on April 8, 2011
The Girl Who Was on Fire is a well written and engrossing anthology by several very talented YA authors who are also big fans of The Hunger Games Series. I knew that I wanted to read this because some of my favorite authors like Carrie Ryan, Sarah Rees Brennan and Jennifer Lynn Barnes were in it expressing their thougths on the series, but I didn't know if I was going to love it since I'm not used to non-fiction anthologies, but I was wrong. I loved reading this book and was surprisingly captivated and sucked in from the very first essay, I found it hard to put down and all along it kept me wanting to go back and dive into the amazing series that is The Hunger Games.
While reading this anthology I felt like I was having a very thorough discussion about one of my favorite and most memorable series with a bunch of friends. I know in real life these authors are not my friends, but there were so many things that you can agree and disagree with while reading this book that it made it so familiar and very easy to read, just like when you go out for coffee with your friends and talk about books. There were things that I agreed and some that I disagreed about in some of these essays but they were all very well explained and researched, some of these authors even added a bit of humor into their opinions which actually made me laugh and some were so emotional and brought all those feelings I had while reading the series that it made me tear up a couple of times. This book covers everything in all three books of The Hunger Games series, and you can feel while you're reading it that the authors felt very passionate about their opinions on each subject in their essay.
These authors break the series up in little pieces and dissect and analyze everything with detail, emotions and lots of research. It covers every topic from the political part of the series to the love triangle, the will to survive, and so much more that I didn't even realize was in the series until reading this book. One that resonated with me the most was Jennifer Lynn Barnes' essay about being on Team Katniss and not being about just Gale and Peeta but about much more than just the love triangle, it brings out so many emotions about Katniss and why we love her so much that it actually brought me to tears. It will definitely open your eyes about so much that goes on in The Hunger Games, things that we can already see happening in the world. I definitely recommend this one to every Hunger Games fan, it will make you look at the series in a whole new light and love it even more.
on August 11, 2011
I didn't know what to expect from this unauthorized book but was pleased with what I found. Each chapter touches on a different idea from the book, e.g. the media aspect (reality TV), political aspect, Peeta v Gail, etc. Some chapters were more interesting to me than others but there are enough that I was grateful for reading. I was happy to be able to continue with the story in some way since I wasn't ready to say goodbye to the characters when I finished Mockingjay. It enabled me to continue to ponder and flush out some of the bigger ideas of the book with these YA authors who have the ability to express with words some of the things I was feeling and knew but couldn't put to words myself. I have since found myself recommending this book to anyone who loved the series and couldn't get enough of it.
on March 1, 2012
What a great book. After finishing the series I felt I still wasn't ready to leave the Hunger Games and came across this book. I loved reading different authors opinions and take on the series as well as a deeper look into our world today and connections to Panem. It has also introduced me to other authors and their books. A good read for anyone that is a fan of the Hunger Games!
on May 15, 2012
This book was recommended to me by my (very brainy) sister who studied comparative literature in college. I think that sums up the kind of person that will love this little book. Please do not let the fact that the contributing authors are often associated with youth-oriented works trick you into believing that it will appeal to the target age. Sadly, I think most "kids" will find it boring. Casual readers who are not really into analysis and debate may not get much out of it, though if you're into that kind of stuff, it may make you more excited about the series.
"The Girl Who Was on Fire" is definitely for intellectuals and academics who love "The Hunger Games". There is something for everyone, which I like. I'm studying to be a Clinical Social Worker, so I loved the essay on PTSD. Being a native of the Washington D.C. area, all of the essays that talked about government and politics also appealed to me. If you're a science nerd, then the weird Capitol science essay will probably be perfect for you. Overall, I think this book is amazing. It's not only helped me enrich my experience, but it's allowed me to enlighten other fans who love analyzing and discussing fictional works.
