Can’t Post; Must Read Hunger Games

21 Mar

It all started when I innocently Tweeted that The Hunger Games seemed like The Running Man or our generation.  (Hashtag JenniferLawrenceIsArnold.)

The Running Man, in case you are unaware, is a movie featuring protagonists in fantastically 80’s spandex suits, a man-made obstacle course where no one really comes out alive, and a host of villains that are crosses between pro wrestlers and science experiments.  Even if you aren’t familiar with it, you’re probably familiar with the famous Schwarzenegger phrase that was born from it: “I’ll be back”. 

The spandex unitard he’s sporting when he says it really drives the threat home.

This tweet automatically posted to The Jackie Blog Facebook page, where two Hunger Games fans immediately chimed in that I should read the books.  Typically when a post gets more than one reaction in less than a minute, it’s going to grow out of control.  And before I had a litter of Hunger Gamelings on me, I decided to calm the storm by suggesting that if they watched The Running Man, I would read The Hunger Games.

Challenge accepted.

I didn’t really want to read The Hunger Games.  I like to judge things before I have any idea what they’re about.  Sometimes I’m wrong, but I really only remember the times that I was right.  Like Twilight.  

But nothing can possibly be as horrendous as Twilight and I also thought reading The Hunger Games would make a pretty good Lollipop Tuesday.  If you don’t know what that is, there’s a link at the top of the page that will help you.  You can come back when you’re in the know and be all like “oh, I know what that is.  I’m so hip”. 

Anyway, I always say that I should read popular books before seeing the movie version of them.  I don’t ever actually do it, though.  Does anyone, really?  I started reading Harry Potter back before the first movie came out but then I figured it’s so long and the movie’s coming out soon so why bother.

I’m not big on reading, apparently.

But this time I was going to commit.  It’s 2012.  I’m a committer in 2012.  So I downloaded The Hunger Games Book I and went at it.  It’s young adult literature so you feel like a genius reading it.  It goes so quickly you get an ego boost just devouring the thing.  That, and it’s freaking fantastic.

No seriously.  It’s really good.  And I don’t usually like things.  Anything, really.  In fact, I’d say my trademark is that I’m just generally not a fan of things.  But a quick read about a tense political landscape that ultimately pits adolescents against each other in a grueling, descriptive fight to the death?  

That’s pretty awesome.

I finished the first book in 2 days.  Pretty much everyone who reads it says that like it’s an accomplishment or it’s supposed to blow your mind or something.  And while it’s a bit of a testament to how gripping the story is, it’s also a testament to just being literate.  It’s not like there were any challenging words.  Which is good because you need all the brainpower to imagine the brutal slayings. I’d have finished it sooner if I didn’t have to do things ever.  I actually started to get annoyed that I had to shower and brush my teeth because there was no way to read The Hunger Games while I was doing those things.  It’s probably best that I downloaded a digital version because I’m pretty sure I’d have attempted to take a book into the shower with me.  Slowly, everything I did was just something I was doing until I could read again. When I’d walk outside, I’d look around at the trees and sidewalks and think of how foreign they seemed.  My brain was on the ground in the Games. There were supposed to be people trying to kill me everywhere.  My Orthodox Jewish neighborhood seemed safe.  

Too safe.

At work, I got annoyed when the phone rang.  Well, I kind of always get annoyed when the phone rings because there’s usually a human on the other end who’s about to astound me with their idiocy and put another dent in my faith in the human race.  But this time I was getting annoyed because they were pulling me out of my daydreaming about The Hunger Games.  I had to remind myself that I could just hang in a few more hours, I could get home and keep reading.  It would be like a reward for working and pretending to be an adult.

My face has been stuck like this since I started reading. Just stare for a while. Right into the pupils. That's exactly what it's like, man.

