1) I read the series in about a week, after I read in Entertainment Weekly that Jennifer Lawrence would be portraying Katniss in the films, after I had seen Winter’s Bone.
2) The series has it flaws, and THG is probably the best out of all them, but upon re-reading the books everything made a little more sense and was more fluid. For me, reading the series marathon-style left me missing some of the subtle emotions and details in favor if getting through the plot. So read the series twice. DEFINITELY.
3) I am not a huge fan of either Gale OR Peeta. I liked Peeta better after the second reading, but ultimately I never felt like I could identify with either guy. That is to say, I was not particularly attracted to either one. That may sound strange, considering they are fictional characters, but when it comes to fictional characters, the author must craft one that readers can relate to on multiple levels. A character must be relatable to the same sex, attractive to the opposite sex. I find neither Peeta nor Gale particularly attractive.
At first I thought I liked Gale because he was rougher and tougher and tell-it-how-it-is. I disliked Peeta because he seemed like a push over and a gullible fool who blindly loves a girl who clearly is treating him like shit. After re-reading the series, I came to dislike Gale’s violent tendencies. He was almost too extreme, for my taste. Peeta, while he seemed less soft, and was very noble and loyal, he still blindly loved Katniss while she treated him like shit. After the first time I read the books, and after the second time I read the books, I said I liked Peeta better after he’d been tortured by the capitol because he at least seemed to have a reasonable distrust in Katniss and in her behavior. Yes, yes, yes, he was tortured into thinking she was more evil and manipulative than she actually was, but I felt like he should have been suspicious of her intentions far earlier.
All that being said, I don’t take issue with the fact that Katniss ended up with Peeta. In fact, I think it’s the only option that made sense. Going into the games really fucks with you, and only Peeta could understand that like Katniss does. And the fact that they had to go through it twice? Holy shit. Katniss is already a somewhat volatile person, before she goes into the games. Now that she’s gone through them twice she’s horrifically scarred. She’d seen people die in front of her eyes. She has gone through psychological and emotional torture. If she flips the fuck out because she’s got lingering PTSD, Gale is NOT the kind of person who is going to hold her in his arms and wait until she feels better. He is going to tell her to suck it up and get over it. Tons of other people went through the same thing, why does she deserve to be so affected?
Peeta on the other hand has been through the same thing as Katniss, but add onto that physical torture. He is the only person who can understand Katniss’ pain. He understands the lingering nightmares and “bad days.” Surely, he has them himself. And his loyal and sweet nature allows him to recover a bit better from his experiences than Katniss, but he’s the only one who can take care of Katniss the way she needs to be taken care of. No matter how much she might deny her need to be looked after, she does. In that way she’s like Haymitch. Haymitch would never acquiesce to needing someone to look after him, and he only begrudgingly and belligerently allows Katniss and Peeta to do so, and Katniss is the same way. Fortunately she’s not so far gone that she’s totally objected to it.
4) The movie, so far, looks INCREDIBLE. Jennifer Lawrence in BOMB. And the more I read about Gary Ross the more I like him. Seabiscuit and Pleasantville are both well crafted films and I’m very excited to see what he has done with The Hunger Games.
5) New THG trailer during Superbowl Pre-show this coming Sunday… FUCK. YES.
6) March 23rd. 2012. I’ll be there.