SPOILER ALERT: Some Hunger Games twists (like when Prim is killed by bears) are revealed in this post. Sorry.
I arrived in New York excited and with little hassle. In honor of the city I put in my ear buds and mustered up some indifference to cover my smile. There was the usual bustle of people outside LaGuardia trying to land a cab. I scanned my fellow line-waiters and started thinking what everyone else was thinking—”Could I kill these people with my bare hands?”
Don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t–well, I didn’t. I’m not a murderer, I’ve just been reading the Hunger Games. I had spent the entire morning reading the third one between TSA frisks. They’re really good–you should read them. And if you have, well, then—when Katniss got the loaf of bread from District 11… and it was still warm. Still. Warm. Ugh–I know you feel me.
I hopped into a cab and watched the skylines swallow me up. There was glass between the cab driver and myself. I probably couldn’t have broken it with my hands. But maybe my feet—you know, if I’d leveraged myself against the seat and kept kicking. It would have taken a while to get to the driver, but I’m sure some of the Plexiglas shards would be sharp enough. I just had to hope he didn’t have a spear or, ya know, a Glock.
In the Hunger Games, much of New England eventually becomes District 13, which seems appropriate considering the independence and progressiveness of the area. I’ve been to District 13 (New York) enough times it feels like visiting an old friend, which, incidentally is what I was doing.
My best friend, Logan, whom I grew-up with, lives in District 13. Our joint childhood began in Tennessee–which is District 12, which means we like to start shit. Logan is the most interesting, wonderful person I’ve had the pleasure of knitting into my life. I would absolutely volunteer as tribute to help keep her alive. WHICH–OMG, when Peeta did that in book two and Haymitch told Katniss, ” You could live a thousand lifetimes and not deserve him.” Ugh! That’s when I finally started to like Peeta, ya know? Before he just acted like a big box of feelings, and Gale always seemed like he would get me SO much better—sorry, “Katniss.” he would get KATNISS so much better.
The series takes place in Panem, which is covered with cameras and devastatingly handsome (or nice) poor people. All Districts hate the Capitol, which is a city that Lady Gaga and Alexander McQueen built and seems to be somewhere close to modern day Boise, Idaho. Iowa? So apparently we should keep an eye on them. The Capitol uses the Roman Coliseum metaphor to terrorize Katniss (Lyra Belacqua + Robin Hood+ Roman Catholic Guilt), Peeta (Aslan + a box of Tissues + hugs) and everyone else in the world. It doesn’t go well. There is also a love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and someone hotter. Which she totally screws up.
All three books make for a fast and exciting read. You won’t put them down and if you read before bed you’ll have even more murderous dreams than normal—double rainbow. The characters are full and vivid, the premise is delicious and Katniss skins like 12,000 rabbits.
Even in one of my favorite places, with my favorite person I couldn’t stop thinking about killing people–and the books crossed my mind a lot too. Sitting in District 13, the birthplace of the old rebellion, and reading the Hunger Games was an experience I’ll carry with me until the next fab young adult series comes out. For now, I’ll look to the horizon, pull an axe out of my carry-on and ask what everyone else is yearning to know. “Who is going to play Finnick?!”
P.S. If you haven’t seen the trailer for the movie of the first book (which comes out March 23) then go here and have fun holding your breath for 2:36.
P.S.S. You should also listen to this little diddy Taylor Swift and the Civil Wars sing and cry in your car. It’s for the movie, most likely the cave scene.
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