I started the books approximately three weeks ago and devoured them in one hungry gulp. One of the things I miss most about my childhood self is the way I used to stay up til the early hours reading. It was never anything fancy, most of the books I opted for were about animal rescue and had an alliterating title, but I must have got through hundreds of books, and there were never quite enough on my shelf. Nowadays, I have quite the opposite problem: shelves full of untouched books that I never find the time to read, and this is a source of constant sadness to me. As you get older, too, there is far more pressure to read things that are not shite. The problem with this is, I have to read lots of things for my degree that are distinctly un-shite and it can all get a bit heavy. I have waxed lyrical many times about the role of Harry Potter both in modern society and in my own life, and I am not ashamed to admit that the books I have enjoyed reading most in my life have been those written for children - His Dark Materials, Harry Potter and yes, The Hunger Games.
These should not be mistaken with 'favourite' books, though there is some overlap but the thing is that they are just so utterly readable. They are enough to distract you from the irritating child on the train or the man staring at you from across a cafe. Nothing else matters when these books do, and this is exactly what I have missed - this childlike enthusiasm and need to know what happens next.
The Hunger Games, in my opinion, lack very little. The books are fast paced and very plot driven. There is gore, brutality, a love triangle, a gutsy heroine, bits that make you snigger in public and bits that make you shed an embarrassing little tear on the bus. The trilogy is just fairly brilliant and I urge you to read it immediately. If you are able to write off a couple of weeks, that is.
The film is also rather good. But the books are better. The film does have a few advantages over the book. Okay, the film has one advantage over the book, and his name is Gale. I really don't get the Peeta-lovers of this world. Gale is sullen and brooding and passionate and everything a fictional crush should be. Peeta is just so nice - too nice! Plus Liam Hemsworth is Australian. Just saying. Anyway, I'll let you make up your own mind...