I saw the Hunger Games movie yesterday, and I’m happy to say that I enjoyed the movie nearly as much as I love the books. You don’t have to read the books first in order to get what’s going on, but it does help you get more of the back story. Since the author Suzanne Collins worked on the screenplay herself; it does capture the essence of the book very well. Fans of the novel won’t be disappointed. I would highly suggest reading the book first, and that’s not just because I’m a librarian.
For those (like, 2 of you) who don’t know, The Hunger Games is set in a future of 12 Districts ruled by the Panem government, which is based in the bright and shiny Capitol. Every year two teens are selected from each District to participate in a televised death match called the Hunger Games. 24 teens enter, one teen wins. This is to remind the Districts why the Capitol is in charge. It takes reality TV to a whole new level of scary.
It’s violent. It’s frightening. It will make you cry. It’s also a story full of hope, romance, strength, and rebellion. There really is something for everyone.
The look of the Capitol was just how I pictured it in my head. They did a fabulous job with the costuming. I didn’t feel like Effie was nearly absurd enough, and President Snow should have been a bit of a snappier dresser. The movie used plenty of shaky cam to make sure it got the PG-13 rating.
Last weekend, it raked in over $155 million. It ranks third all-time for opening weekend gross profits. I’m happy to have contributed my 10 bucks.
I can’t wait to see what they do with Catching Fire.
Sister Wife TEEN FIC HRD
Fifteen-year-old Celeste lives in Unity, a small religious town where The Movement is the only acceptable way of life. Everyone in The Movement must obey the religious laws and commands handed down by the Prophet. And one of those commands is that when she reaches age fifteen, a girl must marry the much older man assigned to her by the Prophet. This older man will already have several wives, for polygamy is mandatory in The Movement. Celeste has always tried to be like everyone else in Unity. But lately her thoughts have been straying, and all she can think of is Jon—a nice, funny guy her own age. Because such “impure” thoughts are dangerous, Celeste’s father and the Prophet deem it best for her to marry at once. Celeste has no choice but to obey or else her family will be forever shamed in the eyes of the community. And Celeste can’t live with that thought. But how can she live as one wife among many….forever known as a sister wife?
Charlotte Miller and her sister Rosie don’t have much in the world….just the old woolen mill left to them by their father. The mill has been plagued by a curse for generations, and the sisters don’t stand much chance of making a profit with their most current streak of bad luck. Charlotte has never known the full story behind the curse, but she hasn’t tried to find out. She does not believe in curses, though the townsfolk certainly think she’s a fool for that. Anyone with eyes can see the dark forces at work every day in and around the mill. Accidents and even some deaths are blamed on the mill curse. With time running out for Charlotte and Rosie to keep the bank and their scheming uncle from taking over the unprofitable mill, the desperate sisters conjure up a mysterious stranger named Jack Spinner who claims he can do the impossible….spin straw into gold. Literally into gold. But the bargain the girls must strike with this devil may be more than they can repay when Jack Spinner’s “bill” comes due. What must Charlotte give up….the mill, her husband, her baby? A Curse Dark as Gold is a great twist on the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale.
Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach
This coming of age book is very well done. The main character found his father dead at age 5, but the entire family carries the wounds. There’s real affection, pain, and indifference between Felton Reinstein and his brother and mother. Felton has an astounding growth spurt and discovers he’s built for running – and football. This book has some interesting insights on jock life – through the eyes of a new jock who has a girlfriend piano prodigy, and a strong case of teen angst. Felton is quite endearing, and learns a lot about friendship, family, and the power of doing what you love.
The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Some of the humor and insights from these authors of The Nanny Diaries made this a fun read, but the plot bogs down. Teens are chosen for a supposed reality show, but are then typecast as some things they aren’t (friends, rich, etc.). The Breakfast Club-like friendships formed do make some sense. Not being a fan of reality TV, I wasn’t enchanted, but I did like the working girl protagonist and her crush interest.
Mike wanted to be a football star just like his dad whose newspaper clippings plaster the walls of their home. Now in high school, Mike is on track to become that star. However, self doubt creeps in when he learns the truth about his father’s football career and just maybe he needs a bit of an edge to guarantee his success on the field. He finds it in “gym candy” but gets more than he bargained for. A story as charging as first and ten on the goal line, it is guaranteed to appeal to both teens and adults. Gym Candy was first recommended to a children’s librarian by a seventh grader.