At the recommendation of a friend I began reading The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. For those of you who haven’t heard of the series here’s a quick summary of the first book:
“Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, “The Hunger Games.” The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat’s sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.”
As previously stated, The Hunger Games is the first of three books in this trilogy followed by Catching Fire and Mockingjay. I downloaded The Hunger Games four days ago onto my Kindle and I found myself downloading the rest of the series right away as I could not put it down.
Although I absolutely loved the series, upon completing the books I felt empty and sort of depressed. Even though Collins was able to wrap up the books very nicely, I still felt incomplete and I couldn’t really figure out why. Upon further research on the internet I found a Q&A that Amazon had with the author and one question stood out to me: “What do you hope readers will come away with when they read The Hunger Games trilogy?” Her answer: “Questions about how elements of the books might be relevant in their own lives. And, if they’re disturbing, what they might do about them.” And then I figured it out… there is an element of this book that is relevant to my life, and that is what has been eating away at me.
Thomas and I have been together for seven years now and as I reflect upon my relationship with him and the fights that we have had I cannot help but notice what the root of many of our fights were: he loves me unconditionally and is willing to do whatever it takes to protect me, and for some reason I was never able to fully commit to doing the same for him. This can also be seen in Katniss’ relationship with Peeta, her male counterpart who was also chosen to represent her district and unexpectedly declares his love for her right before they are forced to fight each other to the death. Even though Thomas and I aren’t contestants in the sick game the Capitol has the couple playing in, I cannot help but see similarities between Peeta and Thomas, and Katniss and I. Peeta and Thomas are both loving and compassionate people who are willing to go to extreme lengths to protect the ones they love. Katniss and I are both very witty, independent young women who are reluctant to trust people, even those who are on our side. Throughout reading the books I couldn’t help but feel my heartstrings pull and feel this pang of depression everytime something terrible would happen to the couple. Even after all the loose ends of the book had been gathered up and Peeta and Katniss survive this 3 year long nightmare, I was still searching for something. After coming across the Q&A between Amazon and Suzanne Collins I think I have figured it out.
Even though I had no problem letting the world know how much I love Thomas, when it came down to it I wasn’t always there for him to have his back when problems would a rise. He would also point out that when he was having a rough time I would never side with him, which would just make the problem worse. I now realize that the two of us need each other to survive and to protect each other, to “promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our loses [and] That it can be good again” regardless of the hardships at hand. It took Katniss two years to fully understand and see the kind of love Peeta had for her. It took a lot for her to let her walls down, turn off survival mode and allow herself to love and trust Peeta the way he did for her. Just like Katniss at any sign of criticism I put my walls up and I become defensive, ready to shoot down anyone who questions me or my intentions. I now realize that Thomas is here to protect me, not to hurt me. That by becoming defensive and questioning his intentions does more harm than good. I love Thomas and I need to remember that he has always been there for me and I need to do the same for him. That he also needs someone to turn to. Someone who will listen, someone who will tell him that life will go on and that there is always tomorrow. Someone to protect him and tell him I am here for you 100%. Always.