The Hunger Games

There are very few movies I wait anxiously to see in the theater. But this one … this book made into a movie that everyone is talking about … is one of those that I have been chomping at the bit to see since November when I watched the first part of Breaking Dawn (which I thought was sloooow and boring). Of course, since they’re thinking this story will fit the audience watching the Twilight series, they previewed “The Hunger Games”.

I had heard whisperings of this interesting book set in the future. And as I usually do I gave it a try. I could NOT put it down! Do I think you’ll like it? I don’t know. I loved Twilight but couldn’t get through the Harry Potter series. I didn’t finish The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, but read The Host in one sitting. What can I say? But this series I have to admit, I haven’t heard anyone who’s read them who didn’t enjoy them.

Here’s the BLURB:
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The 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 is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.

I couldn’t help but wonder how the author Suzanne Collins was going to get this young girl to survive while 23 other teens died (some at her own hands) and not have her become a cold-hearted murderer. You know what? She did it. With wonderful mastery of writing, she managed to pull this story off and leave me wanting more.

The love story is a little schmaltzie (yes, that’s a real word 😉 ), but this is a story written for young adults, not a 50 year old woman who’s read her way through most of the romance section of the local library.

I’ve read a lot of wonderful books and usually have no desire to see the movie. But in this case I’ve become a squeeing fangirl. I was so jealous earlier this week when there was a premier somewhere. All kinds of people have gotten to see it before the official opening next Friday. I wanted to embed the trailer here, but Youtube wouldn’t let me. Click HERE to view the official movie trailer.

So what about you? Have you read the book(s)? Are you planning on seeing the movie? Does it interest you? Because you know me, I’m curious to know if I’m the only one anxiously awaiting the opening of this movie.

What makes you read a book? I don’t mean, why read books at all. But why that book? Did the cover originally intrigue you? Did you pick it up because it’s your favorite author? There are any number of reasons we choose one book title over another.

Before I go on and in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m going to admit I read books differently now that I’m an author. I used to pick up a book and travel along the plot blissfully unaware of all the rules and tricks writers use to move the story forward–to pull the reader into the next chapter if you will. And though I haven’t lost the joy in reading, it’s now part of my “job”. I read now to learn. A very different way of enjoying a book.

It’s hard for me these days to find a real page turner. But the last book I read, Susan Collins’ The Hunger Games not only has kept me up at night, but rolled around in my thoughts making me wonder about the characters even when I wasn’t reading.

And it got me thinking about what makes a book a real page turner.

In the case of The Hunger Games not only was the setting intriguing, being some post-apocalyptic United States with an overbearing government, but the characters, young adults just working to survive the harsh realities of their lives, made me care what happened to them. For those of you who don’t know the premise, the government wants to remind its citizens of a failed revolt and so they send 24 teens into a large arena once a year and have them fight to death, rewarding the victor with both individual riches and food and rewards for their sector…a very interesting premise.

Now, mind you, this is a young adult novel, which means the author had to carefully select how the protagonists of her book would survive and yet not come across as murderers and therefore unsympathetic in the reader’s eyes. May I just say, she pulled it off brilliantly!! I couldn’t read fast enough to find out how the competition would be eliminated especially after the young lady became allies with some of the competitors. And those she did have to kill had become horrible villains for the reader and therefore, deserved to die. Susan Collins’ skill in manipulating my emotions was admirable. By the time the hero and heroine emerge victorious (I don’t think I’m giving anything away since these are romances of sorts) I was thrilled, relieved and wrung out from worrying about their well-being.

These days it takes a lot to keep my attention. I’m finding fewer and fewer books make me want to read them. It may be because I’ve been caught in a genre loop. I’ve been reading a lot of paranormal and fantasy type stories. I’m not sure. The current book I’m reading, Lori Foster’s When you Dare, a contemporary undercover operations story, definitely has me intrigued. She’s holding onto a secret that propels me forward and makes me want to know who is after the heroine and what their motivation would be to kill her (at least I think that’s what they want in the end). The suspense is definitely propelling me deeper into the story. (Of course the budding romance isn’t hurting my enjoyment of the story either. *g*)

But that’s just me and what keeps me up at night reading. What about you? What pulls you into a story and makes you burn dinner or stay up into the weeeee hours of the night? If you have any reading recommendations I’d love to hear them!