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Tag: The Hunger Games (31-35 of 35)

EW Shelf Life Book Club: 'Mockingjay'

Like many of you, I’ve finished Mockingjay–tearing through it at top speed, just as I did The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. And I have to say that although I loved it, and thought it brought the whole trilogy to a perfect end, I know not everyone does. That’s what this book club will be about–not so much reviewing a particular book, but hashing it out, talking about things we liked and didn’t like, speculating on what an author really meant by a certain plot twist or development. I’m curious to know what all of you think.

So, with that in mind, here’s where I’m at, a few days after finishing Mockingjay. (Anyone who hasn’t finished the book, STOP HERE! There are SPOILERS below.)

There’s a lot out there in the media about the violence and brutality of the book. Sheryl Cotleur, who works for a California bookstore, wrote in an op-ed piece, “It seems to me [the books] go beyond the usual mayhem….Now we have not only children killing children, we have electrocution, drowning, burning, stabbing, being injected by virulent venom and more torture than I can recall in any young adult novel I’ve ever read.” For her part, Collins told Library Journal recently, “One of the reasons it’s important for me to write about war is I really think that the concept of war, the specifics of war, the nature of war, the ethical ambiguities of war are introduced too late to children. I think they can hear them, understand them, know about them, at a much younger age without being scared to death by the stories. It’s not comfortable for us to talk about, so we generally don’t talk about these issues with our kids. But I feel that if the whole concept of war were introduced to kids at an earlier age, we would have better dialogues going on about it, and we would have a fuller understanding.” She also says that she hopes readers will come away from the books with “questions about how elements of the books might be relevant in their own lives. And, if they’re disturbing, what they might do about them.” For my part, I think that yes, the brutality is graphic–it occasionally made me flinch–but I also think Collins would not have been able to make her point about the futility of war unless she described it honestly. And real war isn’t  guts and glory. It’s unspeakably horrible. People (often people you love) go out and kill other people.

So: your thoughts on the violence? Too much for the book? Were you ever bothered by Katniss’ ability to kill ruthlessly? How did you feel about the combat scenes?

I’m reading a lot–mostly on various blogs–about the outcome of the Katniss/Peeta/Gale love triangle. Some readers seem incredibly disappointed that Katniss ended up with Peeta, not Gale, and they think the book ended with a whimper. When I first read it, I thought it was a little flat. But it’s grown on me. For one thing, it’s realistic. In war, even the “winners” don’t really win; they’ve sacrificed so much and seen so much and lost so much. Both Katniss and Peeta are injured (both physically and emotionally) and worn down. In retrospect, Katniss’ quiet resignation in the final pages seems fitting to me. But let’s hear it: Who thought she should have ended up with Gale? Why? What did you all think of the ending itself?

Finally, taking the trilogy as a whole, I’m left not just with Collins’ powerful anti-war message but with an indelible image of Katniss in my head. I honestly think she’s a fictional character for the ages, that these books are going to be around for a long, long, time. You?

Who should play Katniss Everdeen in 'The Hunger Games' movie?

Forget Team Jacob vs. Team Edward. The real question is: Are you Team Peeta or Team Gale? Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series culminated this week with the release of Mockingjay (our first selection in the EW Shelf Life Books Club).

The movie rights to the story of Katniss Everdeen — a teenager living in a dictatorship where young people are forced into a televised fight to the death every year — were acquired by Lionsgate in 2009. Now that the trilogy is complete, casting for the films can begin. Who would you like to see play the heroic Katniss? And who should play her Hunger Games partner Peeta and her rebellious childhood friend Gale?

Anyone else think Chloe Moretz, while a little young, could make a perfect Katniss?

Kristen Bell professes her love of the 'Hunger Games' trilogy on Twitter

Mockingjay-Kristen-BellImage Credit: Glenn Harris/PR PhotosKristen Bell is drooling and sweating (her words, not mine) over Mockingjay, the third and final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy.

