By Lauren Dezenski, Features Associate Editor—Blog

With The Hunger Games movie about to hit the theaters (showings start Friday at midnight), the world needs a good dissection of the most popular post-apocalyptic book series this side of Harry Potter.

Here’s the set-up: Set in post-apocalyptic North America in the country of Panem, the Capital city (located west of the Rockies) is a rich, lavish and all-around frivolous culture and holds control over the rest of the impoverished nation, which is comprised of 12 districts. Every year, one boy and one girl between 12-18 years old represent each district in the Hunger Games, in which all must fight to the death in a televised battle. The last survivor wins fame, glory and food for his or her district.

Here’s my take on the series:

Yay: Gotta admit, I’m a sucker for a good political commentary. Any book/movie that can hold up a mirror to society, revealing its own flaws, is automatically an A+ in my book. The Hunger Games does just that. The contrast of the frivolity of the capital and its televised events with, literally, death, was not only an interesting plot device, but also helpful to put our forms of entertainment into perspective. Yeah, watching washed-up Real World and Road Rules contestants compete for some random sum of money isn’t necessarily the same, but one has to wonder the impact of deriving personal entertainment from something so futile.

Nay: This might come as a bit of a shock, but I hated the love story aspect. I didn’t think it was necessary at all. But then again, this isn’t supposed to be some sort of gripping dystopian dissection of modern society—it’s a young adult novel. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but feel a bit strange reading about Peeta and Katniss sharing a sleeping bag, preceded and followed by countless brutal and mildly graphic deaths. Reading those sections made me want to step off my platform before the first 60 seconds of being raised into the arena. Boom.

Okay: Fingers crossed Jennifer Lawrence who plays protagonist Katniss Everdeen isn’t as horrible as Kristen Stewart. Am I alone in thinking that her acting (and the entire Twilight series) is the absolute worst? Real talk.