Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Recommended Read - The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins - with BONUS review of movie!

As I mentioned during my last Booksy, I recently finished reading all three books of The Hunger Games trilogy and was practically panting to go see the movie!! The books are amazing, and written in a way that they can be enjoyed by just about anyone, including my husband who is notoriously anti-reading!

Before I talk about the movie, here's the reviews for the books:
The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In a future dystopian world where the outlook for local provinces is bleak, the reader finds believable characters that show a sense of survival and vigor. I loved the premise of the book, and couldn't put it down! It wowed me from beginning to end, and I developed closed bonds with each character. Wow. Just plain wow!

View all my reviews
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2)Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The surviving characters from the first book find themselves once again battling against the odds to survive. The action is great, but I find myself frustrated that the heroine is so dull and slow to catch on to things. It's as if the author doesn't want to show her as smart, but instead wants her to appear slightly ditzy. Perhaps it's supposed to be naivety, but it still bothers me. However, the action and a new cast of characters still kept me riveted throughout.

View all my reviews
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The final chapter of this interesting trilogy leads to the moment the first two books have been setting up - the revolution. True to life, the scenes are often devastating and grisly, and the loss of some key characters will leave readers reeling for a few days! The action keeps the readers' attention, and the quality of the story is the same as the other two books in the trilogy. However, I felt that the ending was too abrupt and rushed, as if the author reached a certain word count or page count and thus just threw together an ending. I would have liked to have seen an ending that was a little more open-ended and interesting, instead of your basic character followup. Overall, still a fitting end to an excellent series.

View all my reviews

Needless to say, I highly recommend the books! However, I really can't say the same about the movie. Perhaps I had too high of expectations, or perhaps it was my bias that no movie can ever capture a book's true essence, but I found myself disappointed after viewing The Hunger Games in theaters. I felt that too many important and relevant aspects were skipped over in order to add in some parts that were not in the books - the added in parts were nice, but I would willingly sacrifice them in order to get into more of the meat of the books!! I think they took something that was purposefully dark and sinister - a games where teens have to fight to the death - and made it into a lackluster film at best. I will give them credit in the casting - almost everyone fit the way I viewed them, with the MAJOR mistake of having Peeta being played by a guy with brown eyes (hey, it's a major theme throughout that he has blue eyes), and with the marginally minor casting misfit for Haymitch, who I always viewed in my head as a fat, sloppy bald guy in his late 40's.

Regardless of my thoughts on the film, the books are worth reading, and if you want to see the film definitely wait until after you've read the books.

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