The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Mockingjay


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by Suzanne Collins

Rating: ★★★★¾ 

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Hunger Games

In a post-apocalyptic world, North America is a new nation called Panem and society is split up into twelve districts.  In remembrance of the disaster, and as a show of power, the Capitol holds an annual Hunger Games, a tournament where the sole victor is also the sole survivor.  From each of the twelve districts, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 must be selected by lottery to participate in the games.  The games, like a futuristic reality show, are televised, and when play becomes slow, real dangers are scripted in.

Resources are scarce but Katniss Everdeen, a skilled archer, is the sole bread winner for her family.  To protect her little sister Prim, she ends up volunteering for the games.  The male candidate selected for her district is the baker’s son, someone who years before had saved her from the brink of death.  Her district hasn’t had a winner in years.

With her family’s survival in doubt, will Katniss command her emotions to become a stone hearted killer?  Or will she find the sweet spot, a compromise between survival and morality?

This book is a page turner, and part I of trilogy. Written for teens; highly enjoyable for adults.


The second book is Catching Fire

Rating: ★★★★★ 

ANOTHER PAGE TURNER!!! Often sequels just don’t measure up however I could not put this book down. Maybe because the unusual present tense writing pulls you in and keeps you stuck. The pacing is just as quick as the first book of the trilogy Hunger Games, and the rhythm never flags. Suzanne Collins has the gift of keeping my vagus nerve stimulated. We get to see more of the same characters Katniss, Peeta and Gale and I love that we get to experience deeper emotional interactions between them. Katniss, a year older at seventeen still struggles with her feelings between Peeta and Gale, and hasn’t lost the tendency to be a martyr where their lives are concerned.

(SPOILER ALERT!! If you haven’t read Hunger Games, Do Not Read Further)

The story starts out with Katniss and Peeta making a round of the twelve districts for the celebratory tour for winning the Hunger Game. The rules mandate one victor only, however Kat and Peeta paired up as allies; their strategy of being lovers was a wild success and brought them perks during the game. Due to Kat’s passionate poison berry offering at the end of the game, she has unwittingly manipulated the outcome so that she and Peeta both survive. President Snow took her showy display as a threat against the Capitol and lets her know that by her actions, she has initiated a spark of rebellion in the districts. To lay that spark to rest, she must now prove to all that her love for Peeta was true and not just a strategy for winning the game. If she doesn’t, all relatives and friends in her circle are in danger of being killed, especially and including Gale and Peeta.

Katniss hates the Capitol and everything that it stands for with the fancy painted embellished people, decadent ways, and murder for the sake of entertainment. They seem disinterested that people in the districts suffer under the heavy handed rule of the Peacekeepers, live in squalor and struggle with constant hunger. Should Katniss take her family and run? Or if there really is a resistance beginning, should she take part? For the moment the decision is taken from her as President Snow decides that the Quarter Quell, a glorified version of the games held every twenty-five years, will feature tributes that have won in previous hunger games. The nightmare for Katniss Everdeen begins all over again…

The third book is Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)

Rating: ★★★¾☆ 

MockingJay Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Game and against all odds, the Quarter Quell but still can’t go home as her District 12 has been bombed by the Capitol. She becomes aware that she was used as a tool by the rebels that want to bring down the Capitol and President Snow. In order to fulfill her own agenda, she agrees to represent the face of the rebellion as The Mockingjay. Once more she is forced into a war game, one that she unwittingly created by offering berries in “The Hunger Games.”

But what is her agenda? We follow her willingly through ashes, bullets, biological weapons, fire, mental disorientation, more political intrigue, and more gruesomeness in this final sequel. The emotional angst caused by her former ally Peeta and best friend Gale continue, though there are many twists and turns along the way. The things she goes through would bring a grown man to a fetal position, drooling and babbling. How much can one seventeen year old take without breaking?

I would not venture reading this unless you have read the first two books, “Hunger Games,” and “Catching Fire.” Not so much of a page turner as the first two; lots of exposition in the first chapters, and many of the deaths seemed contrived in order to quickly force a point into being. Still in all, this last sequel is very entertaining, as well as disturbing. All the questions raised in “Catching Fire” are answered and the ending, not one which smiles into the sunset, left me feeling empty and rather sad. Maybe this is the best one can feel after experiencing first hand a horrific war.

You Can Get All Three Here In a Set!

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2 thoughts on “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Mockingjay

  1. I also enjoyed Hunger Games, and cannot wait until the movie comes out. Would love to see Christian Haydensen as Peeta but maybe he’s a little old to play the character? And as much as Katniss struggles with her emotions, I think it’s almost a coming of age story.

  2. I loved all three of the books! My mom saw me reading them, and now she’s on to Hunger Games too. It’s been a bonding experience; we’ll see the movie together.

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