Tag Archive: The Hunger Games

Along with about a million other people, many who looked like they were in the same theater as I was, I went to see The Hunger Games.

Ooh, flamey.

Those who are fans of the book will be happy to learn that it stays fairly faithful to the source material and the plot is pretty much the same. There are a few minor tweaks; the pacing is much faster, the training period before the Games is shortened as are the Games themselves, and the history of the mockingjay pin is changed. The most notable changes I saw were Peeta’s injury, (which is much more severe in the book) the absence of the gift of bread from Rue’s district, a shortening of the “prim and pamper” segments, and the lack of Katniss’ brush with severe dehydration. I didn’t miss the “primp and pamper” too much, but the other parts were some of the best parts of the book.

Overall the movie was in many ways better than the book, in my opinion it even works well as a stand-alone movie for people unfamiliar with the book. The scenery was beautiful, but I’m slightly biased as much of the filming occurred in my home state of North Carolina.


Book Review – The Hunger Games Trilogy

When I bought my Kindle among the books the previous owner left on it was the Hunger Games trilogy. I just finished the last book, Mockingjay, last night. I was reserving judgment on the books until I finished the whole series and have come to the conclusion that they were … okay.

For those who haven’t read the books, I’ll give a very brief synopsis. The series is set in a far future dystopian world with a fairly unique premise. The country of Panem is divided into fourteen districts – the Capitol, districts 1-12, and a destroyed thirteenth district. Seventy-four years before the beginning of the first book there was a great big war that nearly destroyed the country and is the reason there isn’t a thirteenth district anymore. After the end of the war the Capitol decided to punish the surviving districts by holding the Hunger Games every year – two tributes are chosen by lot from each district and made to fight to the death in an arena packed with death traps for the amusement of the Capitol’s citizens and the rest of the districts are forced to watch the televised Games by the Capitol. The books follow Katniss, a girl from District 12 who volunteers to take her little sister’s place in the Seventy-Fourth Games and her fellow tribute Peeta. There’s more, but I don’t do spoilers. Go read Wikipedia for that shit.

The world-building the author has done is good, each district has its own character and the Capitol has a very decadent, late Roman Empire feel. The author does seem to have an obsession with bread; each district has it’s own kind, bread features in several pivotal scenes, and the male protagonist is the son of a baker. Even the country’s name, Panem, comes from the Latin phrase “Panem et circenses”  or “Bread and circuses.”There’s also numerous references to fire and things burning that I feel to be a bit heavy-handed, but tolerable.

The entire thing is written in the first-person from Katniss’ point of view and I find the style a bit limited. There are points when a different perspective would have really helped the plot, especially in the third book when she spends much of the time doped to her gills after a series of injuries. Katniss also veers dangerously close to Mary Sue territory because she can instantly read the symbolic meaning in the smallest gesture from a few characters, but even after Peeta repeatedly confesses his love for her, she assumes he’s playing some sort of role so that sponsors will send them food and supplies during the Games because, as Peeta says, “She has no idea. The effect she can have.”

It’s written for young adults so even though there are numerous deaths, the author doesn’t linger on each detail. The continued theme of Peeta and Katniss’ relationship means that there is quite a bit of kissing in places but nothing more graphic than that. Some of the plot points are pretty obvious, but there were enough surprises to keep me happy. Unlike the Twilight books, the female protagonist isn’t some limp, cardboard cutout content to worship a cut-rate undead Gary Glitter but is a pretty badass chick who has no problem taking care of herself.

I’d read it again, which is my ruler for how good a book is, but it doesn’t have the complexity of, say, the Harry Potter series. If I had to give them a grade, I’d say they were a solid B.