Welcome to the first installment of TheFABlife Book Club! *wild cheering* Today is a historic day, as together we shall turn the pages of the greatest dystopian YA novel of our time: Suzanne Collins‘ The Hunger Games. There will be blood. There will be tears. There will be bread. And there will be bread splattered with blood and tears. Most importantly, we will experience these moments together! *more wild cheering*
Your first reading assignment centers around The Reaping, or Chapters 1-4 of the book. We’ll be tweeting our thoughts over the course of this week and will post our re-cap next Monday. Follow us at @thefablife and participate in the conversation by using the hashtag #vh1reads. Every person who does so will be eligible to win either the Grand Prize (a hardcover copy of The Hunger Games signed by author Suzanne Collins, plus a box set of the trilogy) or the First Prize (a box set of the trilogy). And of course, come chat with us in the comments!
You can also follow along with me at my personal Twitter — @katespencer — where I talk a lot about YA and post exciting photos of the notes I am writing in the margins of the book. Get reading, get chatting and may the odds be ever in your favor! (We love saying that.)
Keep hearing friends gush about The Hunger Games and mistaking it for some freaky cooking show? Worry no more, my pop culture deprived pals. Check out our cheat sheet below to learn everything you need to know about the movie everyone’s tweeting about.
What is it: A best-selling young adult novel (part one in a trilogy) written by Suzanne Collins, which is set in a post-apocalyptic country, Panem, that is divided into 12 distinct districts and a Capitol. Each year the country “celebrates” its people and past with a battle royale-style fight to the death featuring two teenagers (called tributes) from each district, picked via lottery. The gruesome Games are aired on national television and the Tributes groomed as (tragic) national starlets. The book is narrated by Katniss, a poor 16 year-old-girl from District 12 who volunteers for the Games after her younger sister Prim is chosen to participate. Angst, ass-kicking, romance and more ass-kicking ensue.
Why people are obsessed with it: Dystopia is the new vampire! Young adult fiction is overrun with futuristic tales set in depressing, impoverished, repressive lands, and The Hunger Games is king of the genre for one simple reason: it’s a great book. Don’t let the YA title fool you, it’s an adult-worthy read with suspense, action and enough romance to keep us sappier fools hooked. Katniss is an admirable heroine, one who relies on her own smarts and strength to stay alive. A swoon-y, stumbling vampire-lover she is not. Sorry Bella.
Jennifer Lawrence – Katniss in The Hunger Games – was in our building yesterday, rolling in to MTV headquarters wearing flared jeans (Fashionistas: are these cool again?) and a cute stripped cardigan. She’s busy promoting X-Men: First Class (Lawrence did Letterman, too) but her interviews all seem to trend toward our favorite topic these days: The Hunger Games. She told Access Hollywood that as a lover of the series, she feels “like a fan that gets to dress up.” Who needs to be in a movie to dress up like Katniss? We’re wearing our Mockingjay pin right now.
Lawrence also reveals that she and co-stars Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson have been enduring intense physical training to prep for their roles. “I love archery! I really love it. And I’m starting to do stunts with the bow and arrow, so I kind of feel like Hugh Jackman. And then I’m doing rock climbing [and] tree climbing.” She adds, “We all pretty much have to get in supernatural shape for this.”
We were most excited by her interview with Letterman (below the jump). The actress comes across as totally down to earth in the “we could be BFFs and scarf down cheeseburgers together while watching 10 Things I Hate About You” sorta way. Goofy, quick, smart, self-assured and sexy — with a body that isn’t a bag of bones! The more we watch her in action, the more we love her as the face of our new favorite franchise.
Jennifer Lawrence — as The Hunger Games’ Katniss — is on the cover of Entertainment Weekly this week, and her transformation is breathtaking. She was all blond bombshell at the Oscars on the end of February and now, a couple months later, she is 100% Mockingjay. The magazine also gives us a look at Jennifer’s initial thoughts about accepting the role, which is being heralded by many as “the next Twilight.” The actress tells EW, “I knew that as soon as I said yes, my life would change. And I walked around an entire day thinking ‘It’s not too late, I could still go back and do indies, I haven’t said yes yet, it’s not too late.’”
But Lawrence, a fan of the series, just couldn’t turn it down. “I love this story,” she said, “and if I had said no, I would regret it every day.” She also doesn’t seem to be buying her own hype (kinda like Katniss, eh?). We love her description of meeting with director Gary Ross at the height of Oscar season.She says, “He was asking me what the experience was like and I just kind of opened up and said, ‘I feel like a rag doll. I have hair and makeup people coming to my house every day and putting me in new, uncomfortable, weird dresses and expensive shoes, and I just shut down and raise my arms up for them to get the dress on, and pout my lips when they need to put the lipstick on.’ And we both started laughing because that’s exactly what it’s like for Katniss in the Capitol. She was a girl who’s all of a sudden being introduced to fame. I know what that feels like to have all this flurry around you and feel like, ‘Oh, no, I don’t belong here.’”
