Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Archive for the tag “Suzanne Collins”

Shaman’s Cannonball Read #CBR04 review #09: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

And so the Hunger Games trilogy is concluded. With a book that leaves me confused. Did I like it? Did I hate it? Was I indifferent?

Obviously, this being the third part, spoilers are to be found below for those that haven’t read the first two books.

Katniss Everdeen is now in District 13, among the rebels. She feels trapped and is driven by her hatred for President Snow. At the same time, she feels that she is manipulated by the rebels to become their Mockingjay, their symbol of rebellion. For the first half of the book, her goal is to free Peeta, who’s being held captive by Snow.

Katniss is a strong character. But despite her passion, her motives are unclear. She is truly on fire when it comes to her emotions, but at the same time she can appear to be cool and distant. Can she feel love? In the first book, she volunteered herself for the Hunger Games to save her little sister. In this one, judging by her behaviour towards her family and friends, she’s an empty shell. Her behaviour consists of knee-jerk reactions. It is often mentioned in the book that her actions have caused other people to die, still she doesn’t learn from that but keeps going on with her personal vendetta: not to heroically avenge others, but to exact revenge for her own suffering.
The first half of the book feels scattered, aimless, just a bunch of events thrown together for no obvious reason other than to create tension. They seem like pointless distractions. The book picks up speed in its second half, when suddenly the goal is clear and everything the characters do is for that purpose. It is exciting at times, although other times I got angry at the writer for coming up with completely unnecessary plot devices that felt like cheap thrills and contributed nothing to the story.

Mockingjay was certainly an entertaining book, but it felt shallow and messy. It was definitely the weakest part of the trilogy.

You can read more of my reviews and about my life as a runner here.


Sophia’s #CBR4 Review #7 Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

When I finished reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I almost immediately picked up the second book (which I had conveniently already borrowed from a friend). Catching Fire (2009) continues the story of Katniss Everdeen from almost exactly where The Hunger Games leaves off. Since I went into some details of the second book in my review of The Hunger Games, I’m going to keep this review pretty short.

Read it here.

Sophia’s #CBR4 Review #6 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games(2008) by Suzanne Collins seems to be all the rage these days, with the movie coming out this month, and pictures of the lead actress everywhere. And there’s no way I’m going to let any popular young-adult novels get by me. I think everyone who is interested probably knows by now, but sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to be in the Hunger Games in order to save her younger sister. The Hunger Games are an annual fight to the death on live television between 24 opponents from the ages of 12 to 18.

I couldn’t stop reading this book once I’d picked it up. I immediately got into the story and was curious about what would happen. It was a very satisfying, tense, and exciting book that I would recommend to almost anyone. However, when I got to thinking about the review, I realized that there were some parts of the narrative that didn’t sit well with me. I would suggest that, although very interesting, it’s not as well written as the Harry Potter or The Golden Compass books. Now, the writing is still much better than the Twilight series. But, when I read Twilight I had the same urgency to get through the story to find out what happens as I did with The Hunger Games. I’ve sometimes felt the vitriolic rhetoric surrounding Twilight was a little too strong. Sure, it’s a poorly-written, immature, and unrealistic view of love, but it was a quick and easy read. Bella always did what she thought was best. She wasn’t pushed around. On the other hand, I see The Hunger Games held up as the perfect antidote, and I don’t think that’s quite right either.

So, in the interest of looking at The Hunger Games from a different perspective, below are the similarities between The Hunger Games and Twilight.

Read the rest of the review here.

CommanderStrikeher’s #CBR4 Review # 4: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Yet another review of Mockingjay.

I finished reading it a month ago, so my review was a little stale.

taralovesbooks’ #CBR4 Review #6: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Cannonball Read IV: Book #6/52
Published: 2008
Pages: 388
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian

I first read this book back when it was first released and loved it. I was already a fan of the Japanese novel Battle Royale(which I need to read again) and this was a similar plot, although a little watered down for the teens. I decided to reread it before I see the movie in March.

Katniss (ohhh how I loathe her name) lives in District Twelve in the dystopian society known as Panem. Each year, every district has to draw the names of a boy and a girl teenager to participate in The Hunger Games. In the Games, they all will fight and kill each other until only one person is left alive. Supposedly this is a way to keep the districts in order, but I still don’t really get how that works. I figure they’d just be MORE likely to form an uprising if you keep killing their kids. Oh well, we can overlook that since there’d be no story otherwise.

