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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Hunger Games

I'm not sure how I got caught up in this but I think it went something like this...

We found out, through Nicolas' agent, that they are filming The Hunger Games in North Carolina this summer.  I didn't know much about it at the time but I was intrigued that it was based on the first book in a series of young adult novels by author Suzanne Collins.  I asked Nic if he would be interested in ordering the series from the library and we did.  It made sense that if an opportunity came about for him that he should be knowledgeable about the project.  Unfortunately, there was a huge wait on the library list so we ended up picking up a copy of The Hunger Games from Target.

Unlike his mother, Nicolas is a fast reader; always has been.  He devours books as if they are candy.  He is one of the few people I know who can actually read in the back seat of a car, while it's moving, and not get motion sickness.  Believe it or not, it has been a challenge to keep him literally fed because he goes through books so quickly.  We used to purchase books from Barnes & Noble and that got too expensive.  Then, years ago when we first moved to Raleigh, we came across this fantastic used book store called Edward McKay Used Books & More.  The '& More' part of the equation includes:  CD's, DVD's, record albums (yes, the old vinyl), video games (all systems new and ancient), and even board games.  When I get the required reading list at the beginning of the school year Edward McKay is usually the first place I hit.  The great thing is you can bring in your media to sell for cash and/or get trade credit.  And, it's a fun place to browse during the week or on a Sunday afternoon.

So, getting back to The Hunger Games.  The day after we purchased the book Nicolas came to me and insisted that I had to read it.  It was much better than he expected.  Luckily, by this time, the second book in the series, Catching Fire, had arrived for Nicolas at the library.  We picked it up and yes, it was completely read by Nicolas that evening.  In the mean time, Nicolas is begging me to read The Hunger Games so that we can discuss it.  I reassured him that I was saving it for vacation.  So, the day before we left for vacation I picked up the last book in the series, Mocking Jay, from Target.  I demanded that Nicolas not open a page until we got in the car to start our two-hour road trip to Carolina Beach this past week.  And, wouldn't you know it.  By the time we arrived at the hotel and got out of the car, Nicolas had finished the entire book.  400 pages in two hours.  Crazy.  He certainly doesn't get this skill from his mother!

So, once I put away our suitcases, got in my bathing suit, and made my way to the pool lounge chair I opened up The Hunger Games.  I proceeded to read it every chance I got during our vacation.  I read until my eyes got tired.  Occasionally, and especially when I got to the good parts, I would put the book down and talk to Nicolas about it.  It was great to have a buddy appreciate the story along the way.  He never spoiled the ending for me but always made me want to proceed.  I finished the book before the end of the vacation and let me tell you, I can't wait to get my hands on Catching Fire.

In the mean time, we are excited to see the movie.  We've been checking out the cast on IMDB and are excited to see an actor from Nicolas' agency, Ethan Jamieson, filling out the roster of tributes.  What an amazing opportunity! 

We've recruited my mother to read the book as well since we'd like to include her in the discussions.  And, we'll probably all see the movie together.  As an aside, I've been trying to rent Winter's Bone from Redbox for the last month so that I can see the lead actress, Jennifer Lawrence, in her Oscar-nominated role.  She's been cast as the lead character in The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen.  I'm also a fan of Josh Hutcherson who's been cast as Peeta.  I really enjoyed him in Bridge to Terabithia.  Woody Harrelson was a good choice for Haymitch.  I can totally see Elizabeth Banks as Effie.  And finally, I can't wait to see Lenny Kravitz as Cinna.

Reading The Hunger Games has been a rewarding family activity.  It allows for in-depth discussions and debates from three different generations and perspectives.  Seeing the movie will be icing on the cake!

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