Every once in a while I read a book that fits in perfectly with what’s going on in my real life – and the quotes work and what’s going on in the characters’ lives just fits with what’s going on in my life. I feel connected to them and find myself thinking how ironic some of the similarities are. And sometimes I read a book that I connect with from the beginning.
Here is where you stop reading if you are taking my recommendation and reading The Hunger Games trilogy. Seriously, please stop with this paragraph if you are going to read the three books. I am going to completely ruin it for you, but not before I tell you that I recommend you put the book down and stop reading if you are in an emotional state. And here’s why.
SPOILER ALERT!!!! Seriously stop reading if you are reading these books or seeing the movies. Come back when you are done reading them!
From the minute I picked up the first book and Katniss knew that Prim’s name would be called in the Reeping, I thought about my little sister. I followed Katniss through each Hunger Games arena and through this war and her love messes with the boys, all the while focusing on her relationship with her little sister. For some reason this wasn’t a love story between her and Gale or her and Peeta, it was a love story between sisters. A love story I continued to follow knowing somewhere in the back of my mind that if it’s really a love story, something or someone is going to be tragically lost. I buried this nagging foreshadowing my mind knew about thinking that I would be okay if Peeta or Gale had to die to end the book. I thought that surely the love story was about Katniss and her boys.
I was wrong and I knew I was wrong from the beginning. What I wasn’t prepared for was my reaction to the loss of this fictional sister. And here’s where the tragedies of the recent weeks all came flooding out. In the past few weeks I have watched two of my sisters each lose a friend, I have read about local tragedies of bike accidents and helicopter crashes and watched what they did to the people around, and I have prayed very hard for a stranger whose baby was born way too early and a coworker who is losing his father. And then, with the loss of this fictional character, I lost it. I was too invested with that little sister – so invested that I wish I had never read the book and I refuse to see the movies.
I did with this book what I do with most of my books, and had thought about it through the day and was invested in the journey with the characters. Most of the time this happens I have wonderful memories of where I was when I finished a journey with some character and what was going on in my own life. I will forever associate Little Women with late night talks with David when he was in St. Louis and I was in my little Plaza apartment. I will forever remember the first time I finished East of Eden and was in such awe. I remember finishing Fall on Your Knees in Texas with Sandy. And now, I will remember finishing the Hunger Games at a time when our city was experiencing a lot of loss, and I will remember that over the few weeks I was reading these books, I was thinking of my own little sister and terrified of where these books were headed. I know it was fiction, and it was a wonderful series. Very smart about the political situations and the terror of war. But also very smart about the feelings of loss. And at this time in my life, for some reason, I couldn’t handle it. To me, I was reading over the course of three books, my biggest nightmare that I don’t even like to put words to and refuse to say out loud.
So I’m very sorry about pushing this book and I’m very sorry to admit that I can’t handle the thought of seeing the movies. And I’m sorry if I spoiled it for you. And I’m sorry for the dark post and negativity about a very wonderful book. I thought about not writing about it at all and just forgetting it. But I have posted about it and recommended you all read it so I thought I needed to wrap it up. But now I get to move on from it.
What are some silly, light, and easy recommendations you have for me? I think I deserve a silly, beach read.