Category Archives: books

Hunger Games Pictures

The Hunger Games

Image via Wikipedia

Hi, crew!  Hope you’ve all been having wonderful days since last we chatted.  I’ve been crazy busy- working, working on music for a new musical (more on that soon), and RL crap has been occupying my time.  BUT, I have had my ears open for any cool Hunger Games news. . .

If you don’t already know (how could you not) I love The Hunger Games books.  They’re not the best things I’ve ever read, but I was totally engrossed and I’ve recommended them to all my friends.  The world author Suzanne Collins created is so exciting.  I can’t wait for the film adaptation! Gah!  In the meantime, a bunch of new pics came out recently that I’m gaga for.  Pick up the latest issue of Vanity Fair for the complete series of pics from this shoot.  It looks really good.

Photo credit: VanityFair.com

How cute is the girl who’s playing Rue?  I just can’t.  You can check out most of the photos here on VF’s website.  Just be warned that the interactive bio feature on the cast photo has some mayjah spoilers, in case you don’t already know what happens to everybody.  Also, don’t hit me, but doesn’t this look eerily similar to the shoot they did for “Twilight?”  I feel like it’s in the same field and they’re wearing the same clothes.  Anyone else?

Also new to the HG website are striking cast posters.  The posters feature the first book’s main characters in profile.  I’m obsessed with them.  Woody Harrelson looks kind of dapper as mentor Haymitch Abernathy, right?

Jennifer Lawrence as "Katniss Everdeen"; Woody Harrelson as "Haymitch Abernathy"

Elizabeth Banks as "Effie Trinket"; Lenny Kravitz as "Cinna"

And I’m living for Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket.  She looks way fiercer than I pictured Effie (which was pretty damn fierce), and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna is adorbs.  Hard to believe this guy will be playing the mild mannered designer:

You can check out all of the character posters and stay updated on HG movie news at http://www.thehungergamesmovie.com . There’s some cool stuff on there.

Gah!  I’m loving these new pics.  They are getting me super jazzed for March 23 2012, when The Hunger Games hits theaters.  If you haven’t read them yet, what are you waiting for?  Crack a book open and join me in the fandom.  Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day! xx

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Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence Covers EW

Tada!  After all the online hoopla surrounding her casting, Jennifer Lawrence’s look for next year’s Hunger Games movie is revealed.  Lawrence will star as tough- girl protagonist Katniss Everdeen, a teen forced to fight for her life in a post apocalyptic world.  The movie is based on Suzanne Collins’ best-selling novel of the same name.

Chatrooms have been buzzing for weeks about how blondie Jennifer Lawrence would morph into raven-haired, olive-skinned Katniss.  I think this looks pretty damn good!  But then again, I’m a fan of the actress and I think she was a great choice to play this strong heroine.

The relative newcomer joins some heavy hitters for the movie version of The Hunger Games, including Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, and Woody Harrelson.  I’m gonna try not to get to excited. . . but it will be pointless because this already looks like it’s gonna be amazeballs and actually a real movie and Mama can NOT wait until this puppy hits theaters!

Phew.

What do you think of this first look at the HG movie?  I’ll be on the lookout for more great HG media in the coming months! xx


New “Sweet Valley” Book, and What I’m Reading Now

I found out a couple of weeks ago that I needed glasses because I’m farsighted (see better from afar), which I found hilarious, because I’m always squinting to see stuff that’s far away.  I guess the fancy schmancy eye-testing machines don’t lie!

In any case, I made the appointment to get my peepers checked because I woke up with a bad migraine after a marathon reading session.  I was reading “Water for Elephants,” Sara Gruen’s meticulously researched tale of romance amid a 1920’s circus.  Long story short, I really enjoyed it.  I loved the detailed depictions of circus life, and the romantic drama.  I can’t wait to see this story come to life in theaters.

Now that I’ve finished “Water for Elephants,” and gotten my handy specs to keep me pain free, I’m getting back to my reading list with a vengeance.  I’ve added a couple of new titles, including “Pride and Prejudice.”  (That way, “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” will be more awesome)

First up from the new list is “Unfamiliar Fishes,” by Sara Vowell. It examines the annexation of Hawaii, including the overthrow of Hawaii’s queen.  Being from Hawaii I’m very familiar with this story, but Sarah Vowell’s humor and observations make it a compelling read.  I’m really digging it.

