Lyndsey's Reviews > The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
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's review
Aug 30, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: i-recommend, favorites, reviewed-5-stars, reviewed-2011
Read in March, 2009

Oh no. You've awakened the beast. It's Jackniss!!

Yeah. So maybe Matthew Fox from Lost isn't exactly the person you had in mind when you thought about who they might cast as Katniss in The Hunger Games, but I was inspired to create that after I saw this site called Jackimals. You might want to wait to visit it, though, because it can suck you in like an unexplained time warp flash.

I was also inspired to create the Jackniss after I read a discussion that deeply disturbed me.

Somewhere, possibly on Goodreads, I read that someone thought the Lost writers should get involved in writing the Hunger Games script. What!?!? Forget the genius Suzanne Collins, let's give it to the guys who left the greatest mystery in all of TV history completely unexplained. Don't get me wrong. I love Lost and appreciate it greatly, but they really explained nothing in terms of the plot. But don't even get me started on that - Circuits overloading. Bzzzt. *sparks*

Both Lost and Hunger Games are great character stories, but Hunger Games needs plot. It cannot do without. That's obviously not going to happen since Suzanne has already written the script, but just play along for a second.

Here's how I think it would go...

Katniss is being chased by one of the mutts who suddenly turns into the smoke monster, which gobbles her up in flashes of lightning and the sound of mechanical teeth grinding while playing a flashback of her life in the District. It quickly chokes her back up realizing she's a candidate to replace Jacob but she's in such shock from the experience that she lays down and dies, with a stunning close-up of her eye closing. Roll credits.

Now, if you haven't read The Hunger Games yet, I won't even try to justify why you should. You just should. This is just one of those books that someone says "This book is AMAZING." Then, you take their word for it and read it.

And seriously, WHY haven't you read it yet?

This is the kind of book that is so awesome in a completely thrilling and demented and emotional and shocking way that it makes you want to bang your head against the wall while throwing fairy dust in joy. Two things that I have done in the past, but never before at the same time. That's how powerful this book is.

After that, it makes you want to cry. Cry like a little baby. Like a little baby in it's crib. Then scream. Scream like a frikkin banshee with a frikkin laser beam on it's forehead.

Before I read this, I had a friend who told me that this book was 100 times better than Twilight. (I'd say that it's actually more like a gorgonzolazillion times better and don't ask me the exact amount that represents. Let's just call it "To infinity and beyond.") She also said that it was going to be an even bigger phenomenon than Twilight. I was like "Hah!" Let's face it, it can get ridiculous with the Fangirl mobbing and the crying. But I concur. I think this WILL be bigger than Twilight and obviously better. Maybe even Oscar worthy. I certainly hope so, anyway.

I know that I said I wouldn't try and talk you into reading this book but I honestly can't help it. I'm not sure that I'm doing a great job at it, though. Let's try a little visual aid.

Here is an artist's rendering of our heroine, Katniss Everdeen:

And here's the gorgeous young lady who has been cast. Jennifer Lawrence.

She may not seem like the spitting image of the girl from the book, but there is such a thing as hair dye and dirt. And and there is Photoshop, of course. So here is a pic that someone made and posted online of Jennifer as Katniss. It may change your mind.

And this side by side.

All right, besides the oversized cartoon eye, she is pretty damn close. Well, I'm convinced. How bout you?

As if that wasn't enough, you can see some examples of what Jennifer would look like in the many outfits of Katniss: HERE

Also, here's the artists version of Peeta, our hero.

I know that a lot of people would disagree but, to me, this guy is Peeta.

And just so everyone knows - The Hunger Games is currently on sale for just 5 dollars on Kindle.

Download it HERE .

I'm not sure how long the sale will last, though. I already own the book but I am seriously considering buying the Kindle edition just for the hell of it. This is absolutely one of my all time favorite books!!
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Comments (showing 1-50 of 160) (160 new)

Vinaya Have I told you lately that you're made of AWESOME? Although gorgonzola is cheese, so a zillion times more cheese than Twilight? Not the effect you were hoping for, I bet! And poor Jennifer Lawrence looks like she has a lazy eye or a squint in that last composite, LOL. :D

*hugs, hugs* so glad you're back! I MISSED you reviews!

