Monday, September 3, 2012

Why Reading the Hunger Games Series is like Having One Too Many Glasses of Wine

Hope you all are having a nice long holiday weekend!

I figured since it's a holiday, now would be a nice time to ramble on about The Hunger Games--a series I JUST read while my Internet was down. Yes, I know I'm a few years late.
But better late than never. :-)

So I put off reading The Hunger Games for quite a while. Probably because I hate reading bandwagons. I've been burned by them before. **cough cough**
Twilight.

But anyhew, I decided to give this book a chance since my friend's children were reading it. Here is my experience and why reading this series is like having one too many glasses of wine:

WOW. Reading The Hunger Games--for me--was like going to a party and having a glass or two of wine. Fun. Not too much to drink, yet still feeling good. I had a great time and I didn't want to leave the party anytime soon.

So I decided to read Catching Fire immediately because the party must go on. I'm partying again, and sure enough, still having a good time. I feel like I probably had a few more glasses of wine. My head is buzzing. I'm not sure but there might be a lampshade on my head at this point. Wow, it's GOOD time.

Well, after that, I'm at the point of no return and HAVE to read Mockingjay. Uh-oh. So now I feel like I had way too much to drink and suddenly I'm home but don't remember how I got there. The party is over. I'm exhausted and starting to have a little headache come on. Mockingjay did not have to fast fun pace the first two books had, and because Katniss is going through hell and back, I'm starting to feel that way too. (Thank you, first person POV)
Then the book ends and I'm a complete hungover mess, crying like a baby at the bittersweet ending. I walk around in a melancholy state six hours after I've done reading and need a nap.

Yeah. That was some party.

I probably would have handled it better if I had spread the books out a bit. Instead, I ended up reading all three in about six days--which was a mistake. The end of the series left me completely drained and a little depressed. Sheesh. I walked around the whole morning I finished the book with teary eyes. I finally had to confess to my hubby why I was such an emotional wreck.

He just shook his head at me and told me to add a little more non fiction into my life.

Maybe he's right... :-)

Have you read The Hunger Games series? Did it leave you as emotionally drained and depressed as it did me?
Have you ever had a book affect your day after you were done reading it?

32 comments:

Wendy Paine Miller said...

What a fun way to give your thoughts on this. I'm a slacker. I read The Hunger Games years ago and haven't taken the time to read the next two. But I've heard similar reactions to yours from others even when they've spread out their reading time.

Hubs and I just watched the movie this weekend. Close as I get him to experiencing books with me. ;-)
~ Wendy

MJFredrick said...

I spread mine out, but read Mockingjay in a day. Curled up in my chair and sobbed. Just that one left me feeling the way you're feeling, all wrung out.

Love love love the series, though.

KarenG said...

Hmmm, I'd been avoiding Mockingjay because I didn't really enjoy Catching Fire. But after your review I am really curious and think I better give it a try! Besides, I loved the Hunger Games movie and want to be prepared for the rest!

Linda G. said...

I had heard this same thing from several other readers, so I stopped after Hunger Games. I just couldn't keep going, knowing how I'd feel at the end.

Scarlet Wilson said...

Read all three in the last few days. Liked the first two best of all but definitely think that all three books had that magic Page Turning Quality!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Scarlett: totally agree!! Did love the first two the best, but you can't say Mockingjay didn't have its own magic.

Old Kitty said...

This series has been on my TBR since forever!! Now I can't wait to read it! yay!! Barry Unsworth's Sacred Hunger is branded in my soul forever! Take care
x

Connie Keller said...

Thankfully, I spread my reading out over the times the series took to be published, or I would've been an emotional basketcase--crying and depressed. (I've forbidden myself to read any Russian literature until my children grow up and are out of the house. I get too depressed.) I just get so emotionally invested in well-written novels that it spills over into my real life.

Maybe I need to add some humor to my TBR list. :)

Leah (aka Mary_not_Martha) said...

Completely identify. I call it a "book hangover". I also read HG and CFire at breakneck speed but am resisting - and I always finish a series, always. I have a copy but have not read it due to the comments of readers. If you could go back in time would you stop after CFire?

E.D. said...

No, I have not read it - I also don't like bandwagons (although some of the Twilight books weren't SO bad...)
To be completely honest, just like with the Harry Potter series, I read the first 20 pages or so, and simply could not get into it at all!

Jessica Nelson said...

LOL YOu've so nailed this. I think I read The Hunger Games about two years ago, long before the movie, etc. I only read the first one. LOVED it...but heard iffy reviews on the second and third and thus, I went home buzzed but still walking and definitely not crying. *grin*
Sorry for the ill-effects. I hope you recover quickly. lol

Nancy said...

