My first brush with this series was after the 3rd book in the trilogy had been released. My husband sent me a message asking what I thought about the series or if I had heard of it- I don't remember his exact question. I do remember doing some scant research on it- thinking it sounded to much like a Japanese horror movie- and curtly replying that I had no interest in the series. It was a mean response to say the least. After unintentionally chasing him off with my grumpiness I did a little more research about the series. There were 2 things that immediately stood out to me during my research- the first was that it was written in first person; the second was that it was very popular among teenagers. With that in mind I dismissed the series- and decided that I wanted nothing to do with it.
Why did I dismiss it like this? Simple- the last series that had this kind of popularity was Twilight. I tried to read these books when I was pregnant with my son and couldn't get out of bed. I had nothing else to do- so why not? I honestly didn't make it past the second page. The writing was so terrible I felt that I was reading the unedited journal of a 14 year old girl. Honestly if I wanted read writing that bad I had my own journal from that age I could have pulled out and read. So I prejudged the hunger games and was almost violently against the books.
A few months later I caught my sister-in-law reading it. I was surprised by this at first; but then she explained she felt she needed to read it because she wanted to know what her students were reading. I think I said some mean things about the book again- Kimberly is so sweet that she brushed off whatever I said- and if she did take offense she kept it well hidden.
When the movie ended up on Amazon I decided 'eh what the heck- it cannot be worse than that Japanese film I had to sit through'. (to this day I cannot remember the name of the movie I saw- it was not battle royal but had the same theme of people killing each other)
I was surprised by a few things when I saw the movie- first off- it wasn't horrible. Secondly- it treated the deaths of the 'game' with respect. Which I found intriguing. Did I pick up the book then? oh no. Still refused to read it. I mean; I didn't hate the first Twilight movie either (although it was a dumb movie; I admitted that even after I saw it).
I started following the actors of the movie- I don't know why- but I was just drawn to them. Then The Hunger Games was a free movie on netflix- so I watched it a few more times. Each time I saw it I liked it more. Still refused to read the book.
Then Catching Fire came to theaters- one of my sisters couldn't get enough of it. Finally last semester ended and my husband and I went to the theater to watch it. I loved it. It still took me nearly a month and a half to pick up the book and read it.
***technically- I didn't read it. I still haven't- but I checked out an audio book from the library so I could listen to it while I did homework. I was amazed by the book.
The beginning took me a bit to get into- I listened to another book between chapter one and chapter two. Even though I initially found the story slow I found I really liked the writing. This surprised me- as the book is in first person (as you already know) and I generally do not like books written that way. Once I was out of other audio books to read- and had only a few days before I'd have to return the book I really started to listen to it.
The story I was already familiar with unfolded- I found myself impressed by the way that Suzanne Collins wrote the characters; I had a clear mental picture of each. Some looked like the actors that portrayed them in the movie- some (Hamish in particular) looked nothing like what was portrayed in the movie. The story moved at a steady pace- told completely from Katnis's point of view- so as the reader I felt just as surprised by events that happened in the book as she did. I think this as a great choice by the author- because it allowed the book to have more meaning.
I'm happy that I finally got over my preconceived prejudices about the books and finally picked them up. It has been a really good experience.
I've started reading the second book and am enjoying it more than the first. I'd say more about the first- but the two stories are starting to merge in my head a little. So I'm gong to leave this little reaction here- when I finish the second one I think I might publish what I think of it a little faster. (maybe the same day I finish it!)