Book Review: The Girl Who Was On Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy (plus, a giveaway!)

Title: The Girl Who Was on Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy, edited by Leah Wilson
Genre: Essays, non-fiction
Publisher: Smart Pop
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Review copy from publisher

Back cover blurb: “Katinss Everdeen’s adventures may have come to an end, but her story continues to blaze in the hearts of millions worldwide. Here, 13 YA authors and Hunger Games fans share their thoughts on the series. From Jennifer Lynn Barnes’ rejection of both Peeta and Gale, to Blythe Woolston’s exploration of PTSD among Hunger Games victors, to Carrie Ryan’s shrewd analysis of the “real” in Reality TV and our responsibility as viewers, The Girl Who Was on Fire lets fans get even more out of the series they love.”

You know the saying, “Out of sight, out of mind?” Well, sometimes I think it applies to books I love. When I go back and revisit an old favorite, it’s like falling in love all over again. And reading this collection of essays, alongside reading the first book in the trilogy aloud to my sons, has me head over heels with The Hunger Games all over again. It is truly a testament to the brilliance of Suzanne Collins’ trilogy that it can inspire a collection of 13 essays. Each one deals with a different aspect of the trilogy, and helped me realize how many layers there are to these books, these characters, and this fictional world.

The effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on Katniss and Peeta (as well as Hamitch and the other Victors); the rejection of the idea of seeing Katniss only in light of which man she chooses; our responsibility as media consumers and reality TV viewers; the role of fashion in The Hunger Games; Katniss’s ability to create community wherever she goes – the topics and discussions are endless. Each author does a fantastic job of exploring the themes, characters, setting, and wordplay in this remarkable series of novels. Reading through this book brought back the emotions I felt during certain significant moments and made me so excited to read through the entire trilogy all over again. It also cemented more firmly in my mind how much I hope the film version does the book justice.

If you are a lover of The Hunger Games then you will love this book – even if reading literary essays is not something you would normally do for pleasure. Trust me – you’ll like these.

List of authors who contributed: Sarah Rees Brennan, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Mary Borsellino, Elizabeth M. Rees, Lili Wilkinson, Ned Vizzini, Carrie Ryan, Cara Lockwood, Terri Clark, Blythe Woolston, Sarah Darer Littman, Adrienne Kress, Bree Despain

I am so happy that I will be able to share this book with two of my lucky readers! I have two copies that I want to give away to spread the love around and give the book even more buzz: an ARC and a finished copy. Here are the details:

~ I’m shipping the books myself, so this giveaway is open in the US and Canada only.

~ To enter, please leave a comment below. To make it fun, please tell me who your favorite character in the trilogy is apart from Katniss – and why.

~ One entry per person. Duplicate entries will be deleted.

~ All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PST, Friday, April 8, 2011. On Saturday, April 9th, I will use Random.org to choose two winners. The first winner drawn will win the finished copy; the second will receive the ARC.

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53 Responses to Book Review: The Girl Who Was On Fire: Your Favorite Authors on Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy (plus, a giveaway!)

  1. irene says:

    I haven’t read any of these, so I must say I don’t have a favourite character. But, I do live in Canada. Does that count?

  2. Christina Grennes says:

    I lovvvvve Peeta. I know, that’s the standard response, but I can’t help it! He is so dang charming, and always willing to do anything!

  3. K Cook says:

    Love to read, love the Hunger Games, would love a new book to read!

  4. M Lancto says:

    If I have to choose someone besides Katniss, it’s, of course, Peeta. While he bugged me sometimes, in the end he was always willing to give all of himself and do anything for Katniss, which is true love and I respect that.

  5. Misha Mathew says:

    I love The Hunger Games trilogy, so I will definitely be reading this one. It will be interesting to read other authors’ thoughts on the series.
    My favorite character from The Hunger Games is Peeta because he is so very sweet, selfless and kind. At the same time, he’s intelligent and resourceful.

    Don’t enter me for the giveaway as I am International.

    Thanks for the review!

  6. Terri M says:

    I’m only halfway through The Hunger Games, but so far, I like Peeta…can’t wait to finish it! Like Cinna, too. (sorry if I’m misspelling names, but I’m listening to the audio, not reading ) I’m working 3 nights in a row and won’t be able to get back to it until Friday!!!!

