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Real or Not Real

by Meghann on September 13, 2012

I finally finished the last book in the Hunger Games trilogy a couple of nights ago.

(and if you’ve read the book you understand the title of this post πŸ˜‰ )


If you’re doing the math, that means I finished all three audiobooks (at roughly 8-11 hours a piece) in less than three weeks. To say they were addicting would be an understatement. I couldn’t get enough of the books – I would listen while doing the dishes, grocery shopping, running, lifting weights, sitting in front of the tv, pretending I was watching football, etc. etc. They were good!

However, as soon as the third book was over, I felt unsatisfied. I’m not sure why, but I think I was hoping for something a little more climatic with the ending. Someone had left a comment last week stating that she felt like the ending was sudden, like “the author felt like she was tired of writing.” I have to agree with that statement. I’m not saying it was a bad ending, I just felt it wasn’t as detailed or drawn out as the rest of the book. I actually re-listened to the final chapter to see if I had missed anything that would make me feel better – I didn’t. (thought I did like how she ended with the “real or not real” line)

I’m tempted to listen to the series all over again. Maybe not listening as obsessively as the first go around, but saving the audiobooks for long car rides or long runs. I’m also determined to watch the first movie again. Before I read the books I thought the movie was just okay – nothing special. I couldn’t comprehend what all the fuss was about. And then I read the books, now it makes much more sense. I think I’ll see the movie in a whole new light.

Have you ever re-read a book series?

I’ve read the entire Harry Potter series twice and have probably read the first four books three to four times. That’s actually a series I wouldn’t mind having in audiobook format; I’ve been itching for another read. I’ve also read the Twilight series twice, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series twice, and the Shopaholic series three to four times (I’ve read the first books in the series more than the more recent ones). Actually, I wouldn’t mind having all of these series in audio format; they’re all my favorites.

Also, can you tell I have a thing for easy-to-ready books that are written for teenagers? Ha! I promise I read more than just this (the Wicked Trilogy is another favorite, but it’s long and dark so I haven’t re-read any of them). πŸ™‚


I had another late lunch today (after 2:00). For some reason I just haven’t been very hungry lately and have just been waiting to eat until the hunger does kick in.


I used the last bit of last night’s Crock Pot Honey Lentils as a sandwich filler. The texture reminded me of sloppy joes (and if I would have added in some ketchup the tasted wouldn’t have been that far off from that either)


With a side of carrots


The lentils made for a FILLING sandwich. I ate about 3/4 and was done. It tasted delicious though. πŸ™‚

1 Krissy @ Shiawase Life September 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm

I had the EXACT same feeling when I finished the trilogy!!
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2 Jess September 13, 2012 at 3:01 pm

Read the Outlander series! I’ve read the series twice so far… And I’m about to start it again for the third time. A plus is that they are super long so it will keep you occupied for a while. πŸ™‚

3 Cara @ I Don't Believe in Diets September 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

As a kid I re-read boxcar children books and little house on the praire a ton of times! As an adult I have not, but I definitely re-watch tv series (example: six feet under about 5 times)
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4 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope September 13, 2012 at 3:06 pm

I’m still waiting for the second book to come into my local library. I’m thinking I should just buy it already. I’m getting sick of waiting! I want to finish the series.
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5 Cindy September 13, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I’ve read the Harry Poter series several times. I read really fast and can usually get through all the books in one day. I’ve read lots of books over and over; as a kid I must have read the Trixie Belden series over 100 times. I really want to re-read the Hunger Games trilogy, but post grad course work has to come first. πŸ™
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6 Melanie September 13, 2012 at 3:17 pm

I absolutely loved reading the Hunger Games trilogy! I was sad when book 3 ended and what you are saying makes sense. It was just summed up too quickly and I wanted more details. But was glad the two people saying “Real or not real” were together in the end πŸ™‚

I just watched the movie for the 2nd time and enjoyed it again! Can’t wait for Catching Fire – but will be tough to wait an entire year to see it!

7 Courtney @ Journey of a Dreamer September 13, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I loved the hunger games. I agree the ending was a little anti-climatic as compared with the rest of the books, but I was ok with how it all turned out. I would read it again for sure.
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8 Lindsey d. September 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm

I recommend the Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld. It’s another distopian YA series that is highly addictive…

9 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale September 13, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Agreed!! Loved that series too! πŸ™‚
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10 Chelsie @ Balance, Not Scale September 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm

If you liked Harry Potter and the Hunger Games, you’ll love the Divergent series!!
I’ve read each HP book at least 8-10 times and have listened to each audiobook at least an additional dozen times (#noshame!) — I used to listen to them through the day at work when I was photocopying all day.
As for loving the teenaged dystopian easy-reads — right there with you! They captivate you and make for literature that you don’t need too much brain power to truly enjoy! I love a great, deep book, but sometimes it’s just nice to just chill out and read for fun! Shopaholic and SotTP are favourites of mine too. πŸ™‚
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11 kathy September 13, 2012 at 3:38 pm

Agreed! Meghann, if you loved Hunger Games. you will love Veronica Roth’s Divergent series. It’s another Young Adult Dystopian trilogy. Only issue is that the third book doesn’t come out until fall 2012.

