Yes, I went for the easy pun. But it’s true: I do wish there were more Hunger Games books. A couple of days before my trip to Key West, a good friend lent me the first in the series. She offered the second one, too, but I figured I already had plenty of reading material. “You’ll regret it,” she told me. Boy howdy, was she right.
As soon as I read the first paragraph, I was hooked. I tore through the first book in a day and a half, then dragged my long-suffering travel companions to the only Borders in Key West, where I splurged on the hardcover versions of the second and third tomes. Not since Harry Potter (which I also picked up late) do I remember getting so addicted to a series. It doesn’t hurt that it reminds me of one of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, one of my all-time favorite TV shows. And as I started in on the last chapter of the last volume during an interminable wait in the Miami airport for my flight home, I remembered that what I love about series is also what I hate about them. Series give you time to settle in, to get used to the characters and the surroundings before the insane plot twists begin. Reading or watching the next installment is like discovering a new crush. (I’m especially bad about this, since I often jump on the bandwagon a bit late and can pick up several installments all at once.) And when the relationship starts to fizzle, you can always quietly stop showing up for your coffee dates.
Unfortunately, the inverse is also true. So if the saga runs its designated course (HP), or the ratings plummet past being salvaged by fan demonstrations (sniff: Veronica Mars), the story ends—and you’re stuck scrambling for a date. But sometimes I just can’t let go. I rewatch, re-read, rediscover, time and time again. And while it’s always a pleasure, I find myself stopping before the final chapters or halfway through the last season. Because the end is near, and in some bizarre and bittersweet way I don’t want to acknowledge it. I want to freeze time while there’s still something left, even though I know what’s going to happen next.
I finished the Hunger Games, and I’m halfway through reading them again. But in this case I’m in luck: They’re already making the movie.