Book vs. Movie – The Hunger Games

Book vs. Movie – The Hunger Games

Welcome, welcome, to another year at Hogwarts to another segment of Book vs. Movie!

It’s been a long time coming, right? I actually should have done one for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children but I hadn’t watched the movie in a while by the time I read the book. Who knows? Maybe I’ll do a reread and a rewatch in the near future?

So I decided to read The Hunger Games for the first time ever, after all of the movies came out and have been out for a while now. Of course, I had to rewatch The Hunger Games as well since it’s been over ten years? Maybe longer? While the book is so fresh in my head, I decided to do this segment to compare which one was better, to me.

* * * * S P O I L E R  A L E R T  B E L O W  T H I S  L I N E * * * * 

The main thing that I really loved about the movie more than the book was that we got to see an insight into what the game makers were doing in the background. In the book, the only thing we know is what Katniss is experiencing, since it’s told from her point of view. The book works that way though. She explains to us about the Hunger Games, what it means to put your name in the raffle more than once, what it’s like to witness her fellow Tributes be slaughtered in front of her eyes. If those aspects were told from another perspective, it wouldn’t be as convincing or as emotional as it is when Katniss tells us. So that part works. But knowing that everything that happened in the games – the fire that burned Katniss’s leg and the fireballs that were aimed directly at her, the Mutts that chased them at the finale of the games – was due to the game makers sitting at their little stations and adding it to the arena at just the right time makes the games that much more sickening. Their goal is to make the Hunger Games a form of entertainment for the public, even if it’s only the Capitol and maybe the earlier Districts that would see it as such. The rest of the Districts are forced to watch the games, forced to watch their children murdered and destroyed for the sake of fun, all because of some stupid treaty from the last rebellion.

No wonder they rebelled in the first place.

Even the little parts in the movie that Katniss can’t see because she’s in the games, like Haymitch witnessing a Capitol family in a sitting area, show a different side to Panem and the movie that you don’t get to see in the book. If you don’t remember this part, this was before Haymitch was able to secure enough sponsors to give Katniss medicine for her leg. There was a family: a mom, dad, daughter, son. The parents had given the son a toy sword as a gift, and since the families in the Capitol grow up believing that the Hunger Games are just that – an annual game for their viewing pleasure – the son chases his sister and pretends to stab her with his sword. To them it’s all just a joke, treating it as if it were the damn Superbowl and wanting to be a killer when they grow up. They either don’t understand that these kids are actually dying and are forced to kill one another or be killed instead, or they simply don’t care. You don’t get that sense in the book, at least, not as much as I would like.

There were some inconsistencies between the two, as usual:

  • District 11 sending Katniss a loaf of bread after she gives Rue a proper burial (Book)
  • The riots that happened after Rue was murdered (Movie)
  • Peeta losing his leg because of Katniss’s tourniquet (Book)
  • Katniss telling Peeta that her affection for him was only part of the game (Book)
  • The Mutts representing the fallen Tributes (Book)
But both were amazing in their own way, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to experience both. There can only be one winner, though… Oh hey, that sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

So what did you think? Which one wins in your mind? Let me know in the comments below!
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Winning will make you famous.
Losing means certain death.

The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

Book Overview:

Author: Suzanne Collins | Series: The Hunger Games | Format: Audiobook | Narrated by: Carolyn McCormick | Length: 11 hours, 11 minutes | Publish Date: September 14, 2008 | Genre: YA Dystopia | Literary Awards: Georgia Peach Book Award (2009), Buxtehuder Bulle (2009), Golden Duck Award for Hal Clement Award for Young Adult (2009), Books I Loved Best Yearly (BILBY) Awards for Older Readers (2012), West Australian Young Readers’ Book Award (WAYRBA) for Older Readers (2010)
Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award (2011), Red House Children’s Book Award for Older Readers & Overall (2010), South Carolina Book Award for Junior and Young Adult Book (2011), Charlotte Award (2010), Colorado Blue Spruce Young Adult Book Award (2010), Teen Buckeye Book Award (2009), Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award for Young Adults (2010), Rhode Island Teen Book Award (2010), Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award (2010), Evergreen Teen Book Award (2011), Soaring Eagle Book Award (2009), Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Nominee (2010), Sakura Medal for Middle School Book (2010), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award (2009), Florida Teens Read (2009), Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis for Preis der Jugendjury (2010), Iowa High School Book Award (2011), New Mexico Land of Enchantment Award for Young Adult (2011), Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Book Award (2010), The Inky Awards for Silver Inky (2009), Lincoln Award (2011), Kinderboekwinkelprijs (2010), Missouri Truman Readers Award (2011), Cybils Award for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2008), Literaturpreis der Jury der jungen Leser for Jugendbuch (2010), The Inky Awards Shortlist for Silver Inky (2009), Prix Et-lisez-moi (2011), Missouri Gateway Readers Award (2011), Oklahoma Sequoyah Award for High School and Intermediate (2011), Premio El Templo de las Mil Puertas for Mejor novela extranjera perteneciente a saga (2009)  | Rated: ★ ★ ★ ★  | Recommend: HECK YES

