Friday, September 13, 2013

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire...Are you ready?

Okay, first, I have to say that I'm probably going to post several blogs in a row, despite not having posted recently. It happens that way sometimes. And since this is my blog, I get to do it however I wish. We'll have a book review, because NetGalley provided me a book to read and then review. I've got a second one of those, but I'm not done with it yet, so that will come later. Also, I'll post a 9/11 bit. I know, that was a couple days ago. Sorry, I didn't want to write it then. When you read what I write, then you'll maybe understand why. And then here's this particular blog, which is about one of my favorite book series of all times, The Hunger Games Trilogy. So, without further ado...

It's starting! I'm getting #CatchingFire Fever! Keep seeing tweets on my feed and now they've announced that Julianne Moore is going to play President Coin in Mockingjay. After my subsequent reads, I grew to love the third book. But on first pass? Book #2 was my favorite. And there are SO many things that I can't wait to see how they (Francis Lawrence, Suzanne Collins, et al), handle them!

So, fellow Hunger Games fans, how about you? Did you watch the first movie? Will you see the second one in the theater? Is there anything you're eagerly anticipating?

Personally, I'm anxious to see how they handle the train scenes, the forcefield, the roof and, of course, the beach scene. And yes, I know that implies that all I care about is the romance. Hello, I'm a romance writer, it speaks to me. But the thing is, that when I read this series, what stood out most to me was the idea of hope. And I think that the movie makers saw that too - in the preview, Katniss has a non-book conversation with Prim where the youngest Everdeen says that she sees hope in people that didn't exist before the last games. This idea is the main thrust of the final paragraphs of the story as well as some of the most vivid scenes throughout the series: when all else is lost, if you have hope, you can overcome any obstacle.

And for Katniss, Peeta represents that idea of hope. He tosses her the bread and then she sees that dandelion and realizes her family doesn't have to starve because she can feed them. During training, he shows her that it's possible to maintain your true self, no matter what. In the arena, he saves her from Cato and then later tells her he's willing to sacrifice himself so that she can live, prompting her to choose to save them both. All of these things made it into the first movie and they were some of the pivotal scenes in the book, too.

So when I'm mentioning scenes that allude to the romance between Katniss and Peeta in the book, I'm also talking about scenes that directly address that need Katniss has, that we all have, to hold on to hope. And for her, Peeta has always represented it. First the bread, then the sacrifices in the arena, then the warnings in Mockingjay and finally, the bombing at the mansion (see how I mentioned this stuff without saying what happened? If you've read the books, you know but that doesn't really spoil anything). The very last thing is planting the bushes next to the house. Hope springs eternal, as it were, and Peeta IS that hope.

For anyone who doubts, because of the prominence of Liam Hemsworth in the previews and press, I can't see how they'd downplay the importance of Peeta in Katniss' life. There was never a love triangle in this series - sorry, Gale fans, he was always a red herring. From the moment Peeta tossed her that bread, she made her choice. It just takes the incident at the forcefield for her to see it herself. But I suspect that they'll show how torn she is, with wanting to believe that what happened in the arena and what happens on the tour are more than just the show and being afraid to have that hope. It's only once they announce the Quell that she makes a firm decision. I'm interested to see how much of what I read and saw in all of it is the same as what they'll portray. I have confidence in Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson. I know they can do this if the material is there. And why wouldn't it be?

Oh well, as I've told you all, I wrote a HUGE fanfic (no, I'm not planning to publish it. Ever.) and I'll always have Paris, er, my fanfic and my imagination. I'll still watch the films and I'm sure I'll still enjoy them. But this will be the real tipping point for me. If they can capture what I felt when I read Catching Fire, then I'll be sold. I'll have faith that they can do a stellar job with Mockingjay. And with Danny Strong writing for that, well, I think we're in for a wild ride!

But first, Catching Fire hits theaters on Novemeber 22, and I, for one, cannot wait! I'll have to give in and reread the trilogy soon enough. But I'm waiting. Because I remember. It consumed me for days last time. It will again. And then I'll have to read my fanfic. And maybe I'll write more ('cause it ain't done yet, baby!) and that will take away from the Ward Sisters Series. And yada, yada, yada. But oh, I can't wait for the night of November 22! Can't. Wait!

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