Since I officially finished the trilogy last week, I thought I should share a few thoughts on The Hunger Games overall.
First and foremost, I loved it.
Secondly, I really loved it. I will probably need to read at least a couple of non-fiction books before I can really get into another fiction book simply because my heart isn't ready to move on. I know that probably sounds over-dramatic, but when I love a book, I really love it! Haha. I'm generally not a huge fan of non-fiction other than the fact that I like the idea of self-help. I guess I'm more motivated by finding out what happens next in a story than improving myself. Most non-fiction takes me a while to get through and I usually have to force myself, unless it's a really interesting biography or something, i.e. true, but in story format. But, they do serve as great palette cleansers after an especially good fiction book and I get the benefit of a little self improvement in the process. :)
Thirdly, I think it helps to keep in mind that this is a book meant for middle schoolers. It's an easy thing to forget as you're reading, but thinking back to the "Middle School Literature" class I took in college, I WISH we had something like these books to read. While there are some not-quite-perfect elements in these books, it really in no way compares to many of the books I had to read. Having that mindset helped me a great deal as I read Mockingjay especially. This is also the first book in a very long time that has given me any desire to go back to teaching just so I could discuss it. Maybe one day ... That reading endorsement does look quite appealing right about now.
!! SPOILER ALERT !!
The following paragraph talks about the end of Mockingjay in a very vague, general way but if you don't want to know anything about the ending at all, please don't read it.
Fourthly, I did like the way it ended overall. It didn't blow my mind, but it was good enough and maybe even a little better than that. While the end of the 3rd book happened rather quickly, for the last 200ish pages of it, I was practically screaming, "WOULD YOU FREAKING JUST TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS ALREADY??!!" (could also be due to the fact that I read the last 2 books in close sequence and rather quickly -- Catching Fire in 4 days; Mockingjay in 2), so I honestly didn't mind. Almost even appreciated it. I really needed to get back to my life. My heart wanted to read on and on, but my brain was practically screaming at me for my messy house, etc. I could have maybe had a little more detail, but I really just wanted a complete answer to the BIG question(s) and I got them, which is more than I can say for a lot of books, honestly. I feel like a lot of authors end a book leaving a good amount of someone's future to your imagination because that's what books are supposed to do, right? Spark the imagination. Sometimes it's fun. But I loved these characters too much to be satisfied with them simply walking off into the sunset and was actually very afraid this would be the case after a few people had told me they didn't like the ending. So I was incredibly relieved when Suzanne Collins didn't leave me wondering and that more than made up for the speed with which she went through the ending events. Thank you Suzanne.
And finally, I just want to say HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to, in many ways, my very own Peeta. I love you, Andrew! ♥ ♥