I have managed to carve out some time in the midst of my busy housewives-watching cupcake-gawking schedule to read. A book. (One not required for my job.) Of course, I chose The Hunger Games because hello the movie comes out practically yesterday. Even though I realize I am probably going to breach my only-one-movie-a-year policy (self imposed) because the final installment of Breaking Dawn also comes out this year (wait, I think, right?), I’m willing to do this. I wouldn’t normally cough up the 24
million dollars to watch two movies in one year, but I have a free movie pass, so you know. It’s all about finding that healthy balance. Life advice – you’re welcome.
Anyway, so yeah. I am the slowest reader on planet Earth, but I am slowly but surely working my way through the book. I’m on chapter 19, and
it’s only taken me two weeks to get there it’s pretty good so far! I would like to actually read one of these books before I see who has been cast in the movie because right now all I am doing is picturing Miley Cyrus’s boyfriend creepin’ with Jennifer Lawrence. Like I wonder how I’d picture these people if I weren’t envisioning them at the Oscars.
Although it’s a young adult trilogy that came out in 2008 in the midst of the Twilight frenzy, Hunger Games seems to have a wider appeal than its sparkly counterpart series. The number one thing it has going for it is that “it isn’t just for 12 year old girls” although I am not sure Twilight is really trapped in those confines either. (Twilight Moms club, right?)
Hunger Games is about a 16-year-old girl named Katniss Everdeen who lives in a post-apocalyptic world in the country of Panem, formerly North America. Panem is made up of 12 districts, which are all run under the absolute power of the Capitol. The 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are poor though each has one asset that its people continue to nurture. Katniss is from District 12 – known for its coal. Pretty much everything is against the rules in these districts, especially hunting, but do you think Katniss cares? No. Duh. 2012’s heroine of the year. Amiright? Her family has got to eat, and since her dad was killed, she has had to take care of her little sister Prim and her mother, which explains why she is such a skilled huntress.
So, Katniss and her best guy-friend Gale Hawthorne have to sneak under this electric fence, during the few hours that it is powered off so as not to get cooked, and go to the woods to set up traps to catch poor little rabbits and shoot wild dogs and other gross things with their bows and arrows. They also eat tree bark (umm I know!) and roots, dandelions, birds, squirrels, probably caterpillars. The whole nine.
Once a year, there is an event known as “The Hunger Games” during which one boy and one girl from each district are chosen to battle. There are several stipulations as to the likelihood that your name will be pulled, but basically all of the names of the children 12 to 18-years-old from each district are entered and the “winners” are chosen at random – you know, like out of a hat or whatever. The 24 chosen are known as “tributes” and are transported to the Capitol where they must fight in an outdoor arena to the death. The last tribute standing is crowned the winner. The best part of the Games is that they are televised, so the entire country is able to watch a bunch of kids bludgeon each other to death.
Although it is rare, a person can volunteer as tribute, which is exactly what Katniss does when her little sister Prim’s name is pulled from the pile. The story follows Katniss as she prepares and fights in the Games along with Peeta Mellark, the male tribute from District 12. Of course, Peeta and Katniss have an interesting history; one in which Katniss always feels as if she is in Peeta’s debt. And let’s just say it’s no Edward-Bella-Jacob, but I can pretty much sniff out a Peeta-Katniss-Gale love triangle a’brewin. (Remember, I am only on chapter 19 of the first book, so like I don’t know; I sense it building.)
*Update* Between writing and posting this, I finished the book. For the record, I have decided I am Team Gale (Peeta seems like a turd), and the book is worth a read for all late bloomers like myself - if for no other reason than that you get to watch the movie. Modestly violent, fast-paced, and reader-friendly (pretty sure 10-year-olds read this stuff), Hunger Games is totally
this generation’s Twilight worth a few slow Sundays.