Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Hunger Games Trilogy [Book vs. Movie]

If you haven't read the books or watched the movie, this will be confusing....

I'm only going to talk about one piece that I disliked about the movie: how they incorporated the Mockingjay. If you read the book and the significance Suzanne Collins places on how Katniess received this pin as her token in the Hunger Games the movie will tick ya off. The movie makes it casual and virtually meaningless: Katniss trades for it in the Hobb and gives it to her sister, who (when saying good-bye) gives it back to Katniss. That's it. When you dive into the trilogy, which is focused around this idea of the Mockingjay, I'm surprised it was changed!

Let me explain: when Katniss volunteers in place of her sister for the Hunger Games her friend Madge gives her this pin of a Mockingjay when she tells her good-bye. The bird itself basically shows defiance against the Capitol! Here's why: the authorities created a bird called the Jabberjay to replicate conversations had between Panem residents and relay them back to officials. Once rebels realized how the Capitol heard their conversations they used the Jabberjays against them, giving false information. So the Capitol released the birds into the wild thinking they'd die off. However, they mated with the Mockingbird creating an entirely new species: the Mockingjay, who simply repeated beautiful melodies. Despite the Capitol abandoning them, they've survived against all odds! When Madge gives Katniss this pin of a Mockingjay she explains it was her aunts. You don't understand why this is such a big deal until the second book. You see, the aunt's name was Maysilee who was in the Hunger Games with Haymitch and did not survive. This family heirloom was extremely significant from many different perspectives: Greasy Sae, Haymitch, and most importantly, her mother. Maysilee and Katniss' mom were best friends. There were so many connections missed when the filmmakers left Madge out of the story. Just this one piece nearly ruins the movie for me.

If you haven't read the books I highly recommend you do, obviously I don't feel the same about the movies. (Haha, I rarely do when there's a book/movie combination!)

My Goodreads review:

The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset (The Hunger Games, #1-3)The Hunger Games Trilogy Boxset by Suzanne Collins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After watching Catching Fire I decided to reread the books. Over the course of a this week I finished this trilogy feeling somber and dispirited. I give Suzanne Collins credit! She knows how to suck you in, forcing her readers to feel what the character feels. It's more than empathy or appreciation; I feel like my head's in a cloud and that the connection I felt to each character helped me understand the roller coaster of emotions they faced as each event unfolded.

She writes about more than a love story, more than political drama, more than death, war, and action. She quite literally gives voice to those affected by the aftermath of surviving warfare. Her book reminded me of Ishmael Beah's true story as a boy soldier, 'A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier'. Not because Ishmael's story was about surviving the Hunger Games, but because Ishmael was forced to witness horrific events, perform horrific acts, and kill in horrific ways. It affected him in much the same way Suzanne describes Katniss' broken character. Now I want to go back and read Ishmael's book and compare Suzanne's studies on the effects of war and violence on those coming of age to his true story. I'm almost positive Suzanne is dead on.

View all my reviews

If you're interested in more information on Ishmael's book, visit his website:

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