{cliché cliché}

I’ve been really lazy lately. The result is that even though I just finished Kate Morton’s The Distant Hours, I’m not blogging on it today—because I am way overdue for a post about something else.

The Hunger Games movie. 

My enthusiasm didn’t quite get me to a midnight showing—for the first time in my life, I actually have a job that I wouldn’t risk sleeping through to crowd a theater full of preteens. I did, however, catch an opening evening viewing with the roomates last Friday, after spending a day at my cubicle listening to the soundtrack and failing to drown my huge adrenaline rush in Excel spreadsheets. (Sidebar: SPOTIFY THAT SHEESH. Trust me—you will not regret. I have it saved in a playlist called ADRENALINE.)

While waiting through three previews featuring vampires (Abraham Lincoln? C’mon, son… I refuse to believe that is more than just a Party Down joke), I realized that, despite being a die-hard Harry Potter fan (Emma Watson is my iPod screensaver), I was actually more excited about THG, precisely because I didn’t love the book as much. Approaching THG movie, I wasn’t bracing myself for inaccuracies, misinterpretations, or disappointments—I was ready to freely embrace the movie because I knew going into it that it would satisfy me. And it did.

I’m not going to touch on the nitpicking and detail mongering that has been sweeping the web over the past week: the unrelenting pace of action, the skimming over of the mockingjay, or, more disturbingly, Jennifer Lawrence’s “curviness” and the implication that Rue’s dark skin made her death less meaningful. Suffice it to say that when Katniss and Peeta raised their clasped hands and swept flames across the the Capitol on their chariot ride, I gasped and stuffed my knuckles in my mouth. And never took them out.

On a lighter and more embarrassing note, I also had a haircut appointment the next day—and took in my roomate’s Entertainment Weekly with Jennifer Lawrence on the cover. “She has hair just like mine!” I gabbled to my friendly stylist. “Do you know how rare that is?” (She didn’t. No one does. Except maybe Jennifer Lawrence.)

So now I proudly sport the Katniss cut, aka curly bangs. I haven’t yet fully embraced it—braids and all—but don’t worry. It’s coming.

{blowing through a rough patch}

So both Sunday and Monday night, I made the mistake of starting a Hunger Games book after dinner. And then did not go to sleep until I had finished. It’s been a rough couple of days.

Now that I have finished the entire HG series, I did some serious reflection slash coworker discussion today in preparation for the movie extravaganza on Friday. (And I did do a cut for this. I don’t want to risk THG fan hatred.)

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{i’m a little unpopular}

My fellow Book Blobber Morgan recently “live-blogged” his experience reading Game of Thrones. My coworker lent me his copy of The Hunger Games and insisted I read it. In my head, these logically combined into me live-blogging THG.

Here’s what happened:

The Hunger Games Live Blog, March 4, 2012

2:08 p.m. Am I really starting this now? After everyone else has read it and raved? I probably won’t like it. Urgh. I’m nervous.

2:17 p.m. “Gale spreads the bread slices with the soft goat cheese.” Why would you write it that way? You spread the soft goat cheese ON the bread slices. I already don’t like Katniss. Or this writing. Urgh.

2:20 p.m. “We easily trade six of the fish for good bread, the other two for salt.” BUT YOU JUST SAID YOU CAUGHT 12 FISH.

2:25 p.m. Oh. Now you have 4 fish left. Still. Why did you say THE OTHER two?

2:44 p.m. Her family is saying goodbye to her so calmly! So weirded out right now.

After 2:44 p.m., I was no longer able to force myself to put down the book long enough to write anything. And so ends my failed attempt at live-blogging.

Now clearly, I am the last person on the planet to read THG. This means two things: 1) I didn’t include a cut for spoilers on this post, and 2) it had been talked up to me so much that I was worried. I went into it expecting to be disappointed, and for the first 36 minutes, I was. (And, as my live-blogging shows, bitterly cranky about it.)

But here’s the thing: I never liked Katniss. I never liked the writing. And yet dear God I could not put this book down. That is how incredible the plot was.

I know I’ve pretentiously nattered on here before about appreciating good writing and relating to characters, and how I can’t enjoy a book without that. Suzanne Collins floored me not only with her incredible storyline, but with proof that I was, in fact, wrong about this. I loved THG. Not to obsession, not to midnight-movie-premiere craze, but much more than I thought I would and enough to make me drool after my roomate’s copies of Catching Fire and Mockingjay.

And enough to make me watch the preview and get goosebumps. Here’s another way THG has turned me on my head: I read the book first, but I actually think I might enjoy the movie more (un. heard. of.). Take out the writing style and Katniss’s first-person narration, and what you are left with is a sheer unadulterated adrenaline rush. Thank you, cinema.

In sum: I read the entire book and watched the trailer multiple times on Sunday afternoon. At work on Monday, I spent most of the day listening to the Dixie Chicks’ “Travelin’ Soldier” on repeat and trying not to indulge in tears of exciting emotion.