Summary: Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don't live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ok, so this book is kind of amazing. I love it (and the rest of the series) so much that I've read them 17 times. I can quote direct lines from the book. It's kind of sad. Peeta is adorable <3
Plot: The plot of this story is so creative and so out there that I question Suzanne Collins' sanity. I've read online that she was flipping through channels on tv and somehow came up with the idea? I don't know. Anyway, the plot of the Hunger Games was superb, so well thought and without a dull moment. It kept me captivated 17 times, so it must be pretty awesome. I have the attention span of a puppy.
Characters: Ah, Peeta. You are my most favorite person in the world. Peeta is so lovable, and he is just the cutest and sweetest person ever. Gale is pretty awesome too, but he isn't really developed much in this book, more in Catching Fire and Mockingjay. Katniss is a female main character whom I am neutral about. I neither love nor dislike her. Suzanne Collins makes Katniss a character who is slightly difficult to love, but the complexity of Katniss' fight about her feelings about Peeta made it all better.
Style: The book is written in Katniss' point of view in present tense, which makes for a couple of awkward spots, but besides that, I loved the style of this book. It was easy to read, fast paced, and well written. Props to you, Suzanne Collins!
The Hunger Games directed by Gary Ross
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This movie did not do the book justice at all. It was kind of a disappointment, actually.
Casting: Don't get me wrong, I love Jennifer Lawrence, and she is a great actress, but she just isn't a Katniss. Katniss is supposed to be small and skinny, and Jennifer Lawrence is tall and normal sized (which I love about her, but not for this role). I love Josh Hutcherson dearly, and he was great personality-wise for the role of Peeta! Liam Hemsworth as Gale made me sad. The casting directors could have done so much better. All of the other actors/actresses (ie Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Lenny Kravitz, Toby Jones) were incredible. The casting for the other districts' tributes were great!
Costumes/Makeup/Hair: The costumes were great! Very much like the ones I imagined in my head. Except for the first getup that Katniss and Peeta wear (the one that was on fire), which was supposed to look a little more like real fire, and the fire wasn't supposed to go out. Makeup wasn't a very prominent part of this except for in the Capital, which was quite elaborate and somewhat along the lines of what I thought. Hair. Oh lordy the hair in this movie was awesome. So many braided updos and pretty waves and buns and yes, I went crazy. I'm a bit of a hair fanatic. Especially braids.
Plot Relevance: I had a couple of disappointments with how the movie wasn't like the book. The biggest complaint for me was how Madge wasn't in this movie at all. She was one of my favorite characters!!! The mockingjay pin had so much more meaning behind it when Katniss learned that the pin was Madge's aunt's. Francis Lawrence better make sure that Madge ends up in Catching Fire. Another complaint was that PEETA DID NOT HAVE TO HAVE HIS LEG AMPUTATED. The fact that Peeta has fewer limbs than Katniss physically shows that Peeta is weaker than Katniss! Sigh. Last complaint is that at the end, it wasn't clear that Katniss was faking her feelings the entire time. The writers should have made that clearer.
Camera Work: I actually loved the camera work for this movie. I'm not an expert on cameras by any means, but the filming of this movie seemed so natural and frenzied as I expected from somewhere like District 12. Good work with that one, Gary!