It’s time for a ROAD TRIP AGAIN!! We are heading over to YA Highway for their weekly question!
After a hard couple months of medical and rabbitty hole hardship, I’m back! To start off, I give you NPR’s list of the Best 100 Teen Novels. I think some are missing and some are missplaced. Any thoughts? Sound off!
Enjoy some of the highlights and lowlights below and click on the link above to read through the entire list. As always, paint the roses in the comment section!
1. Harry Potter
2. Hunger Games- maybe a bit high there?? I mean–I love the series, but it is not the second best ever. Everyone needs to CALM DOWN.
21. Mortal Instruments Series- Seriously? …………………………………………………………….Seriously? I will leave my ranting out of this. But SERIOUSLY? It beats out Tuck Everlasting?? The Giver? Bridge to Terabithea and A Wrinkle in Time (which were missing)? Ugh.
At least my favorite redhead was represented….
14. Anne of Green Gables
Let’s get to partying!!! It’s been a hard week at school, but I have stumbled across some great articles and youtube parodies! I can’t wait until I have a better grip on my finals so that I can catch up on blog reading!!! Don’t forget to look at my blogroll! It is full of solid gold reading material!
5. The AV Club had an awesome discussion on whether or not dystopian stories need to elaborate on their backstories. Seeing on how frustrated I was with Delirium’s swiss cheese foundation, I found this very interesting. Enjoy all the references to Panem!
4. What could possibly be funnier than the HIPSTER HUNGER GAMES?
3. We have a short list of directors for Catching Fire!!! Alfonso Cuaron for the win!!!! Head over to the LA Times for more information!
1. Remember how I said the HIPSTER HUNGER GAMES were the best? Well…..Beanie Babies for the WIN!!! This is long but VERY WORTH YOUR TIME INVESTMENT!!!!
This week, the New York Times paid special attention to Young Adult Literature! I invite you to join in on their very interesting and diverse discussion for this weeks Tea Party!!!
So what do you think of the debate? Do you think Adults should only read adult books? Do you think YA authors are doing some daring work? Is social media “hijacking” YA lit?? Paint the ROSES!!!!!!
I have 3 reviews to post this week (PROMISE)….but this made me want to read so bad!!!
I have so many of these on my bookshelf…..waiting. Le sigh.
Here is the CNN article mentioned below. Danielle Tumminio is the same Harry Potter Scholar who wrote “God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom. I like these discussions. Not only are they meta–they are pushing those who love the Hunger Games to think about the CENTRAL MESSAGE. This is really gnawing at me!!!! I can’t help but think of Gale. What if we all chose not to watch?
Originally posted on CNN Belief Blog:
Editor’s note: Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio is an ordained Episcopal Church priest and author of “God and Harry Potter at Yale: Teaching Faith and Fantasy Fiction in an Ivy League Classroom.”
By Danielle Elizabeth Tumminio, Special to CNN
(CNN) – “What if no one watched?” Gale Hawthorne asks at the beginning of the first “Hunger Games” film. What if not one citizen of the dystopian post-American country of Panem watched the annual competition where children from 12 districts compete to the death as penance for their insolence against the governing Capitol?
Xochitl Alvizo reflects on ritual and the Hunger Games at Feminism and Religion (again…a GREAT BLOG). Touching on Danielle Tumminio’s CNN article (which I will reblog above), Xochitl reflects on the question of whether or not something is missed by a Hunger Games reader by actually watching the movie. I keep wondering about this as well. If you think the series was about political action and inaction, do yo end up being just as bad as a Capitol Citizen?? Is this what John at Hogwarts Professor was touching on? Read the blog and let me know what you think. Paint the Roses! Reviews coming soon! Sorry it has been a week: papers this week have been draining!!
In The Hunger Games Suzanne Collins takes the reality of an unjust society and gives it an imaginative makeover. In Panem, most people are kept at such extreme levels of hunger that even when they do eat they cannot fill the hollowness that has settled in their stomachs, while others are deciding on the next cosmetic alteration they will undertake – whiskers, jewel implants, or green-tone skin color? The disparate conditions between the rich and the poor, the few and the many are absurdly and starkly portrayed but done so in a way that we can still recognize our world in theirs. And at the center of this world is the state imposed ritual of punishment and control, the yearly Hunger Games – a nationally televised competition that all the people of Panem are required to watch. The 12 districts watch mournfully as two kids from each of their districts compete to the death, and the wealthy watch gleefully, for the games are the height of their excesses and entertainment. The yearly Games conclude when one kid, the lone ‘victor’, is left standing. All while the nation watches.
