Saturday, 7 April 2012

May the odds be ever in your favour.

The title of this blog post is appropriate for two reasons:
The first is that I have exams soon. Like, really soon. Like, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday soon. And then two more after that. And I hate exams. Well, that's not strictly true. Send me into a Maths exam, and I'm completely fine (I know, an English student who likes Maths surely can't exist, but here I am, darlings), but exams that involve intelligent, creative thought and large amounts of writing in a small amount of time make me horribly unhappy. Those of you who know me will know that I'm not one to get stressed out by academia. My ability to procrastinate more than most people I know and yet still succeed to a reasonably high degree means that I'm somewhat complacent about, well, everything. As such, I don't like pressure, and I don't like it when feels like things are going wrong, and exams induce both feelings. Revision and exam preparation don't stress me out, and I usually come out of the exam with a decent mark, but the 15 hours that I will be spending in an exam room over the next few weeks are my own personal idea of hell. I hate writing under pressure, and it's become apparent that people here write with far more speed than I do, because I will undoubtedly be one of a mere handful of students who keep writing until the 3 hours are up. And it stresses me out. Gah.
The second reason is far less upsetting: I read The Hunger Games this weekend. And by that I mean that I read the entire trilogy. In two days. It quite literally possessed me. As soon as I finished the first book yesterday afternoon, I had to read the second, but since Brittany had the actual book, I found a pdf online. By the time I finished it, I had to go to bed, but as soon as I woke, I stuck my nose straight into the third book.

Granted, I'm one of those horribly uncool people who hadn't even heard of the books until the film came out, and even had the audacity to watch the film before reading the books. But I don't care. The books are wonderful, and so is the film. I'm beginning to have issue with people who feel a sense of superiority by proclaiming that the book is always better than the film, when they are two entirely different art forms. You wouldn't go to a performance of Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet and expect to hear someone declare, "Well I liked it, but the play was much better." No. And while film is undeniably much closer to written literature than music is, it is an unfair comparison to make. If a book is excellent as a book, and a film is awful as a film, then I will wholeheartedly support anyone who wishes to say that the book is better. However, the implicit argument of so many people always seems to be that the book is superior, simply because it is a book, which is, quite frankly, entirely nonsensical. And while I, as a student of the written word, am a huge supporter of books in general, I'm not about to bite your head off if you tell me that you like the Huger Games film, but haven't read the books. I will simply reply with "I agree. It's an amazing film. The books are really good, too. You should read them sometime. Y'know, if you want to." Enthusiasm for the written word does not mean that you have to look down upon anyone who hasn't had a chance to read something yet, or who simply doesn't want to, or even someone who didn't read a book until the movie came out. It's my fault that I'd never heard of the Hunger Games until now, so people have no right to go around acting all superior because they happened to be in the right bookstore at the right time, or didn't have the issue of having a million other books to read for their degree.
Anyways, rant over. Not sure where that came from. You'd think someone had said something to me, but it's more of a result of constantly seeing fans of just about everything berating others for only liking something now that it's mainstream. So what? Doesn't mean that I like it any less than you do. The point is, I adore the Huger Games. Just total admiration. And while they are clearly written for teenagers, they're still well written. There's enough lovey-dovey stuff to keep the hopeless romantic in me hooked, and enough witty humour to keep a punster like me content, but it's not at all an overly whimsical trilogy. It may not have been the most sophisticated book choice, especially since I should probably have been reading Shakespeare or something instead, but it reminded me why I love reading in the first place, and after a few years of putting off reading, be it necessary or recreational reading, I really needed that.
And, whatever your opinions on whether you prefer the book or the film, you cannot deny that reading the book does not allow to swoon over the beautiful Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Just sayin'.
*sigh* He's come such a long way since Neighbours!
So this has gone far longer than expected. Other news includes that fact that my parents will be arriving in Canadia in less than 48 hours. Happy face. Also, I'm developing a worryingly enthusiastic like/love of One Direction. Shameful, I know, but they make me happy, and after years of adoring wonderful British boybands who never found success in North America, the fact that I regularly hear "What Makes You Beautiful" on the radio here makes me kinda proud, in a weird way.
So yeah, Hunger Games and One Direction. I may only have a few months before I turn 20, but dammit I'm clinging on to the teenage years for as long as I can.

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