on September 22, 2011
I picked up a copy of this book at my local library after I had finished reading the trilogy (for the second time). After Mockingjay...there were still a few questions running around in my head, and I have to say that the essays in this book really gave me a new perspective on the plot and especially some of the things that happen in Mockingjay. I appreciated that each author looked at the trilogy with a different lens. I found it to be intelectually stimulating, while at the same time appealing to me as a super-fan of the books. I especially liked the essay about "Team Katniss". Again...I probably would have purchased the book. But, picking it up at the library is always a more economical and quick option.
on May 9, 2011
I'm still reading The Girl Who Was on Fire but don't think it's too soon to say I'd recommend it to anyone who loves The Hunger Games. (can't get enough of a good thing!) Having read the series several times, I've already thought about some of the concepts raised in The Girl Who Was on Fire. However it is interesting to hear what others have to say. This would be a great book for anyone planning to write a report on The Hunger Games...lots of insights.
on July 26, 2011
Considering that the Hunger Games are my favorite books of all time and I have read the trilogy about 8 times now, I thought that I knew everything that there is to know about the world of Panem. I was wrong.
The Girl Who Was On Fire opened my eyes to ideas that I hadn't considered. I tore through this book in about 5 hours.
Although I enjoyed some of the essays more than others, all of them were thought provoking, entertaining, and informative. This is an excellent read for Hunger Games fans!
on December 6, 2015
Review originally posted @ http://feelyourbooks.blogspot.com
This was such a strong anthology of essays, all of which focus on elements and themes within The Hunger Games series. There's a good mix of entertainment, honesty, and wisdom within its pages. I might dare to say that a person who isn't even that big a fan of the series might still enjoy and appreciate the majority of what these authors have to say on the topics of politics, media, psychology, and so much more.
A few stand-out essays in the collection were...
TEAM KATNISS BY JENNIFER LYNN BARNES
There isn't much in this fandom that irks me more than the Team Gale/Peeta garbage. Since the beginning, I fiercely argued against the idea that the romance subplot is in anyway relevant when stacked against the series' far more important issues--community, finding oneself, doing what is right even if it is difficult, etc.
This essay destroys the emphasis on the romantic subplot in favor of discussing who Katniss is, why she makes the choices she does, how she feels about the difficult situations she's put in, and how others regularly try to define her without any of her own input.
REALITY HUNGER BY NED VIZZINI
Like Katniss, Ned Vizzini had a difficult time learning to act natural for a camera when preparing for his first press junket. Here he touches on the people--such as Katniss' prep team and Cinna--who walked him through learning to "act natural" and appear honest under the scrutiny of that little red light.
This perspective made me empathize quite a bit with the Katniss of the first book through Ned's experiences and vulnerability. It was an interesting angle I hadn't thought of much before.
BENT, SHATTERED, AND MENDED BY BLYTHE WOOLSTON
I don't think anything I could think to say would do this essay justice. It is simply brilliant.
Woolston offers an in-depth look into the psychology of the citizens of Panem--the poor, the victors, and the Capitol--starting with how a brain is built. From how skills are built and memories are formed to how a brain can be broken and eventually mended. She explores the PTSD of the victors who have seen inexplicable horrors and how they spend years trying to return to some form of normalcy.
DID THE THIRD BOOK SUCK? BY BRENT HARTINGER
While Brent Hartinger was originally of the opinion that, yes, the third book totally sucked, he takes on both sides of the argument in this essay and does a brilliant job of playing devil's advocate. Even I, a third book-lover, have deep respect everything he has brought to the table on both sides of this issue. I fully agree with what he had to offer on my side and now understand where those on the other side are coming from that much better. If that isn't an honorable skill, I don't know what is.
THE POLITICS OF MOCKINGJAY BY SARAH DARER LITTMAN
This one was easily my favorite of the collection. If you're at all interested in politics (or even if you're not), I would highly recommend this essay. Even if you read no other essay ever again for as long as you live, read this one. It is so important on so many levels.
