Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hard to Say Goodbye

Last week I finished The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, and now I'm counting the days until my pre-ordered copy of Mockingjay arrives. While there are many reasons I'm anxious to continue with Suzanne Collins's wonderful Hunger Games trilogy, mostly I just can't wait to get caught up with the characters again. They're people I want to spend time with, people I wish I knew. That, to me, is the number one reason I love certain books.

My sister tells about how, when she was much younger, she actually searched for doorways into Narnia. She wanted to go there with Edmund, Lucy, Peter, and Susan, to be part of their adventures. Now her son cries when he finishes each Maximum Ride book because he so wants to be part of the flock and fly away with Max and her family of mutant bird kids. I know how he feels. I feel the same way about Katniss and Peeta and Gale. Okay, so I didn't actually cry when I finished Catching Fire, but I have been thinking about it ever since.

I know I've already asked about favorite characters, but do any come to mind that felt like old friends, that it actually hurt to say goodbye to? What is your favorite quality in a character?


Kelly said...

Weren't those amazing books? I just read them a few months ago back to's hard to wait to see what happens!
I'm not sure what my favorite quality in a character is...that's hard to pin down. I do like humorous characters and loyal ones too.

Julie Musil said...

I have to read Catching Fire! I loved Hunger Games so much, and I'm glad it's a trilogy.

Favorite characters...I loved the mc in a historical fiction novel called "Wideacre." She was nuts, did horrible things to people, and yet I rooted for her. What's the deal with that? I still remember that character, so that was some darn good writing.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope your son enjoys sleepover camp. It'll probably be harder on you than it is on him!

Vicki Rocho said...

I think I'm going to wait until the third book comes out before I start this trilogy.

There were so many books that lingered after I'd finished them, but at the moment I'm drawing a blank. That's how my mind works, y'see. Ask me a direct question, I blank out. Ask me about cheese or some other unrelated topic, and the title of every book I ever read will be on the tip of my tongue, ready to share.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I'm reading Catching Fire right now, Susan!

Narnia definitely did that for me, too. I also tried to climb into the wardrobe as a child. I recently finished reading A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck. That's one book I didn't want to end ... and I miss the characters, too!


Christine Danek said...

I just finished the Hunger Games. So good. I can't wait to read Cathcing Fire. There are so many characters I wanted to be along with being in the story. Many of them felt like friends that I wanted to be with and couldn't wait to see --I mean-- read about again.

Old Kitty said...

Oh I'm reading so much good stuff about Catching Fire and Hunger Games!! WOW!!! So on my to read list by the end of 2010!!! :-)

Oooh I agree about characters that we have to leave as we get to the end of the page. Especially when they *gulp* get killed off or die heroically (I still get upset with Sherlock Holmes locked in combat with Moriarty falling off that waterfalls!!!).

Take care

Susan Fields said...

Kelly - I love humorous characters, too. I so wish I could write humor!

Julie - I'll have to add Wideacre to my TBR list! If that character could be so bad and still make you root for her, it must have been good!

Vicki - What's the best temperature to keep Muenster cheese at? There - did you think of it? :) It's smart of you to wait until all the books are out to start the trilogy, then you won't have an agonizing wait like I'm going through right now. 36 more days!

Amy - I hope you're enjoying Catching Fire! My daughter's reading it right now, and the poor thing, every time she puts the book down I want to know what part she's at and have a big talk about it. Guess that's my way of reliving the book. :)

Susan Fields said...

Christine - I hope you enjoy Catching Fire as much as I did! I thought she did an excellent joy following up an amazing first book.

Old Kitty - That would be even worse if they died! If that happens at the end of Mockingjay, I really might cry. :(

Jen said...

I've yet to read any so I need to catch up, but the ending of a series is always tough. Reading Harry Potter especially the last installment I cried my eyes out when it was over, then I picked them up and read them over and over several more times, each ending with the same reaction, sad it was all over.

Joanne said...

I don't think there's any one character quality that gets me. It's more if the story leaves me thinking about it for days afterward. So it's the whole journey of the book that I love, and the way it takes me places as well as the character.

Jemi Fraser said...

I can't wait for Mockingjay either! Collins has sure created a memorable setting and awesome characters! So well done :)

Lola Sharp said...

I don't read a lot of YA, but occasionally I pick up one of my daughter's books (either because she raves about one of them, or because one of my bloggy friends do), and I did LOVE Hunger Games.
But, I didn't love the second one as much. I didn't hate it or dislike it, it just didn't hold me the way her first book did. I will read Mockingjay when it comes out (and when my daughter is done with it).

When I was a child, the Narnia books sucked me in deep, as did A Wrinkle in Time. (I still love them.)
And I remember in 2nd grade reading Charlotte's Web all by myself, and sobbing at the end. To this day, even though spiders terrify me (and I was bit by a brown recluse in my twenties that left a permanent scar) I still cannot allow anyone to kill a spider. I make them gently remove it in a tissue and put it outside.

