Monday, April 4, 2011

The Girl Who Was On Fire

Edited by Leah Wilson
Start Date: 26 March 2011
End Date: 3 April 2011
224 pages (Paperback)

With this book, it's not so much that I enjoyed it - which I did - but I think this is an important book for anyone who was read the Hunger Games trilogy. It both reminded me why I liked the Hunger Games and addressed the deeper issues of the trilogy in relevant and meaningful ways.
     I was initially overwhelmed by Mockingjay, and after finishing it, I intentionally stayed away from all things Hunger Games. However, I saw this book in a "Monday's Muse" post on The Secret Adventures of WriterGirl and it sounded really interesting. I'm glad I tried it.
     The book consists of thirteen essays addressing different aspects of the trilogy in a larger context, whether that is why the series is so popular in the first place, comparing the Hunger Games to books such as 1984, putting the trilogy in a historical and political context, or discussing the use of media as a power tool. Each essay is insightful and opens up new ways to think about the series that I had never considered. They also adress current issues that readers can easily connect to. For example, when I finished reading last night, this one passage kept running through my head:
      "After her triumph in the Hunger Games, Katniss finds it difficult to stay herself. Her heroism, which begins in authenticity and solidifies in skill, comes under fire as soon as she slips into a public persona, first as a victor of the Games and then as the Mockingjay, face of the rebellion. Readers can likely relate  to Katniss' struggles to reconcile her personal and private lives, as they also have public profiles to maintain.
     It started with blogs; now, through social media, anyone who is active on the internet creates a digital projection of themselves for public consumption. We are all stars, all heroes in our own online productions. What does this do for our authenticity? It destroys it." - Reality Hunger, Ned Vizzini
It takes The Hunger Games and turns it around so that you end up thinking about yourself and your life as well as Katniss'. If you only wanted to think about Katniss, you could just reread the series, but these essays take it further than that.

This collection is recommended for anyone who has read The Hunger Games - whether you enjoyed it or not, it gives the entire trilogy so much more depth that it's worth reading.

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