When someone first recommend Hunger Games to me, I balked. It sounded grotesque, and I wanted nothing to do with it. After my sister read it and promised I would love it, I gave it a chance.
My original thought was correct. It was indeed grotesque, but there was something about it that I LOVED. It stood for something. Not only I was thrilled to see a YA book that didn’t center around some sappy love story, Suzanne Collins as a writer is amazing beyond words, and I honestly don’t think I would be writing regularly again without her. Really. I was that inspired. It was like waking up after a deep sleep and finding yourself on an icy cliff. I could continue to stand there, making excuses and waiting until the stars and planets aligned and everything was perfect, or I could fight my way back to sanity and productivity, one chapter at a time. I finished the first book and I said to myself, “I want to write like this. I want to be great like this.”
Enter Catching Fire…I hated it at first because it sent me on an emotional rollercoaster and I deal with that enough in real life…I read to relax, not get worked up. But after my sister gave me some spoilers (dudes, I was a basket case and two heartbeats away from smashing my iPad), I was able to get through it and ended up thinking it was brilliant (which doubled the desire to sit down and write.)
Enter Mockingjay – the book where Katniss turned from independent and strong to a whiny, pointless, soggy wreck.
Now, I realize, my own personal issues have a lot to do with why I hate this book. What I saw is this: cool-as-koolaid Katniss goes through trials and turns into a pathetic, worthless mess and takes YEARS to recover, and I’m not sure she ever did. As someone who’s battled issues (the same ones over and over again) for a over a decade…this was horrible for me. I want to see someone go through trials and pick themselves back up again, not fall apart and need “morphling” drips just to get through the day.
This was horrible for me. It was torture. And if I hadn’t wanted to know when (or if) she would get better and stop whining and do something important, I would have stopped reading. Also, I didn’t want to tell my sister I couldn’t finish the book because she loved it so much. So I finished it. And it put me in a horrible state for two weeks, only made better because I started reaching out to other writers, started writing again, and found out I wasn’t the only one who thought that book stank, letting me know that I’m not crazy…there are other people in the world who understand where I’m coming from.
I hate Mockingjay so much, it’s ruined the entire series for me. Up until that book, I really liked it outside of the obviously preachy parts Suzanne tried to hide behind Katniss’ cluelessness over how Panem sprouted into existence. No, I saw it Suzanne. And it made me want to smack you in the face.
I committed early on to watching ALL of the movies, because I was hoping Katniss would be stronger in the movie version of Mockingjay. So far, I’m really happy with the franchise. But if part two turns into crap, well, I’ll always have books one and two and their movie equivalents, and I will just pretend like that book (and movie, if need be) never happened so this entire franchise won’t have to go in my poo pile. Catching Fire the movie was one of the best silver screen adaptations I have ever seen. THAT movie is what finally healed the horrible wound in my chest that Mockingjay created. No amount of annoying morphling drips will change my mind about how awesome that movie is. And so far, Mockingjay the movie is further patching things up.
I never thought I would say this after reading the book, but I cannot wait for the final installment. ^_^