Happy Monday,

Susan Fields said...

Jen - I felt the same way about Harry Potter. I think it's worse with a series, when you've been with those characters through so much.

Joanne - Don't you just love a book that you keep thinking about? Especially when it's a series and you know there's more to come. That's where I am with Hunger Games right now.

Jemi - She's my new favorite author, for sure. I read a few of the Gregor books, but they didn't pull me in nearly as much as Hunger Games does. I think it's the romance angle. :)

Lola - My niece said the same thing about not liking Catching Fire as much. Certainly Hunger Games had the whole new world to discover, which was awesome, but I still loved Catching Fire, probably almost as much. I hope I feel the same way about Mockingjay! I'm dying to see how she wraps this all up.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Love love love Hunger Games! I'm looking forward to Mockingjay as well!

And this will sound so cliche, but I was really sad when Harry Potter 7 ended. I just wanted to keep going, to hang in there with Harry.

Tess said...

I know everyone (including me) loved the Hunger Games books...but, do you find it interesting that the point of the book is how awful the capitol people are for finding entertainment in the violence, and yet - that is what we as readers are doing?

Just wanted to wax philosophical on that for a moment.

Susan Fields said...

Carolina - It's only cliche because so many people felt that way, including me. She did such a great job creating those characters, I felt like I knew them. It was definitely hard to say goodbye.

Tess - What an interesting point! I hadn't thought of that before, but you're right. And it is a very violent book, to be sure, which usually I don't like. I just liked Katniss so much I had to keep rooting for her.

Kimberly Franklin said...

I love The Hunger Games. It's so different and original and refreshing!!

Shelley Sly said...

Oh, I love when I read a book and miss the characters at the end. That's good writing. Haven't read The Hunger Games yet, but I plan on it.

Wouldn't you love it if your book had that effect on readers? That would be a dream come true...

Lenny said...

hi miss susan! thanks for being a follow for me. now im yours too! i like a book that makes me feel like im part of it even after im done reading it. im a really good fantasizer and i stay in a book for a long time mostly when i go to bed or got nothing to do. what i like mostly in a character is real honest feelings for whats happening and lots of humour.
...smiles from lenny

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

I love characters that I can connect with...Ones I can feel their pain and want to help them. Like Jacob from the Twilight Saga...I's so love to help him with his pain. (wink)

Susan Fields said...

Kimberly - I know - it is so original! How I wish I could be that creative!

Shelley - Absolutely! Reading Hunger Games really made me think about what an effect a truly great book can have. I'd so love to be able to do that someday!

Lenny - Thanks so much for stopping by and following! I really enjoyed my visit to your blog and look forward to many happy returns! I agree, a great book can make you feel what the mc is feeling, which is such an awesome thing to do.

Sharon - Isn't Taylor Lautner, like, 16 or something??? Just kidding - I can tease you because you're coming to visit me in a few weeks so you'll have to forgive me. :)

Jai Joshi said...

It was hard to say goodbye to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. And I hated saying goodbye to Elizabeth and Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. I still haven't said goodbye to Narnia.


Talli Roland said...

Great question! I like a persistent character who keep going and doesn't whine. Whin(e?)y characters are the worst!

Margo Berendsen said...

My favorite quality in a character is nobility - not as in royality, but a character who either loves so much or honors so much, they will sacrifice everything. I get that feeling about Peeta! Also the reason why I love Gandalf and some of the other characters in Lord of the Rings so much.

Susan Fields said...

Jai - The nice thing about Narnia is there are so many books, you can just keep going for a while. And now with the movies coming out, it should keep going for many years. I love Narnia and LOTR, too.

Talli - Absolutely! I like a man who takes care of things - he has to be capable (and no whining!)

Margo - That's a great description of Peeta, he loves so much he'll sacrifice everything. I get the feeling Katniss would just rather die than live tortured with guilt, but Peeta just loves her so much. It broke my heart when he gave her that locket with the picture of Gale.

Jennie Bailey said...

Oh Susan, what funny timing this is! I'm just finishing Hunger Games. I picked it up late on Monday night and it's all I've thought about for the last 24 hours. I've read it every chance I've had. I love love love Katniss and Peeta. I'm making time in my errands tomorrow to pick up a copy of Catching Fire. I've already preordered Mockingjay on Amazon!

My favorite characters are heroes with true courage - they may be scared but they do what has to be done anyways because there isn't another choice, because it has to be done.

Susan Fields said...

Jennie - You were smart to go out and buy Catching Fire. I ordered it at the same time I pre-ordered Mockingjay, thinking there was no way I'd finish Hunger Games before Catching Fire arrived. Little did I know how addictive it is! But Amazon came through for me, and I only had to go about half a day after I finished Hunger Games until Catching Fire arrived.

I agree - a hero's got to have courage! Your description reminds me of Harry Potter, and Katniss, too!