My boyfriend recently got a kindle for his birthday and has found that he is reading twice as much as he did before he owned one. He gently and reluctantly passed his kindle over to me and told me to read a book called The Hunger Games.
The Hunger Games, written by American author Suzanne Collins is coined to be the next ‘big trilogy’, we’re talking Harry Potter and Twilight-esque fame. So in a similar fashion the first instalment of The Hunger Games is being released into the cinema in the UK in March. So to begin with, I am extremely excited about this, especially as I am currently finishing off the third book and enjoying it just as much. But also because they have been very clever about the amount of information they have given away about the upcoming movie, I’ll explain why I think this is in a minute. First, I’ll give you a brief overview of the book.
The Hunger Games is set in a post-apocalyptic North America called Panem, where colonies have been split into 12 different Districts. Each District has its own industry, be it mining, fishing or fashion, which essentially dictates the wealth of the District. The Districts also have a Capitol, where President Snow resides. After years of political rebellion and strife the Capitol agreed upon a punishment for the citizens, to reinforce the power of those in charge and the result of disobeying the Capitol. This punishment was named The Hunger Games.
The games takes one boy and one girl between the ages of 11 and 18 from each district and places them in a gladiator-style arena to fight until the death, until there is one victor left. This victor will receive extra food and luxuries for their district and family. The games are broadcast much like Big Brother to the rest of Panem. The story follows Katniss, a young contender from District 12.
You are right in thinking that it sounds pretty brutal, it is – in the book at least. It is why I am so excited to see the movie, to see how they tone this down for a 12+ audience and to see how this effects the story and the reality the book depicts. I am also interested to see how the movie illustrates the division in districts and their differing values and ideals, for instance their differing opinions on beauty.
The book spends a wealth of time describing the characters’ clothing, make-up and their general appearances and I think this is why the official movie trailer is very vague and shies away from the development in the book. The costumes are the last thing they’d want to have leaked, as for some it will be the most anticipated part of the movie. Instead they have brought out an official Capitol Couture Tumblr for those that just can’t wait until the movie release.
I have read all the Twilight and Harry Potter books and can say for certain that The Hunger Games has a great deal more depth and darkness than either. It deals with greater issues of violence and politics and has more self-destructive characters and damaging themes. It has a dystopian view of the world and doesn’t hide behind a fairytale story of wizards or vampires. The book has moments of true sadness, passion, horror and hatred and provides well-rounded characters and a well-written and conclusive story.
If you’ve not had enough of the games by the end of the first book you can move onto the second instalment, Catching Fire and the third, Mockingjay.
Have you read The Hunger Games? What are you most looking forward to seeing on screen? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below.