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The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games Trilogy Paperback – April 5, 2011

75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A fascinating collection of essays about the Hunger Games series … This book is LEGIT. All of the essays are thought-provoking and they really get into the heart and soul of the series. In fact, I’ll even bet you that you’ll come away from this book liking the series more than you did already.
—Forever Young Adult

My copy is completely highlighted, underlined, written in the margins, and dog-eared. You don’t know how many times while I was reading it I said emphatically to myself, “Yes!!” as I underlined or highlighted a quote or passage.
—Book Nerds Across America

A must-read for those interested in the Hunger Games.
—Hunger Games fansite The Hob

About the Author

Leah Wilson graduated from Duke University with a degree in Culture and Modern Fiction and is currently Editor-in-Chief, Smart Pop, at BenBella Books. She lives in Cambridge, Mass.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Smart Pop (April 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935618040
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935618041
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #868,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Cat H. on April 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ripped through this little book in a day and found that it only deepened and textured my understanding of The Hunger Games! The trilogy, understood through the eyes of these YA essayists, is so much more than just an action tale or even just a story about rising up against your oppressors or finding your voice or etc.

For instance, in this 13-essay mini-anthology, you'll find a piece about the role of fashion and appearances in everything from a Capitol-constructed death game to an American presidential election to the courtroom visits of Lindsay Lohan and Lil Kim, a piece examining how choosing love is an act of political defiance, and an essay treating The Hunger Games as a cautionary tale against the screwy science that produced tracker jackers and the other mutts of Panem. There's even an essay addressing the psychological roots of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder almost every character suffers by the end of Mockingjay., politics, science and psychology in the span of four essays!

If you love The Hunger Games, I can guarantee you'll love at least one piece in the book. My own favorite was the book's first essay "Why so hungry for the Hunger Games?" which examines which themes laced throughout the books really capture the imagination. It also delivers a wonderful analysis of Katniss, Peeta, and Gale separately as well as illuminating what each romance means in the larger picture of revolution-torn dystopia.

Sigh. I just wish I could read them all over again for the first time...
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Dallas on April 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
After two reads through Hunger Games set and a lot of thought about plot and characters and our own world, I was excited to find this book and pre-ordered immediately. It arrived on my Kindle promptly on the 5th and I took my time reading through the essays.

The essays are well thought out and generally discuss the themes in the trilogy from an aspect significant to the author - fashion, politics, media, community, trauma and so forth. Some of the essays I enjoyed more than others but all of them are worth reading. Often small (you're on your own, buy the book :)) things were pointed out that were easily overlooked in the books or were shown in a different light.

The novels have broad appeal, my only disappointment with this book are the number of male contributors, one. I would have liked to read the thoughts of another male author or two due to the way the essays are structured. Gender and life experience may very well color the essays so we missed out on that essay drawing parallels between today's professional sports and the Hunger Games! Not enough to take a star away from an excellent book though.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By MirandaHannah on July 25, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was amazing. It really added to the whole Hunger Games experience, if possible. I fell in love with the Hunger Games trilogy and figured I would read this. It sounded interesting and I was dying for more.

I didn't expect this.

All these different authors wrote essays about different topics in the Hunger Games trilogy such as style and symbolism, reality and unreality. It literally blew me away, and my respect for Suzanne Collins and her writing skyrocketed.

I immensely enjoyed every essay....except one.

I felt the third to last essay written by Sarah Darer Littman didn't meet the score that the essays before it in the book had set. In fact, it didn't come close. When she actually mentioned the Hunger Games or anything about it (in passing) it was something we had already learned or could actually deduce ourselves while reading the books.

So how did she fill up a fifteen page essay? She pretty much mentioned everything America has done wrong, what our previous president (Bush) did wrong, or her hate mail to the newspaper she writes political articles for and why all those people are WRONG. I bought this book to learn more about the Hunger Games. I DID NOT buy this book to hear about the letter she received from an American Veteran from WWII telling her she needed to keep writing forever and ever. Which I also learned in this article is taped above her desk.

I am sorry to those of you who may have thought her article was genious, but I prefer to not know famous people's political views because it changes my view of THEM. But Sarah Darer Littman talked of nothing else and in my book, that seems to be asking for my criticism. Apologies.

THE GIRL WHO WAS ON FIRE should NOT be read before the Hunger Games trilogy but should definitely be read after. It was, in one word, BRILLIANT. (:
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59 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Restless on June 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of The Hunger Games series. I enjoyed the first book very much and I enjoyed the whole series even more. It is no wonder I would to like to share my thoughts on the series with others. I also wanted to hear what others had to say.

I have to say I am slightly disappointed with this book. The contributors in this anthology are YA authors. When I read this book, I felt the articles were geared more towards young adults. This book is somewhat toned down to be more accessible to younger readers. I found nothing really stimulating or challenging presented in this book. The article I liked above others was the one written by Sarah Darer Littman, and it is probably the only one that I enjoyed. Even in this article, I found nothing that I didn't already know or agree with.

This review may come off as pretentious, which is not my intention. In the past I had read several books of this type (anthology of discussion on pop culture, etc). I had always enjoyed and learned a lot from those books. I was excited to see details and nuance ignored by me but picked up by others. If you are a teenager, I am sure you might benefit from reading this book. One may get more out of a work by examining as many aspects as possible. Different points of view open up our minds, which is really one of the main reasons for reading. A book like this aims to do just that. However, if you are a seasoned reader who are accustomed to probing around what you read and what you watch, you might walk away unsatisfied after you finish this book. I do not claim to be a sophisticated reader (nor am I), but I do feel The Hunger Games Series deserve wider and deeper analyzing.
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