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The Hunger Games

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I know, I know. This post has been a long time coming. I first read The Hunger Games Trilogy in 2010, for heaven’s sake! I re-read them last year, and I expect that I will continue to come back to these books. They are that good.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you’ve probably heard of The Hunger Games. With the premiere of the movie quickly approaching, Hunger Games mania is at a fever pitch. Even as little TV (well, commercials anyway) as I watch, I’ve been seeing more and more trailers for the movie. I’m checking in every few days on to unlock stickers bearing images of the characters. (Remind me to tell you more about Get Glue sometime soon.) I watched the premiere of Taylor Swift’s Safe & Sound music video on MTV and snagged the MP3 for free from Google Play. Have I mentioned that I’m really getting into this?

So if you don’t know what it’s about, The Hunger Games is the first book of a trilogy that goes by the same name. It takes place in a future, dystopian North American country called Panem. Apparently a long time ago, the districts of Panem revolted against the Capitol. They lost, and now the Capitol keeps them in line in part by forcing each district to send two tributes, a boy and a girl, each year to play in the Hunger Games. The winning tribute receives status and privileges. The losers die in the game arena. Our heroine is Katniss Everdeen. She ends up as the female tribute for her district, number 12. The first book tells the story of how she became the District 12 tribute, her training, the Games, and the aftermath.

Like many first entries in a series, The Hunger Games could have been a standalone novel. However, it was a smashing success, and author Suzanne Collins went on to complete Katniss’s story with two sequels, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. It’s hard to talk much about the next two books without spoiling the first, so I’m not going to say much about the plot. Unlike the first book, the second one does end on a pretty big cliffhanger, so you will probably want to dive straight into the third. Luckily, I didn’t start reading these until all the books had been published, and I pretty much read straight through them all as quickly as possible.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I highly recommend these books. They were published as YA (young adult), but most adults seem to enjoy them immensely as well. I certainly did. I’m also anxious to see the movie, and I’ll let you know how I feel about it once I have.


Things to Look Forward To

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So it’s 2012, and it has been for almost two weeks now. Despite (or maybe because of!) rumors that the world will end this coming December, there are lots of things I’m looking forward to this year.

The Hunger Games movie
The premiere is in March, and I’m really excited about it. I loved the books, and one of these days I’m going to get around to writing a post about them. I’m amazed at how much I like the casting. When they first announced it, I had my doubts about the guy who is playing Peeta, but now that they’ve turned him blonde I like him. The only one I’m not sure of now is Kato. He looks so much younger than I pictured him in his poster, but I guess even he was only a kid. You can see all the characters’ posters that have been released here.

Alcatraz TV show
Hoping that this show turns out to be a winner. Nothing’s really caught my attention since Lost ended, but this one has Jorge Garcia in the cast, Elizabeth Sarnoff writing, and a supernatural mystery. Starts Monday night on Fox.

Written in My Heart’s Own Blood
The next Outlander novel will be called Written in My Heart’s Own Blood, and we are all hopeful that Diana Gabaldon will finish it this year. Of course it won’t be available until 2013, so I really hope the apocalypse can hold off! If you’re waiting as anxiously as I am, and you aren’t morally opposed to spoilers, here is a site that has kindly compiled all the excerpts from the new book that she has released online.

On a more personal note, my baby girl will start Kindergarten in the fall! And I’m embarking on my new, post-graduation free time-filled life. (Ha!) But I am excited about some projects I have planned around the house, and I’m hoping to move to a different department at work soon, so all that’s pretty exciting.

So what are you looking forward to in 2012?

I am Legend

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I know, I know. I promised this post a long time ago. What can I say? I forgot a little bit.

So, I bought I Am Legend a few weeks ago from Amazon’s Sunshine Deals (now unfortunately over).

I’m not writing spoilers beyond a few basic plot points. However, some of the links may contain major spoilers.

I had caught the movie a few years ago on TV. I thought it was OK. I do like Will Smith, but there were some odd things about it. There were some bits that I thought would be important later but never panned out. I later found out that they had scrapped the original ending and written a new one. (Spoilers in the link, obviously.) Wow. The alternate ending wasn’t the same as the one in the book, but it was closer than the theatrical one, and, I think, truer to the spirit of the book.

The premise of both book and movie is that humanity has been wiped out by a mysterious disease that turned everyone into vampire-like creatures. One man, Robert Neville, remains, alone, defending himself against the monsters. In the book he is just a guy, but in the movie he is actually a doctor who was involved in creating the plague. In both, he is trying to find a way to reverse the disease. I can’t really say much more without spoiling it for you more than I want to.

The book was written in the 50s, so it’s a little dated, but actually not too bad. When there’s only one man left on earth, social issues are pretty much irrelevant. It’s a fairly quick read. Amazon says the hardback is 320 pages, although it didn’t seem that long on my Kindle. (Although that may be because I’ve been reading really long books lately.) It’s not guaranteed that you’ll enjoy it if you liked the movie, but I thought it was a good read. I recommend it.

Like I said, the movie stars Will Smith, so I like that about it. It’s probably worth the watch, as well. If you’re like me and it makes you mad when they change a perfectly good book into an almost unrecognizable movie, you’ll definitely want to watch before reading the book. I’d also get it on DVD (buy or rent) rather than trying to catch it on TV or Netflix so you can check out the alternate ending.

So, in conclusion, I am Legend: worth it for both the movie and the book.