Patricia is guest-blogging
The Hunger Games Trilogy is a Young Adult series written by Suzanne Collins. The books in the series are 'The Hunger Games', 'Catching Fire' and 'Mockingjay'. When first published, they were compared to the 'Twilight' series, but the only things they have in common are that they were written for young adults and include a love triangle involving the heroine and the two boys in her life.
The books are set in a distant future where North America, now known as Panem, has been divided into thirteen sectors each specialising in a specific trade or industry. Following an unsuccessful rebellion against the Capitol, each district has to supply one girl and one boy every year to take part in the Hunger Games. These games are literally a televised fight to the death. The heroine is Katniss Everdeen from District 12, who volunteers for the games when her younger sister is picked in the lottery which chooses the participants. She is sent to the capitol with Peeta Mellark, the baker's son and asks Gale, her childhood friend and hunting companion, to look after her family in her absence. The book vividly describes the preparation and training before the games begin and introduces a number of colourful secondary characters such as Haymitch, a drunk who is the only living winner from the 12th district. There are some very visual descriptions of the clothes they wear, the weapons they use, the games and the choices the competitors make to survive at any cost even if it means killing their friends.
Suzanne Collins has said that she got the idea for the books while watching reality tv. She paints a harsh world where people are subjugated and starving and teenagers do everything they can to win and survive. I had to constantly remind myself that the targeted audience were young adults. The leaders are corrupt and brutal, particularly in their methods to keep the districts under control. 'Catching fire' and 'Mockingjay' delve deeper into the politics of Panem and are just as riveting as the first book.
The books are being adapted into film with the first movie scheduled to be released in March 2012. Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Katniss, while Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth have been cast as Peeta and Gale. The movies, like the books, are being hyped as the next big thing since Twilight and the production company has already been generating a lot of buzz in the media releasing pictures of the cast and production news on a regular basis. A number of websites have also been commenting whether a movie revolving around a game were teenagers kill each other is suitable for the targeted audience. I, on the other hand, am curious to see how they will bring the imagery of Suzanne Collins to the big screen, her descriptions are so good that I already have a visual image in my mind of the clothes worn (in particular the fire dress of Katniss) and various scenes of the book such as the opening ceremony of the games. I will definitely be queuing up at the cinema to judge for myself when the movie is released.