Months ago my best friend Bob suggested we read the Hunger Games series for our virtual book club. It was a re-read for him but my first time venturing into the world of Panem and journeying with Katniss Everdeen into the arena. I had seen the first movie previously but only the first movie so after each book I dragged Tamy on the journey with me and we watched the movies. This means she had to hear my thoughts and opinions and what changes were made. Now I share those thoughts and opinions with you!
I was drawn into this first book from page one! I couldn't put it down and I breezed right through it. The attention to detail, the way the game was played, the character building, it was all so incredible. Bob and I agreed that Haymich is an unsung hero right from the start and that Katniss is one incredible character! Watching the movie after reading the book I was blown away by the amazing casting, and just how dead on this movie was to the book. The bits and pieces added to the movie were genius and bringing this world of Panem to life was visually gorgeous. I really didn't think the first book and movie could be topped...
I was wrong! Catching Fire is Bob's favorite of the trilogy, I'm still torn between this one and the first one I flip flop. The Quarter Quell, the raw emotions, the love, the loss, this book was incredible, I may have told Bob that from now on we were to be referred to as Nuts and Bolts (you decide which is which) The movie, equally incredible - the pure star power they brought to these films and not just names for the sake of names but dead on casting. I had never seen this movie before and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Reading the second book we really loved Haymich and Katniss even more, we were both rooting for Peeta and we developed a deep seeded hatred for Gale (the character NOT the actor) like seriously could Gale be any more of a jackass, now that he has a little competition he's madly in love putting Katniss in an impossible situation. Ugh! The new characters we got to meet particularly Finnich and Joanna were absolute gems both on the page and on the screen!
After falling in love with the first two books and falling in love with the characters I have to say that Mockingjay was a let down. The book was like a good idea executed poorly. There were way too many new characters and not enough of the characters we had already gotten to know. Did we really need a brand new character introduced with under 100 pages left in the book? And *SPOILER ALERT* there is no point getting to know these characters because either they don't make it or we don't know what happens to them. Bob and I also felt something we had never felt for a book before, it could have benefited from another hundred or so pages, the end was rushed, there were blink and you missed it situations, there were some goodbyes that were never said and some attitudes that needed serious adjustments. This leads me to likely an unpopular statement and one that I don't make often - I liked the Mockingjay movies better than the book! There I said it and I'm not sorry! I went into the movies wondering why there needed to be two movies for a book this size and once I watched the movies I wasn't mad about it. To me the movies became less of the money grab I assumed they were and more of the ending to this series that I wanted! The movie left out a lot of the new characters instead utilizing the characters we already loved, the end gave us proper endings and proper goodbyes and Gale got his in the end (BYE!)
At the end of the day I am so happy we read these books, I can see myself revisiting them again down the line. I adore Katniss, I love Haymich, and the end was truly what I would have wanted. Have you read the Hunger Games series? What are your thoughts? If you haven't read them I totally recommend them and may the odds be ever in your favor!
Up next Bob and I are headed to Middle Earth!