Needless to say, I plowed through Book II when I got home today.  Our neighbors came over and asked us to dinner and while it’s usually hard to get me to go anywhere or do anything, it’s particularly difficult when I’m nursing an addiction.  I may not like much, but the things I like, I like fiercely.  I had to go to dinner so that Dave wouldn’t break up with me.  After all, he was with me through the World of Warcraft withdrawal of 2009 and I feared he was starting to see the beginning signs of a dealbreaker in me.  So I went, I ate, I came home, I read.

I read even though I had to post.  I read without shame.  I ate every digital page up with my eyes and packed it into my cerebrum with such elation that I was sure that if I could just keep reading forever, I wouldn’t need to sleep, shower, or eat again.

Katniss doesn’t need to.

But then I realized I’ve got some new eyes in my blog following this week.  Quite a few, actually.  I don’t know where you’re all coming from, but welcome to the gooey insides of my brains.   Right now most of my brains are full of political rebellion, starving families, and children murdering other children.   It’s awesome.   And I’d love to tell you all about it but I have to go download and devour Book III.  Tonight.  It must happen tonight right now right this very moment.  I also have to look into a new Lollipop Tuesday idea because I just blabbered this one all out without waiting until Tuesday.  

After that I should probably check in with my Running Man readers- the ones who started this dangerous spiral. I still stand by my tweet, but I’m pretty sure they got the raw end of the deal as far as entertainment value goes and I’d like to devote a bit of time to laughing about it. 

But first: back to the Games.

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38 Responses to “Can’t Post; Must Read Hunger Games”

  1. Nancy Stoy Antram March 21, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    I love this Jackie! I am going to post it on the library’s Facebook page! May the odds be always in your favor! And I really mean that!


    • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:44 am #

      Thanks, Nancy! Haven’t heard from you in a while – I’m flattered that you still drop by 🙂


  2. Taylor March 22, 2012 at 12:21 am #

    So glad you finally read them. I, too, read “Twilight” because of the hype. I then proceeded to build a timeturner to escape my evil past. It did not work. I thought I was the only female out there who didn’t think Edward was dreamy or Jacob was anything less than a whiny little b-i-otch.

    But the Hunger Games, oh, how I love thee. You have now met my favorite character, Finnick. I’m almost jealous of you, getting to find out the story without knowing.

    This time tomorrow I will be watching. The world will be watching.

    Happy Hunger Games!


    • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:44 am #

      FINNICK. Finnick, Taylor. Ugh. I Facebook messaged you because I need someone to talk to about all this angst. Also, I went to the midnight showing. I couldn’t help it – something just took over me. It’s like I was programmed to do it. I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  3. Tanya March 22, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Oh dear. Probably should have checked with you before I scanned and assessed these in at least five but probably less than seven minutes and then told my 10 year old it didn’t seem like anything he couldn’t handle when he asked if he could read it. parenting award this week, AGAIN.


    • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:43 am #

      I honestly don’t know why the books are targeted toward that age group. I wish they were targeted toward adults. Then the movies could have been R and done justice to the plotline.

      I would keep an eye on him though. If he starts talking about the inequities of our political landscape and suggests something about entering his siblings into a war game, it’s time to swoop in.


  4. Samantha March 22, 2012 at 2:52 am #

    Well, that tells me to keep putting it off like I have been, because there is NO WAY I could get through work every day knowing that was waiting for me to be read at home. 😦 I had a hard enough time while reading through the two WoW trilogies I’ve had on my desk for the past two months. (P.S. I want to hear about the World of Warcraft withdrawal of 2009. I am nosy.)

    Glad to hear you’re liking the books though. It seems like everyone is, and that when I do eventually get to it that it’ll be very worthwhile.


  5. Erin McNaughton March 22, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    Aren’t they just amazing?! I was holding out after countless recommendations…I was also tortuously led into reading *shutter* Twilight. I plowed through all three Hunger Games books over the course of two days. All. I. Did. for 48 hours. Then, I bought the boxed set, so I could force it on others. It’s like some potent and addictive drug, with realistic characters and an engaging plot-line, and fantasy and drama and a subtle love triangle, all rolled into one rubbery ball of entertainment. I absolutely love this series, and am not ashamed to admit it. I’m curious to hear what you think about Mockingjay. Happy reading!


    • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:39 am #

      It really is – I love the review. And I’d LOVE To talk to someone about Mockingjay. I’m really disappointed in the way things have turned out. I don’t want to spoil it here in case anyone hasn’t yet read it and is scrolling through the comments, but really… where is the hope?!


  6. The Other Me March 22, 2012 at 4:46 am #

    Hmm. I’m scared to read as I might like it. I don’t want to like it. Hmm. Your review is enticing me though. Hmm. No no I’ll just get back to reading Roland Barthes essays and War and Peace. (I lied there)

    Great post by the way.


    • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:38 am #

      Try a few chapters of the first book 😉 Read iiiiiiit.


  7. mistressofpoetry March 22, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Whilst I would love to take a book into the shower, it works much better with baths… by candlelight, with bubbles, and all that nice stuff… and even music if you can rig it not to electrocute yourself. 😀 Enjoy.


    • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:37 am #

      I imagine the water would get ever so cold as I stay there, glued to the book and ignoring the open flames surrounding me. Not to mention the guilt I would feel reading about such poverty while I’m in a bath of luxury. Until Katniss takes a bath too – then I can just feel badass about it.


  8. klsprout March 22, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    I love it! I read to ignore my kids. The Hunger Games series was great for a couple of days of that. I’d also recommend the Harry Potter books – but they are soooooo much longer, and don’t truly get can’t-put-it-down absorbing until the later books. (Full disclosure – when the last HP book came out, my husband got a hotel room for me so I could read it in peace.)


    • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:36 am #

      I might have to read HP just to help with the angst I have after reading these. I’m actually reading them *again*. Maybe after a few times through I’ll be able to make peace with the third book.


  9. pegoleg March 22, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    I read the first book at the recommendation of my 19-year-old and was surprised how much I liked it. She said the movie is only about the 1st so I don’t have to knock out the other 2 today – whew! I’ve got a lot of real work to do, and can’t afford to walk around in mid-book-zombie-mode like you.

    I can solve the mystery of all the new readers, Jackie. Your blog is on the WordPress recommended page for Humor. Whoo hoo! I never even knew about it. I was gathering new readers for no apparent reason and an alert reader told me I was on the Recommended Page. It’s a revolving list, so now I’m kind of obsessed with catching my blog on it, and I’m depressed when I’m not there. The other day I looked and there you were. Congrats!


    • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:35 am #

      So stoked you’ve read it and liked it. I had to devour them all this week – I couldn’t stop myself. It was kind of embarrassing, actually.

      Thanks for solving the mystery! I couldn’t figure it out because I didn’t have any referring links and I haven’t changed anything about my tactics. Thanks!


  10. Lori March 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    I wanted to shout after reading your first line. “IT’S AWESOME, IGNORE THE HYPE AND READ IT!!!!!” Yeah, you understand my urge to do this now don’t you? Welcome fellow Hunger Gamer. 🙂


    • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:33 am #

      haha thanks – and yes, it’s hard to ignore the hype when Twilight was popular with the same targeted age group. It’s still beyond me how such a gruesome premise can be targeted toward adolescent readers. I’d also say the movie suffers because of it – I would have far preferred an R rating. But it sure is a great series. The third book leaves something to be desired… things didn’t turn out even remotely as my inner cheerleader wanted. I’d love to commission Collins for a rewrite 🙂


      • Lori L March 29, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

        I completely agree, I didn’t want to ruin anything for you but the ending left me a bit…flat. Bah. But then again I was Team Gale. Peeta seemed whiney to me. In my head Peeta stayed crazy and her and Gale lived happily-ever-after. Just like all books should end. 🙂


        • Jackie April 1, 2012 at 11:04 pm #

          Yesssssss. Yes. And just when I thought I was finally going to get on board the Peeta train, he was hijacked. And all weird and “hey, let’s kill Katniss”. I never really got it. And what the hell with not resolving the relationship with Gale? She just throws him in another district, blames him for the bizarre and (in my opinion totally uncalled for) death of her sister, and calls it a day? Lame.

