Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Happy Hunger Games!

During my first year of teaching, one of my very favorite students introduced me to a book he was reading.  I assured him - as I always assure students who recommend a book to me - that I would add it to my "to-read" list.

That "to-read" list does exist, but at the rate it is growing, I'm not likely to ever finish it.

But as I watched him as he read it, and as I watched as he convinced his friends to read it, I became increasingly interested.  My co-workers and I went on a trip to Texas, so I purchased the book from Wal-Mart for the plane ride.

Maybe you've heard of it?

It just so happened that I wasn't able to sit near my co-workers on the flight (dang it, Southwest and their unassigned seats), but I didn't even care as soon as I started reading that book.

Oh my goodness, it was good!

Our trip went on, and I was able to put the book down, but as soon as we were back on the plane, I was reading again.  And on the drive from Kansas City back to Lincoln, I read again.  And when I got back home, I had to read until I finished.

I love a good page-turner, and I hadn't read one like this in a long time!

After I read it and the two other books in the trilogy (after having to wait several months for the release of Mockingjay), I began converting my friends.  I was rather successful, if I do say so myself, and I loved finally having people over the age of 12 with whom I could discuss the books!

When I found out it was being made into a movie, it was even easier to get people to read the books.  "You have to read the book before you see the movie," is a statement that is hard to argue with.  Each day, my students and I would check the cast list to see if anyone new had been added and to express our excitement or disdain for the actors who had been cast.

The movie was released at midnight on Friday, and I had been planning to attend for months.  In fact, on the first day of school this year, I told my students that my current favorite book was The Hunger Games, and I informed them that I would not be coming to school on March 23rd because I was taking the day off to go see the midnight premiere.

I am a woman of my word.

I went with two friends from church and two friends from NASC.  My church friends thought to dress up as tributes.  I'm jealous I did not plan in advance to do the same.


Kelli's boyfriend gifted her a Hunger Games t-shirt, of which I am also jealous.

We met for dinner, and my friend Grace came prepared with printouts of Hunger Games-inspired drink recipes.  Our poor waitress and bar tender must have been so frustrated with our outlandish requests, but they were able to create everything we asked of them.

Grace also made us District 12 cookies, which were delicious!

It was a little cold and rainy outside, so we stayed inside as long as possible.  We passed the time by reading the Hunger Games issue of People and discussing our concerns and predictions for what the movie would be like.

At 9:30, we decided to head to the theater, as we found out that the line was already wrapping around the block.  It ended up being perfect timing because just as we got in line, the theater was starting to let people inside to form lines there.

It was already past Grace's preferred bed time, bless her heart.

We passed the time by playing cards and eating snacks.  In no time, we were allowed in the theater, and we had no problems finding seats.

Oh, that movie was so good!  Maybe not quite as good as the book - no movie ever is - but, it was pretty closely correlated, and it was very well-done.

The movie is violent.  It's kids fighting to the death, for goodness sake, which is not normally something that would interest me even for a minute.  But I thought that the movie was a good portrayal of the survival storyline, rather than the storyline of death, and the killing scenes that were in the movie were tastefully done.  My words don't do it justice, so you'll just have to read the book and see the movie for yourself.

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