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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Suzanne Collins

The last review blog that I posted expressed my opinion of Suzanne Collin's The Hunger Games. I mentioned that I was really upset that I couldn't get the next two books in the trilogy. Well, I got them! I was going to do more books that I have read, but I'll save that for another post.

Catching Fire is the second installment. It picks up only months after the ending of The Hunger Games, beginning with the cruel victory tour that she was forced on around the districts. Every thing after that plummets into a winding downhill spiral for poor Katniss and those she loves. She has to convince everyone, including the leader of the Capitol, that she and Peeta are deeply in love so that the districts don't view her trick in the arena as an act of rebellion. It doesn't work. Peeta and Katniss are thrust back into the the arena for the Quarter Quell where they are both plotting to save one another, no matter the cost. Too bad most of the other tributes are aiming to protect both of them in a secret scheme created by the beloved Haymitch, the Head Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee, and the secret establishment of District 13 in order to preserve their sacred Mockingjay.

This book contains secrecy, revenge, and lots of angst. But really, what is new for Katniss Everdeen?

I'll admit, out of all the three books Catching Fire is my least favorite. Not because it lacks in any department, not at all. It has the same drama and tear-out-your-heart feeling as The Hunger Games. I just feel that it was a filler book. Every event in it was just leading up to the big BANG in Mockingjay. And that's fine, really. That's what the middle books are supposed to do. I also felt that it was fairly repetitive in the beginning. Katniss and Peeta enter the arena again--the same arena where people kill others to survive. Of course there's going to be repetition. Nevertheless, I read the whole thing in one sitting desperate to discover how Miss Collins was going to get them out of that mess.

Mockingjay is the third and last novel in the series, much to my dismay. Katniss has become a symbol for an uprising among the districts and she discovers just how much her stability means to those following her lead. She is residing in the underground District 13 with Gale and her family and all of the other people that mean even an ounce to her. Well, not all of them. Poor Peeta Mellark was captured by the Capitol after a bold wreckage of the Quarter Quell and is being used as bait to drive Katniss crazy. Eventually, the realization seeps into her that they are just going to torture him until Katniss breaks, and she does. A plan is devised to rescue him from the Capitol, but when they get him back they realize it was almost too easy. The Capitol must have wanted them to get him. They quickly discover that his brain had been tampered with and not only can he not remember his love for Katniss, he is pretty damn determined to kill her. If that's not enough pressure, there's a serious bounty on Katniss and her group's head as they try to move silkily throughout the districts and promote the uprising.

This book was my absolute favorite in the series. I cried like a baby the whole way through. It contained action, suspense, and an excessive amount of heart-wrenching deaths. My heart was absolutely broken by Peeta's fervent urge to kill Katniss, even though that does abate. I think this was the book that really just sucked me in to all of the characters and made me feel for each and every one of them. Prim, Finnick, Haymitch, and especially Gale. I was so sad to see how much Gale was willing to do for Katniss and how easily Katniss was willing to write it off as psychotic. Suzanne Collins wraps up the series with a happy ending that isn't entirely happy. Relationships are never fully mended, wounds never fully sealed. I think that is what made me love it so much, because in the end, life isn't full of zero problems and fulfilled hearts. Even though Katniss escapes the turmoil alive, she doesn't make it out unscathed--mentally or emotionally--and just because that chapter of danger in her life is over she knows not to expect a leisurely lifestyle. Katniss Everdeen may just be one of my favorite heroines of all time. I highly enjoyed traveling on the up and down emotional roller coaster with Katniss and I have a feeling this series is one I will think about for a very long time.

If you haven't read this series, I'd strongly advise it. The characters have extraordinary depth and the narration has a dark feeling to it that will instantly give you a feeling of sympathy and later form a connection that you could never imagine.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my blog! I love to hear from my readers, whether they agree or disagree with my opinion :) I do my best to get back to every commenter, though I am not always successful. Heh...Anyway, I look forward to hearing what you have to say! :D

~ Gabbi