If you’re looking for a serious and thoughtful reflection on the Hunger Games, the human condition and child labour, this won’t be it. Instead, I’m going to explain to you how I failed to finish the Hunger Games. Twice.
Let me be clear: I did not willfully walk away from the final book, Mockingjay. I was taught from a very young age that books were meant to be cherished and finished. I can count on one hand the number of books I haven’t finished. And earlier this month, I was fully consumed by the series, in no danger of never finishing it. So, a few weeks ago, I cleaned the kitchen while listening to the final chapters of Mockingjay. I was soo curious how it would end, who would survive, who would end up with whom…
I don’t know why I thought it was the final track of the final chapter. But I did. After hearing what I thought was the ending, I sat at the table, stunned. I tweeted my disappointed and sent this email to my sister.
I moped for a few hours. Thankfully, my dear friend Beth saw my tweet and called me to discuss my thoughts. She mentioned that she was happy that a certain something happened. I replied, “Huh? You think so? How do you know that?” And she said, “Didn’t you read the epilogue?”. There was an epilogue?!!
So I went and read the epilogue.
So I was pretty happy. And for the past two weeks, I’ve been telling people how I failed to read the epilogue. And then last night happened. The women from my Bible Study went out for a sushi night. We talked about wedding planning and good restaurants and the Hunger Games. And I told them my funny story about missing the epilogue. And they didn’t seem that impressed. I elaborated, explaining how depressing the last paragraph was and how without the epilogue the book made no sense.
And then things got a little crazy. My friend pointed out the last paragraph was not what I was quoting. I backpedaled, explaining the last scene. They laughed, I got a little panicked, the waitress tried to offer us more water. They asked me about a few key events, trying to stay vague. My brain was exploding as all of the questions I thought had been left unanswered were now being asked of me. Because they did have answers. Answers I did not read because I hadn’t finished the last two chapters.
When we met up with the guys, I couldn’t stop laughing. I tried explaining how this had happened. I buttoned my coat saying, “Guys, I’m usually not ditzy”. As luck would have it, I had mis-buttoned my jacket. I borrowed the book, got ready for bed in record time and devoured the final chapters. I read the epilogue. I read the acknowledgments. I read the book jacket. Done.
Can I just say what a relief it is? All of my questions have been answered. My worries about the characters, my imaginings about their fate. I feel like I read a whole new novel.
So, what are my thoughts on the Hunger Games?
It really depends on which ending we’re talking about…