Book worm snuggled in bed.

Also, my inner 11 year-old is majorly freaking out because I just found out that a new Sweet Valley book was released last week.  If you don’t know what SV books are, you may have not ever been a tweenage girl.  That’s cool, but you missed out.

I was way into the series as a girl after getting about 90 of the books passed down to me by an aunt.  I ate up the stories of twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield’s hi-jinks.  I read most of them, and spent most of the 6th grade pissed that I wasn’t born a twin.

"I don't see nothin' wrong with a lil' bump and grind." -- St. Martin's Press

I even followed the twins’ journeys in college, but lost track after the third or fourth book.  This latest book, “Sweet Valley Confidential,” takes place ten years after the last books, and is way more adult.  Like way more.  The twins are now 27 and living on opposite coasts -and not speaking to each other.  There are apparently attempts to update the franchise with references to Beyoncé, Prada, and Justin Timberlake.  Maybe this is author Francine Pascal’s attempt to revamp before a movie is made (penned by Juno scribe Diablo Cody)?

In any case, while I’m super excited that “Sweet Valley Confidential” was actually published, I don’t know if I’ll read it.  I mean, I knew the books were ridiculous when I was 14.  I don’t know if I could go back there now.

While I ponder going back in time to revisit Sweet Valley, feel free to share any suggested reading.  Seriously-  I need good books to read!  Also, are you gonna see “Water for Elephants” in theaters?  Lemme know what you think!  xx


Strange Magic: Lifetime Movie About JK Rowling

Author JK Rowling

The other night I was watching Access Hollywood and laughing at Charlie Sheen, when I saw a story that almost made me pee my pantaloons!  Lifetime is currently making an original movie about Harry Potter scribe JK Rowling!  S-to the QUEE!

The movie, titled Strange Magic (get it?  ‘Cause she wrote books about magic.  Oh you kooky Lifetime kids!) begins when Rowling is 26- before she wrote any of the books.  It’s a look into her young life, and the inspiration behind the story of Harry Potter.  It’s set to air in July.

I can’t wait for this movie.  I love all things HP (just search “Harry Potter” on my blog and you’ll see), and I think Rowling’s story is mad inspirational.  I really want to see the moment when the inspiration for HP comes to her (on a train!) played out on screen.

Also, I expect the full Lifetime treatment on this movie.  I highly doubt that Rowling herself had anything to do with this production, so it should be all kinds of crazy.  I’m ready for questionable English accents and a cheesy montage of the first HP book getting rejected from numerous publishers.  (If they can do that effect where all the rejection letters come swirling at the screen like newspapers that would be acceptable, too.)  I also hope there’s a montage of her spending money in crazy ways once she becomes rich.  Bring it on!

Check out the piece from Access Hollywood:

I would turn into a puddle of water, too, Poppy!
What do you think about this Lifetime Original Movie?  Will you watch?  Let’s discuss in the comments!  xx

Mockingjay: It’s All About the Music

Truer words have never been spoken

Mockingjay is here!  If you don’t know what the aitch that is, read this.  Done?  Okay, moving on.  Long story short:  I loved it, I hated it, I have lots of thoughts and opinions about the ending, none of which I’m going to share right now.  What I am going to talk about is the song, “The Hanging Tree.”  This is something Suzanne Collins wrote in Mockingjay, that I spent a large partof the book trying to make into a real song.

“The Hanging Tree” in the book is a song that Katniss’ father teaches her as a child, which she later sings while revisiting a favorite childhood place that has been destroyed.  (Oh- that was kind of a spoiler.  OK fine, this post is kind of SPOILER-Y.  Sorry!)  The song is pretty gruesome, but I think it’s a central theme of the plot.  Here’s a quick sample:

Are you are you
Coming to the tree
Where they strung up a man they say murdered three
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight by the hanging tree

The song is banned by the fictional government in the story.  It’s never explained why, but if you look at why real-life governments ban songs, you can pretty much figure out why.  Think about the Billie Holiday song, Strange Fruit.  (If you’ve never heard it, watch a performance of it here)

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

This song, based on a poem originally written by a Jewish schoolteacher, was so controversial at the time Holiday’s life was threatened.  The first time my mom played it for me as a little girl, I got chills over my entire body- and I still get them when I hear it today.  It’s no wonder that the song became an anthem for the Civil Rights movement.  I believe that the “murderer” in “The Hanging Tree” was actually a rebel punished by the government in THG.  The song was banned because it told of government cruelty and might have called the people to action.

