Title: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games ~ Book 1)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publication Date: October 31 2008
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Length: 374 Pages
Link to Synopsis: Goodreads
Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Buy It: Amazon US / Amazon UK
My Rating: 5 Stars
** SPOILER ALERT **
The reason I am glad that I saw the film first is because I enjoyed it. In fact I went with a friend first and then again with my husband so I must have really enjoyed it.
If I would have read the book first I am not so sure I would have liked it as much as I did. The main reasons are the same you could use for any book turned film. The characters have more time to develop in a book, you get more of a back story in a book, the film could never be long enough to fit in every single aspect of the book, etc...
I have hidden this review because I want to talk about key points in the book that the film left out that I feel are very important. I know this is a review of the book and not of the film but as I saw the film first I simply keep comparing the book to it so it seems my review is also steering in that same direction.
I loved in the book that District 11 sent Katniss the bread. This showed her that they respected her and thanked her for what she did for Rue. In the film we see them saluting her but obviously this is not something she can see. The are obviously another poor district and she understood what it meant for them to spend that money on her.
I loved that in the book I could tell that Katniss was having true feelings for Peeta. I honestly could not tell in watching the film if she really did or if it was just an act since Haymitch had sent her the note in the soup to say 'You call that a kiss'. It was not until after that note that she really started showing affection toward him.
My biggest question mark of all is why in the World did the film not show the genetically mutated dogs? The fact that they were the fallen tributes to me speaks volumes. There is a lot of talk in the book of how the Capitol used mutated animals to win the war, however there was no talk of this at all in the film. I am sure it was not used in the film as they needed to 'PC' it down in order to get a specific rating for the cinema. But I can only feel that going forward the use of mutated animals/people will play a large part in the forthcoming novels and the fact that those who will only be able to see the film will not have this back story. However, I may be wrong and it may never be mentioned again.
From my understanding the film I watched in the UK was also made even more 'PC' by removing almost all of the blood from the film. Maybe this is why in watching the film I did not feel the overall weight or gravity of the situation. In reading the book I felt this weight. It actually made me stop and think 'these are children killing each other as the World watches'. The placing of wagers and bets, the cheers in the streets it was all very eerie and in a way wonderful. It helped me understand and almost feel what was actually happening in the Games. The way Katniss kept reminding us that the World watched on with her thoughts on how something would appear on TV or to the game makers. Then when even in death how the Capitol could bring back the fallen in the form of mutated dogs. You know right then, these people are diabolical and will stop at nothing to show they are superior. Then the fear you feel when Haymitch tells Katniss she is still in trouble...
Anyway, I could ramble on all night but I am keen to start Catching Fire. As always these are my views and I know everybody will have their own. At the end of the day I would strongly suggest the film to anybody who asked my opinion but it would be followed up with a 'Make sure you also read the book'.