Dear Suzanne,

My name is Lucía, I am currently in a Spanish university studying Education and Humanities. This semester we have been asked to write a letter to an author that meant something to us, and your name was the first of my list.

I was about ten when I started reading The Hunger Games. It quickly became one of my favorite book series. It was probably the first book I had read that showcased a complex female lead and many other characters that couldn´t be divided into "good" or "bad". At first, I obviously wasn´t able to understand just how deep these characters and the message from the book was. Each time I picked up and reread the books I discovered new side of the story and asked myself more questions. Just before writing this letter, I have finished all of them once more, including The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. I hadn´t read them in a while but after going to the cinema with a braid in my hair and my Mockingjay pin, just as little me would have done, I felt the urge to do so. I was surprised to discover just how much the novels still relate to the current world climate.

When I was little, I used to want to be Katniss. She was strong, unstoppable, and fierce. She spoke her mind and knew that she wanted, she was admired by everyone. Last month a friend sent me a fan fiction which told the story from Peetas´s point of view, and it described exactly how I viewed her, but without Katniss inner monologue the story felt less real, much more idealized. While reading them again I still saw this powerful girl but what spoke most to me were her inner thoughts. I was able to see the scared girl, under a huge amount of pressure which she felt she had to deal with alone. Sadly, I think this is a reality for many of us, who try and keep everyone proud and happy but deep down feel incapable of keeping it up forever. I have always loved Cinna, Peeta and Prim, maybe because they were the only ones who made her feel safe and loved no matter what. I am grateful to have found people like that.

The one person I was always unable to figure out was Gale, who was without a doubt my least favorite character until recently. Even though I still find it hard to like him, I have started to understand him. These past few years we have witnessed terrible things by power struggles which have only affected the vulnerable and innocent. While seeing this I had some of the same thoughts he had throughout the whole book, and I know many of the ones around me have too. Others have felt nothing, and some have told me I shouldn´t get so emotionally involved if it won´t directly affect me. I see all these people reflected in your books this is why I think literature doesn´t always describe the past but helps us understand the present and ourselves.

While writing this letter I have written and erased many paragraphs because I am finding it hard to condense all my thoughts and feelings in such a short space. I would take me long to tell you how much characters like Haymitch, Joanna or Tigris really spoked to me or how sad, but necessary, I think Cinna´s, Finnick´s and Prim´s deaths were. In a way they all leave you with their story, no matter how short it may be. They made me laugh, cry, and think but most of all they helped me become the person I am today. It may sound like an exaggeration, but your books were a refuge. They bring back nights of reading under the sheets, summers begging to go to an archery camp, school days discussing over which district we were from and most importantly memories with loved ones and with people which are no longer close to me but have told me they still think about me when they see your books, just as I do with them.

I am not sure if you will get this letter, but I am glad I got to write it. I know it would have made ten-year-old me very happy to know she would still enjoy rooting for the Mockingjay almost ten years later. Thank you for everything and may the odds be ever in your favor.


Lucía Reviriego de las Heras

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