The Hunger Games Trilogy

Cover of "The Hunger Games"

Cover of The Hunger Games

Written by Suzanne Collins

Books #11, 12, 13 of 2012

Nationality: U.S.
Publisher: Scholastic Books
First Edition: 2008, 2009, 2010
My Edition: e-books (onread.com)
Original Language: English

I picked up The Hunger Games because my friend Brianne was really excited about how awesome it was. Laughable, Bree, laughable.

*WARNING: SPOILER ALERT*

The books are about a government who keeps control of its citizens by scaring them into not rebelling. But eventually, the citizens get so scared that they’re angry and a rebellion breaks out. The lead character is a girl named Katniss Everdeen who is the face of the rebellion, even though she doesn’t know why. She came from “District 12: Where you can starve to death in safety.” (Hunger Games) After asking to be put into the Hunger Games in place of her baby sister, Katniss rebels against the Capitol by forcing them to let both her and the other District 12 tribute, Peeta, to live. (There was only supposed to be one survivor.) So the Capitol got super angry. All of a sudden, because of that, Katniss became the face of the rebels.

The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the Mockingjay. The one that survived the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion. (Catching Fire)

Cover of "Catching Fire (The Second Book ...

Cover of Book #2, Catching Fire

Let me review my thoughts.

1. I’m super mad that she killed off my favorite characters. Cinna and Finnick… for real?

2. She passed off Gale like she didn’t know what to do with him at the end of the series.

3. Katniss was an IDIOT.

  • She had no confidence. Anytime someone would try to build her up, she shot herself down.

“I didn’t do much, really,” I say.
“You have to give yourself some credit for what you’ve done in the past,” says Boggs. What I’ve done in the past? I think of the trail of destruction in my wake — my knees weaken and I slide down to a sitting position.
“That’s a mixed bag.” (Mockingjay)

  • She is easily manipulated. Katniss always went along with the rebels because she was an angry, emotional coward, even though she didn’t agree with their way of living or their war tactics.

She is childish. Peeta and Haymitch would lie to her to keep her safe from the Capitol and to keep her from overreacting, and then when she figured it out, she freaked. She was predictable and over-excitable and easily angered and untrusting: aka childish.

  • She used Peeta. And then she used Gale. Bitch.
4. The series ended very abruptly. One second Katniss is depressed and ready to kill herself, the next she’s married and has kids, with pretty much zero transition. Granted, it was the Epilogue. But you don’t just jump from Last Chapter: “I’m going to kill myself,” to Epilogue: “I’m happily married with two kids.” What the heck? I felt blindsided.
Mockingjay

Cover of Book #3, Mockingjay

Now, granted, this was written for teenagers – a target audience about 4-10 years younger than myself. 
I was really expecting this to be a lot better because according to the statistics of the book, it’s as popular as Harry Potter. After finishing, I just had to ask, “WHY?!” Do not fret! I have a theory: This trilogy is FULL of Stick-It-To-The-Man type crap, and in this generation, that’s what people are hungry for – stories that are very anti-government. And that’s exactly what Ms. Collins gave them. Which, I think, is a very good time for this:
But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self destruction. (Mockingjay)
With that thought, I will depart.
Happy reading, friends.
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Treasure Island

Written by Robert Louis Stevenson

English: Photograph of author Robert Louis Ste...

Nationality: U.K.
Publisher: London: Cassell & Co.
First Edition: 1883
My Edition: e-book
Original Language: English

Wow, you guys, I am so sorry it has been so long since my last post! I actually finished this book about two weeks ago, but life just got in the way and I didn’t have time to write (or rather, I didn’t make time to write), so I’m sorry.

Typically, I would really like this kind of adventure story. Maybe it was just my frame of mind while I was reading it, but I didn’t enjoy it too much. I was starting a new job and stressing out about that whole fiasco. So maybe this legendary story was tainted for me. Bummer.

I did, however, enjoy the history behind the book and how it has affected our view of “entertainment pirates” today. For instance, the classic pirate with one wooden leg and a parrot on his shoulder would be Stevenson’s Long John Silver. The classic pirate song “yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!” was also Stevenson’s imagination.  The pirate being stranded on an island with just a single shot in a pistol – who doesn’t love that old story?

Being a Navy Wife, I loved seeing nautical words that I hear on a daily basis in the story – words such as “forecastle”, and knowing it was pronounced like “folk-sul”. Actually, because of this fun little anomaly, I had a really great conversation with my husband about it and learned quite a bit about nautical terms and their history. It was pretty fun.

There were a couple of things in the book that really stuck out to me. One was the theme of a kind of “coming of age” story about young Jim. There were a couple of turning points for him. There were some where he learned his own character – like he was learning things about himself he would not have otherwise known.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, Cha...

Courage.

I was now, it seemed, cut off upon both sides; behind me the murderers, before me this lurking nondescript. And immediately I began to prefer the dangers that I knew to those I knew not. (Location 997)

Compassion.

He himself slept peacefully and snored aloud, yet my heart was sore for him, wicked as he was, to think on the dark perils that environed and the shameful gibbet that awaited him. (Location 2061)

Empathy.

This grove that was now so peaceful must then have rung with cries, I thought, and even with the thought I could believe I heard it ringing still. (Location 2293)

I have to make a quick comment about Long John Silver. He was by no means the typical children’s book antagonist.

Laugh, by thunder, laugh! Before an hours out, ye’ll laugh upon the other side. Them that die’ll be the lucky ones. (Location 1374)

At times I wanted to smack the living daylights out of him, and others I just wanted to laugh. He was an extremely entertaining character, and definitely part of the comedic relief of Treasure Island.

As for the story itself, I did enjoy the adventure. The stealing, the zeal for treasure, the salt-coated skin, and the baking-hot days… I felt like I was there. This one was on my list of must-reads, and now I know why. It is the foundation for all of our beliefs of pirates. I’m glad I’ve read it, but I will most likely never read it again, unless to my future children.

Happy reading, friends. :)