The Hunger Games. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last several months, those three words probably register somewhere in your brain. Maybe you haven’t read the books, and maybe you haven’t paid any attention to the movie trailers, and maybe you often times wonder who those three kids are that the media is always talking about…but even if you aren’t obsessed with The Hunger Games, I can almost guarantee that you know someone who is. Like me, for example.
I don’t even know where to begin. I should have written this post right after I finished the last book, back when I was all fired up about it. But, like always, procrastination won out.
The Hunger Games is a book trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. There are three books in the series: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. They take place in a post-United States North America and are narrated by 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen. The series has been adapted for film, with the first movie in the franchise set to release March 23 of this year.
I was late to the party on this one. Usually I am ahead of the game when it comes to things that take over the world, but not this one. I always knew what the books were, and I had always planned on reading them, I just never got around to it. And by the time I did, it was too late. It had already blown up. And there is nothing I hate more than a bandwagon fan, so I postponed reading them so that people wouldn’t think that’s what I was. But, recently I caved. I’m honestly glad I waited this long. There is no way I could have handled the cliffhangers, so it’s good that I could read them all at once. Plus, I only have about a month to sit in agony and wait for the first movie to come out, as opposed to roughly two years.
I just finished all three books a few days ago, and I’m still trying to process it all. It was like information overload for me. I literally could not stop reading. I read them all in 2.5 days. That is less at one day per book. It was ridiculous. I completely forgot I lived in the real world. All I could ever think about was Panem, and what was going to happen to my beloved characters. And now I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s weird because I get so engrossed in the lives of the characters of any book that I read that once it’s over, I feel like I have lost someone close to me. They aren’t just characters to me, they are friends. I would literally just sit in my room and read for hours. How lame is it that I live in California, where there are so many exciting things I could be doing, and yet, all I want to do is read?
Anyway, once I started The Hunger Games, I could not stop. It took me a day to read it. Then I went crazy tying to find Catching Fire. I don’t condone this, but I read it online (please don’t do this, the only reason I did was because I had no other options at the time. And I intend on buying them once I have a real job that pays me in real money and not “I owe yous”). So I found Catching Fire and read in less time than it took me to read The Hunger Games. Literally, like 7 hours and I was done. I think it might be my favorite, but I’m not sure. It’s a toss up between the first two. It may be hard to pick my favorite, but’s definitely not hard to choose my least favorite. I had the hardest time reading Mockingjay. I just felt like it moved too slow. But, I probably just didn’t like it as much because it didn’t really feature Peeta as much (and most of the time when he was around, it wasn’t really him, and that did not make me happy), and he’s my favorite character. I just had to push through it though because I had to know what was going to happen. The only major complaints I have about the books is that in Catching Fire and Mockingjay, I feel like Suzanne Collins just kind of fuzzes over the action at the end. In both books she knocks Katniss out and we don’t get to see the major action that goes on. They just felt kind of rushed. Not that they weren’t good, just that they were rushed.
And now, because I’m not ready to let them go and move on quite yet, and I’m still fascinated by the story, I’m reading the books all over again, but slower. I raced through them the first time because I needed to know what was going to happen, but now I’m going to just kind of meander through them so that I can catch all the details I might have missed (I’ll let you know how that goes).
So let me just throw this one out there…why do guys like Peeta Mellark not actually exist? No boy I’ve ever met has been that all-around good. Not that I haven’t met some great guys, just none that are quite on par with Peeta. He’s kind, funny, thoughtful, charming and he loves unconditionally. He is essentially perfect. I think I may be in love with him. And yes, my brain realizes he is a fictional character, but that doesn’t seem to matter to my heart. I was always rooting for Peeta, because how could you not, who doesn’t want the good guy to win (not that Gale’s a bad guy, he’s just not as good as Peeta)? I was genuinely mad at Katniss during Catching Fire when she was complaining of not wanting to marry him (I was angry…and jealous). Thankfully Peeta comes away victorious, and I was overjoyed. Nice guys do finish first sometimes!
I’ve read so many interviews with everyone involved in the movie (because now I’m obsessed) and every single one of them says that Josh Hutcherson does not just play Peeta, he is Peeta. They say that he is that character, which of course makes me love Josh Hutcherson. I don’t know the guy, but because I know Peeta, I feel like I do. And now he’s been added to my list of potential suitors. My love for Peeta has superimposed itself on to Josh Hutcherson. I don’t even care that he’s only 19-years-old; if his personality really is that similar to Peeta’s then he’s no typically 19-year-old boy. Plus, I’m a sucker for southern charm (Josh is from Kentucky). Yes, I think I’m in love with him. So Josh Hutcherson, if you’re reading this: call me, maybe?
Also, throughout all my research, I discovered that The Hunger Games filmed in North Carolina last summer, which in and of itself isn’t really that big a deal to me. What makes it a big deal is that I WAS THERE. I was right there in Ashville, North Carolina and the surrounding area last summer. While they were filming. I probably drove right past their headquarters and didn’t even know it (or care)! I could have run into any of them and not have noticed. If I last summer was this summer, I’d be all over that set. But now they will have to find a new location because the forests of NC won’t work for the new arena, maybe they’ll film right here in California, in which case, I will take notice.
But, there is a ray of hope. They just announced that the cast and crew will be doing a mall tour. And guess what, it kicks off in LA. And guess who will be there? This girl. It’s so new and exciting for me to get to go these events because nobody ever came to the Midwest. Even if I have to hideaway in Sears, or sleep in the parking lot, I will be inside that mall.
What is is with me and allowing fictional characters/stories/place to run my life? Needless to say, I am now counting down the days (there’s 29, just fyi) until March 23. The world will be watching (…and so will I).