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Posts Tagged ‘Hunger Games’

By Erica Misoshnik and Hannah Bennett

Photo credit: Murray Close

 WARNING: Major spoilers ahead for both the book and movie.

When we were given the opportunity to write a post on The Hunger Games, we jumped at the chance. Discussions of how to approach it varied from Capitol levels of crazy (dressing up and doing a faux interview) to an old-fashioned essay. Eventually, we decided to meet somewhere in the middle.

Deviations from the book: One of the first things people ask about any book-to-movie adaptation is, “Was it the same as the book?” The good news is that the movie did follow the book very closely, and the things that were added only made the movie better. In particular, we loved:

  • The behind-the-scenes action: Seeing the Game Makers actually manipulate the field was not only visually impressive, it gave the story more depth.
  • The changing perspectives: As much as we enjoyed being in Katniss’s head for the duration of the books, we were pleasantly surprised by the glimpses of Seneca Crane’s and President Snow’s viewpoints.
  • The reactions in other Districts: As die-hard Peeta fan-girls, we never thought we’d enjoy seeing Gale as much as we did, but some of the best moments of the film were seeing District 11 revolt and seeing District 12 reactions to the Games.

Of course, there were deviations we could have done without:

  • The cave scene: This was essentially a watered down, awkward portrayal of one of the most pivotal moments in the book. Very disappointing!
  • The Mockingjay pin:  The significance of the pin was lost entirely.
  • The muttations: Nothing close to the horror we imagined when reading.  They were more surprising than fearsome.

    Photo credit: Murray Close

General Strengths

  • The acting was top notch. Every actor really did a tremendous job with the material. Despite all the “controversy” regarding her look, Jennifer Lawrence made us believe she was Katniss from the second she stepped onto the screen.
  • The visuals were stunning. CGI and special effects aside, the costuming and make up were outstanding.
  • Despite our foreknowledge of events, we still found ourselves watching with the same amount of anxiety we had while reading the books, especially during the reaping.
  • Seneca Crane’s beard: honestly, it needs its own category.

Peeta

The reason Peeta gets his own category has nothing to with the fact that he is our favorite character and everything to do with the fact that he was the biggest source of disappointment in the movie. While Josh Hutcherson did an amazing job with the material given, our gripe is with the material itself.

The Good:

  • Peeta’s character was as perfectly charming in the movie as he was in the book. However, book Peeta is more than just a charming baker – a fact that movie makers seemed to have forgotten.

The Bad:

  • Peeta’s entire character was a watered down representation of the beloved boy with the bread. It seemed as if there was a decisive idea to make Peeta weaker in order to make Katniss seem stronger. We found this ridiculous as Katniss is tough all on her own, no matter what the male characters around her are like.
  • The moment it all went downhill for us was when the rule change in the Games was announced. From that moment on, everything seemed rushed and diluted, including the vague ending.

    Photo credit: Murray Close

Peeta aside, we want to really stress that the movie was FANTASTIC. Fans of the book and new-comers to the story can enjoy it (though we personally feel it’s always best to read the book first).

Are you a fan of the book, the movie, or both?  What did you think of the movie adaptation?

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By Erica Misoshnik

As the lovely Hannah wrote last week, books have the power to influence us in ways we never imagined possible. My own love affair with books started before I even learned to read, after seeing Beauty and the Beast for the first time at the age of 4. So I knew, no matter what, that when I grew up I wanted to work with books. Still, it wasn’t until my freshman year at Pace University that I knew how I could actually accomplish such a goal. It was my freshman advisor who first told me about the combined BA/MS degree in Publishing program when we met to discuss my spring schedule. I researched the program that night, suddenly saw a clear and attainable future for myself that just seemed to fit, and have never looked back.

It was also at Pace that I took an upper level literature course that forever changed my view of books, the publishing industry, and my own future. We were assigned The Hunger Games, the first book in a young adult dystopian trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. None of those things were appealing to me. Aside from a few novels, I had no interest in young adult books and dystopian lit was just not my thing.

Yet, about four chapters into the book, I was hooked. In fact, Hunger Games made me love young adult literature in a way I hadn’t since I was a young adult. It even brought me to middle-grade reads, such as the endlessly brilliant Percy Jackson series. Very quickly, I realized that these were the kinds of books I wanted to work with – books that made me feel like a little kid all over again, discovering the wonders of reading for the first time. Working with children for the past five years, and teaching them for two and a half, has only solidified that desire. There’s no matching the excitement of telling one of your students that in fact, yes, you have finally finished Son of Neptune, and no, you can’t wait for Mark of Athena either, and of course we can talk about the series at snack time.

But, I don’t have to tell anyone reading this how amazing and transformative books can be. We’re all here at the WNBA because we love them. That much was apparent when I met some of the women for the first time at the Brooklyn Book Festival back in October. I volunteered on a whim because of a posting on Pace’s publishing blog and ended up with a great afternoon, a newfound organization, and – a few months later – an internship working with the very women I was so excited to meet!

So yes, I’ve always known I wanted to work with books and yes, I’ve known for a few years now that I have wanted to work in publishing. Yet even I had no idea the impact one novel could potentially have on someone’s perception of an industry, or the way it could completely alter the course of a future. I had no idea that heading to the Brooklyn Book Festival would introduce me to so many wonderful new people. But I know now…and the story is only beginning.

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