I have not read this series. The plot outlines I saw about the book and movie sounded depressing, so I just decided to pass. I have felt emotionally drained by books before. I truly am sorry to say that I can't remember which book, but I certainly know what you are talking about. Apparently, I got over it.

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I read it when it first came out and spent the weekend discussing it with my very-engrossed-in-the-story niece.

Maria Zannini said...

I have Hunger Games but I haven't read it yet. A friend of mine said I 'might' like the first one, but I won't like the others. Too depressing.

If it is depressing, she's probably right.

Donna Hosie said...

I did exactly the same as you. I was so burnt out by Potter that I decided to wait until Mockingjay was released before reading the trilogy. Read all three in a few days and was exhausted beyond belief. Amazing trilogy.

Shelley Munro said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who delayed reading this. I listened to the series on audio and loved it. Mockingjay was quite dark and it left me drained. I think I'd like to rework the end to make it a bit lighter. It was very intense and made me cry.

Rula Sinara said...

I usually read a book before seeing a movie, but since my son's ahead of me on this series, I ended up caving and seeing the movie. Wow. Intense and hard to take in, but excellent. I can imagine that reading all three books in such a short time frame left you very drained!

Linda Kage said...

I read book one; don't know if I can handle two and three. It had great, amazing, wonderful writing that sucks you in, but the bloody-must-kill-all-to-survive theme kinda got to me a little.

Susan Fields said...

I read the series and loved it, but I spread it out, so that probably helped. I actually thought the ending was about as upbeat as it could possibly be considering all that had happened up until that point. I was amazed she (Suzanne Collins) was able to bring anything positive out of that situation at all. And yes, books can definitely stay with me even after I've finished reading them. I remember that for some reason Fried Green Tomatoes left me depressed for a few days.

Carolyn V said...

Hee hee, I love your descriptions of the readings! I did read it and yes, I was just as depressed and sad over the whole thing, but Suzanne Collins can really write well.

Laura Pauling said...

The last book definitely sparked a lot of controversy. I liked Hunger Games the best. Catching Fire was good but a little more of the same. And then I felt the third book took a completely different direction. I wanted to see Katniss stand up for something and fight instead of just being the symbol of the war. I felt like the author waited until she had readers hooked on the first two books to then write about her real message and her thoughts about war. I guess that's a good thing when a book gets different reactions but I probably won't read the series again. Too much.

Melissa McClone said...

The first two books were awesome. I think Catching Fire was one of the best books I've read in a very long time as far as a page turner goes. But...

I hated the third book. Hate, hate, hated it. So much so I refuse to refer to it by name.

Jemi Fraser said...

Totally agree! Mockingjay totally wiped me out! I loved the series, but it did totally drain me emotionally - what a great job she did!

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

This is an EXCELLENT analogy. ha ha!

And I feel the same about novel bandwagons. Usually I prefer the understated, beautifully-written book that takes me by surprise rather than the over-hyped, popular, here-today-gone-tomorrow books. But i have to admit, I did jump on the Hunger Games bandwagon and have loaned my books out to about 100 people since I bought them. Oh well, we can't always be totally consistent or life would be boring. Right? :)

Sandra Orchard said...

LOL, I haven't jumped on the bandwagon yet, but my daughter loved the books. I'd never seen her read anything so quickly!

Karen Lange said...

I haven't read The Hunger Games yet. I have done this, where I've gotten entangled in a series. It's a good and bad thing for me. :) I think you're right, maybe spreading it out is best.

Julie Jarnagin said...

I read the first one, but I haven't read the other two - pretty much for the reasons you posted. The first book kind of messed with my head (I'm not sure I can even explain why or how), and I'm just not sure I'm ready to read the other two. It's like I have to be ready for the emotional investment. LOL. It sounds ridiculous now that I write it.

Southpaw said...

I haven't read it yet either, because I'm like you. I've been burned by bandwagon books.

That said - I love a power read when I can go book after book in a series.

LTM said...

LOL! omg, great analogy! That's almost exactly how I felt. I read #1 and #2 close together right before #3 came out. So I was kind of the same way.

And ultimately, I didn't care for #3 as much. But what good books! :o)
<3

Sandra Cox said...

Amazing series. Once I started couldn't put it down. The ending of Mockingjay was depressing and a little flat for me. But even so, she's an awesome author.
Did you see the movie?

Sarah Forgrave said...

LOL, I love your husband's recommendation. Too funny. I haven't read these yet, just because I have a hard time reading gruesome and semi-depressing content. I've heard that if I ever start, I'll be sucked in, which your post is proof of that. :)

Cheryl Klarich said...

My kids read them...or most of them... My son Samuel was disappointed in book three...

However, your reaction gives me a bit more of a picture of WHY.

Thanks for sharing!!