The Book Was Better
I'm currently watching Catching Fire for the first time. Yes, even though I've owned the DVD since it was released (years ago), I've never watched it. Or Mockingjay 1 or 2. Why? Because I knew it would be tough to watch.
But since I did a recent re-read of the series--and may or may not be delving into the Gadge** ship--I've been trying to get myself to watch Catching Fire.
I started to watch it last month when I was home by myself. I stopped when Gale got whipped. It's disturbing even though I knew it was going to happen. Today I can't nap and it's my day off and Mr. Bookworm will be flying home (this post was mostly written last week). So I'm watching while working on the blog and housework (neverending housework!).
There are so many different details and it kills me. Like, my biggest qualm with the first movie is that Katniss gets the Mockingjay pin from the Hob instead of from Madge. It doesn't make sense for the later rebellion. And, here in CF, Katniss is the one who kisses Gale! What?!! That would never happen, even without the threat of the third quarter quell hanging over the heads.
Suzanne Collins has a knack for finding the details that make her characters feel real. Those details are hard to depict in the film version. And I know that people were disappointed with Mockingjay, but it seems like that's the trend in YA series—after all, there was much disappointment in Breaking Dawn from the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer and Allegiant from the Divergent series by Veronica Roth. I was only disappointed with a few things in Mockingjay, and the fact that I was completely devastated at the end was only eclipsed by the fact that I felt like the ending was too rushed. Or that we need an epilogue.
Which is why we have fanfiction. There are some great cannon Hunger Games fanfictions that do justice to Suzanne Collins' characters and write what they think may have happened for Katniss and Peeta. And if you're wondering what the 'Gadge' ship is above, it's the premise that Madge survived and she and Gale find each other after Mockingjay because no one was satisfied with how Collins ended things for either of them. (Contact me if you want links to some great HG fanfics.)
I admit that I mostly read Mockingjay through my fingers, though, the first time around. It was a tough read, though, I will say that I didn't feel like it was a let down. (Only that my heart was torn out, sorry, see Spoiler Alert above.) Why was it so hard to read? Because I could see this part of the trilogy really happening--the war, the unrest, the rebellion.
In summary, the book was better. The book is ALWAYS better. However, like I've told myself earlier this year, I have to look at films as a different version of the book to ACCEPT it. And, I'd have to say that they did a damn fine job on Catching Fire. I'm still scared to watch Mockingjay, though.
** I started this post last week. So I've watched Mockingjay Part 1 now. And I just purchased Part 2 to watch if I have some free time later this week.
** One of the best 'epilogues' for The Hunger Games series that I've read is The Unrecorded Hours by hollycomb. Please note that it's not for young audiences.
** One of the best Gadge fanfictions that I've read that's in cannon with the series had Gale and Madge meeting again in District 2. (On What Grounds by Solaryllis.) There are a few other wonderful ones that are realistic within that world too.
** I've heard rumors that The Dark Days are coming. I'm not sure if this prequel would be in novel or film form but I'll be honest and say that despite being a bibliophile, I'm hoping for both! That's a true testament to how well-made the films were. But, I still believe that the books were better. :D
Our Next Read-Along:
Speaking of film adaptations, our next read-along (AKA Dr. Bookworm virtual book club) will be Wonder by R.J Palacio. Yeah, yeah, I know it's been out for a while. And, yes, I admit that I tried to read it a year or two ago. It seemed like a perfect book for a bookworm and a pediatrician, especially one as soft-hearted as me since I know it has a good lesson involved. And raises awareness. So, I've had a request (thanks, Tink!), and I decided to use it as an opportunity to try again.
If you'd like to join us for the read-along, we'll discuss the first half of the book in Mid-February. And the second half at the end of February. And, yeah, I may even give the film a chance too. :D
Tell Dr. Bookworm!
Is there a film that you think does a certain novel justice? Or that was better than the book? Let me know in the comments.