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Get Ready for The Hunger Games!

The “Panem”-onium is starting to set in as the latest book-series-turned-movie-trilogy The Hunger Games hits theaters this Friday. And unlike a similar yet popular series that deals with vampires and werewolves, the first installment of THG is already getting rave reviews.

For those unfamiliar with the series (well, you’ve got two days!), The Hunger Games is about a town in a futuristic country from North America, Panem, that sends one boy and one girl from each of its twelve districts, known as tributes, to participate in an annual televised battle to the death in an outdoor arena.

One of the biggest differences in The Hunger Games is that the plot does not center around the main female character torn between two completely different men. While it hints at a love triangle at the beginning (between best friend Gale and the other District 12 member Peeta), it delves into more serious issues, such as capitalism and fighting for survival.

I’ll admit that I was a fan of the Twilight series and read all four books in about a week. But imagine my disappointment in seeing the book morph into real life on the big screen; after five minutes of watching a deer-in-headlights Kristen Stewart (who, by the way, fit whiny Bella Swan’s personality to a T), I turned it off, vowing not to see the rest of the sequels. But with The Hunger Games, I know things are going to be different, in a good way. While the Twilight series cast three “unknown” actors as its lead characters, The Hunger Games’ cast is actually very well-known.

Jennifer Lawrence, who plays feisty heroine Katniss Everdeen, scored an Academy Award nomination for last year’s Winter’s Bone. Now, 21, she’s aware she’s going to become a household name.

Josh Hutcherson, best known for his roles in Little Manhattan and The Kids Are All Right, plays Peeta, the baker’s son and Katniss’ fellow District 12 member.

Rounding out the leads is Liam Hemsworth, best known for being Miley Cyrus’ main squeeze than for his acting career, as Gale, Katniss’ hunting partner and best friend.

Also on hand is rocker Lenny Kravitz, who plays Katniss’ stylist Cinna, Elizabeth Banks, who plays the theatrical and extravagantly-dressed District 12 escort Effie Trinkett, and Woody Harrelson as Haymitch Abernathy, the only member from District 12 that has won the Games and mentor to Katniss and Peeta.

I guess Gale and Peeta are the new Edward and Jacob. In the book, I was all for Team Edward, but in the movie, I was totally Team Jacob (sorry, but I’m not an R.Patz fan when he’s covered in ghastly white makeup. And did you see Taylor Lautner’s abs?). For The Hunger Games, I’m not so sure if I’m #TeamPeeta or #TeamGale. What do you think?

People.com, my go-to source for everything pop culture, has an entire page dedicated to all things Hunger Games. Take their quiz to see if you’re Hunger Games’ savvy and study up on key THG terminology, and you’ll be all set for the movie! And, as they say in the book, “May the odds be ever in your favor!”

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