Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Catching Fire and Mocking Jay by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Pages: 391
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
My rating: 4.8 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.36 stars
Published: September 1, 2009

Description for Catching Fire:

Sparks are igniting, flames are spreading and the Capitol wants revenge.

Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol-- a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Pages: 390
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
My rating: 4.3 stars
Goodreads rating:  4.07 stars
Published: August 24, 2010

Description for Mockingjay:
My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plains--except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.

Okay, I'm going to try to make this as un-spoiler-like as possible.  Which means I might just be writing more about Suzanne Collins' writing style than the actual plots of either book.  However, if you have read my reviews {the whole two of you out there}, you notice that I tend to spoil some things.  So, please, bare with me as I review this with a head cold and at half past midnight... about a month or two after I read these books...

Catching Fire was very engrossing, as we follow Katniss after her and her fellow Tribute from District 12 won the Hunger Games.  This book follows her and Peeta home after, as they have to continue to play lovers, going as far as Katniss letting the people in the Districts pick her wedding dress. There are rumors about rebellions in various Districts against the Capitol, and Katniss finds that her, her family and friends are being held responsible for all of it.  Then the unexpected happens, something that will change Katniss and Peeta's lives forever.  And possibly end them.

Mockingjay was very engrossing, but as far as all of the books go, Hunger Games was the most attention grabbing, followed by Catching Fire, and ending it all with Mockingjay.  I guess the first should be the one that hooks you in, right?  Now that I have you going "oh... lame... thanks Kari, now I don't want to read any of them" let me just tell you they are worth reading.  They're YA, so they're quicker reads. The whole series took me under a couple weeks to read {about a few days per book}.  This is an interesting book, though, and it doesn't end quite how you might anticipate it.

PS - I started writing this in October of last year, and am just now getting around to publishing it... goodness...

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