Small town girl. Joins Navy. Sees the world. Flies in planes. Hunts submarines. Gets out of military and has 3 kids. Rejoins Air National Guard as an "old lady" of 38.

A humorous compilation of stories and lessons learned. Usually the hard way.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

An Unofficial Review: The Hunger Games

To say I'm a little behind the times just doesn't even cut what an anti-media bubble I live in some days.  Or weeks.  Recently, a friend who leads a book club selected the hugely-popular book “The Hunger Games”, proposing a discussion at a vineyard one evening next month.  She had me at wine.  I figured, What the heck?  I’ll see what all of this buzz is about.  After all, I did break down and see Twilight!  I do like vampires.  And zombies.  I mean, really, who doesn't?

However; I never anticipated what happened next.  I was hooked from page one.  What?  A practical non-fiction, self-help reader like me?  It's true.  So this is what they call a page-turner...  Now I know I’ve never truly experienced the full-on addicting-book-rage.  I could not. Put. It. Down. 

And let’s not forget how morbid this is- children killing each other?  The very thought made me ill.  I can’t even watch Gladiator movies.  I cover my eyes in bloody battle scenes.  This was totally not my style.  So what was it that about this book that made me neglect the world around me like a ragged heroin addict because I just couldn’t stop?

So many reasons!  It crept into my dreams.  It invaded my thoughts.  But mostly- I fell in love with that characters.  No one will ever have me like Katniss and Peeta did.  Ever.  

I wanted more.  Within days I had finished all three books.
And now, though I’ve finished the story, it has continued to stay with me- haunting me like a plague.  I can't pick up another book- I'm afraid it just won't compare.  It's totally unfair to all of the other books.

And the weirdest part:  I actually feel changed by it.  I’ve never thought of myself as a materialistic person.  Then I looked at all of my purses and shoes.

How could I splurge on such tedious things when there are children starving all over our country everyday?  I throw away left-over or spoiled food on a regular basis.  I gorge myself when I eat a favorite meal.  I wasn't any better than these ignorant people represented in "The Capitol."

It made me want to live more simply.  I didn’t think a book like this would inspire me to really analize so much of my life.

Now granted, I'm not going to go off the deep end and give away all of my possessions. Maybe purge a few.  However, I do find myself thinking before I make purchases.  Is this REALLY necessary?

Another thought began to form when I read the quote, “If the Capitol citizens are fed and entertained, they won’t question the government.”  Hmmmm.  How symbolic is that?  It is us- Americans.  Most of us haven not had to fight for food.  Or survival.  Therefore- we take our simple luxuries for granted.  (hot water, electricity, etc.) We become apathetic to the world outside of our bubble.  Out of sight- out of mind.  And the extremities we blow our money on to be entertained is truly mind-blowing.

In America, where we live like kings. We are motivated by superficial items.  Wants not needs.  “In District 12, looking old is something of an achievement since so many people die early. You see an elderly person you want to congratulate them on their longevity, ask the secret of survival.” The Hunger Games

These are all just a few of the many thoughts that have encircled my head in the past few days.  I know my family is surly tiring of my talking of The Hunger Games.  However, I just simply feel moved.  I feel like I’ve been knocked upside the head and changed by these books.  Suzanne Collins is a genius that way.  Isn't that the ultimate goal of every author?

Finally, my favorite line that requires no further explanation. “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” The Hunger Games  Just ask anyone who has had to fight to be free.  Or perhaps a former POW.

Does anyone else feel changed by these books- or am I one of those crazy teeny-bopper moms that is hopelessly falling over with the latest trend?  If so, I would hope someone would kindly tell me that I am crazy.  I would do the same for you.  Probably.


  1. The author hoped to promote critical thinking, I bet she would be thrilled to read your post. I too was a reluctant reader but glad I took the leap. As a baby boomer my take away was my disappointment in the apathy of women voters today. All it take for evil to win is for good men/women to do nothing.

    1. Oh I couldn't agree more! After all, I believe the Hollicost was a result of apathetic people standing by doing nothing until it was too late.
      When it comes to politics and the issues- I don't care what your opinion is- but have an opinion! There is nothing more insulting to a Veteran than someone who doesn't vote. (See, you're getting me all firey now- Lol)

  2. So it seems that it's mostly about self-gratification, whether it's the Capitol or Greater America (or elsewhere in the world). Our rights to vote are based on the premise that we shall get what we think we should get. If the conditions aren't satisfied, then we take arms (metaphorically). Well, that's how it all seems to me, but I still detest abstaining during elections. I guess one of the enemies of hope is indifference (channeling this: “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.”). Hah, all of these just because of Hunger Games. I love how it made me think of the world around me. This is something to tell the kids with. :)

    1. Right! That's what I'm hoping that this was a way that the younger generation can pick up on a lot of these questions/issues. Kind of an Intro to Politics 101 for young adults in a way that grabs them.

  3. My grandmother moved from Texas to Indian Territory in a covered wagon. Many of my aunts and uncles were sharecroppers during the Great Depression. I had moments in my own life when the only time meat was on the table was went my dad brought it home from hunting, only vegetables were what we grew in the garden. The Hunger Games reminded me of a great many life lessons that I knew when I was Katniss' age getting picked on in school because I didn't wear the latest trend in clothes or that I had to borrow time in the computer lab to finish reports. It resonated with me because in so many ways, it was me. (obviously not the gladiator bit). Protect what you have, trust is earned not guaranteed, waste nothing, and be alarmed of any legislature, no matter how immaterial it may seem, that infringes on an individual's right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom was never free. It was paid for in blood and is maintained only by those with the will and the investment to see it fostered. And off the soap box now, as I didn't intend to jump on it.

    I don't think you're crazy. There are few books that have challenged the status quo over the centuries. I think any book, be it fiction or non, that inspires you to examine your life more closely, is a good book. Any book that can do the same with a community is a great book. Look how it makes us want to communicate and share our discoveries? I just wish I'd written it... :)

    1. In a way you were blessed with your upbringing even if you didn't know it at the time. You have that appreciation instilled in you and do not take things for granted. I think everyone needs a little bit of struggle.
      As always- I value your opinion Shelton. You can get on a soap box anytime!

    2. That is indeed the power of writing, you can make people think, yearn & feel. I recently watched the movie and indeed felt a lot of it resonating in our society today itself. Now after reading your post I am definitely picking the books up.

    3. While I thought they did a great job with the movie- you get so much more out of the books (her thoughts, background, etc). I would definitely recommend it. You'll have to let me know what you think!

  4. I'm even more behind than you - I haven't read them yet! But I've heard nothing but good things about the book, and your review is wonderful because it pinpoints what you liked - and they're all things I look for in a good book. I'm already jealous of the author! Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Thanks Barbara! Yes, totally jealous of her talent. Her success is well deserved. Now go out and read it and let me know what you think! :)