The Hunger Games Trilogy: Audiobook Thoughts

Hunger GamesWhen I first read The Hunger Games trilogy, I flew through the books. It took me no more than 3 days to read any of them. You can read about it here, here, and here. Although I was mildly disappointed in Mockingjay, I wanted to reread the whole series at a slower pace. So I went with my rereading go-to: audiobooks. These are my thoughts:

  • Carolyn McCormick as narrator took a little getting used to. The book is told in the first person by 16-year-old Katniss. McCormick is 51. It was a little strange but I got used to her. I wouldn’t say the narration was outstanding but it was certainly listenable.
  • The first two books were just as engrossing for me the second time around. Although I knew what would happen, I was on the edge of my seat.
  • Catching Fire is still my favorite of the three.
  • Mockingjay got worse on reread. I am not a fan of Mockingjay at all now. This is an unfortunate consequence (my Deathly-Hallows-it-gets-better-the-second-time theory failed).

And that’s pretty much it (thrilling, I know). Has anyone else listened to the audio? What did you think?

My Thoughts on Mockingjay – Spoilers Abound

SPOILERS – This post assumes you’ve read Mockingjay. Please skip if you prefer to remain spoiler free. – SPOILERS

Just like everyone else, I’m not doing a real review of Mockingjay. Immediately after I finished, I quickly typed up some notes before my thoughts could get contaminated by my discussions with others. These are those notes cleaned up a little bit. I’m still debating and figuring out some things, but these are my initial thoughts.

– As much as I was excited for the book and couldn’t wait to read it it, I didn’t really have many expectations. I was never invested in the Team Gale/Team Peeta debate because I always felt this story was about more than romance. And I think Mockingjay followed that theory.

– I loved the first two parts more than the third. I know this is backwards from what everyone else is saying but here is my reason: I thought the third section was rushed. And I think this is essentially what others are saying when they say they wish the third section was more of the novel. The battle in the Capitol was rushed. A lot of the deaths were rushed (more on that later). The ending was rushed. I enjoyed the pace of the first two sections much better.

– There was a lot of death and killing in this book. Wow.

– I sobbed through the last 10 pages. Like uncontrollably. Especially when that cat came back. I just completely lost it. I felt so heartbroken for Katniss who had just lost her sister, her best friend, and, essentially, her mother.

– I was actually ok with the epilogue.  This surprised me (the only spoiler I heard was that there was an epilogue that some people didn’t like) because I normally hate them (I pretend the Harry Potter epilogue doesn’t exist). But I thought this one was kind of fitting. Yes, the whole happily-ever-after-and-then-they-had-babies thing is overdone, BUT in this case I think it is a great way to show how the world has changed. Katniss would never have brought kids into the old world. I think the epilogue gives us closure and shows us that the Hunger Games are truly over.

– The way things were left between Katniss and Gale makes me sad. I don’t care if she ends up with him or Peeta, but I hate that they aren’t even friends now. I almost feel like that was done as a way to make her choose Peeta. I really dislike that he is who she blames for Prim’s death.

– Oh, Prim. It was like Rue all over again. At first, I thought it was a little pointless – the whole thing started because Katniss was trying to protect Prim and then she just dies at the very end? But once I thought about it, I think it’s fitting. The whole thing did start because Katniss was trying to protect Prim, but then it became about so much more than that. Prim’s death doesn’t mean Katniss failed.

– Um, what was the point of her fighting to get to Snow and everyone dying along the way just for her to be stopped AT THE MANSION by the rebels who beat her there? That annoyed me.

– And Finnick’s death? He deserved more than that. It was so sudden and rushed. If we go back to the Harry Potter comparison (as we inevitably do) I felt the same was as I did at the battle of Hogwarts when we are basically given a list of the dead. People were dying left and right and some of them deserved a few more paragraphs at least.

– I’ve seen a lot of people complain about Katniss’ decision to support the final Hunger Games, but I am 100% convinced that Katniss only agreed to them to mislead Coin and distract her from her assassination plan. Katniss knew that those Hunger Games would never be played.

– I occasionally felt confused. Like either I was reading too fast or Collins had rushed certain parts. I found myself rereading passages on many occasions to make sense of them.

– I am fine with her and Peeta. Personally, I think I would have preferred her not to end up with either of them. I actually thought that’s where the book was heading but instead the Peeta romance was thrown back in there at the very end. It was especially surprising because we didn’t get the real Peeta for the entire novel. Gale seemed much more likely for most of the book, no?

– All of this makes it sound like I didn’t like it that much, which is not true. I enjoyed it very much. But it is my least favorite of the three and I wonder if that’s just the way I always feel about the final book in a series. Obviously and author can’t tie up everything the way you’d like. I think it’s impossible not to be disappointed a little.

I’d love to hear from you. What did you think? Did you love it? Hate it? Sleep with it under your pillow? Throw it against a wall? Tell me in the comments.


Catching Fire

When I finished Hunger Games last month I immediately went out and bought Catching Fire. I waited a little while before reading it because I hate reading all the published books in a series and then waiting for the next one (note to self: only read series in which all books are already published).  But once I started it, I finished it within 24 hours. And now, of course, I am anxiously awaiting the third book. To anyone who hasn’t started this series yet: It is amazing and you should read it immediately.

I started writing this review and then realized that I have nothing to say except that I LOVED Catching Fire. Even more than Hunger Games. It had a fantastic twist in the middle, ends in quite the cliffhanger, and characters develop in ways you wouldn’t expect. This book begins with a very fatalistic air but ends with hope. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.

I am still undecided regarding the Team Peeta/Team Gale debate. Unlike Twilight (Team Jacob!) I like both of them and I think Katniss could be happy with either. If I had to pick, I think I lean toward Peeta but since the love story isn’t the main focus of the novels, it really doesn’t matter to me who she ends up with.