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100 Days of Mockingjay - Lara's THG Story

Week 1 of our 100 Days of Mockingjay celebration is all about Your THG Story. Read about how to contribute yours here.

Lara is one of our long-time readers and is the Queen of the reaction gif. I'm serious, someone needs to get this woman a crown. Lara is the mastermind behind @THGPickMeUp, a twitter account of daily THG happiness. 
“Fine,” I gruffed to one of my best friends before Brit Lit was about to start. She told me several times throughout the semester that I simply HAD to read a book series called The Hunger Games. English major that I was, I much preferred writing than reading. Literature did not impress me easily. In a sea of mediocrity, I’d zone in and out until I practically forgot the entire tale being told. Talk about a waste of time.

I kept my friend’s recommendation in the back of my mind until I was off for the summer. Soon, it was June, and I had already been on vacation for six weeks. I figured, what the hey. I could’ve used a project to kick-start my brain again. I went to the library and picked up a novel that featured a gold, foreign bird on a smooth, black cover. As I checked it out, I thought, “Hope this is decent.”

Lying in bed, holding the book, I reviewed the little I knew about The Hunger Games: 1) It involved a fight-to-the-death, 2) The older sister saved her younger sister—the infamous “I volunteer!” incident, 3) The movie that recently came out, starring a newcomer named Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth, and a handful of other actors I was familiar with. Jennifer was the main character. Katniss, maybe? There were two main male characters, but I did not know their names, nor who played whom. (When I was first reading Gale’s character, I was in constant conflict with myself: “I think this is Liam. Nope. Josh. No, no, it’s Liam. Maybe it IS Josh…”) and 4) Apparently, this series was a big deal.

With practically a blank slate, I opened to page one. Immediately, I was interested. Before the first chapter ended, I had already made it to the “volunteer” scene. How, I wondered, had I already hit this? It was to be a huge part of the series, and I JUST read it. I wasn’t even on page thirty yet! What more was to come? It was going to be a slow ride, wasn’t it?
Oh-ho-ho, was I wrong.

Suzanne Collins surprised me with every turn of the page. Her chapters slapped me in the face, blind-sighting me over and over again. A conflict would quickly arise, the resolution would be presented soon after, and we’d be on to a new problem. This novel was unlike anything I’d ever read. It held my attention, indefinitely. I couldnot predict events, like I’d managed to do in nearly every single piece of literature I’d ever read. 

I’d fallen in love (and not just with Peeta Mellark). I was in love with the way Suzanne wrote. I was in love with acknowledgement to real problems in our current world that most literature cannot even scrape the surface of because, “What if he doesn’t like me? Oh, my gosh, he LOOKED at me. Are we married yet? I have to kiss him. He’ll have my babies…!” ENOUGH! I was in love with the subtle humor. I was in love with how attached I felt to every character in one way or another.

For several nights, I read into the wee hours of the morning—until I was too exhausted to go on. I was hanging on every word my eyes flitted across. When I reached the last page, my heart hung heavily, not wanting to leave the world I had been entranced with. Katniss narrated, “I take [Peeta’s] hand, holding on tightly, preparing for the cameras, and dreading the moment when I will finally have to let go.” I felt the same way when it came to the wondrous novel I was reading. I wanted to hang onto the glorious book hangover I was soaking in. The second I read “END OF BOOK ONE,” I was ready for book two.

The rest is history.

I’m still hooked, two years later. I’ve been accepted into the fandom—even though I was a little late. I’ve met some of the loveliest people through this series. I’ve experienced true joy in speaking with them, in following our cast, in watching the movies, and in reading the book series over and over.

Part 2 may be coming out this year, but my love for this series will burn on forever.


You can follow Lara on twitter at @Larrs9325 and @THGPickMeUp 

Reader Comments (1)

When I think about The Hunger Games trilogy, I remember the winter of 2013, and when I think about that winter, I see it parted my life in two. There's a before and after that winter, and when I think about that, I know with certainty, it takes one moment for you to change, one person, one decision, that can change your life for ever.

In the summer of 2013 my family and I, who lived in South America, decided to move to the US.
It was a hard decision to make, but we knew it was the right one.

Slowly I saw how the house I had live in for the past six years emptied, and how our whole lives reduced to six bags with our belongings and a cat.

We arrived on June of that year and a week later we received the devastating news that my grandmother had cancer. This felt like falling off a tree, so to speak, because she wasn't only my grandmother, she was also my friend... My best friend perhaps, but I didn't realize that until it was too late

On August I had to start school. It was a big change and I was very nervous. I had left my friends, my family, my language, my culture... It was crazy for me, but I liked it, it was a challenge I was willing to accept.

Time passed and weeks later I was in my English class ( this was a special one because I was learning English) and my teacher, passed around a folder with a list of books. We had to chose one of them to read, and then, make a project based on it. Reading was not my favorite thing in the world back then, but what else could I do? I had to read it.

My eyes went through all the names and I saw a familiar one. I had seen the movie before and I really liked it, so I thought, why not? I know the story, so it wouldn't be hard to read. Let's read it!
With determination I raised my hand and announced to the teacher the name of the book I was going to read: The Hunger Games.

The more I read the more I enjoyed it, and the more I wanted to read.
Slowly I fell in love with Katniss and how human she was. I loved the way she loved her sister I loved how much I could relate to her and how selfless she could be.

As I read the next two books I found myself fascinated by how deep the books were, by how its themes were not only love, but sacrifice, war, justice and politics as well.
It was a satire to the fake society we live in, and the way we ignore common society issues.

Looking back to that winter I see that's how it all started for me. Looking back, I remember the lonely hours in October when the leafs were still falling down and it was just me and the book sitting on a bench It was like Katniss was there with me, she could understand me in ways i couldn't even understand myself.
I remember how I felt when my grandmother died and part of my family turned their back at me.
I remember the night I finished with Mockingjay, I remember how I held the book close to my heart, where I knew the story and its characters would live forever....
The books were always there, they helped me cope through my own little Hunger Games

Looking back I think: If I hadn't moved to the US, if I hadn't chose that book... Things would be different now.
Like I said, it only takes one decision, one instant, one person to change your life forever

This is my story. This is how I fell in love with Suzanne Collins' story and it's valuable lessons.

I learned that life is constantly like The Hunger Games. Hard, sad and unfair. There are some people that stop to play, but they are still alive in the warmth of our hearts, and live there forever.
There are mentors, that through our childhood try to prepare us for the inevitable. There are carriers, that look like have all the odds in their favor, but they are just empty inside. There are allies, that will always be in our side and will always help us through this battle.
There are our best friends, our confidents, those that aim to the same target than us with their bow. And there are the special ones, those that will be with us for our whole lives. The only ones that will bring with them the rebirth of the spring, the reason to continue, the hope that we need when those sad memories come to our minds and torture us; But most importantly, in the end there are always much worse games to play.

August 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSonia

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