Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Second Servings on Hunger Games

I am wrapping up my Hunger Games marathon and I am now anticipating November 20th when Mockingjay Part Two will arrive in theaters. I wonder what the shipment code will be under: Bread and Dead–a play on Panem meaning “bread” from Roman Coliseum days, and it’s no spoiler than there is going to be some heavy warfare going on in the Capitol.

I don’t feel as invested in the Divergent or Maze Runner series, which are both pretty good for dystopian reads. Yet, I fell for Katniss (like so many others). It’s partly due to having read the book before it was discovered. Way back when, I came across a tip from one of my book blogs to check out Hunger Games. Going out of town on a loooong car trip, I listed to HG as an audio book. Just me and Katniss on that long stretch of highway. I even sat in my car to finish out the story. This girl from the Seam, with her simple complexities rang something within me, the need to survive, yet have a strong sense of compassion. A tough cookie with a creamy center.

Brian Unkeless: “So, anyone read this book called The Hunger Games?”

Another back in the day, whilst at a writing conference, I popped into a session about film adaptations. I’m always up for film-from-novel magic. This turned out to be extra special. A rep from Lionsgate (at that time, a smallish company) stood by a cardboard cut out announcing their next movie: Hunger Games. When he asked if anyone had read it, I embarrassed myself and waved my hand like he was asking if anyone wanted the keys to a new Camaro. “Great book. I just read it.” Everyone else in the room looked at me oddly, because 1) My reaction was a bit too enthusiastic 2) isn’t that a YA? Who reads YA?

Apparently, Lionsgate had done well enough with their gamble with bringing Lord of the Rings to the screen (basic understatement), that they had a few bucks to invest. Their Magic 8 Ball must be working overtime. After the session about what it takes to bring a book to the screen, I stayed after and further embarrassed myself and told this up and coming producer that it would be smart to get a reading campaign going as a tie in to the book. I think he was either amused and impressed by my passion. It was hard to tell because he wore black sunglasses (he did apologize to us–something about an eye dilation thing–he didn’t purposely want to appear Hollywood cool).

Since then, I’ve been attached to Katniss and her entourage, and have whipped up interest in my family, dragged them off to the theater and tried not to be obnoxious filling them in on plot tidbits. I think part of this is because JLaw IS Katniss. And Josh IS Peeta and Liam IS Gale. In fact, the cast is perfectly cast. It’s so rare to have a film line up so well in transference.

So now, as I reread the series. Back to back. No having to wait for the next book. I overlay JLaw and the entourage into the pages. I am involved. Ridiculous that I am brought down by a YA series, a college-degree toting English teacher, who is a grandma, to boot. BUT–I know I am not the only one. I remember AARP running an article about how older folk were sneaking Hunger Games reads as if the books were clandestine literary contraband.

How about you? Are you revving up for Part Two? Are you rereading the series in anticipation?

Ready for a Teaser?

Katniss preparing to rain down her wrath on Snow’s reign of terror image:

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12 thoughts on “Second Servings on Hunger Games

  1. I’ve not read the series, but I’ve enjoyed the movies. I’d like to read it though. I don’t tend to read YA, but I’ve heard writers should read the series because it’s a great example of structure done well.

  2. This is one of those series that I plan to read someday — when my ding dang reading pile gets a little shorter.

    The problem is, it never gets shorter.

  3. I loved the books. I watched the first two films but I haven’t seen the third one and I’m not likely to watch it or part 2 any time soon. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the first two films but I got a bit over the whole thing after all the hype.

    I really enjoyed the first book in the Divergent series but I feel like they got worse with each book – I actually hated the last one. Not the biggest fan of the movies either…
    Haven’t read The Maze Runner books yet but they are sitting at home, patiently waiting for me. I thought the first movie of those was pretty great, but I heard terrible things about the second wait, so I’m waiting until it’s on tv/DVD to watch.

    • I haven’t the foggiest why I’m so smitten with Hunger Games. I wanted to like Divergent but couldn’t quite relate to its intensity. Maze Runner just got stranger and stranger. I do like a really good dystopian series. I started Wool, but it’s pretty thick and I’m liking faster reads these days. Any dystopian suggestions?

      • I have zero dystopian suggestions. I’ve really only read all the popular stuff that everyone else has read in the last couple of years. I really need to invest some time in investigating some different dystopia. I haven’t even read 1984, but I’ve seen the movie.

      • The movie is horrid–rats!!

  4. I can’t wait for the next movie to come out! I’m a HUGE Hunger Games fan. Read the books and I’ve seen all of the movies multiple times. My husband likes them too.

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