Thursday, February 24, 2011
Review: Catching Fire and Mockingjay
Books: Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Books 2 and 3 of The Hunger Games Series)
Published 2009 and 2010 respectively by Scholastic
I got these books from the library
This is a first for me. It's a joint review. I read these books one after the other shortly after finishing Hunger Games. (Book 1 of the series) I couldn't put them down. But judging by how popular they are, I'm guessing you guys know the feeling.
Synopsis of Catching Fire from Goodreads: Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol.
I wasn't sure how she was going to continue the series. I thought that perhaps Peeta and Katniss would be teaching the next Tribute for the Hunger Games in the tradition of Haymitch. I was not expecting what happened instead. I was shocked. I put the book down and walked away. (For about 10 minutes). I swear the books are like crack. I was in tears partway through.
I've also been rooting for Peeta since he said that he loved Katniss in book one. (Yep, I'm that hopeless romantic.) So any scene they had together really tugged at the heartstrings. I know some of you think that she should end up with Gale, but there was just something about him that was off putting. He was an intriguing character and I liked him, but I didn't like the idea of the two of them.
One of the underlying themes of the novel is the idea of major sacrifices for a greater good. It's also a major theme in the Harry Potter series that I love as well. It's always intriguing when this theme is used because it's so controversial. But I think it was used amazingly well throughout the series. I also think that Catching Fire was my favorite book of the series.
**SPOILER** Highlight to read. I was so completely heartbroken when Cinna was beaten and killed. He was by far my favorite character. I loved his wit and cunning and his genuine love for both Katniss and Peeta. I cried when he was killed.
Synopsis of Mockingjay from Goodreads: Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12.
I really dislike President Snow. He just seems like a skeezy guy from his first appearance in the series, and it gets infinitely worse throughout the series. Then there's the whole existence of District 13. (Which is intense). One of the common themes of dystopian novels is that the government is very intense and sometimes totalitarian. And Mockingjay conveys that really well.
You also get to see more of Gale, which as I mentioned before, I like him as a character, just not in the context of in a relationship with Katniss. I like that he does tend to do the right thing and take care of Katniss' family.
I was not expecting the end of the novel at all. (The final couple chapters, not the epilogue). I mean, it made sense, but at the same time it was so out of left field. It actually caused some anxiety. However, I felt that it was wrapped up way too quickly. I think that the ending could have been stretched out a bit more for my liking, but all in all it was a great novel and a great series.
I give Catching Fire and Mockingjay 4 out of 5 dog-eared pages.