12 Lizzie September 14, 2012 at 11:48 am

Yes, I was going to suggest Divergent and Insurgent as well! I can’t WAIT til the third one comes out!
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13 Dana September 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm

The third book of Hunger Games actually kinda made me hate the whole serious. “Unsatisfied” is the perfect way to put it. It’s like the author just decided she was sick of it and ended it quickly.

14 Natalie @ Free Range Human September 13, 2012 at 3:27 pm

If you like Harry Potter, you must get them on audio!! I’ve read the books more times then I can count, and now I listen to them regularly. They’re my go-to audiobooks when there’s nothing else peaking my fancy. The narrator is just phenomenal. He makes the whole thing so enjoyable. Since I started listening to audiobooks, I’ve noticed that the narrator really does make or break it. That was my only objection to The Hunger Games audio-I didn’t particularly care for the person doing the reading.
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15 Faith @ The Cheap Girl's Guide to Chic September 13, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I was SO disappointed by the last book as well! The first two were great, but the final book seemed…rushed. The epilogue was all of two pages on the kindle app on my phone, and the last few chapters just zoomed by without really developing the end of the plot. “Dissatisfied” is definitely the right way to put it.
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16 Erin September 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm

i loved the hunger games too!! and twilight, and basically all those teen books! i second the divergent series suggestion- also, you should watch the walking dead on TMC, i promise it’s way cooler than a show about zombies!
you should do a books post! i would love to read more about your favorites and suggestions!!

17 Annette @FitnessPerks September 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I felt similar with HGs too-but it was still a very cool, and well written triolgy!

I’ve read the HP series WAY too many times to count (like 7 or 8)<–but in my defense, I read 'em all at the gym in my younger years (I can read while running or on the elliptical). I've read all the series you listed off, but all of 'em only once.

That sandwich does look good & filling!
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18 Amanda September 13, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I was the same way at the end of the trilogy’s! I was also upset about the way some other things ended too, but I don’t want to give anything away! Those lentils look so good – I’m so going to try them! πŸ™‚
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19 Lisa in IL September 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I can’t ever recall rereading a book, but then again I don’t rewatch movies either. Have you read the Sookie Stackhouse series? They are quick and easy but fun reads, you might enjoy them. I think showtime has a series based on them.

20 Cate September 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm

You want to get the HP series on audio! It is so so good! Jim Dale narrates and it is so fantastic! πŸ™‚
If you are looking for another series the Divergent ones are good. It is similar to Hunger Games in that it is YA, has a female main character and takes place in a dystopia. I listened to the first two books while running and really enjoyed them.
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21 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions September 13, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Just this morning on my way to work I thought, “Meghann hasn’t blogged about The Hunger Games for awhile. I wonder if she’s still working on them.” (This is my life. Clearly I spend too much time in the blogosphere).

I think a lot of people feel you on the ending, though personally I didn’t hate it. It was a little rushed, but it also left me feeling unsatisfied, which I personally think was the best way to end the series. You don’t want to end a dystopian series on an uplifting note. Dystopias are supposed to be upsetting — you’re not supposed to actually want that to be your life, you know? I really want to go back and read the whole series over again and see how I feel about the ending the second time through. I don’t know if I’ll love the books as much the second time around because the suspense/shock value definitely increased my love of the series, but I think it’d give me a better handle on the ending. I just need to find a spare three days or so where I have time to do nothing but read πŸ˜‰
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22 Bethany @ Accidental Intentions September 13, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Also, don’t listen to the Divergent lovers. Divergent is totally inferior to The Hunger Games. Lower quality writing, lower quality story — if you’re looking to be disappointed, pick up Divergent, but otherwise leave it alone. It was a HUGE letdown, given all the “If you love The Hunger Games, you’ll love Divergent!” hype.
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23 Erin @ erinberries September 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I felt the same way when I read it too. I was really disappointed. I was disappointed with Twilight the same way too. Just felt like they were trying to get it over with.

I’ve read the Harry Potter series 12 times. I’m pretty much obsessed with it. Right now I’m reading Game of Thrones. It’s SO LONG though. It’s taking forever.
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24 Krystle September 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I love love love the hunger games books! I feel lime the ending was not on par with the ret of te books but at the same time i also feel like that with all the good book series. You read an amazing story for hours and hours, and then its just over! I wish they could keep adding to the story because i find myself daydreaming about the characters and the stories and wanting more! I’ve learned that the thought of wanting more and neve being able to put the book down is a sign of a fantastic read (even if it target audience are in highschool!). Easy, readable books make the mundane daily chores like doing dishes or being on the treadmill fly by!

25 Nikole September 13, 2012 at 4:47 pm

I just finished The Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It is the first book in a trilogy and I had to run out and buy the second one as soon as I finished the first. If you like Twilight and Harry Potter you will really like this book. It is even better in my opinion because it also has historical references. I have a four month old and I used to give up my naps with him to read…that is a big sacrifice when he doesn’t sleep well πŸ™‚

26 Lindsey September 13, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I’ve read the entire series and I don’t understand the title of the post. It’s been awhile since I read them (maybe a year since I read the 3rd, although I reread the 1st in the last couple months), so maybe I am missing something?