It’s easy to see how a simple song can overthrow a government, then.  Sometimes we forget just how powerful music can be, if we want it to be.  It can bring comfort, describe deep love, and even move people to action.  When we as artists make music, it is a real thing that leaves us and goes into the consciousness of people.  We can only hope to affect them in some small way.

I’m a deep thinker, ya’ll.

I can’t wait till The Hunger Games movies are made and I can hear this song brought to life.  I only hope it ends up being as moving as it was on the page.

Have you read “Mockingjay?”  What are your thoughts about this post?  Has any song ever affected you like, “Strange Fruit?”


What’s So Good About "The Hunger Games?"

Read me, Seymour

First of all, how can you even ask that?  RUDE.
Second, obviously you have not read the amazingness of Suzanne Collins’ book series.  So, before the final book in the trilogy (Mockingjay) comes out (August 24th- the countdown has begun suckas!), let me ‘splain it to you.

The Premise:

The Hunger Games is about post-apocalyptic North America, now divided into twelve districts and called “Panem.” The Capitol rules with an iron fist, and crushes any attempts at revolt.  As a reminder of its power The Capitol forces each of the districts to send two “tributes” to participate in The Hunger Games.  The tributes- all between the ages of 12 and 18- must fight to the death.  There can only be one winner, and it’s all broadcast on live TV for all the districts to see.  Bananas, right?!

The Heroine:

Katniss and Peeta, sort of

16-year-old Katniss Everdeen takes the place of her 12-year-old sister who’s initially chosen for The Hunger Games.  She, along with Peeta Mellark, another 16-year-old from her poor district, leaves home for The Capitol to train for the games.  She is a skilled archer and hunter, which earns her surprising favor to win.  Katniss’ years spent fighting to keep her family from starvation make her somewhat cold.  She slowly learns social cues, and comes to care for Peeta, but she’s torn between him and Gale, her best friend in Disctrict 12.  In spite of her past, she’s strong and confident, truly caring, and relatable.


The Reviews:

“Suzanne Collins’s THE HUNGER GAMES is a brilliantly imagined dystopian novel about the ultimate television reality game for teens…”
Daily Telegraph

“People often ask me for reading suggestions, and I’m always happy to share because books are exciting things to me. My latest excitement is this: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I was so obsessed with this book I had to take it with me out to dinner and hide it under the edge of the table so I wouldn’t have to stop reading. The story kept me up for several nights in a row, because even after I was finished, I just lay in bed wide awake thinking about it. I’ve been recommending it to total strangers in Target. And now to everyone who reads my website. The Hunger Games is amazing.”
Stephenie Meyer

“Enthralling, imaginative and creepy”
Los Angeles Times
 
There you have it. A bunch of stuff you don’t really need to know about these books. If you’ve read or seen “Battle Royale,” this book is for you.  With a little more of ze romance thrown in for chicks. Read it. Love it. Tell me I’m smart for telling you about it.  But not on August 24th.  I’ll be reading Mockingjay.


Ask And You Will Receive

My friends are the bestest.  Last week I asked for some book recommendations, and I’ve had some over on my Facebook page!  Most of them are books I’ve thought about reading, but a good word from a friend definitely puts them over the top.  These guys should keep me plenty entertained until “The Hunger Games” drops next month (see how I used the slang there?  I’m so hood. . .)!  First up is The Time Traveler’s Wife, because I just saw that movie and heard that the book was much better.  I’ve made a list of what I want to tackle afterward.

Check out my list so far:

The book that inspired Tom Ford’s  film of the same name.  This one is supposed to be kind of heavy, so I’m hoping to have the time to really get into it.

This is a true story about a woman whose cells were taken by doctors without her permission, and used after her death to make some of the most important medical breakthroughs in history.  A review I read somewhere said it would change my life.

Because it’s got zombies.  Duh.

What do you think?  Have you read any of these books?


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