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Catching Fire, and Mockingjay – Thoughts on the books

  • Posted on May 29, 2012 at 7:12 am

So my cousin loaned me the kindle copies of Catching Fire and Mockingjay – the rest of the Hunger Games trilogy.  First, I have to say, these are the most consuming books I have read in a long time – I read Hunger Games and Catching Fire in one sitting each, and Mockingjay in two – only because I had to sleep.  They are very action-packed, and I had trouble finding a place to put the books down (obviously).  I loved them – really, just about every part of them.  You should totally read them, too.

I’m going to try and do this as spoiler free as possible, but be warned it may not make much sense if you haven’t read the books.

These books touch on an amazing number of current issues.  Reality shows. War. Celebrity. Rich people out of touch with reality.  Ethics, morals, and family.  I thought all were well-done, and made points without being preachy or obvious.  But the issue that I thought was the most well-done, and had the most impact on the story, for me, was the story’s treatment of PTSD and depression.  I mean, with everything that happens to these kids, how could they not go through those types of things?  There were times in the story where a character would describe how they felt, and I was like YES. That is how it feels. I never had the words to describe it before. I would be amazed if Suzanne Collins hasn’t dealt with these issues in her own life, or had family that has.

I was trying to explain it to Chad, and I said that’s the main difference between the Hunger Games series and something like Harry Potter.  I mean, in the last book, Harry goes through war. He, Ron, and Hermione, and their friends and family KILL PEOPLE.  They watch people, sometimes people they love, die. And yet, other than grieving their loved ones, they all appear normal 20 years later. No therapy needed, no mentions of any mental troubles after the fact. In the Hunger Games books, the kids are faced with the same type of kill or be killed situations – and come out damaged, broken, confused.  Which makes them more realistic to me, as people – and more interesting in a lot of ways.

So yeah, after reading all three books borrowed, I’m probably going to buy them.  They seem to be the kind of books I’d like to have in paper, on my shelves, to loan to people or reread on a whim.

Things I Love Thursdays: My Kindle

  • Posted on May 24, 2012 at 8:03 am

I am a book person.  Like, a physical book person.  I’m one of those people who likes the feel of the pages, the act of turning them, and the way books smell. So I took a long time to warm up to the idea of a Kindle.

When I was nursing Benjamin, and lamenting about my lack of reading time, someone suggested I check out all the free Kindle titles available – since I could read them on my phone. It was amazingly convenient for nursing/pumping – I had a selection of books, at my fingertips, without dragging paper copies everywhere.  But the screen was too small, and I had to flip pages a lot, and the screen would tire my eyes out after a while, since I basically just stare at a computer screen all day anyway.

I was griping about all of this one day, when someone asked if I had actually looked at a Kindle, and the display on it. They said it was different, and interesting – and wouldn’t wear my eyes out.  Being that usability is what I do, I had to test these claims.  I found one at a store, and it was really different – it felt like looking at paper.  No back lighting, no weird refresh rates.  And I loved it.

But, Kindles are not cheap.  So I hemmed and hawed and put off buying one.  And then Chad bought me one for Christmas (a nicer one than I was going to buy for myself, at that).  You guys, I am totally sold on this thing.  I carry 700+ books around in my purse, all the time.  My cousin in Alabama lends me books via email.  I can buy books anywhere (okay, this one is dangerous).

Now, I’m not going to give up my print copies of books anytime soon.  The lending feature on Kindle is still kind of weird, and I’d like to be able to lend my books to anyone I want whenever I want.  And I still balk if the Kindle book costs more than the paperback.  But – The amount that I get to read has doubled or tripled since I got it.  With Amazon Prime’s Kindle Lending Library, I can read an extra book a month, free. So I’m basically never without a book.

And that’s what I love about my Kindle.

For more Things I Love Thursdays, head over to Be The Difference!

The Hunger Games – The Book

  • Posted on May 22, 2012 at 7:25 am

I said I was going to read the Hunger Games last week, since I had finally seen the movie.  And read it I did – pretty much all in one sitting, on Wednesday, home with Brianna while she was sick.

It. was. awesome.

I love how watching a movie before reading the book gives me a good overall top level view of the story – and make me appreciate all the details and back story and other things they have to cut out of a movie, almost like I’m rereading the book. I think this will be my preferred method of reading books that are movies now – and since I’m like, 5 years behind in my reading, that actually works out pretty well for me. (we’ll ignore the fact that I’m still for the most part 2 years behind on my movie watching).

So, I loved how book-Katniss was a little more in the game than movie-Katniss.  And ever so slightly more calculating – and at the same time more confused. She was just pretty much more everything in the book, really.  And I liked having more details about her and Gale, as that part of the movie was really fuzzy for me – and her history with Peeta, only told in the movie through one scene that we kept going back to.

I actually liked Peeta more in the book, too – he seemed stronger (as a person), and more good, all around.  And his feelings for Katniss seemed more real, and less planned.

And that is why I like books more than movies.  Because although a good movie can move you and make you feel for the characters, a good book can do so much more – by being in the character’s heads, you an actually be them, feel what they are feeling, and really immerse yourself in the story – making books so much more real to me than movies.  The fact that I now have actor faces for each character and don’t have to think of what they might look like? A bonus, for me.

In short, I think the book was awesome, and having gone from movie to book – I think the movie was actually a pretty good adaptation.  I’d like them to make the sequels, but I might feel differently about the movie adaptations of those because:

I borrowed Catching Fire, via Kindle, from my cousin.  And she’s sending me Mocking Jay today, because I read the second book all in one sitting as well.  Because movies? They take years to produce.  And I want to know what happens, now.