27 Meghann September 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm

It’s the game they play with Peeta when he’s recovering from the mind hijacking. He describes a memory and then asks if it’s real or not real.

28 Lindsey September 13, 2012 at 5:06 pm

Ahhh! Now I remember! Thanks!

29 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats September 13, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I highly recommend harry potter audiobooks. The guy who narrates has the best voice, and he’s great at doing the other characters. I only have the last 2 books, but I’ve listened to each at least 4 times. Yes, I love Harry Potter…
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30 Robin September 13, 2012 at 5:19 pm

I was OK with the ending. Not happy but not upset. Now the movie is another thing. I was very disappointed in the movie. I LOVED the trilogy and feel like while the movie is good it missed so much and went way too fast.
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31 Suzanne @ Fit Minded Mom September 13, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I also loved Hunger Games and was a bit let down by the ending of Mockingjay. I still have hope that maybe someday a 4th book will be written!

I have thought about reading 50 Shades again……..
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32 katie September 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

I re-read everything! (Especially when its a series like the hunger game) I find that I want to know what happens so badly that I read the books too fast and don’t retain everything. Plus its still a good read even when you know what happens! Although I do agree with you on the ending, I wanted more!
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33 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm

I haven’t re-read a series but after reading the Harry Potter series for the first time last year, I REALLY want to re-read it – LOVE IT!
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34 Elisabeth September 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I love re-reading favorite series! I’ve read HP 5 times (going to read again soon πŸ˜‰ ), Twilight twice, Traveling Pants 4 times, Hunger Games twice, and probably other series have been read multiple times, too. πŸ™‚

35 Sarah September 13, 2012 at 8:25 pm

If you’re lo0king for another good read, try the Divergent series! It’s a bit like the hunger games and kind of makes up for that unsatisfied feeling after. I totally know how you feel though. I wanted so much more out of the ending. And don’t judge me but I’ve read each Harry Potter book over 100 times. πŸ˜› Books like that never get old for me haha. πŸ™‚
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36 Lindsay September 13, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I also rushed through the Hunger games books because I literally could not put them down! I finally re read them recently, and found that I missed a lot of details, and was able to enjoy the stories all over again! So definitely DO read (or listen) to the books again. And I even saw the movie after I read the books, and just thought it was OK, pretty dissapointed in the movie, even after a second watch. Oh well! Still love it though! πŸ™‚ haha

37 Christine September 13, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I can’t remember how times I have read Harry Potter, but you have to get them on audiobook. The narrator does a wonderful job and I got so many more details listening than I did just reading them. I listened to them repeatedly when I was training to walk 2 marathons. It was a great way to pass the time!
The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is addicting too – I highly recommend it!

38 Jackie September 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I felt that way about the books too! I was just disappointed that it ended abruptly and I didn’t really feel any closure. And I’m also a sucker for the teenager series of books like Twilight, SOTTP, etc. Now I’m addicted to the free books on the Kindle. You get what you pay for, but they are still entertaining reads.

39 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles September 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm

If I enjoy a series, I’ll give it a re-read: I’ve done more than one read through of Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants and Twilight. I’m planning on reading the Game of Thrones series for a second time soon.
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40 Ria September 14, 2012 at 7:36 am

Meghann, have you read the 4th book in the Wicked series? Out of Oz came out this year and it’s definitely worth re-reading for!

41 Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes September 14, 2012 at 8:44 am

I’ve reread my fair share of books–Jane Austen and John Steinbeck’s classics come to mind, and I’ve also reread The Hunger Games two or three times. If you find a book you love *that much,* you need to keep it in the rotation. πŸ™‚
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42 Colleen September 14, 2012 at 10:01 am

I read YA fiction too, it’s fun! I intersperse with adult books too of course, but there’s something relaxing about a nice sugar-rush teen novel. You should check out the “Forever Young Adult” website, created by a group of 20-something women who love to read YA. It’s hilarious, and a great place to find book recommendations. I’m obsessed with their “Highly Scientific Analysis” series, you’ll love this one on Felicity! I’m not affiliated to the website, but I do belong to the Minneapolis chapter of the book club. We meet at at a cafe 1 Sunday a month and discuss a YA book. My kind of book club πŸ™‚

43 Meghan @ After the Ivy League September 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm

I 100% agree about the last book. I actually hated it. I felt like it was written to be a movie, not a novel. And half the stuff plain old didn’t make sense to me. It’s not you…you don’t need to re-listen to the series. It just ended badly. Great discussion about it here:

The only series I’ve ever re-read is Harry Potter, many many times πŸ™‚
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44 amyt September 17, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Yes I feel the same way, I think I made that statement to you in a prior post. It just felt like she was tired of writing πŸ™ I wanted more….it’s like we came so far and BAM!!!! I was like “really?!?!?” I LOVED the books – but hated how the 3rd one ended – I liked the concept….of who she was with and all….but like that – NO. Anyway – it was still good….just not a fan of the ending.

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