Thursday, May 3, 2012

Musings on a Re-Read: The Hunger Games Trilogy

So, as is my habit with books adapted into movies that I plan to go see, I set out to re-read The Hunger Games a few weeks ago, in preparation to go see the movie.  I finally had the opportunity to go with my husband this past Sunday.  He had not read the books, nor had any interest in reading them, but he did end up enjoying the movie.  I, too, enjoyed the movie and actually thought it was quite well done.  The vast majority of the underlying themes and plots weren't changed, though a good bit of detail was left out.  There were really only two parts that were substantially changed from the books that bothered me a little, but I won't go into detail so as not to spoil anything for those of you who haven't yet seen the movie.  But back to the re-read...  Naturally, after I closed The Hunger Games, my immediate desire was to jump right into Catching Fire because I could this time, no waiting for the next book in the series to be published.  However, I managed to keep from moving forward in order to keep The Hunger Games fresh in my mind before the movie and I'm very glad I did.

As I came up with the idea for this post, I decided to go back and read my reviews for the original books.  (If you care to do so, too, just click on the book covers and they will link you to my reviews.)  I found some interesting things.  Firstly, I was reminded about my reluctance to read the series when The Hunger Games first came out.  I had a similar reaction to Harry Potter, in fact.  Thankfully an open mind prevailed and I have the privilege of knowing just what everyone was raving about and continues to rave about when it comes to these books.  Later, in my review of Mockingjay, I mentioned that these books would benefit from being read straight through, something I didn't do when each book came out simply because I didn't have the time.  Boy, I think I was dead right on that point.  I absolutely appreciated the books much more this time around, and actually changed my opinion about two of them.  Originally, Mockingjay was my least favorite of the three books, but now I would have to say that dubious honor goes to Catching Fire.  Oh, I still devoured all three books, but I had a much greater appreciation for Collins' conclusion to the trilogy than I did the first time around and actually found myself very satisfied with the end and epilogue, which is apparently not at all the way I felt the first time around.  This story of a dystopian future world that Collins has created is certainly thought-provoking and thoroughly gripping from start to finish.

All of this being said, I think that much about these series changed for me because I am reading these books from an entirely new perspective -- that of a parent, a mother.  I had to check the date of my review of Mockingjay to be certain, and sure enough, I hadn't even known I was expecting at that point, though I would find out in just days' time.  But I found my emotions were very different reading these books as a mother now.  Not only was my reaction to the story perhaps more emotional because of what was being done to mere children, but I also gave serious consideration as to when I would want my daughter to read these books for herself the first time.  I'm not sure I've figured out the answer to that question, yet, and truly, I think the answer will simply depend on her maturity level down the road.  Obviously, I have a while before I have to worry about that.  But it was interesting how differently I approached the story this time around and it makes me wonder what other books I have read will change for me if I re-read them again at this point in my life.  Having finished the series again also makes me realize what incredible movies the next two could be -- particularly Mockingjay, in my opinion.  Definitely not for the faint of heart.

The bottom line is, if you haven't given these books a chance yet because of the hype (or whatever the reason may be), throw caution to the wind and read The Hunger Games.  Sure, it may not be for you, but what if it is?  Now is a great time to at least give it a shot, because you don't have to wait months for the next book to be published should you get sucked in like so many of us did...


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  2. The Hunger Games did not appeal to me, because I could imagine liking a story like that. So many people recommended it and good friends were convinced I would like it, so after a very long time I finally gave it a go... and loved it of course! Today I received Catching Fire and I cannot wait to discover what happens next! :)

  3. I know what you mean -- I didn't see how I would possibly enjoy a story like that, either, until I read it. I'm glad to hear you are enjoying it! Can't wait to hear what you think of Catching Fire!

  4. My daughter & husband read these as they were released and loved them. Daughter has since moved out on her own and taken the books with her. I did buy Hunger Games but haven't had a chance to read it yet. I need to say no to review copies again so I have time to catch up on all the books I want to read. Thanks for the kick in the seat. I need to read the first before I see the movie.

  5. I hope you enjoy it! I know how what you mean about catching up on the books you want to read. It's hard to maintain a balance and as I've gotten back into book blogging, I'm discovering there are a lot of books that I really want to read, on top of the ridiculous number of unread books I already have. :-) Good luck to you!


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