The media hype surrounding today’s release of “The Hunger Games” has been hard to miss. The movie is based on the smash hit book series by Suzanne Collins. While it’s a young adult novel and much like the “Twilight” series, the compelling storyline appeals to readers of all age groups. It’s also dark and dystopian, which makes it feel more adult. I enjoyed the trilogy, so I definitely plan to see the movie, especially since it’s getting positive reviews so far.
The book is told from the perspective of Katniss Everdeen, a hardy 16-year-old who lives in Panem, a country that was once the United States before a violent revolution. All of the riches and power are now solely in The Capitol. The rest of the country is divided into districts; some districts are wealthier or better off, though some, like the one where Katniss lives, is very impoverished. She illegally hunts animals to help feed her mother and little sister.
Here’s where things get grisly. As a reminder of the country’s dark past, each year, The Capitol hosts The Hunger Games. Wikipedia summarizes it quite nicely: “The Hunger Games are an annual event in which one boy and one girl aged 12 to 18 from each of the 12 districts surrounding the Capitol are selected by lottery to compete in a televised battle in which only one person can survive.”
Katniss’s little sister is selected as the female lottery “winner” for their district. The tough Katniss steps in for her sister instead. The book is a nail-biter, and a love triangle makes things even more dramatic.
It’s also interesting to observe the fictional world that Collins created. The Capitol is an over-the-top place, where people wear bizarre makeup and hairdos and have futuristic contraptions and use weird words. Wealth is rampant and people are snobbish. But in the districts, people are much poorer and humbler. Many have trouble making ends meet. They don’t have the riches and benefits that those in The Capitol do. Is this ringing a bell for anyone?
It’s like an extreme version of the situation that spurred the Occupy Wall Street protests. The main difference is that citizens of the districts have to abide by very strict rules and are subject to Big Brother-like surveillance at times. As the games go on, Katniss develops a hatred for The Capitol and tries to turn the tables on its power structure. The book was first published in 2008, but the story seems eerily timely.
Please continue reading for my roundup of my 10 favorite personal finance blog posts from the past week!
1. Fat Guy Skinny Wallet offers suggestion on how to lower your transportation costs in the face of rising gas prices.
2. After speaking about money to a group of homeless people, One Money Design realized that many of them aren’t that different from him.
3. Want to be eco-friendly but think you can’t afford it? Prairie Eco-Thrifter lists seven ways you can be more green for under $7.
4. Lazy Man and Money discusses how many people pass up on certain expenses in the now without focusing on the total cost of ownership that will pay off in the future.
5. PT Money shares several ways you can save money on travel — one of the main ways being to get a rewards credit card!
6. Money Crashers explains how you can stop being jealous of about money and getting envious when you see others outspending you.
7. Brip Blap discusses a shirt he recently saw a little girl wearing and questions her parents’ attitudes toward personal finance.
8. Faithful With a Few lists eight different things you can do with your tax refund, from paying down debt to giving to others.
9. Good Financial Cents shares 95 funny quotes all about money.
10. Mr. & Mrs. Not Made of Money reveals five great tips that will save you both time and money.