Hunger Games movie!

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Check out this article!

Yes, I know the article is way old, but I had no idea the distribution rights to The Hunger Games had been acquired! That makes me so happy! It will probably take years to make it to the screen. And who knows who will direct and star in it. And who knows what the budget will be or anything else about it except that Suzanne Collins will be adapting the screenplay.

Regardless, I’ll be following every scrap of information about the movie from now until opening day and will be the first to buy tickets for the midnight showing. Fabulous!

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Top Five Fiction Books I Read This Year

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It’s the end of 2009, and journalists, critics, and news reporters are making lists. Here’s my own list of favorite books I read for the first time this year. Apparently this was my year to read dystopian fiction.

Top Five Fiction Books I Read This Year

5. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Very good young adult science fiction that discusses the ethical boundaries of science. I especially loved the experimental forms of prose and poetry Pearson used to illustrate Jenna’s state of mind. I reviewed it here.

4. The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld
Yes, I’m cheating, but these four books, Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras, are absolutely captivating. The first three explore what could happen if society’s obsession with beauty was taken to the extreme. The fourth novel in the series, Extras, describes a society built on social networking, blogging, and the paparazzi. I stole the series from a young friend of mine and had a hard time giving them back. I didn’t write a review because the series has been around for awhile, but I do recommend it with no reservations.

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
It was difficult to rank this one third.  The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games rank equally in my head, but I chose to put it in third because I prefer third-person narration style over first-person. Yes, it actually came down to narrative style. I reviewed this book this morning, so it made the list just under the wire. You can read my full review here.

2. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I loved this book! The Maze Runner grabs onto you with the mystery of the maze and keeps you reading with the deeper mysteries of the characters and their histories. Dashner makes you hate the Maze creators, and by the end, you’ll demand an explanation for their crimes against the Gladers. You can read my full review here.

1. World War Z: An Oral History of  the Zombie War by Max Brooks
One of the few novels that makes me wax eloquent about its virtues. Brooks made me love the zombie genre, a feat I previously thought impossible. I reviewed it here.

What I’m Reading: The Hunger Games

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I received The Hunger Games from my wonderful sister-in-law for Christmas, and I finished it in two days. I would have finished it sooner, but I thought I should sleep and eat instead.

Katniss Everdeen lives in a poor coal-mining community in District 12 of the nation of Panem.  Her world is turned upside-down when her little sister is chosen by lottery to participate in the annual Hunger Games, and she volunteers to go in her place. The Hunger Games is a televised fight to the death between twenty-four teenagers, designed to be a warning of what will happen to those who rebel against the Capitol government. As a participant or “tribute” she will be placed in an arena where the Gamemakers can manipulate the weather, trigger natural disasters, or just kill her at will.  Everyone in Panem will be watching the games, and the only way to win is to be the last tribute alive.

The book is written in first person from Katniss’ point of view.  As a reader, I could sense Katniss’ denial as she prepared for the games. When Katniss first arrives for the games, it feels almost like a beauty pageant. She is groomed and primped by professional stylists and coached on how to interview and smile on camera. As the training process goes on, it feels more like the experience of an athlete at the Olympic games. Everyone will be watching this event, rooting for their district, and Katniss feels the pressure to perform and win sponsors.  But when the games actually begin, the sick reality of the games sinks in. If she moves from her place before the opening bell sounds, she will be blown up by a landmine. This is Survivor playing for keeps.

The Hunger Games is a compulsive read. The action never stops, and the plot keeps you hungry for the next page. But for me it was the characters that were truly unforgettable. Collins does a great job of giving the reader a distinctive picture of each character. Even the minor characters are vivid in my mind. One of the other competitors is a twelve-year-old girl, and long after I shut the book, I was picturing little Rue singing to the birds in the arena.

I could not be torn away from the story, and when the book ended, I immediately went out and bought the sequel. I’m not finished with it yet, but it will probably be my first review of the new year. I highly recommend The Hunger Games. Suzanne Collins is a very talented writer, and I look forward to the conclusion of this series.