It’s been more than a year since I read the Hunger Games series. If anyone asks me for a book recommendation, Amazon”>Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay are automatic recommendations. I don’t care what genre you read, what you think about it being a YA series, those books should be read by everyone.

Why? (oh, spoiler alert below so be warned)

Because they make you think. For once we’ve got an exceptionally popular series that adults and kids are reading that takes a young women, a poor young woman at that, and shows her as a fully developed character in her own right.

Katniss is a hero. She’s not a female hero. She’s not a YA hero. She’s a hero, a real hero that crosses genre and gender and all the other artificial boundaries we erect around everything.

Katniss doesn’t set out to be a hero. The only thing she’s trying to do is save her sister’s life. In the meantime, she gets sucked into politics and revolution but it *always* comes back to Prim.

I watched the trailer for the Hunger Games today. Until today, I’ve been dying to see this movie. It looks like it’s going to be great and with luck, even more people will read the books because of it. But I might not be able to watch it.

More than a year later, I still get choked up when I think about the end Mockingjay. I still can’t think about Katniss screaming at her sister’s cat Buttercup that Prim isn’t there anymore. I cried for days after the end of that book. Days.

I truly felt for Katniss. Yeah yeah, I got it, it’s just a book. If you don’t get it, then stop reading now. But for me, watching the trailer when they start to carry Prim toward the stage? Yeah, it got me.

I’m not sure why I’ve got such a strong reaction to these books. In that, they are unusual. But I will tell you that Suzanne Collins struck something deep. Something universal. Something very, very hard to look at. I can only hope to write a book that moves someone as deeply as the Hunger Games have struck me.

So I’ll still tell everyone to read the Hunger Games. But I might not watch the movies. At least not without a box of tissues.