I feel as though I need to start this post with a bit of an explanation. I can hear all sorts of assumptions being made - "Oh, she only read the books because the movie was being released." Honestly? That's only part of the reason. I've known about The Hunger Games series since the first book was released back in 2008 because I used to work in a book store. This job allowed me know when books were released and to have an idea of what was popular. When I had tons of people telling me something is good I usually paid attention. Key word being usually. The Hunger Games was on my radar and even though I had co-workers telling me I MUST READ THEM, I never did. Part of it was because I was 21 when the first book came out. Not exactly the target demographic for a YA series. The other part was that I just didn't think the subject matter would be interesting to me. Post apocalyptic world? Kids fighting other kids to the death? No thanks. So I kept putting it off. I would walk by the books on my shift and every once and awhile would think about reading them but I would always dismiss it. Once the movie buzz started way back when I started thinking more seriously about the series. Then I saw the trailers. That's when the actual story started to interest me - I think I just needed it shoved in my fact to really get it. So, in a way, I did jump on the bandwagon. And I'm finally starting to come to terms with that. The point of all this rambling (and be prepared...this post is going to be massive and will contain a lot more rambling) is that I finally got around to reading this series by Suzanne Collins. And guys,
THEY WERE FREAKING AWESOME.
Cue own butt kicking.
Why did I wait so long to read these books? Stupid, stupid me. Oh well. I've read them and am now totally obsessed.
As I mentioned, I'm not exactly the target audience for these books so not many of my friends have read them (and if they have they are keeping that fact under wraps). Since I love to talk about what I'm reading, especially when it's such a powerful story, I was constantly texting my one friend who has read them with updates on my thoughts as insane things occurred. Needless to say (at least to those of you who have read the books), I was texting him a lot. Things like, I can't believe they killed that character! Or, woah why is that happening? So I feel that I must say: thanks for putting up with me! :)
I'm glad I had at least one person to really bug about these books because they're so intense that I really needed to talk it out. This intensity is really what made me love the books. I could feel all of Katniss' emotions and was constantly on edge, just as she was. The circumstances she finds herself in are just so unfathomable but Collins writes in such a way that you're connected and can understand what's going on, even though it's nothing like our own lives (thank goodness).
|A Mockingjay Pin|
For those of you considering this series and think it's too violent - you're probably right. A lot of characters die. Not only that but they're gruesome, bloody deaths. It's not pretty. But, if you don't think about the fact that everything started with these Games where 24 kids are thrown into an arena to fight to their death...ok, you'll probably think about it. But don't focus on that. Focus on the story - Katniss' life, the romance (which, happily, doesn't feature too prominently like some other series' *cough* Twilight *cough*), the uprisings. Prepare yourself for the deaths of favourite characters because it will happen and it's incredibly sad (yes. I teared up in both Catching Fire and Mockingjay). I actually went into reading this series expecting everyone to die. And no, I am not going to tell you if I was right. Read them yourself. Anyway. Have I depressed you enough with all this death talk? Even though the books are violent and that's not usually my thing, I still loved them and I don't think anyone should let that issue stand in the way of reading these books.
It's been awhile since I've been so totally engrossed in a book. I was hooked from page one. As I write this, I'm still thinking about the series even though I finished Mockingjay a couple of days ago. I'm trying to do everything I can to prolong this feeling. I want to live in the world of Panem for just a little while longer. True book lovers will understand this. Sometimes you happen upon a book or series and you become so involved in story and the lives of the characters that you just never want to leave.
This isn't so much a review post as it is an overall feeling on the books. There's not much I can say that hasn't been said before. Great for teens and adults alike. Yes, it will be a little violent for some. It's not as good as Harry Potter but it comes close. It's definitely better than Twilight. It provides an amazing heroine for young girls. Mockingjay is horribly depressing because Katniss is incredibly broken and it's essentially a war book. Other than that last fact, they're just plain awesome and everyone should read them :)
Am I going to read any other books on those "if you liked The Hunger Games you'll like these books" lists? Probably not. I didn't read it for the world Katniss lived in. I read it for the story, which is the reason I read Twilight too. Do I like vampires? Not particularly. Did I enjoy the story? Yes. Even though I know what I usually like, I am going to try and keep a more open mind from this point forward because I now know what it's like to almost miss out on something amazing. Don't let it happen to you! If you haven't read these ones yet...well, I can't recommend them enough.
Happy reading...and may the odds be ever in your favour!