It's amazing how different the same thing can be at different times in your life.
I've read the Hunger Games series three times since it was published. The first time I was caught up I the action, thinking about how everything wove together. Trying to figure out what was really going on that she couldn't see.
The second time I was angry. She had no right to fall apart, no right to not be strong and to keep going.
This last time, I just see the emotional damage each choice inflicts. I see the pain and the drive to do what is right, but having no idea what "right" really means because you are sure that there is information you don't have that would change how you choose. But choose you must; and so you do your best, only to come to the other side of the choice and suddenly have all the information you didn't. All that is left at that point is to blame yourself for not seeing, for not knowing, for not choosing differently, for not being better.
The first book came out when I was 21. Being caught in the action was part of where I was at the time. On anti-depressants and feeling little, the books gave me enough speed to get sucked in and not get bored. They have enough detail to give a good picture, but left enough to my imagination that I could almost see things happening. They let me live someone else's emotions, but without pulling at my own.
Fast forward 5 years. I was finally off the meds after a ton of work and determined to not fall into that black hole again. I was not going to fall apart ever again, I was stronger than that. How could she not be that strong? How could she fall apart? I was so angry. Looking back it's because I knew I didn't have the luxury of falling apart, but was on the edge of it myself. Holding on by my teeth and fingernails, anger was all I had left.
Now, at almost 29, I cry the whole way through the series. Each hard thing she faces, I see my version of. Admittedly nothing that horrific, but damaging all the same. And I wonder how my story will end. I wonder if I will ever be whole again. I will never be the same certainly, but when push comes to shove, will I ever be the person I want to be, or have I lost that chance.