Lyndsey Thanks, Vinaya! I really did miss it. Just needed the break. Maybe I should change it to Godzillazillion. Cause Godzilla is frikkin beast! Or even Gorgonzolazilla-zillion. But that would be what: A huge beast made of cheese?!

Nomes the side by side thing seals the deal.

absolutely convinced, haha

message 4: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 27, 2011 01:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Yep. Just a little make-up to change her skin tone, hair dye, some mud to smear on her face and we've got ourselves a kick-ass heroine.

I really need to watch Winter's Bone just to confirm that her acting skills are as good as I think they are. I'm sure that I have nothing to worry about though. The girl was nominated for an Oscar after all.

message 5: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Welcome back! Missed your reviews.

Morgan F I will never get that Jackniss image out of my brain.....never.

Cory I dunno, Jackniss might be a really good pick for Katniss. We could have some weird drug like flashbacks, and then we find out that the Hunger Games was all a dream. In fact, Panem doesn't really exist and Katniss--Katherine--is really just a girl in boarding school flying home.

Morgan F Lost....the things you do to my brain...

I am Bastet I'm still not sold on Jennifer Lawrence. She just looks too... white. In my head, more than just hairdye and dirt, Katniss had the bone structure of someone of mixed race since she was supposed to have black hair and olive skin.

message 10: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 27, 2011 09:51AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Cory, I think your onto something here. Gasp! Katniss is really Kate!!

Thanks, AH! My reviews missed you too. :-P

Morg - you think Jackniss is scary? You would be terrifying with a Jack face. And I kid you not. They just put this pic up on jackimals:

Morgan F I shall never be able to look in a mirror again!

Curse you, Jack Shepard!! (haha, his last name is ironic cuz hes a llama)

Lyndsey Seriosuly, that llama behind Jack looks just like you, Morgan! I think you knew about the Jackllama already. I think you are stalking him.

Morgan F Did it ever occur to you that he is stalking me?

Lyndsey No way. Not possible. Look at how lovingly you are looking at him. You are Jackllama groupie. It's the ONLY explanation.

(view spoiler)

Morgan F Uh...that's not me...I have an evil twin!

Gabrielle Carolina Nash I was convinced the second I saw the Winters Bone trailer.

Lyndsey Right, Morgan. Right. I believe you. That excuse gets old when you use it for everything. Just know that I'm on to you and your "evil twin".

And Winter's Bone does look amazing. I give her that much. I had seriously never even heard of her before like last month though.

message 18: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 27, 2011 10:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Isis wrote: "I'm still not sold on Jennifer Lawrence. She just looks too... white. In my head, more than just hairdye and dirt, Katniss had the bone structure of someone of mixed race since she was supposed to ..."

I agree with the looks thing. I just hope that they at least try to change her skin tone slighty with make-up to get her closer to the Katniss we know. But I also think that we could have gotten much much worse.

message 19: by Tina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina Jennifer Lawrence was phenomenal in Winter's Bone and could probably be good as Katniss. However, I do have some reservations as well. I know they can get around the skin tone/hair color with make up, contacts etc. But I think it struck as incredibly tone-deaf that when the casting call went out for the role, they didn't even want the possibility that a bi-racial actresses might try out for the role, asking for caucasian actresses only. Fine and dandy they probably they would not have cast a true unknown in the role anyway, but still would it have killed them to let a sistah try out?

Also JL is 21 right now. She was only 18/19 when WB was filming for a character that was 17 y.o. She just seems, well, old. Especially if they want to make this all the way out to Mockinjay. She'll be damn near 30 by that time. LOL.

For all the fans of the book, though, I hope she knocks it out the park!

message 20: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 27, 2011 11:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey I agree with you about the "white" issue, Tina. They were seriously considering Hailee Steinfeld who does have an Asian background and really has the look, but I think they were concerned about getting such young actress.

