The first time I heard about “The Hunger Games” was from my Dad. For a while there, he would often bring up this author named Suzanne Collins who had written some really interesting book. He wasn’t sure much of what it was about, but it was receiving a lot of buzz. Since I like to stay in tune to any kind of up-and-coming novel (especially one in the YA genre), I kept my eyes peeled for it on bookshelves.
I came across it originally at some discount book store at one of those outlet shopping malls. Looking at the cover alone, I wasn’t sold. In my mind, it looked like a ‘boy’ book. Now, obviously, that is a ridiculous notion because I’ve read lots of books that are probably geared in some way more at guys than girls (examples: Harry Potter series, An Abundance of Katherines, really any book with lots of boy characters and narration). So I took a look at the back of the book and read the blurb. It turned me off more. Made-up cities. Strange names. I usually shy away from novels like those. Which again, now that I think about it, is so stupid.
Fast forward to the summer when I took a vacation with my parents after my internship had ended. I knew we’d be driving for hours across a lot of terrain. I believe we were visiting the Maine area, and would be going to lots of national parks and such. Essentially, not the type of places where you could just watch TV or pop in a movie easily. I knew I’d need to stock up on some books for the road. I’d been hearing tons of good things, consistently, about Hunger Games so I finally broke down and bought a copy of the first book. At that point, the series was established and there were 2 books out by then. I only bought the first in the series though. I wasn’t sure I wanted to take a risk on two novels in a series I wasn’t familiar with.
So my family’s road trip began, and so also began my relationship with The Hunger Games series. I devoured the book in mere hours. I was so completely absorbed into the world, into the competition, into the characters. Katniss struck me as a very relatable character and I just thought the whole story was fascinating. After reading that first book, it reminded me a lot of “Battle Royale” for a younger set. And I was hooked. I bought the second novel in the series when we visited a bookstore in Bar Harbor. I was just so excited to keep reading. I really wish the third had been out then, because I probably would’ve bought it right on the spot.
It’s been at least a year and half since I finished reading those books. I still haven’t fully finished the third book because by the time I had gotten it, it had been quite some time since reading the second one. I’d forgotten what was going on with the story and couldn’t keep my focus on it. So today, I decided to just dive back into the series and read them back-to-back. I need to know what happens to Katniss and Peeta and Gale and everyone. I’ve enjoyed being pulled back into the world of the Games, of District 12, of everything. It’s also been a REALLY long time since I’ve sat and read for hours at a time. I’m nearly done with the first book after reading it incessantly all day today. I’m also very excited for the movie to come out. All I can hope is that they don’t stray a ton from the novel.
May the odds be ever in your favor.