Shaman’s #CBR4 review #06: Catching fire by Suzanne Collins

Catching fire is the second part in the Hunger Games trilogy. It is a young adult novel, although you wouldn’t know it but for the age of its protagonist, Katniss.




The books take place in a future society, where the privileged citizens of Panem live in luxury while the citizens of the 12 Districts live in misery, forced to work for Panem. Every year, every District has to send two of its (young) citizens to the Hunger Games, a brutal fight to the death, until there is only one person left. This is a punishment to remind the Districts not to revolt against Panem, and a way to keep them in slavery and crush their spirits.

Read the rest of my review here.

Petalfrog’s #CBR4, Review #3, Mockingjay (Book 3, The Hunger Games) by Suzanne Collins

I love book series. Harry Potter is without a doubt my favorite book series and I’ve read it completely at least five times over. I am always excited to find a new series (and not just ongoing serials, I mean with a specific number of books to tell the story). I also love young adult novels (for example, I read The Pretty Little Liar Series Books 1-8 last year and was so happy), so was very excited to get my hands on The Hunger Games series. I did not read the books in immediate succession since I was borrowing them on my Kindle using Amazon’s Prime membership lending service which only allows one book a month. I actually think this was a good thing to get a bit of space between books.

To read the rest of the review check out my blog here!

Siege’s #CBR4 #3: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In which Siege gets sucked into The Hunger Games, despite her best efforts.



I really wanted to read this book and I don’t regret my choice because I burned through the pages  and developed a serious crush on its heroine, Katniss Everdeen.

As I am sure, thanks to the movie due in March, very anticipated over at Pajiba, everybody knows by now the general plot so please bear with me for the first part of this review.

The action takes place in the future, in a country named Panem which consists of 12 Districts ruled from the city called Capitol. To punish the districts for a past rebellion, the Capitol came up with the annual Hunger Games. These are a very cruel televised contest between children of ages from 12 to 18 who must fight and kill each other in a huge outdoor arena until only one remains. From each district two contenders (called tributes) are randomly picked.

The main character, 16 year old Katniss Everdeen, volunteers in the place of her younger sister, Prim, who is picked for the Games.

 Katniss, Peeta (the boy tribute from district 12) and the other contenders are taken to the Capitol for a brief training and then thrown in the arena which is filled with all kind of deadly traps.

 Katniss is a survivor who – at home – was devoted to keeping her mother and sister alive. She is a hunter, very good with the bow and arrow but reluctant when it comes to trusting other people or making friends. That’s understandable since the world she lives in is pretty much a version of Orwell’s 1984 complete with poverty, hunger, lack of basic utilities and a totalitarian ruling regime that enjoys letting children slaughter each other while their parents and friends are forced to watch it on live TV.

Seeing Katniss fight for her life in the arena is horrific and captivating at the same time.  A lot of gruesome images unfold – especially when you think that those hacking away at each other are children. The most disturbing one for me was that of a tribute begging Katniss to kill him after he was slowly gnawed into a bleeding hunk of meat by mutant wolves unleashed by the Gamemakers. 

“The Hunger Games” is as much about the battle to survive in the arena as it is about a journey to self knowledge. Maybe above all it is about what it means to be free and to be yourself in a world where being yourself is punishable by death.  Peeta says to Katniss in the beginning of the book that in the arena he would like to die as himself: “I don’t want them to change me in there. Turn me into some kind of monster that I’m not (…) I keep wishing I could think of a way to…to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.” His words will make sense to Katniss only in the end of the book, but first she must learn who she is while thrown in the most inhuman circumstances. As the Gamemakers try to strip the tributes of their humanity and turn them into beasts with only one purpose – survival at all costs, she will struggle to discover and remain herself.

I admired Katniss’s determination, her unwillingness to simply give up as she went through every inventively sadistic challenge the Gamemakers threw at the tributes and in the end had to face the greatest challenge of all. She had to choose between giving in to the Capitol’s Game, becoming their pawn or living on her own terms – even if that meant actually dying. In the end she doesn’t die and she wins the games through an ultimate act of defiance that gives a new dimension to the story.

Katniss’s hate for the government, already lit by the unfair life led in the impoverished districts, is fueled by the impossible choices she must face in the arena and becomes the starting point for the next book of The Hunger Games trilogy, “Catching Fire”.

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