Many actors play teenagers into their thirties. I mean look at the entire cast of Grease! And even most of the Glee actors are in their mid to late twenties.

I think that there are a lot of issues that come with hiring younger actors, especially an entire cast of them. Having an older girl as the lead opens them up to a wider casting age for all of the other characters. If they had hired a 14 year old for Katniss, then they would have needed to base the age of all the other actors around that. They would have needed a Peeta under 18 as well. And Gale. And so on and so forth. There is a lot of time constraints when working with younger actors and it would be a nightmare, in the eyes of the studio, to have a whole slew of them with such a controversial and heavy movie. Not to mention the scheduling and long hours that are involved in making such a blockbuster series.

I am Bastet Yeah, it was the fact that they didn't even open casting up to biracial actors that bothered me. If they'd picked Jennifer after seeing a wider range of actors, it wouldn't bother me as much as it does. Not that I think she's a bad actress, I've never heard of her before this so I have no idea, though I heard she was great in Winter's Bone so at least it's not another Kristen Stewart who can't act situation.

Chichipio Lynds, your photoshopping abilities are becoming eerily good. I'm already dreading what image you'll sear into my brain next.

Personally, I never pictured Katniss as she looks in that drawing. The girl they picked is a little too white, but I don't think it's something that can't be fixed with a little makeup. Because, except for the "olive skin" part, I don't remember Katniss being described as being of mixed race or having any strong ethnic features.

I think of this in a reverse way: would I see Katniss in an asian, black or latin american girl? My answer is no. Anyway, it's a movie. I don't usually (probably never) watch a movie after I read the book. The other way around is fine, but once I have my mental picture of a character, anyone real seems wrong.

Lyndsey Seriously?! You don't watch movies that you've read the book of? I feel compelled to watch them even if they don't look like they are any good. I even get compulsive over trying to read the book before the movie comes out in some cases. I can't imagine not seeing the Hunger Games movies or Enders Game or Grimspace if they ever make those two.

Morgan F Same here Lyndsey. Even if its been turned into some Lifetime movie, I have to watch it.

Chichipio OK, does any of them ever lives up to your expectations? Or, even better, surpasses them?

When was the last time you thought "wow, that is exactly how I imagine [insert character name] to be."

message 26: by Sarah (last edited Mar 27, 2011 02:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah M I think Jennifer could be a great Katniss. She is a good actress and seems to really be excited about the role. So thats always good.

Now I just need to know who will be playing Peeta and Gale! Some actors have tested with JL.

message 27: by Cory (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cory Chichipio wrote: "OK, does any of them ever lives up to your expectations? Or, even better, surpasses them?

When was the last time you thought "wow, that is exactly how I imagine [insert character name] to be.""

Harry Potter. The casting for that series was perfect. Freddie Highmore was perfect for Charlie Bucket. Alice Upside Down, also perfect. Shiloh as well. Howl's Moving Castle was better than the book. There are a few others, but I can't remember them right now.

I don't think Jennifer could be a great Katniss appearance wise--I know nothing about her acting skills--, mainly because I didn't imagine her looking like that. I thought she was bi-racial. And the people who're saying that my theory is ridiculous are the same people that say Rachel from Glee isn't white. The make-up thing to me is somewhat ridiculous. A person of color can't put on some bleach and play a white character so why should it be any different?

Chichipio Alright, alright, I (grudgingly) concede the point. *tips hat*

Morgan F I never thought of Katniss as mixed race. I'm not saying that is impossible, because, given Collin's description of her, she very well could be mixed race.

Pretty much all races have individuals who are olive skinned with dark hair....but I always thought of Katniss as having white features. I pictured her more Mediterranean looking.

Lyndsey You're right, Morgan. I haven't really thought about it til you said that. I have a cousin who is technically Caucasian but she has an ashy skin tone and dark black hair. Her skin isn't quite "olive" but nearly.