It’s that time again!! Time for The Mad FRIDAY Tea Party! In honor of all the hoopla and craziness surrounding the release of The Hunger Games, I have decided to do a special Hunger Games themed Tea Party. There was just too much good stuff on the interwebs this week. Enjoy everyone!! If you are new, the Tea Party is just Alice’s favorite goodies from the blogosphere this week!
6. NSFW language, but sooo funny. This song just lends itself to parody.
5. The folks over at Kroq have a great article on why we should stop comparing Bella and Katniss. I am guilty of doing this (always in defense of Katniss and in frustration at those who DO compare the two and try to group the franchises together). Head over and give this great blog entry a read: Enough Comparing!!!
4. Are you tired of Ryan Gosling? I didn’t think so. I loved the feminist Ryan Gosling tumbler a few months back and have loved the other evolutions of it. How could I not love one devoted to the Hunger Games? Enjoy!
3. Again, another song that lends itself to parody. My friend Ali has been singing this as, “We found love in a HOMELESS place for months. This was bound to happen.
This goes well with this video:
2. i09.com had an excellent article on what was missing in the movie. It lead to great discussion here on the blog and is worth a read. It’s funny how much your brain just puts back into the movie because you just assume it was in there. The Missing Pieces!
1. If you have never read anything over at Hogwarts Professor, I am about to blow your mind. John Granger is…well…he is pretty much Dumbledore. He is THE Potter Scholar and is working hard on exploring the world of The Hunger Games. Do me a favor: have fun on his website. If he comes to speak near you: GO!! I got to see him in person at the JMU Symposium for Muggles where I gave a paper on Harry Potter and Religion and it was one of the best talks I have heard (his, not mine-…I was ok, brush my shoulders off). I have his books and they are all just great for serious readers in the YA field. Ok–so obviously I am a John Granger dork–but this man is really brilliant when it comes to YA lit and religion. Le sigh. If I could only get him on my dissertation committee in a few years (almost done with coursework–one more semester–WHOHO!!!). His post on the Hunger Games movie and the concept of hijacking made my WEEK!! ENJOY!
As a bonus: I know I have posted it here before, but this spoof of the Hunger Games always makes me laugh.
Side NOTE: I was tempted to put up the Jezebel article on Racism and Rue and decided not to. Here are my reasons. 1) It is out there and has been addressed and the people have already been ridiculed and persecuted for it. We know there is crazy racism that is still alive and well in our country and it broke my heart (and hopefully yours) to see it come out even in reference to the Hunger Games. IT HAS TO STOP 2) Most of the people on that tumbler were very young (think middle school). They do need to be taught about racism and intolerance–but not by shaming them on a national platform. That is bullying. I am not sure that snarking them online is how we get about teaching them. It is so dangerous and fits well into the description of cyber bullying. I in NO WAY condone what they said but I have very strong feelings with the online communities snarktastic attitude afterwards. Some articles were great (addressing issues in Hollywood and the media and whitewashing, but some were just horrible).
Lets just work at building a better world that is color blind and overflowing with people LIKE RUE.
Alice says: I WANT TO BOTTLE IT UP I LOVE IT SO!
So what did I think of the movie?
It is going to be hard to wrangle all my thoughts into a cohesive review but I did wait three days so as to let it all sink in. Here are my thoughts:
Adaptation: I loved this adaptation. Adapting any movie is difficult, especially when people are very much attached to a book (series, characters, ect), but this is one of the best that I have seen. The movie stands alone. If you have never read the books, you could easily go see the film and know exactly what is going on and not feel left out or miss huge chunks of anything. That is the mark of a great adaptation. The Harry Potters (whom I LURVE and ADORE) never really pulled that off. They were stunning visual aids but missed HUGE plot points that you had to fill in with your own reading experience or your best friend right next to you at the movie theater (think the Marauder backstory or even the horcruxes). So BRAVO for the adaptation!
Characters: Ok…so…as it will always happens in every movie….character development tends to suffer–but I am pulling teeth here to complain because this was like a 90 out of 100 for me. It is there. Everyone will walk away understanding that President Snow is bad, Katniss is good, Peeta and Gale are too and both care for Katniss. What is left out is layers– and sometimes more layers would only take mins to build in a film. Sometimes that is frustrating. That is a tradeoff in film.
Katniss was pretty much on point. YAY for Jennifer Lawrence pulling this off. I did not want you Jennifer. I didn’t. You were too VAVAVoom for me, too tall, too well fed (disclaimer: I do not advocate eating disorders or anything of the sort, but this is hollywood, typecasting is typcasting. She did NOT look the part to me). YOU BLEW ME AWAY. In every shot you looked vulnerable, petrified, hardened, scared, hungry, pissed…..I could go on and on. I LOVED YOU. You were my mockingjay. You also looked beautiful when you were in the Capitol, while still looking incredibly young. I believed you were at least 17 (not 16 though…..lol).
