I went into the series skeptical; knowing it was a big YA hit was primarily the reason. I'll admit, most series in that range that "skyrocket to fame"...moreI went into the series skeptical; knowing it was a big YA hit was primarily the reason. I'll admit, most series in that range that "skyrocket to fame" get auto-filed as a Twilight-like series, which I would happily use in replacement for toilet paper, if I wasn't so concerned about tainting my bum.
Fortunately, after only a few chapters in to the The Hunger Games, I was seeing the hype, as well as the anti-Bella hype that was Katniss Everdeen. Here was a young girl, forced in more ways than one to become a young woman, taking care of family, friends and even the district in some ways...who quickly becomes the center of attention that she does not want...all to save her sister.
Throw in the Games themselves, a triangle of love and friendship, an unlikable (perhaps even evil) set of politicians and masterminds, a clear hierarchy of rich to poor and a drunken sod of a mentor and you have what could easily be seen as just another trite rewrite of a classic trope.
But Suzanne Collins does it with new vicissitude, taking this trope and flushing out real characters, real personalities, real people. By the end of the trilogy, you feel for all the major players that the story expects you to feel for, and some that you probably never thought you would. You also feel somewhat resolved in the end...but there's also a slight bitter taste still in your story-mouth - in my opinion, this is the perfect type of resolution for a YA dystopian-style series. Love some, hate others, and don't be too happy with the ending...otherwise, reality it purely out the window and there was no point in reading the book in the first place.
My recommended age level: 12+ Children/teens who read these novels need to be able to handle the violence/atrocities/monstrosities that come about for sure, and should be able to relate to/understand the emotions and struggles that come to Katniss (as well as others).
To Movie or Not to Movie? The Hunger Games trailer was the reason I decided to pick the books up actually. Those initial 2 minutes of previews looked like a story I wanted to read. And so I did - all three books before I went and saw the movie actually. And yes, the book was better than the movie, as usual. But looking at the movie from the entertainment media perspective, it was quite good. It followed the book very well, attempting to capture as much of the character development and personalities that it could without making things boring. The actors/actresses chosen all seemed to fit pretty well, though...(view spoiler)[I think they should have upped the drunkenness of Haymitch a bit (especially since Harrelson was the actor) and the tribute-dog muttations at the end could have been more like they were in the book, but that change may have been more to keep the PG-13 rating, so I can allow that (hide spoiler)].
Movie Rating (standing on its own): 3.5 of 5 Good movie, but without some of the background character information, I'm not sure it would have been as moving, emotional or seen in the same light of struggle and strife and little victories that come of it
Movie Rating (compared to book): 4 of 5 stars As book-movies go, this was strong and loyal to the source.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)