Lyndsey Actually, I read it forever ago. Before I got on Goodreads, so I just now reviewed it. Honestly, I can't believe there are people who still haven't read this series.

message 33: by Cory (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cory Mediterranean can mean anything. Historically, that area has a very diverse make-up. They count Arabs as white, but many of them are anything but. But I definitely understand having your own image of a character in your head. Of course, we're in America where no-one is really ever pure white or pure black. It's the culture you identify with more than anything, rather than your genetic racial make-up.

I think that's the problem here. If producers refuse to have open casting when there's just a little misunderstanding from the fans, I think that's a problem. Especially when there are so few role-models for people of color. Yet we have Harry Potter, Twilight, and now the Hunger Games with nearly all white casts. I'm not saying it's necessarily right or wrong, it's just interesting that we still don't have open casting on movies that cost more than 100mill to make. But if it's a Tyler Perry movie, a Harpo Production, or Wes Craven needs a token character, PoCs are suddenly needed.

I'd feel differently if the only black character in the series didn't die in the first film, but as it stands it's just sort of weird that she pointed out that only Rue and Thresh weren't white. It's kind of like saying everyone else is. Which is pretty much--at least according to the New York Times--the exact opposite of the future.

Anyway, that Jackniss picture is still weirding me out Lyndsey. If you keep on honing your photoshop skills, you might need to get a separate deviantart account.

~Jessica~I'm a Hoodie Ninja~ I know! It should be mandatory reading

message 35: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 27, 2011 05:03PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Cory, I think that mixed ethnicity may have been her point with the whole "everyone in the seam has olive toned skin" thing. Peeta is basically described as a rare commodity with his pale skin and blonde hair. As well as Prim.

Also, I don't necessarily see race when I read about characters anyway. Even Rue - I never really pictured her as black or white. It's hard to explain.

Even with books where race is clearly defined. Like Shipbreaker, which is extremely racially diverse. Some characters are described as very dark. But I don't really see that as I'm reading. I just see their features and facial expressions as I personally imagine them.

Really Peeta and Prim were the only ones that I had a clear racial background idea of as far as the main characters go. Well, and Effie. I imagine that Effie is very white as well.

Morgan F I would love to see more PoC out on the big screen in real roles, instead of just stereotypical archetypes.

I also agree that they should have opened up the casting more. Limiting it to just caucasians is stupid. Even though I think Katniss is caucasian, it doesn't mean she has to be caucasian.

message 37: by Cory (last edited Mar 27, 2011 05:24PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cory I never saw Rue as black. It's funny, I just have some sort of weird mixed race in my head for everyone except Peeta and Pris and their mother. I never thought of Katniss as black, but definitely imagined Gale to at least look hispanicish. Maybe they'll open the casting up for the other actors. I know Dakota Fanning's little sister would be good for Prim.

I'm very with your there Morgan. Just because I see a character as a certain race--unless it is specifically told to us what they are--the best actor should be chose. I mean, when I was reading Harry Potter, I thought Oliver Wood was black. But his actor was perfect for the role anyway. And I thought Blaise Zabini was white, but his actor fit him. At first I was upset when they announced Lavender Brown's actor, but she was perfect for the role they wrote in the movie. Although I'm wondering why they took a took a different route with her character. Anyway, even just a open casting call would have quashed this to being with. Same with the Akira movie. Just a little bit of understanding and common sense goes a long way.

message 38: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Maybe it was because I wasn't paying attention but I never imagined any of the characters to be of any ethnic origin. I just believed that they had to be. If you asked me to describe any of the characters, I might give you a general age but that's about it.

message 39: by Nim (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nim Rue is black? I kinda always pictured her as Luna Lovegood for some reason...

message 40: by Morgan (last edited Mar 27, 2011 05:31PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Morgan F You never thought of Rue as black? Huh. I thought her race was pretty explicit there. Its funny how people interpret descriptions so differently sometimes.

I have to admit, when I see a character casted as an entirely different race than what I expected, I am put off. I don't think thats because of the race entirely, probably any radically different physical appearance would take some getting used to. However, casting directors usually have a good reason for it, going for the personality and acting skills over just physical appearance.

