I had watched the movie of this before reading the book. I’ll say that up front. And honestly, the movie didn’t thrill me at all. I mostly didn’t understand and what I did understand I thought was gruesome.
My older brother has been gone to college all year, even when we had moved we had to box up all his things for him. Well, he came back for spring break, and just when I thought I was through with boxes, we got to go through our storage shed and pull all his boxes out yet again for him to go through them. The lucky thing is that he’s a bookie too. So he has all these guy books: military history and such, different from what I have. But he said I could pull aside whatever I wanted, since he wouldn’t be using them anyway. So I scored big. Starting with the first Hunger Games book.
It may seem sad that I’m this far behind the Hunger Games frenzy, but I strangely take pride in that fact, though, I must say, I am catching up to frenzy pretty quick.
So, true. A bunch of kids brutally hacking other to the death isn’t really a Mary Poppins bedtime story. But the writing – totally not grammatically correct, by the way, which isn’t fair – flowed really well. It really is a sit-down read, every chapter flowing into the next.
In case you don’t know the story, which would kind of be a shocker at this point but it’s possible, the story is about this society in the way future. Every community is a “district” and the harsh government ruling over them is called the “Capitol”. Well as the story goes, at one point, the districts tried to rebel against the Capitol. And failed. As yearly punishment for this act and a reminder that they’re still in control, the Capitol forces each district to offer up two tributes, a boy and a girl, to participate in a fight to the death called the Hunger Games. When Katniss Everdeen’s baby sister, Prim, is chosen, she immediately volunteers to take her place in the games. Katniss views the Hunger Games as a death sentence, but her whole life has been about survival, and she had promised Prim she would do her best to win and not die, so she uses all she knows how in order to keep that promise.
The reason this story is hard to put down is because from the very beginning, well first, you’re confused and trying to understand her world, and then you’re just stuck, addicted to finding out if she’ll die, if the nice guy who claimed to have a crush on her, Peta, will die. Or if they’ll kill each other, etc. It’s one of those things you just have to know. And Suzanne Collins did a great job of making us this interested in their well-being as we are.
From a moral standpoint, it’s iffy. I mean, it is about murder for survival. And at one point, it kind of makes you wonder, how are we different from animals if we act this way. For me personally, it made me grateful life isn’t like this in reality. So you can decide for yourself. Like I said very iffy. I don’t think I’d want my thirteen year old brother to be reading about this. It really isn’t a pretty picture to be selling to kids, nor a clear message of anything. Pure entertainment, I’d have to say. Or for me who wants to be a writer, good studying to see what’s trending and what readers like.
VIOLENCE/GORE: Obviously. Haha. Now, I’m trying to remember how graphic it gets. . A boy coughs and sprays Katniss’ face with blood. . Blood is spoken of a lot during the battles. And murder. I don’t know what else to tell you.
LOVE/SEX: There’s a small romance that goes on between Katniss and Peta, as in the movie. In the book, they kiss a few times and sleep in the same sleeping bag, which is more for warmth and survival than romantic. Peta puts his arm around her and that’s about it.
DRUGS/ALCOHOL: Katniss and Peta’s mentor is frequently drunk and has a reputation for being so. He even throws up in front of them and falls in it. The alcohol isn’t seen in a good light, though, since Katniss is bitter toward having her life in the hands of a drunkard, who may just be passed out when she needs him most.
So there ya have it. I was very excited to watch the movie again after reading the book and liked it WAY more the second time. Then I went on and watched an hour long special feature/documentary thing about it. . Yeah, I think I’ve just been bitten by the Hunger Games bug. I don’t know whether to embrace it or be terrified.
Maybe a little bit of both. X-)