Want to know what all the fuss is about? Join TheFABlife Book Club and Tweetstakes and read The Hunger Games along with us. We start next Monday, May 23rd — the grand prize winner walks away with a hardcover copy of The Hunger Games signed by author Suzanne Collins, plus a box set of the trilogy!
We’re about to get all Oprah on you! TheFABLife is starting an online book club and twitter sweepstakes and we want you to join in. We’ll be kicking off on Monday, May 23rd with The Hunger Games, right as the movie version of the book goes into production. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson are starring in the film, which shoots in North Carolina. Over eight weeks we’ll recap the eight biggest moments from the book with a new discussion post each week. Participate on Twitter by following us at @thefablife and using the hashtag #vh1reads. Every person who does so will be eligible to win either the Grand Prize (a hardcover copy of The Hunger Games signed by author Suzanne Collins, plus a box set of the trilogy) or the First Prize (a box set of the trilogy).
For those of you already on Team Katniss — we’ll be reading the book for the second time, so there’s really no excuse for you not to join us. Don’t you want to relive Peeta’s sweetness all over again? Yeah, we thought so. We’ll meet you all back here in one week with our kick off post and first “reading assignment!” Down with the Capital—up with reading!
Talk to us at @thefablife on Twitter. Don’t be shy. The official rules are listed below.
Finally, The Hunger Games has its Haymitch! Woody Harrelson has been tapped to play the bumbling booze-hound with a heart of gold, and we could not be more excited. Harrelson is insanely talented (and admittedly, kinda hot in that stoner DILF way) and rounds out an already stellar cast. Woody is one of those Holllywood dudes who flies under the radar a bit – when he’s not working he seems to spend most of his time playing soccer with Owen Wilson in Hawaii. But don’t let his mellow facade fool you, he’s been nominated for an Oscar twice (The People vs. Larry Flynt and The Messenger) and he made Zombieland one of the best movies of the last decade. Also—Cheers. One of the most iconic sitcoms ever. Nuff said.
[Photo: Splash News Online]
Which do you think she’ll look better in: pink, orange or gold? We are, of course, referring to wig color, since Elizabeth Banks’ Hunger Games‘ role Effie Trinket has fake locks that flop around her head like a fuchsia tumbleweed in a gale. We personally love this casting choice for Katniss’ handler; anyone who has seen Banks’ as 30 Rock‘s Avery Jessup know she nails it when it comes to playing proper yet slightly unhinged characters. Since reports about Banks joining the Hunger Games cast proved to be true, hopefully rumors about John C. Reilly playing Haymitch Abernathy will also pan out, meaning the main cast is nearly complete. Between this casting announcement and Elizabeth Banks ‘new baby, we wonder which one makes her the happiest. We’re clearly kidding, of course. Having a baby doesn’t entitle you to a technicolor wig wardrobe.
[Photo: Splash News Online]
This morning a tweet claiming that Hunger Games star Josh Hutcherson had dyed his hair blond for his role of Peeta Mellark caught our eye. Well, as of yesterday, that rumor is not true. Josh and alleged girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens had a date at the bowling alley Pinz, and photos show the actor with dark locks, a cool arm tattoo and a decent bowling game. Production on The Hunger Games is set to start at the end of May, which means Josh is due for a trip to the salon soon. We can’t wait to see his transformation to Peeta…maybe he’s been kneading bread dough in preparation?
[Photo: Splash News Online]
Let the Kristen Bell Hunger Games campaign commence! We were ready to hand over a script as soon as we heard Bell wanted to join the Hunger Games cast; anyone who’s seen Bell’s clever, kick-ass character in Veronica Mars knows the actress could handle her bidness in whatever futuristic distopia you can throw at her.
However, it looks like Kristen is gunning for the role of Johanna Mason, former Hunger Games victor and participant in the Quarter Quells alongside Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss. Bell’s Hunger Games note to /Films’ fans on Tuesday says it all: “Kristen Bell 4 Johanna Mason!” Kristen has referenced her love for Suzanne Collins‘ series before; Bell tweeted last summer, “I’m not just ‘a’ hunger games fan. THE hunger games fan. read both books twice.” Then again, it looks like Glee‘s Naya Rivera Hunger Games role of choice is also Johanna. You know what that means: celebrity battle to the death!
Okay, when we first read John C. Reily might be in The Hunger Games, we couldn’t imagine it. The man played Sasquatch in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny! Then again, Reilly also has an Oscar-nomination for Chicago, so maybe we can average the two and come out with the perfect lumbering, bear-like role for him to play. According to New York Mag, the Cyrus star is in talks to portray Haymitch Abernathy, the gruff, usually inebriated mentor to Jennifer Laurence’s Katniss and Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta, as well as the only living Hunger Games winner from District 12. We just hope people will get past Reilly’s comic persona from movies like Step Brothers, and remember the pitiful oafs he played in The Hours, Year of the Dog, and…well, basically every other film he’s ever been in. Actually, now that we think of it, Haymitch is the role he was born to play!
[Photo: Splash News Online]