Aside from the fact that this novel was seemingly birthed into its eventual film adaptation (thanks, Stephenie Meyer), I couldn't help but feel mildly underwhelmed by Gary Ross' adaptation of Suzanne Collins' novel, which hit theaters earlier this year. This declaration was met with fiery shouts from my girlfriend, who quickly pointed out each and every point the novel out-shined its inferior film adaptation. Which means, I guess, either read the book first, or don't tell anyone you were iffy on it.
Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth in a scene from "The Hunger Games." (Lionsgate)
I'm going to be a bit of a hypocrite here, because I didn't read The Lord of the Rings before seeing Peter Jackson's famous adaptations -- but this time, I'm not going to make the same mistake. Going back to reading J.R.R. Tolkien's work after seeing the original films last time gave me an unbridled appreciation for his unique prose and hugely imaginative world-building: so if you made the same mistake I did, definitely try and catch the novel before this one hits on December 14.