With Catching Fire, the second movie in the Hunger games trilogy releasing on November 22, the movie has been everywhere. Catching Fire was promoted heavily at Comic Con with the trailer premiering in Hall H (Jamie W. did cover all her feels here. And I felt them too. I really did) But we didn’t do any other Comic Con coverage. And the movie studio has this awesome marketing campaign called Capitol Couture that Buzzfeed just broke down the other day that you’d think I’d be SUPER excited about because #1 I am a marketer and #2 I’m a huge nerd, but I’m like “meh. good job creative agency.”
I didn’t think this was odd until I thought about how we covered Twilight for all those years, we’re covering Divergent now and really really love talking about Jamie Fraser & The Outlander series (which doesn’t really have anything to do with today’s topic, I just wanted to remind you of how much I love Jamie Fraser). If we’re covering these other fandoms, why aren’t we sharing The Hunger Games love on That’s Normal?
I liked Hunger Games (the books) a lot. I enjoyed the first movie. And I love me some Jennifer Lawrence. But Hunger Games never connected with me like Twilight or like Divergent has now. I racked my brain to come up with a few reasons why that might be the case:
1. There’s not a ton of light-hearted stuff
It’s YA Dystopia, end of the world, kids-killing-kids shit. There isn’t much lightness in the books and I don’t expect them to fill the movies with fluff, but it’s still YA. I’ve read other YA Dystopia (Divergent, for one) and have re-read a few of those books. I haven’t done that with The Hunger Games.
Even the romance for me was never light. It was “we might die in 5 seconds or be forced to kill each other” but hey let’s make out. To be honest the romance always felt out of place to me considering the fact that survival was the #1 thing on Katniss’ mind. Also I’m Team Gale, so maybe I’m totally bitter.
2. The guys.
All we have to choose between is Miley’s fiancee (is that still a thing? Oh wait, I don’t care) and that small guy? No thanks.
Sidenote: Apparently the tumblrs want Gale & Peeta to happen. I found a LOT of evidence to this fact including this very NSFW image…
Again because I never thought The Hunger Games was about romance, Gale & Peeta’s casting was never important to me. I wasn’t the one up in arms hating on these two guys. I think they both did great in the first movie, and I think Gale’s casting is pretty spot on. And while I get the Katniss/Peeta appeal, I had a REALLY hard time with how she ultimately treated Gale.
3. Jennifer Lawrence is already a huge star
And maybe she’s a bigger star because of The Hunger Games (and, ya know, that Oscar), but she’s so seasoned. She’s perfect. She has a functional relationship. She is a great actress. She would DEFINITELY be my best friend if I could steal her away from my husband who swears she’d fall in love with him if they ever go the chance to meet. Her interviews are funny, she’s charming, smart and so damn likeable.
But it makes it kinda boring to get excited about. Kinda makes me miss our very favorite sourpuss, Kristen Stewart. Oh wow, I admitted it. You win, KStew, you win.
4. Maybe it’s all about timing
The first Hunger Games movie (not to mention all the books) came out when we were still full on in Twilight mode. Maybe we missed the boat of the chance to get excited. We were still swooning over our 108 year old virgin vampire boyfriend to get excited about the boy with the bread.
Will it be leg hitch on top of brocade bedding?
or a kiss on camera while you’re fighting for your life?
I’m not comparing a dystopian novel to a vampire romance novel. They are very different & both genres aren’t for everyone. But they are for me. All I ask for in a book is for a great story I can get lost in and a great book boyfriend/husband. And if it’s an adult book, I usually want it to have sex. And, I’ll be honest, I wouldn’t mind if my YA books had a little sex from time to time too. Is that too much to ask? I can get behind most any story if it follows that easy formula. And The Hunger Games fits it (minus the sex. boo).
Divergent would be the closest comparison- Dystopia: check; Romance: check; Sex: tbd (DO IT VERONICA ROTH, DO IT). And I love it. I re-read it. I’m covering it. I’m DYING over Four’s back tattoo reveal at the VMAs yesterday (break-down/freak-out forthcoming) I’m counting down the minutes until Allegiant is released (well kinda. I know it’s out in October). What is different about this story?
Is it so strange that I’m just not into The Hunger Games?
What do you think? Are you with me? Are you just not into The Hunger Games? On a YA Dystopia rating scale, where does Hunger Games fall vs. Divergent. And if you’re a big Hunger Games fan, what am I missing?