Catching Fire and Mockingjay (Hunger Games)

I don’t think I’ve ever described a work of fiction as “harrowing”, but that is what this trilogy was. I’ve been affected by books before- I cried when Dumbledore died, and rejoiced when Frodo got rid of the ring, but I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotionally drained, so distressed and left a series feeling so empty as I have with this one.

I’ve been attempting to emotionally detach myself in order to review it, but I must say that it is genuinely difficult to do so. If you’ve read my first review, you will see that I was excited to be embarking on a new relationship with a series, no matter how gruesome the premise. However, as I closed the final page of mockingjay I was not elated, but rather crushed. All the best writers drag their characters through suffering-it’s part of the transformation of the character, but this series follows one girl’s descent into what can only be described as complete madness. The author’s ruthlessness is so relentless that I would even describe Collins’ treatment of her characters as callous.

The second book- Catching Fire starts a few months after Katniss’ win at the games, and follows the her through what is known as the ‘Quarter Quell’- where once every 25 years there is an even more gruesome tribute to be paid- this years’ Hunger Games sees the pool of tributes taken only from previous victors. At the same time, Katniss’ defiance at the previous games has started a rebellion – of which she is the mascot. Mockingjay then follows Katniss after she has escaped from the arena and the rebellion against the Capitol is in full swing. With Peeta captured Katniss must be the symbol of the rebellion- she must be their Mockingjay.

I’m not sure what is more heartbreaking- watching Katniss transform from a flawed but sweet young girl, confused about her feelings for two men, into a half-crazed, almost suicidal head case- or the realization (both hers and yours) that the regime which Katniss brings to power is only marginally better than the one left behind. I read an article in which a mother asked for the Hunger Games to be removed from her child’s curriculum because it was giving her child nightmares and she didn’t approve of the message it gave. Whilst I continue to think this woman is clearly a moron, before you begin this terrible journey with Katniss, you do have to prepared to accept extreme loss and darkness- because that is precisely what you’re going to get. Don’t forget to Donate to World Horse Welfare- it’s all for a good cause!

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6 Comments to “Catching Fire and Mockingjay (Hunger Games)”

  1. I haven’t read the series yet (I will…sometime before I see the movie) but it reminds of Battle Royale. It’s very bleak. The government that rebellions tend to establish are usually never than better than the previous government. I think we hope they are different but they’re not…most of the time. Why do you think the woman is a moron?

    • Essentially because she doesn’t actually understand the reasoning behind the book, she thinks it promotes kids killing each other- I’m like really- that’s what you take from it?

      • Now your comment about her makes sense. Some people cannot see behind the writing and just take the book at face value.

        At first, I was like “Well, the woman has a point in not liking the book because it’s problematic for her child but that is not a reason to called her a moron. She s being protective of her child.” Now that you said that she think it promotes killing each other, I understand why you called her a moron and she is a moron if that is her interpretation of the book.

      • Exactly. I get if the child is upset and a mother wanting to protect their child-to be honest its quite heavy going for younger people, so it shouldn’t perhaps be reading for 12 year olds, but its not the message that’s off, just perhaps the content- e.g. extreme brutality.

  2. Mockingjay is possibly the most harrowing fictional book I have ever read. I have also reviewed the trilogy if you’d like to take a look: http://freyamorel.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/fire-is-catching/
    I focus quite a lot on Katniss’ emotional journey and would be interested in your opinion.
    I love this blog- it’s wonderful for ideas for what to read next, and also interesting to see another person’s opinion on already-read books.

    • I really enjoyed your review! I agree that Katniss is much more believable. Harry is very much a hero but Katniss is real, she is human and that is what makes the book so harrowing- because you can relate to her. also thank you so much for reading and liking my blog, i’m sorry it’s taken a while to reply, it’s just been a bit crazy my end! 🙂

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