First of all, Happy (Snowy) Hump Day!
Boo, hiss! Shoveling sucks.
Now that I have that out of my system, let's get down to the burning question:
YOU: Okay, Linda, what did you think of The Hunger Games? Be honest, now.
ME: Mixed reaction. I liked it, but I can't say I enjoyed it. It was a satisfying read, and if I were a bit more masochistic, it would have thrilled me. It was superbly written. The characters, the tension, plot and setting -- all pretty darn perfect, in my opinion.
YOU: So, what's not to enjoy? Aren't you just spitting hairs? Are you really that picky?
ME: Hey, no need to get all accusatory and personal!
YOU: *rolling eyes* Sorry. So, Linda, would you care to explain why didn't "enjoy" a book you obviously recognize as good?
ME: Well, since you ask so nicely...*rolling eyes back*...I blame it on being a mother. While I could, to a certain extent, identify with Katniss, I found myself too often "watching" the Hunger Games in my head from, say, her mother's perspective. Or any of the tributes' mothers. How utterly awful to watch your children in that position! It was all too easy to imagine what it would have felt like to see one of my children participating in such a horrific undertaking. More than once, I not only fought tears, but actually felt my gorge rise. Not that Collins was what I'd term "pornographically" descriptive of the violence she portrayed. But what she wrote was all too easy to visualize, and it wasn't pretty.
See, it's much easier for me to read about (or watch) adults going through hell than children. With adults, I'm better able to share the struggle. When the characters are young, it just makes me feel helpless, and I hate feeling helpless.
YOU: But isn't that the mark of a great writer? That Collins could make you feel so strongly?
ME: Yes. Certainly. But it doesn't mean I enjoy feeling that way.
But before you get your knickers totally in a twist, let me explain that I don't always enjoy the long, get-your-heart-pumping walks I take for the sake of keeping in shape, either. I like them, because they make me feel better in the long run, but if I said I loved the sweating and twitching muscles that often ensue when I push hard, I'd be lying. If I had my druthers, a perfect physique* and a healthy heart would be the natural by-products of sitting on the sofa with a cup of tea and a good book. But alas...
YOU: (grudgingly) All right. I guess I understand that. So, are you going to read Catching Fire and Mockingjay?
ME: Honestly? I don't know yet. Not right away, anyway. I'm not quite ready to watch Katniss be tortured again just yet.
So, there you have it. For all you Hunger Games lovers out there: don't hate me! Really, it's me, not you. We can still be friends, right?
*Not that I by any stretch have a perfect physique. Remember, I'm talking druthers.