Going back to the Hunger Games + Favorite Re-Reads

Did you go to see the Hunger Games movie last weekend? I saw it Thursday night (my reactions here), and once I got home, I had to flip through my copy of the book to see what liberties the filmmakers had made with dialogue and plot.  As it turned out, this was a rather bad idea because I got sucked back in and ended up spending the entirety of my weekend rereading the entire trilogy (yes, even Mockingjay).

This may not seem that strange to many of you, but for me, it was an exception.  Since I started book blogging in 2008, I have only reread one other book (A Wrinkle in Time).  I just have too many other commitments to justify reading a book I've already read. But I simply could not stop myself.

And now, I have to admit, I understand the value of a reread.  While rereading The Hunger Games, I caught a lot of little things that I couldn't have the first time around.  For example, was it by design that the first time Rue approaches Katniss at training, Katniss is holding a spear? As someone who has written and revised a novel now, I think it must be. It's kind of a brutal poetic symmetry that Rue dies in front of Katniss, pierced by a spear.

In general, the reread gave me a greater appreciation for Collins' craft - the genius way she put parts together. A first read may be more thrilling, but a careful second read allows words and ideas to resonate more fully. Case in point: I am currently caught up in the idea of Peeta as Katniss' dandelion, and all that symbolizes, in a way I wasn't before.

Will you reread The Hunger Games? Have you? What other books do you count among your favorite rereads?

One of my favorites, before my book blogging days, was Connie Willis' The Doomsday Book.  I have read my mass-market paperback so many times, it's practically falling apart.  I love the blend of time travel with historical fiction (the plague!).  The plot is clever and well-executed and the characters burrow so deep into my heart, I cry each and every time I read it.  I may well find myself rereading it again soon ...


Melanie said...

I tried to reread Mockingjay but couldn't get into it.

Rereads are generally only possible for books that are on my shelf permanently, which are very few. I've read Pride and Prejudice three times and Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side twice. Other than books I feel eternal devotion towards, I generally don't reread.


I wanted to re-read The Hunger Games before I see the movie. I'm finally going tonight! Yay! I re-read it, and now I'm reading Catching Fire. I couldn't help it. I'll even read Mockingjay, though I don't care for it. I noticed something this time though. This is the first time I've read THG since I finished the trilogy. I have fresh eyes knowing the whole story. It seriously brought so much to light for me. Even though I've re-read THG and CF more times than I can count.

I'm a re-reader! I LOVE getting back into a story and characters I love. Once per year I go on a re-reading binge. I just grab handfuls of my favorite books and go to it! Each time I read them new things are brought to my attention, and I get a sense of satisfaction reading something I know I'll love. I personally think that is the greatest compliment I could give an author. That I love their book/characters enough to read it over and over. There are always new books coming out and I'm all over them. But, it's nice to take a time out and read an old favorite.

Kayeleen Hamblin said...

Love Dooms Day Book! Such a great book.

Recently reread Hunger Games, but haven't seen the movie yet. It will be interesting to see the way it translates.

Books I reread: The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley. And Arrows of the Queen by Mercedes Lackey. I've read Ender's Game a couple of times, too. I usually find a couple of books that I just love and come back to again and again. Especially when I've just finished a book I didn't enjoy as much.

Robin said...

The Dooms Day book is my favorite Connie Willis book! I'm a rereader. When I'm stressed or travelling, a good book I know I'm going to love is perfect. I thought it was interesting that Kayeleen (commented before me) also rereads Robin McKinley. The Blue Sword, Hero and the Crown, and Beauty have been read so many times I can't even count. Katherine Patterson's Jacob Have I Loved and Shannon Hale's books are right up there as well. What's the saying, "A good book is like an old friend"? Totally applies to me.

Mandy P.S. said...

I admit whole heartedly to being a re-reader. I blame Harry Potter really. Every time a new book came out, I found myself running back to the shelves to reread all the others. I've read book one more times than I can count (but only book seven three times!). But my two favorite books, A Wrinkle in Time and Ender's Game, I reread yearly. I've read A Wrinkle in Time upwards of sixteen times and Ender's Game at least twelve. And somehow, they stay just as awesome with every reread. Probably why they're my favorite books.

Gabe (Ava Jae) said...

I actually re-read the entire Hunger Games trilogy just before the movie came out, and I loved it. I re-read the Harry Potter series multiple times as well as Saint by Ted Dekker. As you said, you catch a lot of nuances that you missed the first time when you re-read, so it's a great experience, especially for those interested in writing. :)