“The Hunger Games” busting box office records, plans for weekend

53:366(Y2) - The Hunger GamesI haven’t gotten sucked into a young adult book series since I was a young adult myself, but I can’t seem to do anything but read “The Hunger Games” right now.

I’d been aware of the book for the past few years but had no desire to read a story about teenagers hunting each other until a recent encounter with a certain 13-year-old girl for whom I have a great deal of respect. Last time I saw her, she was an eager, bright, ahead-of-her-years 12-year-old who wanted to hang out with me. Now, just a few months later, she could hardly pull her nose out of a well-worn copy of “The Hunger Games” even to say hello.

“Oh, I’ve heard a lot about that book,” I told her. “Are you excited about the movie?”

“Yeah,” she said, not even looking up.

“I haven’t read the book, but I’d like to check out the movie when it comes out.”

“You have to read the book,” she said, cutting me off.

I could hear something in her voice that I’ve heard subtly in my own when trying to convey to someone how much a book has meant to me. You have to read the book or else I really won’t think much of you, is what she really meant. You have to read the book or you really won’t know who I am.

At the height of the hype ahead of Friday’s movie premiere, I bought a copy (perhaps the 24,000,001st copy) and dug in, and it seems like I have reached for the book every spare second I’ve had over the past three days. It’s packed with challenging references to food, power and gender (check out Mike Sutter’s list of all the food in the book), and I hope we get to talk about it in a future Feminist Kitchen book club.

My friend was among the millions of people who went to see the movie, which stars Jennifer Lawrence, the young actress that carried “Winter’s Bone,” and give the movie the third highest grossing opening weekend ever. The three-day total, which is somewhere around $150 million, is higher than what the Twilight movies and all the Harry Potter movies but one pulled in during their debut weekends.

I haven’t seen the film yet and I’m still a few chapters shy from finishing the first book, but I think my young friend was on to something.

Photo by nomadic_lass via Creative Commons on Flickr.

6 responses to ““The Hunger Games” busting box office records, plans for weekend

  1. Okay–I give. I’ve been so curious and I’ve also wanted to find a literary connection with a 20-something daughter, so armed with the opinion of one I trust for matters hip, happening, and substantive, I’m going to give it a whirl. Thanks!

  2. My 13 year old is just about finished with the book. (she too wanted to read before seeing the movie) As much as I am a firm believer on reading before seeing, I think this time I won’t have time to read before she is finished. Maybe we should all go together?

  3. It took me forever to read the books as well, despite the fact that many of my most respected friends encouraged me to. I think I couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that teenaged death battles could ever be written well, without being farcical or just maudlin. Of course, I was wrong. But I did tell my friends that if they’d wanted me to read the books sooner, they should have told me about the emphasis on food. That would have hooked me more quickly.

  4. I bought the book last weekend and am intrigued by all of the movie hype. I saw Winter’s Bone a few weeks ago and thought miss Lawrence was great! I’m excited to see The Hunger Games when I’ve finished the book. And I was even more excited to see The Feminist Kitchen on the 1st page of Google Results when I searched for “The Hunger Games.” Go Addie! <3

  5. I got sucked in thanks to the morning radio show, Bobby Bones. It seemed to be along the lines of Lord of the Rings in terms of nediness but this had hit more main stream media. I’m all for geeking out over a good book and dove in. Even with my hectic schedule it was finished in about a week and a half. I can’t wait to see the movie (hopefully I won’t miss all the detail form the book as it’s condensed to 2 hours)..

  6. I think the movie was less feminist than feminist. Yes, we got a strong(ish) female lead, but she still sold out for love and lost independence. I am told the book does not end this way.

    Is Hollywood ruining a premise for profit? Perhaps.

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