Like many human beings in this world, I love to read. LOVE. I love it so much that I often become so completely absorbed in whatever my current book is that I start thinking like the main character. For example, when I read A Million Little Pieces, by James Frey, I started thinking in repetition. Thinking in repetition. It went on and on, on and on for weeks. I couldn't control it. Couldn't control it. It controlled me. When I read Ender's Shadow, by Orson Scott Card, I couldn't be bothered with pointless conversations. Everyone around me seemed irritatingly ignorant. Why is this person talking to me about her homework. There are so many more important things than her homework. If I have to endure this for longer than 5 minutes I'm going to walk away without a word. I'm not sure why I do this. All I can say is that when I love a story, I want it to be my real life. That may have to do with the weird acting-like-the-characters thing that I do. Anyway.
I recently finished a trilogy that caused me to fall hopelessly in love with a beautiful, selfless boy by the name of Peeta Mellark. (It didn't help that, since I was so late to jump on The Hunger Games bandwagon, I was picturing Josh Hutcherson the whole time. Swoon.) Upon finishing the first book, I found myself thinking in full out sentences and conversations with myself, which doesn't usually happen. I wonder why that doesn't usually happen. I guess my thoughts come too quickly for me to process them into sentences like that. Isn't that what everyone does? Well, no matter. This is how I am and I'm going to have to learn how to deal with it, quick. But what affected me more than loving Peeta and acting like Katniss was how emotional I became reading this series. I should've known that crying at the end of the first chapter, when Prim's name is called, was not a good sign. I should've heeded that omen, recognized that if it started out sad it would only get worse. I finished The Hunger Games feeling frustrated and alone. I didn't like the dissatisfaction, so I figured that if I kept reading, my angst would be resolved and I could be happy again. I was wrong.
Catching Fire brought anxiety and despair. Mockingjay was a continuous heartbreak, all the way through. I cried almost the whole nine hours it took me to read it. I kept hoping things would turn around and the trilogy would come to a relatively happy conclusion, but it never did. It only brought me to the realization that everyone has a breaking point. After that, the damage is permanent. It can never be reversed. Katniss and Peeta's lives were forever scarred and broken because of what they went through -- no amount of love, friendship, or freedom from the Capitol could ever heal them. I'm completely aware that it was all make believe, all fiction; but the principles rang true and I, like Katniss and Peeta, could not recover from them. I can't recover, I can't unlearn. I can't forget how I felt reading, and how I still feel whenever I think about it.
The Hunger Games were compelling, captivating, mesmerizing, addicting. They were well written, imaginative, and original. I was able to lose myself in the story, which is always good. (No matter how many times I sat down with Jane Eyre, I just couldn't get into it. Not worth the read, in my opinion.) But I hated them. I hate how I couldn't think straight. Life wasn't happy, it was just a list of tasks that I had to complete every day to ensure my survival. And I hate how -- even though I'm finally done with the books and I will likely never read them again, thus I am free of the heartbreak that comes with them -- I know I'm going to see the movie, and the process will start over. But I have to see it. I can't not.