I am fully aware of the fact that there is something ever-so-slightly off about being this into books that are geared for younger readers. However, I feel like, in my own defense, perhaps it is time to call shenanigans on that particular reason for judging me (there are SO many other reasons).
When I, myself, was a young adult I read whatever I could get my hands on. I was a completely unbiased reader. Did I learn some things that maybe I could have waited a few years to learn? Develop some misconceived notions about what to expect from relationships? Start using words I didn't really know the meaning of? Yes. These all happened, but my parents embraced it because a kid who is reading is way better than a kid smoking crack.
Anyway - since a young age, books have been just books and so that has continued into adulthood.
The way I decide what books I am going to read is by how much I want to keep reading them.
Catching Fire was waiting for me at the office on Monday morning. I managed to wait until I got on the train to go home before diving in and then it was non-stop reading. I read while I brush my teeth, and while eating dinner. I read long past it was time to go to bed (even grown-ups have bedtimes, its how we keep ourselves from getting fired at work). The next morning it was the same. I got to my office and I just sat at my desk, computer still off, reading. Then I turned the computer on, and kept reading until it got to the point where I realized that this was just ridiculous. So I put it away...until lunch.
I was done by dinner. And since Catching Fire is so good, I couldn't live with myself until I read Mockingjay too.
I think that Catching Fire might be my favorite of the books, which is weird for me too, guys. I like the smell of uprising. I mean, its no fun when everyone gets killed for their beliefs but its pretty bad ass to get to see what's about to happen. Also its the book where Peeta is a dick, which is satisfying. Apparently even when you're the nicest dude on the planet you can still be a total douche when some one hurts your pride/heart.
Mockingjay - on the second read (the first time was last summer when it came out) is still just as slow and disappointing. And I still kind of wanted to punch Katniss in the face. Like right in the jaw and tell her to grow up and stop whining.
I also wanted to tell everyone to leave her alone because she's a kid, not your dress-'em-up Warrior Barbie. But since we hear her view points rather than anyone else's - her emotions are the ones that annoy me the most.
Also, I slipped for a second and thought that maybe Peeta was the best guy after all. But then I remembered that my hate for shmoopy love business (despite what you may have heard) outweighs my love of cakes, every single time. Also, get a job, Peeta. Get. A. Job.
The best moment of this re-read came when I was letting a coworker borrow The Hunger Games and handed it to him in the middle of summer camp lunch when he was surrounded by 10 - 13 year-old girls. The girls lost their Minds. I think I won all the cool points available that day from having already read all three books.
And here's the thing - anything that gets kids reading is okay. Anything that turns the tv off is amazing. And books that bring together 26-year olds and 12-year olds (and perhaps a more mature audience as well, my mother and most of her friends have read it...and they are in their early 30's) and gives them something to bond over is the most inspiring and truly lifts my spirits in a way that makes me realize how truly important and valuable books are.
So thanks Suzanne Collins and J.K. Rowling and Tamora Pierce and Monica Furlong and Phillip Pullman...for writing books that defy labels and generational gaps.