BFTA Review: Suzanne Collins – Mockingjay


Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #3
Scholastic Press
Rating: 4/5
Read for: Amazon Best of 2010 challenge

My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans – except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. she must become the rebels’ Mockingjay – no matter what the personal cost.

It’s really hard to talk about this series without doing a lot of spoilers, but I’m going to try.

By the time I got to Mockingjay, I wanted the series to go on forever. I couldn’t stop reading, and although sometimes Katniss’s veering off subject to talk about the past with her father was a little distracting, even after reading two other books in which she does the same thing, it wasn’t enough for me to not want to read.

The reason I loved Mockingjay so much was because it was like yet another round of Games, only without the Games committee, and all the fanfare. And while I was intrigued with was was happening to District 13, especially since Katniss can’t help but meddle, even though she really shouldn’t get involved and is told such.

I think that’s the reason I like Katniss so much; she can’t help but stick her nose in other people’s business, and it made her the perfect spokesperson. I have a hard time imagining this whole series from, say, Peeta’s point of view, because Katniss is just out there, and she’s outspoken, doing things she knows she could get in trouble for and doing them anyway. And it’s not just in the third book that she starts doing this, but from the very beginning of The Hunger Games, out hunting with Gale.

There’s a lot of hype over these books, and rightly so. I was disappointed to see it end, but at the same time I’m glad that I finally got around to reading the series.

Originally posted 28 March 2011.


BFTA Review: Suzanne Collins – Catching Fire


Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #2
Scholastic Press
Rating: 4/5

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol–a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she’s afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she’s not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol’s cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can’t prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying. (

I initially read The Hunger Games as part of a challenge, and I’m really glad I did, because I couldn’t put the book down. Catching Fire fell right in line, and I devoured the book in mere hours. I loved it.

I also hated it, because I read it in mere hours and I was that much closer to finishing it.
I loved that we were back in the arena for another round of Games, because I had so much fun reading about them in the first book, but I was also a little disappointed because there wasn’t a lot of time spent there.

By the end, I just really wanted to crack open Mockingjay, so that’s exactly what I did….

Originally posted 27 March 2011.

BFTA Review: Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games


Title: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Scholastic Press
Rating: 5/5
Read for: 2011 Wish I’d Read That Challenge

Could you survive on your own, in the wild, with everyone out to make sure you don’t live to see the morning?
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender.
If she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love. (

I’ve read so many raving reviews about this book, I’m so glad I wasn’t disappointed. I absolutely loved the book, and I’ve already got the second in the series, Catching Fire, on hold at my library. I’m very much looking forward to reading it.

Throughout the whole thing, Katniss had me thrown. I wasn’t sure whether she actually liked Peeta, her co-tribute from District 12, or whether she was simply faking the whole thing. Once the games get started, she spends a lot of her time angry at him, but when the rules change, she spends her time nursing him back to health. It’s a little confusing, and I wanted Katniss’s feelings for Peeta to be real, but I also knew that she had some feelings for Gale back home. Yet Katniss finds comfort in Peeta, at least until they are on the train back home, when she breaks his heart, and then feels guilty about it.

I was also torn between wanting Katniss to fight the Capitol more, and feeling the same dispair that she so obviously feels. I liked the rebellious acts she does, wreathing Rue in flowers when Rue dies, and promising that the Capitol will have no winners at all when the Gamemasters go back on their earlier rule change.

I’m hoping that Katniss continues her little rebellion in the next book, and eventually she has something with Peeta, not Gale (probably because we see more of Peeta than Gale, and get to know him better).

Originally posted 13 February 2011.