Into Reading – The Hunger Games

I am restarting this series on my Blog. It’s about the various books throughout my life that have started or reinforced my love of reading. I wanted to revisit the various books on my ‘reading journey’, discuss my memories of them, why I think they spoke to me at that specific time of my life and then re-read them and give you my thoughts. Its basically an excuse to get a bit nostalgic and read some old favourites.

My Reading Journey

Like most reading started with my parents reading me bedtime stories. I was very lucky to have parents that valued stories and would set aside time to read to us. My mum would read my sister and I books from all different authors such as Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Dick King Smith’s Sheep Pig. My Dad prefers the classics and would tell his own versions of 1001 Arabian nights and Homer’s Odyssey acting scenes out with our playmobile figures. So a love of reading was inevitable.

Like most, however, school put me off of reading, I was chastised for reading ahead or not reading the “right books” so my reading slowed. I found that my love of reading would reappear periodically and I would dive into books and series with great fervour only for it to be quashed later on usually due to school enforced reading. This occurs time and time again. I have these groups of memories of particular books and then a dry spell. Between school and undergrad, my undergrad and my Masters, my Masters and my PhD, I had periods where I stopped reading for fun and focused on school. Therefore, I have a whole collection of books that rekindled my love of reading at each of those stages. It is this that has lead to this series where I am going back to the various memories and picking those books back up to show them some appreciation for keeping me reading. I don’t plan on reading them in any particular order just picking up a book where I feel drawn towards reading and then writing about it.

The First book I covered was Sandi Toksvig’s (Yes, host of QI and ex-host of the Bake off ) Tales from the Norse’s Mouth.

This time I am re-reding the hunger games series. It has had a rescent resugernce in populatry and I thought this is the perfect time to pick them back up again

The Book

Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Series: The Hunger Games #1

From Goodreads:

Could you survive on your own in the wild, with every one out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning? In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

My Memories

I have very few memeories as to how or why I first picked up The Hunger Games other than they were popular and everyone seemed to be reading them. The first book came out while I was in University and I remember most of my social group talking about it. While I had already ‘aged out’ of its target auideance it was gaining such populatry I couldnt pass it up. I didn’t actually read them until the thrid book was about to come out in 2010. I only know this as they were the first books I purchase on my new kindle which I had bought as a graduation present for myself (I graduated 2010).

I remember despite being older than Katness feeling such a connection to her. I saw so much of my own little sister, when she was younger, in Prim and Katness’s feelings of protection mirrored my own for my sister. I also remember being a Peeta fan from the start but that may be because he reminded me of the guy I had a thing for at the time (embarassingly thats who I pictured Peeta resembeling when reading the books). I also remembered a lot of the story but that might be because of the movies more than the book. It has been well over a decade since I opened the books so I think a re-read is going to be interesting.

My Thoughts now … (This will contain spoilers)

Now that I have re-read book 1, First I forgot just how good the writing actually was. There is so much gorgous world building and so much feeling ploughed into the pages. I was immediately back in the story with all its emotions. I had remembered most of the major plot points but again whilst re-reading I do think they are momeories of the movie and not the book as there were so many little details that were darker and more emotional than I remembered. I found myself getting swept away again.

I rarel find myself getting emotional and crying at books. It takes a lot to make me shed tears. I can emotionally connect with books but I find I really need to be in the book to find the tears welling up. I cried so much during this re-read. I cried when Prim’s name was called, I cried at Peeta’s interview, I cried at Rue’s death, at Peeta’s hopefulness as he was almost dying and when they pulled out the berries. All of those moments just really hit me and all of that was down to the writing. I forgot how much I absolutely adored Collin’s writing.

I remember on my first read wishing Katness could break through her hardness and just accept help but this time reading it I loved her for her stuborness but also for her moments of vunerability. I think I had more sympathy for her not for what she was going through in the games but as an adult that now recognises the turmoil of emotions and feelings she was going through especially with trying to navigate her feelings towards Peeta, Gale, Hamish and the Capitol. But I also love how resourceful, cunning and stubborn Katness is. Despite wanting to conform to the image that the capitol wants to see (so she has a hope of survival) she also just can’t seem to loose herself and that hard skin she has developed is ultimately what keeps her and Peeta alive.

Again it is down to the writing. The fact that we get to see both Katness’s inner turmoil, and the conflict she feels in the image she is trying to project, who she wants to be, who she has to be and the little bits when all the walls break down without her realising all create these fantastic moments in the book that keep you reading.

I devoured this and i am so glad I decided to re-read as I loved re-discovering what I really loved about this book.

So those are my thoughts on re-reading The Hunger Games. Keep an eye out tomorrow for my thoughts on Catching Fire.

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

3 thoughts on “Into Reading – The Hunger Games

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