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26 August 2010

AliseOnLife Guest Post: The Hunger Games and Catching Fire

When the blogger that you call JL ( I just call her sister), asked me to guest post on her week of Hunger Games celebration, I was a little apprehensive. See, here's my confession: I hadn't read a word of any of the books, until two weeks ago. I had heard all the buzz about Mockingjay ( who could miss THAT?!?), and decided that I didn't want to be left out of the in-jokes and the speculation/jubilation when the ending was revealed. Plus, I had heard some words about how good the books were. You know, just saying.

I read both The Hunger Games and Catching Fire in the space of a 48 hour period, and I was sold. Bring on the midnight release party and the fandom. Well, to a degree. Personally, I didn't feel the need to pick a Team, but I was rooting for Katniss, Peeta and Gale as people to survive the coming storm that Mockingjay was sure to bring. JL asked me to post a review of Catching Fire, while she would do The Hunger Games, and I agreed. But, then I proposed the idea of me reviewing both in one cohesive blog post, instead of separately. She went along with the idea. I rubbed my hands together, and smiled. Maybe with a tinge of glee. Or you know, madness.

I'll be doing things a little differently than I would on my own blog (shameless self-promotion: Read My Mind), but I hope you enjoy the result.


Book(s): THE HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE
Author: SUZANNE COLLINS
Genre: DYSTOPIAN FANTASY


Katniss Everdeen lives in Panem, the country that rose out of the ruins of North America. The Capitol is the ruling government, and to keep Panem's citizens subjugated, it holds the Hunger Games once a year. The Games are broadcast live, and every citizen is forced to watch as their "tributes", one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18, fight each other to the death. There can be only one victor, and to save her sister, Katniss volunteers as a tribute. Here starts her journey of survival in the arena.

I wasn't sold on the actual writing as I made my way through THE HUNGER GAMES. That's not to say that I thought it was bad, but what brought the world alive, for me, was the building of each supporting character. Effie and the design team from the Capitol, who were the epitome of over-indulgence and turning a blind eye to the treatment of the districts. Haymitch and his inability to stay sober, but who turned out to be an ally. (For Peeta certainly, and by extension Katniss.) Even Madge, who I think, saw the potential in Katniss, from the moment Katniss intervened on Prim's behalf.

What I liked most about THE HUNGER GAMES, was that when I was finished, I couldn't get it out of my head. When I should have been sleeping, I was going over and over that moment when Peeta stumbled over his feelings on live television. And when Rue made herself known to Katniss in the trees. And yes, when Katniss pulled out the berries. A spark in my brain had been lit. I thought, maybe I do see what everyone has been talking about.

So, I started reading CATCHING FIRE.

I liked the second book more than I liked the first. But, I read it differently. To be honest, I called almost every single plot twist before it happened. I didn't really see THE HUNGER GAMES as being as predictable as CATCHING FIRE. But by now, I had been indoctrinated in Suzanne Collins writing, and maybe, I had figured out her "tell". No matter, though. My oracle-like ability didn't stop me from enjoying the book. In fact, it made me read the book with more excitement. I wanted to find out if I was right, and for some reason, I experienced the highs and lows more acutely than I did with THE HUNGER GAMES. I was now invested in this story of Katniss and Peeta, the arena and survival, and the districts versus the Capitol.

THE HUNGER GAMES:
3.5/5 for plot
4/5 for characters
3/5 for language

My Rating: 10.5/15 Recommend (3.5 Stars)


CATCHING FIRE:
3.5/5 for plot
4.5/5 for characters
3.5/5 for language

My Rating: 11.5/15 Highly Recommend (4 Stars)

52 comments:

BURIED IN BOOKS said...

Okay, so I am one of the lone few, who still have not read the Hunger Games and Catching Fire though I know who survives in Mockingjay thanks to a blogger who didn't mention spoilers before I read the post. So is it worth it for me to read anyway. I'm thinking yes. I like the review. Succint doesn't bog me down with a lot of details and it must be good if you read it that quickly. So, I'll give it a try!

Heather

cparkins14 said...

Thanks for the review. I haven't read any of the books and from peoples reviews I have heard a little about the books and would love to read them. I would like to be entered into giveaway 3 for a chance to win the trilogy. I am a new follower and tweeted about this review & your giveaway.

latishajean said...

Great review I don't want to read to much because I have not read them yet. I heard so many great things that I so want to read them now. I would love to be entered for the giveaway 3 for the books. Im already a follower and thank you so much great giveaway :)
tishajean@charter.net

Savannah Smith said...

I loved your review :) This is one of my favorite book series so it's nice to see other people enjoying it as well!
I would like to be be entered for the #1 giveaway :) I'm already a follower. Awesome giveaway AND review!
mynameisalice_andiwritestuff@yahoo.com

Kristina said...

