The Hunger Games Bandwagon Has Been Compromised

By ekanoff | 9:15 am on February 21, 2012

So I’ve done it.  After days and weeks and months, it’s finally happened. I started The Hunger Games.  I’ve been intrigued by the tremendous word-of-mouth and upcoming big-screen version as much as the next person, so I finally buckled down and did it – long weekends with long travel times will do that to you.  So as I made my way from the Big Apple to the City of Brotherly Love (yes, I had a cheese steak during my stay, if you’re curious), I was immediately transported from the destitute and dusty fields of District 12, to the bright lights of the Capitol and finally to the dark forest where the Games are played with reckless abandon.

The vivid detail locks you in from the very start.  Without giving anything away, but hopefully encouraging you pick up the book if you can, Suzanne Collins paints pictures with her words, letting our imaginations do the work.  Every meal you can taste, every tree you can touch, every heartache you can feel.  And while my mind is building these layers of authenticity, I can’t help but think of how I would have imagined the characters if I wasn’t already aware of who would portray them in the big-budget movie version.

It’s not Katniss with her trademarked long dark braid that I envision– it’s Jennifer Lawrence. And Peeta’s broad shoulders are undoubtedly those of Josh Hutcherson.  Having been lucky enough to see the three main stars at the 2012 People’s Choice Awards, my heart skips a beat every time Gale enters the story and my mind is treated to a picture of the swoon-worthy Liam Hemsworth.   But is that a bad thing?  I can’t help but think I’m missing out by not being able to create their faces with my own imagination.

Two summers ago I read One Day, a book by David Nicholls, that I absolutely adored.  I told everyone I knew to read it and was thrilled when I learned it would be made into a movie.  While I agreed with most critics that the casting choices were off, I was still so excited to see my favorite characters come to life – and felt a little smug that I was able to enjoy the book without having Anne Hathaway in my head for 400 pages.

But you know what? Here I am loving The Hunger Games so much I’m writing a blog post about it.  Envisioning the characters as the good-looking actors who play them hasn’t turned me off one bit, in fact I’m looking forward to the movie more than ever.

What do you think – would you rather read blindly or know what you’re getting into from the get-go? And while you’re at, voice your choice and tell us which upcoming book adaptation you’re most looking forward to?

1.)  The Hunger Games

2.)  The Perks of Being a Wallflower

3.)  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

4.)  The Great Gatsby

7 Responses

  1. Jake says:

    The Hunger Games and The Hobbit.
    The Great Gatsby is good, but I’m not waiting for that.
    Perks of Being a Wallflower, doesn’t look bad.

    I think The Hobbit’s going to be the best movie of the year and The Dark Knight Rises. Then The Hunger Games.

    I hope Lionsgate doesn’t screw up The Hunger Games like how Summit screwed up Twilight. Even though the Twilight books suck also.
    I hope The Hunger Games won’t screw up like Harry Potter.
    Harry Potter was and still is always amazing. But Star Wars and Lord of the Rings beat Harry Potter.

    The only thing is that, NOTHING can replace Harry Potter.

  2. cherie says:

    I hope that it will live on as will the Harry Potter books and movies. That series will be with us for a very long time.—BlackwhitePlanet.C0Mit’s where for men and women looking for interracial’ship for a fabulous lifestyle。It’s a nice place for black white sing’les, to interact with each other…no bounds or extremes in front of true love.I prefer being able to paint the picture in my mind without the influence of a movie.

  3. Lisa says:

    I love this! I read all 3 books in record time! Your 100% right she paints a perfect picture of everything, without going into insane detail. Just perfect.
    I actually only picked up the books after seeming the movie trailer. But in my head i fell in love with Katniss and Peeta without really thinking of the faces as they were on the screen. Haymitch was the most fun knowing it it will Woody Harrelson, so fitting.. lol I want to know what you thought of the rest of the story now!! I want more books! lol

  4. Stacie says:

    Great article. About 3 weeks ago I decided to pick up a copy of The Hunger Games to read before the movie came out. I fell in love with it and I had to go out the following day and purchase books 2 and 3. Read those in 2 days. I didn’t have a problem with knowing who will be portraying the characters. I kinda like it. I can’t imagine anyone else in the roles of Katniss, Peeta and Gale.

  5. Zoey says:

    Great article. And, yes reading the books (as I did for the Twilight series) after the books come out does strain your imagination a lot. That’s why I’m making sure to read the first book before the movie comes out. So that none of the story is tarnished with the faces and details from the movie. Because, as everyone knows, the books are always better than the movies. I’d say to definitely read the other books before those movies come out, so at least you can get an small amount of the experience. And, as much as I love the Hobbit, The Hunger Games is such an amazing adventure, I really hope it doesn’t become a faze like that of the Twilight series. I hope that it will live on as will the Harry Potter books and movies. That series will be with us for a very long time.

  6. Christine says:

    I read the Hunger Games blindly before we had the movie trailers to look at and a list of cast. I think I preferred it that way because while the actors are great and going to do great, they are not necessarily who I pictured at all for a couple characters. I prefer being able to paint the picture in my mind without the influence of a movie. As far as movie adaptations I am looking forward to I would have to say The Hobbit most definitely.

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