth it. They are So Good.

I won’t get into a review or anything like that here. There are so many people who have done it more eloquently than I could have. And I don’t want to say anything because I’m hoping my sister will finish up the series and we can talk about it. Like Jason and I have. For hours and hours and hours.

We saw the movie last weekend too, twice. I loved it. I couldn’t find much fault with it at all. I think Jason loved it slightly less. He thinks it could have benefitted from voice over. I don’t necessarily agree, because I think the actress did a good enough job portraying what was in Katniss’s head without having to say anything. We both wish they had put in longer scenes between Katniss and Rue where Rue talks about her District. I think that’s where Katniss really starts to understand how different Districts are run, and how in some ways she hasn’t had it so bad. I think that’s a really important part of the story. But there is a lot of room in the second movie to drive that point home. Also, you don’t get quite a good enough sense of just how despicable the Capitol is. Maybe we’ll get more of that in the second movie too.

All in all I really loved the movie. I loved the contrast between the grey of District 12 and the vivid garishness of the Capitol. Loved the costumes. Loved the scenery. They made things even better than I had imagined them while reading the book. I think that’s really difficult to do, but they definitely pulled it off. I think the acting was pretty phenomenal. I was wary of Woody Harrelson playing Hamich, but he did an amazingly nuanced performance. You would get glimpses of the rage hiding behind his drunken condescension. Loved it. I was even more wary of Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, but as soon as he opened his mouth and started talking… oh yes I was sold. I just can’t say enough about the young actors and actresses. they were fantastic.

And I can’t believe I’ve blabbed on for this long. I just love it So Much. Seriously. I could go on and on for hours…. instead I’ll leave you with a couple of cool Hunger Games links.

Katie Scott has a fabulous scrapbooking challenge based on HG. I will definitely be working this one!

Here’s a fan-made video of the Second Quarter Quell.