Peeta was perfect. Josh Hutchinson was the Peeta I imagined. He was self-deprecating and yet stong in his own way. Still, he was kinda useless in the arena while still being loveable. I liked his performance so much. I liked Liam Hemsworth as Gale as well. With barely 3 mins of screen time I thought he was strong and not just a pretty face (I loved the decision to have him not watch Katniss at the cornucopia and then to defiantly hold Prim up at the end of the film).
Rue. Rue needed more time. This is one of my complaints. There was not enough time to develop her relationship with Katniss and I was upset about the 2 mins more it would have taken to do so. I was thrilled with how her death was portrayed and LOVED the added scenes of rebellion. BRILLIANT! I just wished they had developed 2 more mins of them playing in the forest a bit and maybe a lead-in to them cuddling at night. ANYTHING to lead in to how devastating her death is to Katniss and to Rue.
President Snow was perfect. I know people wanted someone scarier but he is a POLITICIAN. He is going to be calculated. And seriously–what is scarier that the scene with the nightlock at the end? This man is BRUTAL.
I thought the cave scene needed a bit more development as well. We needed a larger sense that Katniss and Peeta might not be on the same page. This scene is the one that builds it all. I think this is missed by non-readers–the fact that Peeta really IS that in love and Katniss really is a bit DENSE and confused and fighting for their lives but confused (did I mentioned confused already?). OH, and she is hungry. 2 more mins could have fleshed this out.
Cato- I didn’t complain about the violence in THG and how it was done. I was one of the people that understood that the point of this entire thing was to NOT glorify violence. I thought it was tasteful (as child deaths go, you know)–but this death takes HOURS. It took seconds here. Seriously, have Peeta and Katniss hold each other while the mutts kill him. It was a symbolic death. It showed exactly how cruel those people in that directing room (and the Capitol) could be. I did love his speech about how he wanted to die because there was nothing he could go home to proud about. AMEN CATO, AMEN.
I loved all the supporting cast. Effie, Cinna, Haymitch–you made me swoon!!! Elizabeth Banks, Lenny Kravitz, and Woody Harrelson were spectacular. The standout performance among the supporting cast though was Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman. Honestly, he builds the entire disconnect of the Capitol and the districts for the viewer. It was just amazeballs! Also– as far as funny lines: THAT IS MAHOGANY!
ISSUES: I did have an issue with the Careers. I did not like the human hunting and laughing about it. I never pictured them like that. I pictured them in survival mode together…killing whoever they came across and then knowing they would have to then fight each other–but it was not meant to be a deranged band of popular kids going kid hunting and then cuddling at night. Seriously? Something about it felt off. We should feel for ALL the kids in that arena. I remember not LIKING Cato and Clove but never feeling like there was a band of psycho killers on the loose in there.
Set Design and Costume: The set designs and costume designs were beautiful, as were the locations. District 12 was exactly as I pictured it and the Captiol was futuristic enough yet similar enough to our own world to fit the dystopian worlds I love. I also loved the toning down of how it was described in the book (the look of it all). This made it more tangible–more real.
I can’t wait till Catching FIRE!!!!! Fix what I didn’t like please (because my opinion is the end all–obviously).
What did you think? Paint the Roses!
I wanted to start a new type of post on Fridays! I read quite a few of the YA literature blogs (way toooooooo many and not nearly enough) and thought I would post my top three favorite posts of the week in a Friday roundup called the The Mad FRIDAY Tea Party! This is an easy way to share what I have been reading and to share with you how great the YA literature blog world is! So here we go! My favorite posts of the week!
3. Clockwork Reverie’s review of Shatter Me blew me away. I have been following her on goodreads and I can honestly say this is one of the best reviewers I have ever read. This is one of her older reviews but it is just an example of how great her work is. She is brutally honest, dynamic, thorough, and just so smart. She is also funny. I like funny when being sarcastic about a crappy book. That is the only way to go really…..
2. The ladies of Love Ya Lit commenting on 5th Annual Audiobook Tournament (at Audible.com) made my day. Brent and I are audiobook junkies and sometimes feel like we are the only ones….. We even have favorite narrators (Jim Dale anyone?). This is like March Madness for me. Thanks for letting me know!!!!
1. Forever Young Adult takes the number one spot with their amazeballs drinking game for the Hunger Games movie. My friends and I have decided to wait until the DVD release to try this gem (mostly because we probably would have drunkenly “hunger-gamesed” some screaming tweens at our midnight showing while simultaneously heckling the Twilight trailer) but I love them for this. POUR ONE OUT FOR RUE made me die laughing and secretly shed a tear and reminisce about Dobby for some reason!