Bell has taken to her verified Twitter account (@IMKristenBell) to profess her love for the novels. “not just ‘a’ hunger games fan. THE hunger games fan. read both books twice & am silently salivating for the 3rd” she tweeted last week. Well, Kristen, ask and you shall receive. Yesterday, she posted a picture of the book, saying “it’s here.”

Twitter isn’t the only outlet Bell is using to talk up the books. In the September issue of SHAPE she said, “It’s a wonderfully engaging story about a young female gladiator. I read the first one in a day — it’s that good.” And she’s even trying to convince her Twitter followers that the books is a must-read: “believe it baby! 2nd time i read it aloud 2 friends & did different voices for each charachter. i am the king of the nerds!” But that’s not all. She shared her thoughts on characters Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark: “hmm its a hard one. peeta is so damn sweet but i wish he would stick up for himself when katniss is being a straight up biiiitch!” and “but i love katniss. shes a hardened criminal & the symbol of a rebellion. embarrassed to say i wish she would smoooch peeta more!”

What do you think? Is Bell’s love of the trilogy a bit too much or are you right there with her tweeting about how awesome the series is?

'Mockingjay,' by Suzanne Collins: Our first pick in the EW Shelf Life Book Club!

I’ve been wanting to do a book club on’s Shelf Life blog since it first launched. First, the fact that we’re here together means we share a love of books and enjoy reading and talking about them. But unlike the traditional book club forum, which requires being some place in-person at a designated time regardless of how we felt about the book, here on the Web, you can just skip (or defer) a discussion if you’re bogged down with work, family, Mad Men — or if you flat-out didn’t like what you read that week.

So how will the EW Shelf Life book club work? Each Tuesday we’ll assign a book. You’ll have a week to read it, and then we’ll meet back here the following Tuesday for a discussion — what we liked, what we didn’t, etc. We’ll pick them from a broad range of genres — thrillers, literary fiction, short stories, memoirs — and we’ll also periodically put a future selection to a vote, letting you, the readers, pick what book we tackle next. Some weeks we’ll have the selected book’s author join us, either by taking questions submitted ahead of time here on the blog, or by participating in a live chat discussion.

To kick things off, we’ll talk about Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay, which went on sale this morning. It’s a smart, brainy read that straddles the teen and adult fiction worlds, laced with the kinds of issues and questions that make for lively debate. And — maybe the most important of all — it’s just a great story. So crack open your copy of Mockingjay — like you haven’t already! — and join me here next Tuesday, Aug. 31. We won’t have Suzanne Collins (though we’ll mine from an interview we recently did with her) — but there’s still plenty to talk about. And let me know: What kinds of books would you like to see here?

Final 'Hunger Games' novel has been given a title and a cover

For fans starving for news on the Hunger Games series, there’s good news: Scholastic has revealed new details on the final book in Suzanne Collins’ YA trilogy. The new cover continues the previous books’ ornithological theme, and the latest entry will be titled Mockingjay, after the hybrid birds that feature in the novels’ storyline.

The previous two books, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, were set in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by a ruthless and powerful authoritarian government that sponsors violent games of survival. Details on the plot of the final novel, which is set to release Aug. 24, are being kept under tight lock-and-key, although Scholastic VP Editorial Director David Levithan did reveal a jokey list of story elements that will most definitely not be appearing in Mockingjay, including “At no point does President Snow utter the line, ‘This is Snowmageddon, baby’” and “In a tough editorial call, we decided not to have Katniss win the Hunger Games…only to be interrupted by Kanye West.” Not too much to go on for those hoping for a glimpse of how the series will end, so it looks like fans will just have to wait. “That was about as much as we could get out of him,” says publicist Tracy van Straaten. “I probably won’t be reading the book myself until August 24th.”

So, Shelf-Lifers, are you excited for the conclusion? Can you wait until August?

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