Tag Archives: Catching Fire

The Hunger Games’ New Mockingjay Mockup

The Hunger Games has a new look. Scholastic has put together The Hunger Games Collector’s Edition, featuring new and improved cover art.

The original book used the Mockingjay pin as its central focus, and the other books in the series followed suit. The new version still features a mockingjay, minus the pin. As we Hunger Games readers know, the mockingjay has much more meaning to the series than just being a pin.

In this Entertainment Weekly article, Scholastic editorial director David Levithan explains how the new mockup came to be:

“Amazingly, we chose the mockingjay image for the first book before we knew how crucial it would be in the trilogy, and we concepted the cover directions for Catching Fire and Mockingjay before we’d read a word of either book.” He  adds, “Now we have the opportunity to go back and create new icons for each book.”

Levithan adds that the pinless mockingjay teases the significant role of the bird in the series.

So is the new cover better or worse?

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Review: Catching Fire

**Spoiler Alert: If you have only read my Hunger Games review, and not the actual book, you might not want to read the following review. Hunger Games spoilers are included.

Recap: In the second book of The Hunger Games triology, Catching Fire picks up where The Hunger Games left off, with Katniss and Peeta as victors of the Games. The novel takes the reader through their tour of Panem, meeting fans (and enemies), partying, giving speeches, and generally relishing in their 15 minutes of fame. But Katniss quickly learns there’s a lot more mayhem going on than it seems.

President Snow privately explains to Katniss that her act of defiance during the Games — attempting suicide with poisonous berries — has started talk of uprisings in the districts. He threatens to kill her loved ones, unless she can prove that her actions were not rebellious, but done out of love for Peeta.

So Katniss is faced with the task of proving her genuine love to Peeta, but will it even matter if she does? If President Snow’s stories of uprisings around Panem are true, it’s hard to believe Katniss will be able to save anyone, let alone the ones she loves.

And on top of everything else, another year has passed, which means another reaping. But this time it’s the Quarter Quell, a special Hunger Games event that happens only every 25 years. And that means anything can happen.

Analysis: By the time you get to the end of Catching Fire, it becomes stunningly apparent that the second novel acts as a bridge to the third and final book, Mockingjay. But that doesn’t mean there’s any less action.

The height of Catching Fire‘s story takes place at the Hunger Games. And this time around, the environment of the arena is strikingly different from the one in the first book. Collins does a better job of describing the layout and setting here, which adds to the story. With more sensory information, we as readers are better able to understand what the characters are dealing with. Not to mention, this particular arena is far more complicated.

Collins also focuses more on the other tributes in the arena. In The Hunger Games, Rue is the only other tribute we really get to know,  besides Katniss and Peeta. But here, we learn about a handful of them — Mags, Finnick, Beetee, Wiress, and Johanna. We also see a different side of Katniss, as she teams up with the other tributes and forms alliances. But as Katniss and the reader learn, alliance doesn’t necessarily mean trust.

MVP: Finnick Odair. Like Peeta in The Hunger Games, it’s difficult to decide whether or not to like Finnick. But we’re nonetheless intrigued, both by his actions and Collins’ handsome description of him. We ultimately learn how we’re supposed to feel about Finnick at the end of the novel, but his mysteriousness remains in tact. Let’s face it: he sounds dreamy.

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Review: The Hunger Games

Recap: In a post-apocalyptic world, the only way for people to survive is to fight to the death. And so begins the story of The Hunger Games. The country of Panem is divided into 12 districts. Two 12 to 18-year-olds from each district must fight each other in the Hunger Games until only one remains. It’s a sporting event that takes place every year. Teens must fight for their survival, and win not only recognition for his/her district, but a lifetime of food, wealth, shelter, and fame.

Katniss Everdeen offers to play as one of the District 12 representatives in the Games after her younger sister, Prim, is chosen. Katniss simply can’t allow her 12-year-old sister to play. And so Katniss begins training and preparing to enter the arena. She must learn the ways of the Games, the importance of getting sponsors, and at the same time, she must do it alongside her opponent from the same district, Peeta.

The Games go on for a number of weeks. Together and apart, Katniss and Peeta must combat starvation, tracker jacker attacks, fire, and beasts – in addition to the 22 other tributes (as they’re called) trying to kill them. But the relationship between Katniss and Peeta never stays completely professional. Unbeknownst to Katniss, she falls for Peeta, and he does the same.

Analysis: I could not put this book down. Much like J.K. Rowling does with the Harry Potter series, Suzanne Collins creates an entirely different and unfamiliar world with The Hunger Games. The intrigue of the foreign setting pulls the reader in. It then develops further as the actual games begin. One assumes Katniss will win, but then other characters begin to develop. We start to think “No! If Katniss wins, that means Peeta must die! And what about so-and-so and so-and-so?” It becomes too much.

And of course, there’s the love story. No action thriller would be complete without it, right? But it’s the atypical love story – one in which the reader questions whether or not Katniss and Peeta find true love or make it up for show, for the games.

Every plot point consumed me, forcing me to turn the pages, until the final page left me breathless and in desperate and immediate need of the sequel.

MVP: Peeta. Yes, Katniss is the heroine here – a strong, resilient, and humble fighter. But it’s Peeta for whom one feels sympathy. He’s the one holding out for and protecting his love, the one who’s a bit weak physically but has a strong heart. As much as Katniss refuses to admit it, she falls in love with Peeta. And the reader can’t help but do the same.

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