          I like our fantasy of Kat and Gale. As it should be.


  11. Michelle March 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm #

    What a coinkydink–I just finished devouring the first book in the series. I couldn’t put it down, either. I’m 34% of the way through the second one, but I can’t seem to get into it, it’s kind of dragging. Please tell me it gets more exciting. I’m reading The Help right now–I’m one of those who reads the book before watching the movie. 🙂


    • Jackie March 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

      Get through to Chapter 12, Michelle. Get there now. I promise it’s worth it.


      • Michelle March 23, 2012 at 4:53 am #

        I’m on it.


        • Jackie March 24, 2012 at 9:32 am #

          Let me know what you think – I’m starving for people to talk to about it.


      • Michelle March 29, 2012 at 3:45 am #

        You were so right- it was awesome. I was going to wait to start book 3, but I couldn’t. I’m trying to pace myself because I don’t want it to end. I love Finnick-he’s such a surprising character.


        • Jackie April 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm #

          Love, love, love Finnick! Aren’t you just heartbroken about him? I took it really hard. And I was surprised that after having us get to know him so well, going to save Annie, making a big to-do out of their wedding, and seeing him through to the third book, she ousted him so casually 😦


      • Michelle April 1, 2012 at 11:31 am #

        Okay, I’ve finished the last book. I’m bereft-what am I going to read now? I feel like I’ve just come back from the best vacation EVER and have nothing to look forward to. Nothing. (Sigh.) The ending was a little too happily-ever-after, but story-wise it was a great ride.


        • Jackie April 1, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

          I felt like it was a little too hopeless. The prologue threw in the happy ever after kind of, but there was never any real resolution to her and Gale, she no longer has the only person in the world she was sure she loved, we don’t really ever get a sense of her and Peeta being truly for each other after his hijacking, and even though there’s the bit with the kids, she emphasizes that they’re doomed. I expected something else I guess.

          Also, FINNICK!!! 😦


      • Michelle April 2, 2012 at 4:10 am #

        I KNOW!I was devastated about Finnick, too. I think she should have kept him back at district 13, away from the fighting. I think Katniss was gradually letting go of Gale as she saw his callousness and win-at-all-costs attitude growing, so a scene wasn’t necessary. I kind of thought Peta and Delly would get together. I didn’t really see Katniss with Peeta or Gale. I wasn’t feeling any of the romance between her and either guy. I imagined her going off into the woods with her bow and living like a hermit. I just can’t see them as parents. How messed up they must be after all that…


        • Jackie April 4, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

          yes! Katniss on her own would have been fantastic. I really didn’t think she’d settle down. All the way through the book she says she can’t picture it, she doesn’t want to bring kids up in this world, etc. and then in the prologue she’s like “oh yeah, he talked me into it. and I have kids. but they’re doomed”.

          lame. I’ll take our lone katniss ending. I like it far better.


  12. thesinglecell March 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm #

    You can totally read while you brush your teeth. I do it all the time. The trick is not to drool. You’re not trying hard enough.


  13. La La April 5, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    I am having this same Hunger Games experience. It feels good not to be alone.


    • Jackie April 11, 2012 at 11:33 pm #

      Come holler at me when you finish them – I want to know what you think of the ending/all of it/life.


  14. fuzzlovefamily April 5, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    There are times when I get too lazy to read when you see how long the article is, my mistake was scrolling down before even reading it (if you understand). I really really truly love hunger games, though I wasn’t able to watch the movie, I have read the book and it was incredible, my imagination couldn’t get enough! Your blog is great! 😀 LOVE IT!


    • Jackie April 11, 2012 at 11:32 pm #

      Oh, I understand. And I have to say – I downloaded Kindle to read this and had two pages up at a time. I couldn’t resist the urge to dart my eyes to the second page when I saw it was the end of the chapter. Thanks for the kind words re: the blog. Glad to have a fellow hunger gamer 😉


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