Saturday, January 1, 2011

Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Trilogy)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins has been getting a lot of publicity.  We discussed reading it for book club several months ago and it got vetoed.  The description of the first book made all of the new moms cringe with horror.  A survivor-type fictional reality games scenario that sends children (12-18) into a battle to the last living didn't sound entertaining to anyone.

But then the boss told me even he had read the books and loved them.

And then a girlfriend read the series and said it was worthwhile.  So I decided I'd give the trilogy a try.

I really enjoyed the first book.  The book details the 74th hunger games.  I thought the contestant deaths would be hard to read about, and while some were harder to read about than others, the book made up for it in plot and conflict resolution.

The 2nd book, Catching Fire, details the 75th Hunger Games, because it is the 75th games, the game makers decide to make it a best-of-the-past-winners challenge.  A game, which previously meant any winner was set for life, now means something completely different.
And if you haven't read the series you should quite reading here....unless you are the type of person to read the whole wikipedia summary before you finish the some people (cough) I might know have been known to do.

My favorite part from Catching Fire is the internal dialogue Katniss has with herself:

The Berries.  I realized the answer to who I am lies in that handful of poisonous fruit.  If I held them out to save Peeta because I knew that I would be shunned if I came back without him, then I am despicable.  If I held them out because I loved him, I am still self centered, although forgivable.  But if I held them out to defy the Capitol, I am someone of worth.  The trouble is, I don't know exactly what was going on inside me at that moment.

The Final Book, Mockingjay, picks up at the end of the 75th hunger games and carries through the districts revolt against the Capitol.  I must admit that while I was cheering for Peeta over Gale the whole series, I was disappointed in the quick gloss over of Gale at the end. 
My favorite excerpt from Mockinjay is (from Katniss again):
I think that Peeta was onto something about us destroying one another and letting some decent species take over, because something is significantly wrong with a creature that sacrifices it's children's lives to settle it's differences.  you can spin it anyway you like, Snow thought the hunger games were an efficient means of control. Coin thought the parachutes would expedite the war, but in the end, who does it benefit?  No one.  The truth is, it benefits no one to live in a world where these things happen.

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