105 Ways to Give a Book

The Hunger Games

I don’t really need to review this book, do I? Is there anyone left that hasn’t read The Hunger Games that is going to read it? Didn’t think so.

The Hunger GamesI remember at one of our DC Kid Lit Book Club meetings, Susan Kusel brought out the ARC for this new Suzanne Collins book and told us that it was going to be big. Not my thing, I thought, and turned it down. So oops. Could have been on the front of that wave, but nooooo.

After everyone was talking about it, I broke down and read a copy from my library. I still wouldn’t call it my kind of book, but I did find it quite the page turner — especially about halfway through, when the actual Hunger Games began in the story. I enjoyed the book, but didn’t love the book. I also didn’t have the sense of needing to know what happened next that’s driven the ARC of Catching Fire to be such a hot item.

I bought a copy during the week because my seventh grader had heard about the Catching Fire buzz at school, and when she realized I had it, she knew she had to read it. Bragging rights. One problem: She hadn’t read the first book. That’s how she ended up spending a lot of Friday reading The Hunger Games and most of today on Catching Fire. I told her that I should have signed her up for the 48HBC, because she’s doing as much reading as many participants.

For me, I wanted to read The Hunger Games again because I was afraid that I’d have forgotten some of the important parts as I moved to the new book. My book retention is terrible. On the second reading, it didn’t hold up for me. It was fine. It was still fast. But the sense of surprise was gone, and with that, the energy of the book.

What do you think? Is this a book you can read again, or is the magic gone the second time around?

17 comments:

Paige Y. said...

I just finished The Hunger Games as part of the 48 Hour Reading Challenge. Can't wait to get my hands on the Catching Fire. Now back to reading. . .

Imelda said...

Gah! I've read The Hunger Games about 4 or 5 times by now. Every time I reread it, I catch a new nuance that I missed--Katniss' inability to identify herself beyond being a survivor, her mother's ability to survive without her, and so on. This is of course the sign of a good novel! I also find it fun rereading the exciting scenes where Katniss kicks a**.

So no WAY is the magic gone the second time around...or the third, or fourth, or fifth.... And I'm sure there'll be others who agree!

Tricia said...

Yup, I'm one of those who hasn't read it yet. I also haven't read the TWILIGHT books and a whole host of others that have received a lot of attention. I did finally read the first DIARY OF A WIMPY KID.

Abby said...

Ohhh, when I reread The Hunger Games I loved it even more than I did the first time around. I feel like I picked up on many smaller details. And even though I knew what plot elements were coming up, that actually made it better for me. I picked it up and read and then I'd say "Oh, well, I'll just read to this certain part" and I'd get to that part and say "Weeeell, I'll just read to this next part here. I love that part!" and so on and so on...

Sherry said...

Yeah, I think I'll have to rely on my memory, what little there is left of it, and just go ahead and read Catching Fire when I can get my hands on a copy. I just don't think it would be nearly as much fun reading HG the second time and knowing what was going to happen.

Lady S. said...

I also liked but didn't love it - even got a bit annoyed at it at times, though a lot might have been due to listening on audiobook rather than reading. It would be interesting to try reading it this time, though the thrill of not knowing what's going to happen would be gone anyway.

There are a bunch of other books I'm waiting for more eagerly than Catching Fire, though I'll be interested to see what people think of it.

Julie said...

I would be one of the people who have not read it. Moving to first grade has changed my reading habits! I bought it today and it's on my list to read during the 48hbc.

Melissa said...

I liked it when I first read it well enough: it was fun, it was exciting... and it didn't hold up to the scrutiny of a book group. Still want to know what happens next, though if I don't get an ARC, I'll live. :)

Amy said...

I'm not sure it would live up to a second reading. Like you, I wasn't totally into it until the actual games started. Still plan to read and devour Catching Fire tonight, though!

MotherReader said...

Imelda & Abby, Thanks for sharing your perspectives on reading Hunger Games again. It's great to see that some readers can keep the magic in it.

Tricia, I haven't read Twilight either. I tend to feel that when everyone's reading it, that I might as well focus my attention elsewhere. It wasn't until I started seeing award-type mentions for Hunger Games that I gave it a try. I did like it, and think it's worth reading. I've decided to give Twilight a try this summer.

Paige & Julie, I'll be coming by to see what you thought of HG-(and maybe CF later.)

Sherry, Lady S, Melissa - I tend to reread books where the words, the writing style make me want to go back and savor.

Rasco from RIF said...

Tricia, I haven't read The Hunger Games, I haven't read the Twilight series, but I sure loved the three Diaries about that Wimpy Kid when I finally read them this year....I was laughing (somewhat silently at least) so hard on an airplane the airline attendant came and asked if I was having a problem, she thought I was having a seizure! The Hunger Games is on my desk, this summer, this summer I keep saying.

Pam, I have never participated in a Challenge before, but I sure like the networking time. I don't know that I would be able to force myself next week in the middle of the work schedule to visit the blogs and get ideas like I am doing now. Thanks again!

Jen Robinson said...

I think I could read it again, Pam, though I haven't yet. I also have terrible retention, which is a bonus when re-reading books, or re-watching movies.

I think that your teen should participate next year. I wouldn't be surprised if she had a blog of her own by then. I hear the family does have excellent tech support...

tamarc89 said...

I've never re-read a book before. There's always something new out there that I'm dying to get my hands on. Who kniws what the future may hold though-I may want to go back and read some oldies but goodies. Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver comes to mind. Loved that book.
Now back to my book.......

Amy Planchak Graves said...

I just read it for the first time this weekend, and, well, I was less than engrossed.

gail said...

There's no way I have time to reread books. To me, that's one of the stumbling blocks for serial novels. I think it's a big imposition to expect readers to reread a book (or books) prior to reading a new release in the series. I think I'd rather just wait until the serial is completed and read the whole thing at once. (Though I never have.)

As far as The Hunger Games goes, with the first reading I thought it had a good mid-section but was really slow getting going. A couple of the surprises at the end of the game section of the book were a little over-the-top, which is all I should say in order to avoid spoilage.

It had some really good moments, but I definitely wouldn't want to have to read it again.

laurasalas said...

I really liked this book a lot--but I wouldn't read it again. Of course, I re-read extremely few books, and many years have to go by in between readings. But for me, this is mainly a suspense book, and if you know the ending...

Nah, won't be re-reading it. Can't wait to read the sequel, though!

aaron said...

just read the book all i can say is man epic as i herard at first i was like wtf why they doing this but as i got into it couldnt help fall for katniss and her ability to survive she reminds me of me if i was a girl i would be her but then again if she was a guy oh s#it i would not wanna tangle with her and well the book was over all good i have catchign fire reading it wat a epic scare in the begginging if u dont have it get it its a book u wont wanna miss reading.