If you’ve been around Fangirl Fury for a while, you’ll know that I love what I consider to be “throwback YA.”Aka, YA books that typically came out before 2013 and those that personally, I read while I was in middle school and in my early teen years. One of the series middle school me and the entire world was obsessed with? The Hunger Games. 2018 marks the tenth anniversary since The Hunger Games was published and three years since the final film, Mockingjay-Part 2 came out.
In anticipation for the first film adaptation, I read THG trilogy in 2012 when I was in the eighth grade. I remember a few of my fellow nerdy friends freaking out about it, and me being me, I had to see what the hype was about. And give myself an excuse to see a new movie starring Liam Hemsworth, my middle school celeb crush courtesy of The Last Song. Needlessly to say, the hype was worth it and I absolutely fell in love with THG. At the time, I was not the biggest dystopian/sci-fi/fantasy/anything that was basically NOT contemporary read, but THG encouraged me to pick up new genres. In my opinion, THG also additionally opened doors to the dystopian genre in YA—sometimes I wish I could say I was a THG hipster and started reading this series in 2008.
What also made my experience with THG especially important was that my dad read the books along with me. While my mom is a huge reader like me and inspired my interest in literature, my dad is on the complete opposite spectrum. I’ve never seen my dad read anything other than sports memoirs or a few other non-fiction titles before reading THG. Traveling back to the dark days when book sleeves didn’t exist, my dad would borrow my copies to read during his work commute and keep them protected in a grocery bag.
Before jumping into the movies, I’ll say that Mockingjay was my favorite book in the trilogy- because I must be a sad person right?? I will say though I was and STILL am Team Gale throughout, I was pretty satisfied with the ending even though some sad things definitely happened. I also just tend to love series conclusions, especially in trilogies (see Marie Lu’s Champion and Jenny Han’s Always and Forever, Lara Jean). Catching Fire was my least favorite book (I think a series reread would be needed to confirm this) because I was basically waiting to go back to the Games. Surprisingly though, the build-up in the film adaptation of Catching Fire was one of my favorite aspects in my favorite film of the series.
I saw all four films in the theaters, each time with my dad and then also with my sisters for Mockingjay-Part 2. I even saw Catching Fire and Mockingjay-Part 1 twice in theaters, the former with a friend and the latter with my sister who was just getting into the series. I liked seeing the movies again for catching details I hadn’t noticed before. While I’m definitely the biggest THG fan in my family, my sisters and I enjoy having THG movie marathons together during the holiday season.
Some other THG Fun Facts about me:
-I have a framed The Hunger Games film poster.
-Some of my other merch includes: a District 12 tribute shirt, a charm bracelet, magnetic bookmarks- my Team Gale one hangs proudly on my dorm room fridge-, Katniss “The Girl on Fire” Funko, the US Weekly Collector’s Edition for Mockingjay-Part 2, and the illustrated movie companion guide to Catching Fire.
-I’d love to add Katniss “The Mockingjay” and “Wedding Day” Katniss to my Funko collection.
-I’m still upset I don’t know what happened to my Seventeen magazine featuring Jennifer Lawrence on the cover (let alone my beloved Seventeen and Teen Vogue collections—warning to my high school readers to hide your precious teen magazines before leaving for college).
The coolest fun fact, which yes I think deserves its own paragraph, is that my high school graduation cap was THG-inspired. A fun play on our federal student aid system for college here in the US, I wished my fellow graduates that “May the FAFSA be ever in your favor.” A few of my English teachers got a kick out of it. I was also terrified when I decided to throw my cap in the air, with my beloved Mockingjay pin (which I received from my dad in the eighth grade as a gift) attached. It luckily stayed in upon landing.
Overall, THG will always stick with me because of when I read it and whom I shared the experience with. THG sort’ve ended two “eras” for me as a teenager: I read THG in the eighth grade, when I was graduating from the same school I’d gone to for basically my entire life. The last film in 2015 coincided with my senior year of high school, with another graduation and new start on the horizon.
And yes, I definitely have my eyes on that new 10th anniversary collection.
Are you a The Hunger Games fan? Share some of your favorite THG memories in the comments!