Sarah Darer Littman is a newspaper columnist as well as a YA author, and she fits herself into this collection with a valuable angle on the politics of both Panem and our world. She touches on the events leading up to and following our "war on terror", the isolation and dehumanization of "them/the other", and revenge. While reading this one, I felt inclined to do a quick research of some of our torture tactics in the US and was brought to tears. I was sobbing. It's just...the inhuman things we do are so ugly and unforgivable. More people need to be made aware of these things if we have any hope of not ending up just like Panem.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, I urge you to pick up this collection. I found it both education and entertaining--edutaining, if you will--and would love to share my feelings with others who have checked it out.
on April 8, 2012
Still hungry for Hunger Games? You have read the books, seen the movie, and now what? This book will give you that fulfillment! ~Sheila
Sixteen YA authors come together and take you back to the world of the Hunger Games with moving, dark, and funny pieces on Katniss, the Games, Gale and Peeta, even Buttercup (the cat), reality TV, survival, and more. From the trilogy's darker themes of violence and social control to fashion and weaponry, the collection's exploration of the Hunger Games reveals exactly how rich, and how perilous, Panem, and the series, really is.
Who is Katniss?
Comparisons to the book 1984
The Peeta Factor
Could Tracker Jackers Exist
Does The Last Book Suck (arguments both ways by the same author)
CONTRIBUTORS: Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary Borsellino, Sarah Rees Brennan, Terri Clark, Bree Despain, Adrienne Kress, Sarah Darer Littman, Cara Lockwood, Elizabeth M. Rees, Carrie Ryan, Ned Vizzini, Lili Wilkinson, Blythe Woolston, Diana Peterfreund (NEW), Brent Hartinger (NEW), Jackson Pearce (NEW)
Yes. I read the books. I followed up by listening to Hunger games on audio as well. Yes, I went to the movie. Twice. And yes, I was one of those people who did not love love the last book, Mockingjay.
Yet... hungry for more, much like I still am with the Harry Potter books. I want something more.
Thanks to this group of authors there is more, a lot more! The Girl Who Was On Fire is not a bashing of the books by Susanne Collins. Quite the opposite. It's taking the books (all three of them) and breaking them down into bite size pieces. It is sometimes funny (Katniss being compared to Buttercup the cat - keeps surviving against all odds, doesn't let people in easy), it is sometimes sad (could Katniss pick who she really loved or did she know what she had to do, who to choose to survive, and isn't that what it is really all about?)
Each chapter, or topic, is told by a different author who gives their insight on a part of the books. I found this interesting and have to admit I loved the chapter called Did The Third Book Suck, told from the perspective of an author who lists all the ways he felt as a writer it could have been done so much better, and then turns around and explains why just the opposite could be true as well, and why Susan Collins choices in Mockingjay may have been the authors road less traveled but also shows a deeper look into Katniss and Panem by writing it the way she did. (for the record, I did lean more towards this chapters first synopsis, and while I did not think Mockingjay sucked, it was my least favorite of the three books.) My review of Mockingjay.
Who should read this? Hunger Games fans this is a fantastic addition to the three books. It will make you think, nod your head, and occasionally laugh out loud. It is brilliant and fun - all rolled into one.
Why did I read it? I loved the trilogy as a whole. I thought the idea behind Hunger Games was so incredibly detailed and unique from anything I had read before. And yes, I was left Hungry... especially after the release of the movie... I wanted more. The Girl Who Was On Fire gave me that.
on February 5, 2016
Interesting and fascinating to see how others, specifically Young Adult genre authors read into The Hunger Games trilogy, and movie too, since this review is the movie edition. I loved The Hunger Games trilogy. I didn't always love it, because it was "dark" for me when I first read The Hunger Games. It took an additional read for me to REALLY like it, and then love it. It says something about a book, when you didn't think you love it, but you can't help but taking a second look. This is how I feel about this collection of essays. Not that I love it or I took a second look. It was the fact that these are opinions of others, and it helped broaden my view of certain aspects of The Hunger Games trilogy that I did not see or overlooked. Some, I don't fully agree on, but some are fairly spot on. This is one for any THG fan that wants to dive deeper into the magneticism of it.