I know a lot of people who have seen The Hunger Games, but haven’t read the books. I am usually a person who finds myself in that position while diehard fans scream at me “YOU HAVE TO READ THE BOOKS!” (Cough. Game of Thrones.) And while I have a long list of book series that I intend to get to, that doesn’t mean that I’m not going to take the time to recommend The Hunger Games. Here is why:
1. The first movie didn’t get it right. One of the biggest reasons to read the books is that the first one grazes over a lot of stuff that felt important to me. I saw the movie first, and then I read the whole series in two days. Yes, two days. That is how readable and difficult to put down this series is. After reading the books I watched the movie again with my boyfriend and ended up explaining a lot of things to him. There were certain aspects of the book that it felt like the movie handled hamfistedly, to say the least.
2. No, those aren’t plot holes. On that note, there are certain things in both the movies that seem like big plot holes that are explained in the books. For every “that’s so stupid! Why would they do a. b. or c.?” there is usually an answer on the page somewhere. The world that Collins has create is relatively complex, and she explains the strangeness of it very deftly. Something that the movies have yet to achieve.
3. Great descriptions and lots of detail. You can really see the world of the book. The descriptions of place and sounds and smells and food and people are all captivating. There is also a beautifully stark contrast between the world of the capitol and the world of the districts, as well as the desperation of the arena. You can see all of it, and there is so much more detail than what the movies have the time to show you.
4. You get inside Katniss’ head. Most importantly, you get to be inside Katniss’ head. I personally, along with the rest of the world at this point, think Jennifer Lawrence is an incredible actress. She is incredibly skilled at showing what is going on inside a character’s mind with very revealing, but subtle, facial expressions. But she can only do so much. In the first movie especially, I thought, “Wait, does she like Peeta? Is she attracted to him? Is she acting?” The answer is very complicated, but when you read the books, you can understand more of what motivates this interesting character. Something that will be helpful when viewing the two parts of Mockingjay, where Katniss becomes far more passive because of the war going on around her.