Awesome review of both books! :) I have to admit I hadn't jumped on the Hunger Games trilogy bandwagon, myself, until the hype of Mockingjay. I took a STEP towards reading it -- I checked the first novel out of the library. Your review has me a little excited to peek inside now! :O

I'd like to be entered to giveaway 3, if possible :) <3
angelmistress[at]hotmail[dot]com

Elizabeth Morgan said...

I think the books sound wonderful. I would love to entered in giveaway 2.

4everareader[at]comcast[dot]net

Aaron Vincent said...

Insightful review. Good job

I would like to enter giveaway #3 and I'm a new follower! :)

katelynharris1 said...

the books are absolutely awesome!! i cannot wait to read mockingjay!!

Precious said...

Great review! Wonderfully detailed and insightful. I've read so many good reviews about this series and it's one of the most recommended books ever. I'm reading the first one now.

Mika said...

A great review - like every single one I've read so far! I also didn't know about the Hunger Games until the Mockingjay buzz. It's so sad they haven't translated it into Portuguese yet (although I'd rather read the original language, it's cheaper to buy them in Portuguese here).

I'd like to be entered in giveaway #3 please :3

mika.apostrophe@gmail.com

hellosarah said...

can't wait to read them! giveaway 3 please :)

Ghroob said...

sickness. i was at chapters today and tbh was too broke to buy em lol was just staaaaaaring at tthem :| U make em sound supergood too. love to be entered for the giveaway 3 for the books. a follower. thank you so much great giveaway

saghir(dot)sarah(at)live(dot)ca

sarahem said...

I loved the world building and the characters of The Hunger Games. I thought the writing was pretty good for it's intended age group but I agree, the character building was what brought everything alive for me too.

I'd like to be entered for giveaway #2 please.
I follow your blog.
smartin_90(AT)yahoo(DOT)com

Reena Jacobs said...

It took me a while to get around to the Hunger Games because the cover wasn't catchy with a bunch of gimmicks. Honestly, I didn't even know it was YA until I opened it for the first time and started reading. And I loved it!

Though I gave it 5 stars, I thought your analysis was great. I've loaned out my copy of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire but don't own Mockingjay.

I would like to be entered in giveaway #3 please.

Booklover said...

I loved the Hunger Games sooo much! =D I give every book a 5/5.I would also like to enter The Hunger Games Trilogy: Review Week and Giveaways and would like #1 please and thank you so much! =)

morgynmjoubert(at)hotmail(dot)com

irisonbooks said...

I still have not read this series, but I really want to! I'd like to be entered for the giveaway of The Hunger Games series books.

I am a follower and my email is: irisonbooks [at] gmail [dot] com

Jules@OneBookShy said...

I am so glad that I am not alone in the world of "those who haven't yet read The Hunger Game series"! Since I started book blogging this past summer, it's all I've heard about. But with other commitments, I just haven't got there yet. Of course, now that the series is complete there is nothing stopping me from doing a weekend marathon of reading once I get the books :)

I'd love to be entered in the #3 giveaway for the entire series! Extremely generous ladies.

Thanks,
Jules
onebookshy at yahoo dot com

I'm a follower..

Lora1967 said...

I loved your reviews very thourgh and well written
giveaway 3 please
chaarmedone1512@aol.com

orangecandycows said...

I've never read any of the Hunger Games series books but your review really makes me want to read them now!!

I'd like to be entered in Giveaway 3. Thanks so much!

blissfulrains@yahoo.com

Tina said...

I'm a follower and would love to be entered in Giveaway 2. Thanks for the chance to win! I loved your review.

melodiousrevelry (at) gmail (dot) com

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

This series is absolutely incredible. I have only praise for it and I enjoyed your reviews for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. I agree with you about enjoying CF more than THG because I felt way more invested in the characters and what was happening to them.

I'd like to be entered for giveaway #2

Thanks!
wickedawesomebooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

Mare/TommyGirl said...

I really enjoyed your review. You managed to write out what I felt in many ways, especially about book one. I have to admit, while I enjoyed the books the first go around, it was when I read them a second time that I got extremely addicted.

I'd like to be entered for giveaway # 1 - I know my sister really wants the key chain, so if I won that part would be for her.

tommygirl828 (at) gmail (dot) com

.Ambur. said...

Well I'm glad your sister got you reading the series by getting you to do this guest post lol :D
And the characters definitely do make the story, you've got that right, but I like Suzanne Collins' writing style myself, it's almost a little edgy. :)

I'd like to be entered in Giveway #1 ---I also just started following your blog, just in case you wanted to know that lol

Ambur (ambiepie_6@hotmail.com)

Ladytink_534 said...

I haven't read these yet but I have the first two. They sound so good though so I'm hoarding them for winter.

Ladytink_534(at)yahoo(dot)com

vokalchick said...

I LOVED the first two books of the series!
I loved how Suzanne Collins developed the characters! Team Peeta all the way:-)

I would like to be entered in for giveaway #2 please!

vokalchick@gmail.com

Michael L. Martin Jr. said...

