I was disinterested at first. When I first heard of The Hunger Games, I was intrigued by the fact that it was a dystopia but put off by the fact that it was classified as YA. I feared that it would be underdeveloped and poorly written and all-around disappointing. Which was rather elitist and silly (considering that I enjoyed the Uglies trilogy) and ultimately lost me out on years of enjoyment, because the only thing that makes The Hunger Games YA is the age of the protagonist and perhaps a slightly simpler writing style.
Just to note, this isn't going to be my full-fledged review - I listened to the series on audiobook and want to read it in print before I really get into things. So let's talk about that. I was actually put off at the beginning of the first book because of the reader - she sounded like a woman trying to sound younger who is trying to give a speech BuT Doesn'T nORmalLY Give SPeecheS and Over-eNUNciaTeS every word. Also, the series is in the first person, and the narrator didn't do a good enough job differentiating between her narrative voice and her speaking voice, which sometimes made it tough to figure out when Katniss switched from dialogue to internal monologue. But once I got past that, the story was insanely intense.
This is dark stuff. There is real evil going on but not in the traditional "other" way, like with vampires - rather, in a "wow that's awful but I bet humans could actually be like that" kind of way. The action is intense and incredibly emotional and made believable - there is not happily ever after here. Katniss, the main character and first-person narrator, is great - complicated and passionate and strong but confused, and very naive. Since I don't like to listen to audiobooks without something else to do (walking, washing dishes, driving, cleaning) because I get too restless, I had an incredibly clean apartment for the two-and-a-half weeks it took me to get through the entire trilogy because I just couldn't take the earbuds out and had a hard time thinking about other things when I wasn't reading. Again, I'll review it in greater depth when I've actually read it, but suffice it to say that I really love this series and
On a different note, I'm interested to compare the reading and listening experiences, as I've never read a book after only ever having heard it before. I hope the reader's voice don't translate to the page, because I know that this series will be even better without her.