I thought Lavender Brown was perfect :)

message 41: by Tina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tina Honestly, I didn't think of Katniss as being a PoC as I was reading it. but strangely, I also didn't think of her as being, well, "white" either simply because as you point out, the difference of Peeta & Prim being blonde and pale as being something specifically pointed to the in the text. I got a feeling that the everybody by that time had, sorta just all blended into one hue, with Peeta, Prim and Rue being outliers, so to speak. I think I was just shocked to see the very blonde Jennifer Lawrence cast followed by the the text of the casting call. It just struck me as unnecessary condition for the call given that pretty much every "race" has persons with olive skin.

message 42: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 27, 2011 05:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Has anyone seen Tropic Thunder? They made Robert Downey Jr black!! And he is nowhere near black in real life.

Yeah, I was surprised with the casting at first too. Because Jennifer is very white. But with the state and talent of make-up and special effects artists these days, I think that it will be easy for them to change her look.

It won't take much to make her more olive if they try. I just hope they attempt it subtly. Not overdone.

Sofia Cory wrote: "I never saw Rue as black. It's funny, I just have some sort of weird mixed race in my head for everyone except Peeta and Pris and their mother. I never thought of Katniss as black, but definitely i..."

I agree with you 100%! Especially about the way you saw the characters in THG! I think we have roughly the same image, at least of Rue and Gale!

message 44: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Tropic Thunder was a great movie. Wasn't Tom Cruise in that movie too? Didn't they make him fat and bald?

message 45: by Cory (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cory Morgan wrote: "You never thought of Rue as black? Huh. I thought her race was pretty explicit there. Its funny how people interpret descriptions so differently sometimes.

I have to admit, when I see a charact..."

Never. I thought she was kind of Luna-ish too.

Hopefully, more casting directors will start turning color blind, but as it stands, many aren't. The turn out of movies in 2010 should say enough about that. What's the biggest movie out with PoC for 2010 in America?

For Colored Girls. Could it get anymore obvious?

That being said, I wish actors would get randomly picked on race. You get equally good actors for one role of all races, then you toss their names in a hat and pick one. Now that would eliminate all bias, but I don't think it'll ever be done.

Tina: Lisa Bonet is half black/half Jewish and she's pretty pale. Her husband, Lenny Kravitz is also half black/half Jewish, but other than his jew-fro, you wouldn't be able to tell that he wasn't black. Then you have Rebecca Walker who's also half black/half Jewish and she looks it too. It's sad that they'll never be able to try out for roles that call for white actors, but they get the a-ok if the movie calls for black actors.

message 46: by Lyndsey (last edited Mar 27, 2011 06:06PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lyndsey Yes! Loved that movie. I had no idea that was Tom Cruise at first. I suspected toward the end of the movie and had to check the credits to be sure.

I'm not a Cruise fan but he did a really great job as that character. As did Robert Downey Jr in his role as a black man. I really need to buy that movie.

message 47: by Cory (new) - rated it 3 stars

Cory Lyndsey wrote: "Has anyone seen Tropic Thunder? They made Robert Downey Jr black!! And he is nowhere near black in real life.

Yeah, I was surprised with the casting at first too. Because Jennifer is very white. B..."

I doubt they'll do it the right way. Look at Jackson Rathbone's make-up job in The Last Airbender. That was terrible. So much for slapping on a tan. And Rosalie looked terrible in Twilight. I won't even comment on that wig they gave Taylor Lautner to wear.

Hopefully her acting will be up to par though. From all the raving about Winter's Bone, I'm tempted to watch it soon.

Lyndsey Yeah, but look at the quality of both the Last Airbender and Twilight. Those aren't exactly the tops of the film world there. I think that they are really going all out for Hunger Games. I hope so anyway.

Morgan F I watched the trailer today. Her acting seems good, but I was highly distracted by her strong accent. I hope that was for the movie, and not her actual accent. It would be difficult to cover it.

Morgan F I have not yet seen the Last Airbender. I am still recovering from Percy Jackson.

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