Movie Mondays: On Mondays, I will review a book series or novel that has been made into a movie. I will then answer the question that everyone asks: which is better, the movie or the book? Here is this week’s offering:
Book: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins | Movie: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Which did I read/see first? BOOK
Book Cover | Movie Poster
Warning: For those who have not read the sequel to the Hunger Games, Catching Fire, while I tried my best, there may unintentionally be spoilers!
Series: The Hunger Games Trilogy
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Competition, Romance, Action
This is hard to review without giving too much away about the series but I will give it a shot.
After the high I got reading the Hunger Games, I will admit I was a little disappointed in this second book. If you asked me to rank the books in my favourite order right after reading them all, I wouldn’t hesitate to put Mockingjay before Catching Fire. But as I said in my series review, it’s now a toss-up between Mockingjay and Catching Fire for that coveted second spot.
I think the main reason I felt a little let down by this book was that it starts really slowly. Based on the synopsis, I expected us to be thrust into the action but what we get instead is the daily life in Panem. It definitely picks up though with a major twist (that somehow I had read before the book so that was a little disappointing to say the least) and then it doesn’t stop.
All I can say is that I am glad I read all these books after they had all been released or I would have pulled my hair out at that cliff-hanger ending.
While it follows the format of a typical book 2 in a trilogy, it still is on par with it’s predecessor and keeps things interesting and leaves readers on edge for the follow-up.
Series Review: Full series review here!.
Similar Reads: Divergent by Veronica Roth (Divergent Trilogy, #1) and Delirium by Lauren Oliver (Delirium Trilogy, #1)
It’s not a secret that I loved the first movie. Overall, it was a solid movie adaption with a superb cast and amazing costumes and set design. Based on the previous movie my only concern with this new movie was the shaky camera work that would sometimes make me sick to my stomach.
I happy to report that there is no shaky camera work AND they seem to realize that a more mature audience was watching because I found they kept a lot more of the violence in than in the previous movie.
This movie was the perfect blend of life in District 12 and the events that follow. I didn’t find that it dragged (and it easily could considering the movie was 2.5 hours long) and it kept me interested.
I also like that they added some humour to the movies. I find Jennifer Lawrence to be a pretty funny girl and there were certain scenes that you could tell she wasn’t really acting but she was just being herself. She does a great job of playing Katniss and unlike the Katniss on the book who started to irritate me a little, she never bothered me in the movie. When I went to see this the second time you could easily tell who had read the books and who hadn’t based on who chuckled at certain points.
I think it helped that it’s been two years since I saw the book so I don’t remember much. After I saw it again with my mom (who also read the books) we immediately went to check my copy of the book to see how it ended (we thought it ended differently). Turns out the end scene is identical to what we find in the book and a lot of the story is similar as well. Of course, changes were made but they were things that were so small I had totally forgot that they were in the book. I also have to give props to the screenwriters in how they handle the scenes that Katniss never talks about in the book that you see in the movie (like President Snow scenes). I could easily see those conversations happening in the book in the background and if I didn’t know better, I would have suspected that they were a part of the book.
Again the set and costumes were great! They really capture the world Collins writes about which I truly appreciate as a fan of the books.
I’m also glad they kept this movie as one whole movie. Dragging it out into two wouldn’t be that enjoyable. I’m interested to see how they will separate Mockingjay into two parts (because it too could be kept as a single movie in my opinion). Guess I will have to wait a year to see how that all plays out 🙁
So, which is better: the book or the movie?
In this case, the winner is the MOVIE . Again, another tough choice but I’m giving it to the movie this time for simply reminding me how great the book is. It basically took all my favourite parts of Catching Fire, omitted the slower parts and used that to create the movie. Yet again, fans of the books will not be disappointed in this movie adaption 🙂
Do you agree? Leave a comment below!
Synopsis for The Hunger Games (from Goodreads):
Sparks are igniting.
Flames are spreading.
And the Capitol wants revenge.
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol – a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.