by Tess Lukowiak
The old parable "as one door closes, another opens" stands true yet again. Fans around the world mourned the end of the Harry Potter movie franchise last summer, but now, a new book-turned-movie phenomenon is whipping fans into a frenzy across the nation as they eagerly await the March 23 premiere of The Hunger Games.
In 2008, American television writer Suzanne Collins published the first book in the series, The Hunger Games.
The novel explores the life of teenage protagonist Katniss Everdeen in District 12 of Panem, a dystopian society controlled by the oppressive Capitol. Every year, one boy and one girl are chosen from each district to fight to the death in the Hunger Games as the nation watches every move broadcasted live.
Katniss volunteers as District 12’s tribute in place of her younger sister and is forced to fight against 23 other tributes, including Peeta, a shy boy from her district who has always had a secret crush on her.
The Hunger Games instantly became a number one bestseller according to The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. In addition, it was the New York Times Review Editor’s Choice in 2008 and has won the awards for Best Book of 2008 from Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon, according tosuzannecollinsbooks.com.
"The Hunger Games is the most profoundly imagined, nightmarish, romantic, psychologically plausible and well-written [novel]," said Amanda Craig from The New York Times in a review.
Senior Sarah Murphy, who picked up the books because of the buzz surrounding the series, was also pleased with what she read. "I had pretty high expectations when I first started reading, and every expectation was met," she said.
Another captivating aspect of the series is that it is truly unique in the audiences it reaches. Boys, girls, adults and teenagers can all relate to and be intrigued by Collins’ tale. Said Murphy, "I’m not into sci-fi books—in fact, I’m not really into reading at all—but I thought the overall concept of the book was cool and I wanted to read it."
The wide audience Collins reaches has provided her with a huge fan base that is more than excited for The Hunger Games movie. "I liked the book so much that I want to see how good the movie will be too," said freshman Justin Fernandez.
The theatrical trailer released three months ago has over seven million views on YouTube, as does the second movie trailer released just last month. Additionally, the official Hunger Games Twitter account has close to 400,000 followers.
The mockingjay symbol may or may not be the next Harry Potter scar, but it is iconic to The Hunger Games fans across the nation. For those of you still holding out on finding those midnight premiere tickets: may the odds be ever in your favor.