“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

I’m pretty sure that I’m going to have to do another Book vs Movie post after reading this. Someone remind me!

Anyway, I finally made my way to this book, after years and years and years of not reading it, even after all of the movies came out on DVD. It’s been ten years since this book first published, and yet this was my first time reading this book. I feel like I made the mistake of waiting for so long to read it, but I’m so glad that I did.

In typical dystopia attire, Katniss Everdeen lives in a place that used to be North America, before current North America that we know was utterly destroyed. This place is called Panem, and there are twelve districts that society inhabits in this future place. While the Capitol, and some of the closer districts like Districts One, Two, and possibly Three are thriving and rich, the others are extremely poor, with their citizens always on the verge of starvation. Society is separated into these districts because of a war that happened so long ago, and this is their way of punishment.

If that wasn’t enough, every year the districts have to choose one boy and one girl to compete in a fight for their lives in what is known as the Hunger Games.

The only reason Katniss was ever a tribute in the Hunger Games was that her little sister Primrose was unlucky enough to be chosen in the drawing for tribute. Katniss did something completely unheard of in their district: she volunteered as tribute. And now, along with Peeta, they have to fight for the lives, knowing that only one of them can be the winner. How can they go about this game knowing that they may have to kill the other?

This book was very interesting as far as the storyline. It reminded me of a movie that I watched with a similar premise, except it took place in Japan and it was an entire eighth-grade class that was taken to a secluded island. They were tasked with killing one another, or risk being killed themselves. It was the same concept in that this was all punishment for some sort of war or rebellion that took place years prior, and in both books, we are forced to watch children slaughtered without mercy, without guilt, all for the sake of entertainment.

I don’t really like having to watch children die for no reason, or any reason at all, and it makes it worse that this is deemed as an annual game that the entire nation watches. These children are being killed by their peers because they have no choice, and since the ages range from 12 to 18 years old, it always seems to be the younger ones that are brutally murdered by the older, more skilled fighters. It’s not a good thing, and it’s not all fun and games as those in the Capitol make it seem.

But this is just the beginning, and throughout the games, even before the Tributes set foot in the arena, it seems like there is more to this year’s game than meets the eye, and there may be a rebellion on its way. All it needs is a little spark.

If you haven’t read this book but have watched the movie, I highly recommend reading it as well. It explains more than what the movie shows, and there are some aspects that weren’t included at all that make certain scenes even more heartbreaking than they were on film. Go get it from your local library or bookstore and dive right in!

Author Spotlight
Courtesy of Goodreads

Born: in Hartford, Connecticut, The United States
           August 11, 1962
Genre: Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Young Adult

Since 1991, Suzanne Collins has been busy writing for children’s television. She has worked on the staffs of several Nickelodeon shows, including the Emmy-nominated hit Clarissa Explains it All and The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. For preschool viewers, she penned multiple stories for the Emmy-nominated Little Bear and Oswald. She also co-wrote the critically acclaimed Rankin/Bass Christmas special, Santa, Baby! Most recently she was the Head Writer for Scholastic Entertainment’s Clifford’s Puppy Days.

While working on a Kids WB show called Generation O! she met children’s author James Proimos, who talked her into giving children’s books a try.

Thinking one day about Alice in Wonderland, she was struck by how pastoral the setting must seem to kids who, like her own, lived in urban surroundings. In New York City, you’re much more likely to fall down a manhole than a rabbit hole and, if you do, you’re not going to find a tea party. What you might find…? Well, that’s the story of Gregor the Overlander, the first book in her five-part series, The Underland Chronicles. Suzanne also has a rhyming picture book illustrated by Mike Lester entitled When Charlie McButton Lost Power.

She currently lives in Connecticut with her family and a pair of feral kittens they adopted from their backyard.

The books she is most successful for in teenage eyes are The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. These books have won several awards, including the GA Peach Award.