Sunday, 15 September 2013

Book of the Week: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

"Aim higher in case you fall short."

Firstly, let me apologise for dropping the ball a little bit with these Book of the Week posts. I've had a very hectic past few weeks with not a lot of time to read and, to be perfectly honest, I didn't really have anything that I was that excited to write about. I could have just picked a book and scribbled down a few thoughts about it, but I thought it was far better to take a couple of weeks off, and come back to my weekly musings with a refreshed energy. I still haven't really read anything new (I'm actually still working my way through the Game of Thrones series, and loving it), but I did think of a series that really caught my imagination a while ago, which has since become a bit of a phenomenon. So for this week, I thought I'd write about the The Hunger Games trilogy, and my fave of the three, Catching Fire.

I read The Hunger Games series a fair few years ago now. At the time, I hadn't heard anything about them, but a friend and fellow book addict had read them, and knew they were acquiring quite a substantial following, and she insisted I read them, as she was positive that I'd love them. And as soon as she explained the premise of the books to me, I knew she was right. I love the gladiatorial aspect of the whole thing, and I'm always quite intrigued by dystopian, 1984-esque stories, so I was more than a little excited to get started. Needless to say, I devoured the two that had been published in as many days, and bought the third as soon as it was released. I would absolutely say that this series has more than earned it's title as one of the most popular young adult books of its generation. It's just brilliant, and here are a few of the many reasons why.

My first reason for loving all of the books is the hero of the piece; Katniss Everdeen. I love how independent and determined she is. There are far too few strong female role models in young adult literature these days, the majority of them focused on boys and looking pretty, but I think that Katniss sets a fantastic example for younger readers. She gets things a little bit wrong sometimes, and she is definitely flawed, but her concerns are for her family, and the good of others, making her a lot more deep, interesting and likeable than her contemporary equivalents (*cough* Bella *cough*). I just love her, and welcome the rather refreshing perspective she brings to the female lead. I actually think that popular books with a strong and healthy female presence, owe a lot of their success to this fact, although I'm not sure how many would agree with me. For example, Harry Potter captured the hearts and the imaginations of pretty much every one of my generation, but I don't think the books would have had half as much longevity without that strong female foundation - Hermione, Mrs. Weasley, Luna, and J. K. Rowling herself make those books what they are, and I think this is also the case with Katniss. 

I also really enjoy the way the books are written. The style is quite choppy and abrupt, which really lends itself to the content of the book. The whole thing is very fast paced and gripping, at times a little nail biting, and I think the fact that the writing style is so exhilarating is probably one of the many reasons that I couldn't put the books down until I had finished them!

Catching Fire, the second in the series, is my favourite of the trio for a few reasons, one of them being that it is far more cleverly constructed than the first. A big part of that is obviously owed to the fact that so much has been set up for the reader in the first instalment. But I just enjoy the premise a lot more. I massively prefer the arena in this one (which I think will translate fantastically to the silver screen), and I love the fact that the contestants turn against the Capitol and the arena itself, giving all of the players a chance to get to know each other, and, by proxy, the reader gets to know them too. There wasn't much opportunity for that in the first book, as Katniss was so isolated for most of the time. I particularly liked Finnick Odair and his back story, and I've yet to meet anyone who didn't! I also loved Mags, the 80 year old, wise little lady from Finnick's district, as well as Wiress and Beetee, the kind of adorable duo who figure out the arena. To be honest, all of the characters had something wonderful about them, and I'm grateful that we were given the chance to get to know all of them this time around. 

So there you have my opinion of the well loved Hunger Games. And although Catching Fire is, without a doubt, my favourite,  I couldn't really fault any of the three books. I think they're brilliant, and  I cannot wait to see the hotly anticipated film adaptation of my favourite in the series. As for the Book of the Week posts, I have a pile of books as tall as me just desperate to be read, so next week, I'll be back with a renewed zest and enthusiasm, as well as some exciting (hopefully) book reviews for you all to read. I'd better get cracking!

Are you a Hunger Games fan? Which one is your favourite? Are you excited to see the new film? Let me know!


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  1. I've yet to read the Hunger Games series, but I always hear good things. I'm so wrapped up in The Song of Ice and Fire series by George RR Martin which has been sucking years out of my life with its drastic twists and turns. But one day when I can tear myself away I will read the Hunger Games haha. Great review!

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

    1. Ooh, definitely give it a go, they're really good and don't take too long to read. And I'm exactly the same as you! Haha I've had no time to read anything else because I just can't put them down! Which book are you on? xx

    2. I'm right in the middle of the fourth book - A Feast for Crows. I'm just so excited for the new season of the TV show!

    3. That's exactly where I am!! So good! And I actually haven't watched any of the TV show, as I really wanted to get through the books first. Kinda wish I hadn't said that now, haha, I'll get to it sooner or later! xx

  2. Really loved your perspective on the books. I've yet to read them, but you make a convincing point. I especially loved your point on the longevity of Harry Potter for its female characters - one I completely agree with. Would love to hear your thoughts on Game of Thrones!

    Nell @ &NellWrites

    1. I'm so glad you agree! I don't think many people do, but I think they're so important - they're like the backbone of the whole series, and I think Rowling meant it to be that way.
      I've done a review of the first book, but I plan on writing about the whole series when I'm done, so keep your eyes peeled for that!
      Thanks so much for reading. You write such insightful posts on your blog, so I love to hear your opinion! xx

    2. I will do and thank you for the lovely compliment!

  3. I completely agree with you on how she is a very independent, strong character. I feel as though I love books like Harry Potter that have a strong females foundation. I think that out of the three books, my favorite is the final book, 'Mockingjay'. I had no idea when reading it how it would end. I loved the sense that anything could happen, deaths, romance.
    I am so excited for the next movie. This book series (after Harry Potter) is my favorite.
    I was thinking about reading 'Game of Thrones'. I'd be interested in what you thought of them.
    Michaela Maria xxx

    1. I really liked the third book too, but I really wasn't keen on the ending, which is why it isn't my favourite.
      I'm really excited for the movie too! I think it'll be the best one to translate onto film, because of all the rainforest. It'll look fantastic!
      I'm going to do a detailed review of all the Game of Thrones books when I'm done, but I would highly recommend them! They're brilliant! xx

    2. Also, I just wanted to let you know that I read your blog all the time, and alwasy want to comment, but I can't work out how to do it! I'm sure I've left comments before, but I can't for the life of me find where to comment! =( xx