So I never really had any interest in The Hunger Games. I watched the first movie when it came out in cinemas (I think I went with my mother, can't quite remember), and it was decent but I never bothered to watch the rest, and never had any interest in reading the books. I scrolled through posts about it on Tumblr and read the spoilers with no hesitation; I was never going to read it, but the discussions were interesting, so who cares if I know what happens?
Well, things sort of changed. Really the only reason I read these books is because I signed up for the Kindle app on my phone. When you sign up you get to choose 10 books at the start and for 7 days you can read them for free. Honestly I don't even have any interest in reading on my phone either, but I figured I might as well have the app, just in case. Out of the ten book choice, The Hunger Games trilogy was there, so I picked them just because I didn't recognise anything else on the screen.
Then one night, after I finished The Book of Lost Things, I was sitting around on my phone and started to read the first book. I've been having some sleep troubles lately, so it was no surprise that by the time I fell asleep I was 50% through.
What was surprising, was that I actually liked it.
I realise now that "don't judge a book by its movie" might be a better phrase than the one about the cover. Because I really enjoyed the first book. I didn't find it anything special, giving it 3/5 stars on Goodreads, and the writing style left a lot to be desired, but I enjoyed it. Then I figured "Hell, I have the other two, might as well finish them off."
And I had the whole trilogy read within 2 days. I flew through it, enjoying the second book more than the first (4/5 stars) and the third about the same as the second (also 4/5 stars). But gods did I hate the ending.
I did't hate the ending because it was a bad ending though. I hated it because I'd actually become invested in the characters and I wanted them to BE HAPPY DAMN IT.
Sure there were a few things about it that I didn't care for. The love triangle being the biggest one. I think that you could have made Gale and Katniss' relationship purely platonic and literally nothing would have changed about the story. And then there were a few bits and pieces that I don't think wrapped up all too well, but really, I had completely surprised myself with how much I thoroughly enjoyed these books.
It's my own fault, I think, for judging the books from the movie. And if I'm totally honest, up until about two years ago I thought myself something special for not reading hyped up books, like it made me a better reader than some people. Of course I was totally full of shit and got over that ages ago, but still never pulled myself to give these books a go up 'til now.
While reading the last book I came across the chapter where Katniss sings The Hanging Tree, and ended up looking it up on YouTube. "They must have included this in the movies," I thought "It's too beautiful not to."
When I heard it, I cried. Genuine tears came out of my eyes. Music has always been a very emotive art form for me, and I realised then that there's always one plus to having a movie adaptation to a book: the soundtrack. Good gods I'm keeping that song in a playlist because it is gorgeous.
So basically, I'm so glad I did finally read these books. And I think the only thing left to say is: thank you Amazon Kindle!