Resisting the “In” Things and How I Came to Love The Hunger Games

I usually try not to become one of those people that gets all-consumed by the newest trend whether it be movie series, books, fashion, tv shows, gadgets, or what have you.  Though, hard as I try, I inevitably, every single time, end up sucked into it whatever it is.  And rather late in the game at that (my most recent adventure has been with Friday Night Lights, but that’s another post for another time).  However, I am quite proud to say that I for once am not too late in game to be in love with The Hunger Games series. (Now, I won’t go into too much detail so I don’t reveal any spoilers for my co-blogger or anyone else in the process of reading this book).

I’m not sure what first drew me to The Hunger Games series, maybe it was all the chatter I heard about it, the movie posters looking awesome, the fact that I’m a sucker for fantasy/action and good special effects, or maybe it’s because I knew I wanted to eventually see the movie due to the fact that I love Jennifer Lawrence (that’s probably the real reason).

Luckily, I never watched the trailers before I started reading the first book, so I was actually able to go into it with my own ideas of the characters instead of being influenced, which is probably one of my favorite things about reading a book before it becomes a movie.  I finished The Hunger Games in less than two weeks, which for me is saying a lot since I have graduate school, work, and an internship to attend to, and I completely fell in love within the first couple of chapters! I know that this is a young adult series but I can’t remember the last time I was so smitten with characters to the point that I wanted to be them. Of course there was Harry Potter and as much as I love the whole Hogwarts gang, at least a bow and arrow is real and I could actually learn to shoot that; nothing’s going to happen if I point a stick (oh, excuse me, a “wand”) and say “lumos.”

The Hunger Games truly had me glued to every word and with every new turn of events my anxiety level for the characters increased two-fold.  I gasped out loud at almost every proclamation made by Peeta Mellark and felt like having a major bonding session over wine with Katniss every time she had some revelation about herself.  I felt like I was making emotional alliances and pulling for the underdogs and hating the “bigger careers” throughout the games just as if I were in the arena.  I blushed and squealed (inwardly, of course) along with the audience in the Capitol when fighting to the death was put aside for sweet and tender moments.  And when the first book ended I was so completely devastated that it was such a cliff hanger that I could hardly fall asleep. The first thing I did the next morning was buy the next two books in the series (Catching Fire and Mockingjay) for my kindle and took it to class to read instead of listen to my lecture.

I’m only half way through Catching Fire but it’s going by more quickly than the first book.  I’m both excited and sad about this because I can’t wait to see what happens next, but that just means it’ll all be over soon and I’d really love to have this little world as an escape from grad school last a while.  Catching Fire begins, not quite where The Hunger Games ends but a little while later, and I must confess I was a little bothered by that. It didn’t take long, though, to get over that and get sucked right back into District 12 and the intensity and uncomfortable-ness that comes with a love triangle.  When Suzanne Collins gets to the introduction for what is going to be the plot for Catching Fire, I was shocked! And I can’t see how this is going to end without it being essentially an exact repeat of the first book.  Whatever happens though, I trust that Suzanne knows what she’s doing because otherwise there wouldn’t be a third book to get to. With Catching Fire’s whole new group of characters to get to know, I once again feel for Katniss and can honestly see myself having the same thoughts about it all as she does, and again there should be a bonding session over wine for the two of us (ah, if only she were real).

As much as I love Katniss, Peeta, Haymitch, and Gale (oh, Gale), I have to admit that I love Cinna the stylist the best. He just gets it! The fashion “it,” the emotional “it,” the “it” that makes someone your best friend, and the “it” that can’t even be spoken. He knows what to do and what to say before Katniss knows about it herself.  He does this throughout the first book, so far throughout the second, and I’m really hoping he’s still there in the third, because he seems to be the only character keeping Katniss sane throughout all the shenanigans of love and the games.  I just don’t think I could handle a “lost” and Cinna-less Katniss in Mockingjay.

Now, once I finish Catching Fire and Mockingjay, I’m sure I’ll have to write another post about the entire series and can possibly go a little more in depth with details.  Might even have to write a review comparing the movie with the book when the movie finally comes out.  But I for sure can not wait to see the movie! I’m so excited! I have now watched the trailers for The Hunger Games, and multiple times at that.  Overall, I think the cast has been chosen well, even though I am a little skeptical of how much I’ll enjoy Josh Hutcherson as Peeta.  I just can’t get the roles of him when he was younger out of my head. So I’m trying to stay positive about his acting skills and hoping he’ll change my mind. Lastly, let’s hope that those sweet, awkward scenes from the book are still there on film and not quite so awkward but the kinds of scenes that make a girl’s heart squeal with excitement and say “why can’t that really happen? (without the post-apocalyptic-esque world of course).”

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