Great review. I thought I was the only one who hadn't read these yet. The more I here about them, the more I want to read them.

Enter me in Giveaway #3 please. Thanks. And good luck to all.

michaellmartinjr[at]gmail[dot]com

Dovile said...

Thanks for the review. I've added The hunger /games series to my wishlist:)

Fi-chan (Bookish-Escape) said...

thank you for the review! I have this two books, but I'm waiting for my own copy of mockingjay before i start reading them.

Enter me in giveaway #1 and/or #2 please, thank you :D
thank you!
feeyonachan at gmail dot com

Zou said...

I absolutely love these books! But, unfortunetly, don't have a copy of neither of them. I'm a new follower, and, of course, I would like the 3rd giveaway.

Ashley said...

Great Review. I cant wait to finish the series!

ashleysbookshelf@gmail.com

Also don't forget to check out my amazing blog design giveaway that ends 9/13!

Ashley's Bookshelf

Theresa M said...

Great review! Glad to hear you like the books! I couldn't get the Hunger Games out of my head after I first read it either!

Please enter me for giveaway #1

theresa9854@gmail.com

dor said...

Excellent review. Not sure why I have not read any of these yet but I am now.

dorcontest at gmail dot com

3rd giveaway sounds awesome.

Lindsay said...

i love this series and already read Mockingjay (sad the series is over though).

i like Giveaway #2: Special edition Mockingjay Launch mug, Mockingjay journal and bookmark.

mbreakfield said...

Great review! I really want to read this series.

LB said...

Thanks for the review. It really makes me want to read them again!!

AmeliaB said...

A great review. I know exactly how you feel about the Hunger Games. I remember thinking "Wow. This book is so/so" as I was reading and then when I finished it (after a very short 2-3 days on vacation) and crying at the ending realized that I WAS invested more than I thought.
Amelia
P.S. (I posted onthe giveaway post too but if this was the one intended I'll restate that I'd love any of the prizes! #2, #1, or #3)

arceli said...

You did an excellent job at non-spoilery reviews of the books.

I would love to be entered in Giveaway #1.

a(dot)long(at)tcu(dot)edu

Yllektra said...

Thanks for the review!
I read Te Hunger Games last week and now I am reading Catching Fire. I am loving it so far!!!

Jessica said...

Awesome Review!

I would like to be enter in all the giveaways if i can. #1,#2,#3

subetarenee{at)gmail(dot)com

CindyWindy2003 said...

Thanks for the review, I've heard a lot about this new series and can't wait to read it, i love young adult books that adults can read. Def going to purchase soon! And I'm entering your giveaway for it too!
carawling(at)hotmail(Dot)com

Cristina Alves said...

Hi ! I would like to enter the giveaways (#1, #2, #3)

Nuno said...

I've been wanting to read those books for so long. I love dystopian books.

nmaoliveira@gmail.com

I'd like to be entered in giveaway #3

vhubler said...

Great review I will have to check out these books.
velvethubler@yahoo.com

sunshine9 said...

I'm a new GFC follower.

I just listened to Hunger Games on my ipod. I read your review and am eager to read or listen to the 2nd book.

Please enter me in the giveaway #3

LeAnn/sunshine9

Birgit said...

Great review!

I am a follower now.

I would love to win Giveaway #3: The Hunger Games Series: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay. :) Thanks for the chance!

-- Birgit

puppy_duck44 said...

I think I actually liked The Hunger Games more than I liked Catching Fire. It took me a bit of time to get into Catching Fire whereas I was hooked with THG from the start. Anyways, I loved reading your point of view on the series :)

Please enter me for giveaway #1

Aylee R.
puppy_duck44@hotmail.com

Dominique said...

great reviews! (& thanks for not posting any spoilers!!) I have to agree; I couldn't get the Hunger Games out of my head for the next few days after I read it! It definitely leaves you with something to think about!

thanks for posting!

Dominique
bookvault(at)yahoo.com

linz said...

Great review! I think I liked Catching Fire a bit more than HG, also, and I almost never like the second book more. This, besides HP, is my favorite series.

I'd like to enter giveaway #1.

Thanks!

dancer_gir76(at)sbcglobal(dot)net

luckaas said...

Thanks for the giveaway and review:) I really loove this series and my favourite one would be Catching fire.

I would like to be entered in all 3 prizes (they are all awesome), but if i have to choose one then #2.

Lucia S
troueny at gmail dot com

Caitrin said...

Of the first two I've read, Hunger Games is my favorite. Catching Fire didn't have the same punch. I'm eagerly awaiting reading Mockingbird!

I'd love to win all of them but #3 being my favorite! I don't own them yet ;(

Caitrin
liathiano at gmail dot com

Elizabeth said...

Great review. I have heard a lot of good things about these books lately, and I cant wait to read them!

CarolNWong said...

I follow your blog with GFC. I already have the book Hunger Games so I would like Catching Fire. I haven't read Hunger Games yet.I wanted to try to get all the books before I start.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

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