‘Hunger Games’ and hunky vampires

OK, I may have taken a bit of creative license when I wrote that story last night on the “Hunger Games” event held at Hanover’s library.

I actually did know, going in, what the book is, and even a bit of what it’s about.

That’s because — at the risk of putting me at odds with legions of fans — I started to read the first book in the series a while back.

And I didn’t like it at all.

At the time, I had no idea what sort of a minority that seemingly mundane decision would put me in. It was just a kids’ story, and I didn’t find it believable or well-written enough to hold my interest for more than 50 pages.

Happens to me all the time.

Still, I recently started to think about taking a second look, after reporter Heather Faulhefer spoke so highly of the three-book series. And now with a Hunger Games movie coming out tonight — and after that literary love fest at the library this week — it seems there’s no way around it.

This is a still from the upcoming "Hunger Games" movie, based on the first of a series of books lots of folks are talking about.

That library event featured dozens of local kids competing in dress-up contests and trivia battles, even using bow-and-arrow sets fashioned from plastic coat hangers, all based on events from the book.

But it was actually the parents of those middle-school-aged “tweens” who caught my eye and ear. Pockets of them gathered at the corners of the room whispering and giggling — about the books.

“Here come the tracker jackers,” one 40-something mom said laughing, referring to the books’ genetically altered attack-wasps.

“You never know what’s going happen next,” another woman said of the plot, as she watched her 12-year-old daughter chattering away with friends. “You can’t put it down.”

That woman offered to lend me her copy — until she remembered she’d already given it to her grandmother.

OK, I get it. Everybody likes this thing but me.

So with the movie coming out (it premieres tonight at 11:59 in theaters including the one in Hanover on Eisenhower Drive) and so much talk, I’ve officially giving in. I’m going to give “The Hunger Games” another read, and try to figure out why people like it so well.

I’ll keep you posted on the entertainment blog with my progress.

After all, I might have played coy in our story about my knowledge of the book, but there was more than a pinch of honesty in those first few paragraphs. When I hoped in print that there was no smoldering, handsome vampire involved, that was from the heart.

And when I asked just what a “tween” is, that was legitimate, too. I had no idea.

But I do have a soon-to-be 5-year-old girl who’s already beginning to read. And I guess it’s high time I start paying attention to teens and tweens and trends, to know what’s going on

To be better armed, when the time comes.

Because gone are the days of garlic cloves, it seems. And I’m open to most any other idea for keeping the hunky vampires at bay.

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