Confession: I never had any desire to read The Hunger Games. I just didn’t. For years, I’ve warded of maniacal (and sometimes downright angry) questions about how I can call myself a serious reader when I haven’t read the greatest trilogy of all time. Yes, people said these things. Of course, these comments just made me more averse to the books. Then, a few weeks ago, my husband decided that we should watch the first movie. Being the good book nerd that I am, the idea of watching an adaptation without reading the book filled me anxiety. I didn’t want to read them, but my moral compass about reading the books if I see the movies won out and I ended up picking up the books. Here are my thoughts:
The Hunger Games – Unfortunately, I watched the movie before I read the book and was completely detached from the reading experience. I couldn’t really dive into the storyline and felt like I was just skimming along the surface. Halfway through, I realized that this probably wasn’t because of the movie, but because the writing is so simple compared to what I’m used to. At this point, I was regretting picking up the series.
Catching Fire – By the second book, I had learned to adjust my expectations and I enjoyed it a lot more. There were some major differences between the book and the movie and I was able to get into the story a bit more. I read this one more quickly than the first and it made me not regret my decision to read the trilogy.
Mockingjay – Perhaps my favorite book in the trilogy, I enjoyed the politics of Mockingjay. It was much more plot-driven than its predecessors, so when Collins did all the things she did to all of the people she did it to, it all felt emotionless and calculated, which was a major departure from the (and I use this word loosely) rich character development in the first two.
So, am I glad I read the trilogy? I guess so. I might not have to ward off the maniacal questions about why I haven’t read it, but I’m surely going to have to ward off the fangirl anger at my indifference. Oh, well. At least now I can call myself a serious reader, right?