  7. Rebecca Rasmussen
    Twitter: thebirdsistersgmail.com
    says:

    I haven’t read The Hunger Games yet — I am a slowpoke! This looks like fun though ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Megan says:

    My favorite character from The Hunger Games was probably Rue. Thanks for hosting this giveaway. I think I want to try and reread this whole series on audio this year. Hope I can find the time.

  9. Melissa
    Twitter: avidreader12
    says:

    Loved the Hunger Games! What a fascinating book to read after finishing the series. Obviously Katniss/Peeta/Rue are all favorites, but I’m going with Cinna. He was such a wonderful character. He was the reason she was “the girl on fire” and in his own quiet way he stood up to the evil people in charge and defied them.

  10. Taffy
    Twitter: taffylovell
    says:

    I really like Katniss’ sister.
    And Peeta!
    Thanks for the giveaway. I really would like to read this book!

  11. Jessica M.
    Twitter: crazylilcuban
    says:

    I absolutely adored the Hunger Games books! If I had to pick a favorite besides Katniss, I would go with Finnick. I loved that his character became a lot deeper than when we initially met him, and that he wasn’t easy to figure out at first. I also thought his character mirrored Katniss in some interesting ways, especially in scenes like with the jabberjays in the arena in Catching Fire, and in parts of Mockingjay as well.

  12. Carly S says:

    I love Peeta too, but to go with someone else- I loved Rue. I thought she, more than any other character, helped illustrate just how cruel the HG were.

  13. danielle says:

    I love Gale. He is just your mans man. But yet he can be sensitive. He would do anything for Katniss even if it hurts him. Don’t girls always want a friend like that?

  14. Meg says:

    I’ve only read the first two books so far, but I personally love Gale! I’m postponing reading the third one so this trilogy won’t end. (And my daughter is reading them on my Nook.)

  15. Allie says:

    I have to say that my favorite character was Peeta. I loved his devotion to Katniss, and how hard he worked to protect her. I even loved him in the last book (probably more) because I just felt for him.

    Now I want to reread these.

  16. heather says:

    I haven’t had a chance to read these, so I can’t tell you my favorite character. I only heard of them in the last few months. I would love to read them before the movie comes out.

  17. Kathleen says:

    I can’t believe I still haven’t read the trilogy!

  18. Anne says:

    My kids and I read the Hunger Games together (the first 2 books — by the 3rd they couldn’t wait for me!) and were captivated. Thanks for the post about this book — sounds like the next best thing to a sequel! A favorite character might be Cinna, because he defies Capitol stereotypes and changes over the course of the story. He overcomes his culture and socialization to take real risks for someone else, forcing us to see more nuances among heroes and villains.

  19. Julie G says:

    I’m kind of an Enobaria fan. I also love Gale and Finnick. It’s hard to pick just one.

  20. Michelle says:

    Oh, I’m a huge Haymitch fan. I would love to get more of his backstory, because the reader always knew there was more to him than the booze.

  21. ErinW says:

    I’d have to go with Gale. I really loved him from the beginning!!!

  22. Cristina Zhao says:

    I have only read the first two books, so until now my favorite character is Peeta because he is a person that is hardly found these days, he loved Katniss even knowing that she liked Gale, he gave out love without asking for it back, and he would die for people he loved.

  23. Jessy W says:

    I just started reading these books. I would love to have this one. I adore Gale Hawthorne. I love the friendship and strength of his character.

  24. Eileen says:

    My favorite character is Cinna; his creative talents highlight Katness and Peeta like foil behind a gemstone, and he ends up proving to be braver than his job ever required him to be.

    And now I want to go reread at least the first two books….

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  26. Shane says:

    Just finished the last book a few hours ago and I’m looking for more and obsessed with who will be who in the movie. I would love this book. My favorite character would be Peeta because he’s just an all around b.a lol. He is great to Katniss even after the hijack he tries. Or it would be Boggs, idk why really. He just stood out to me. I would name a couple possible reasons but I’d give away things to people who haven’t read.

  27. katniss mellark says:

    wait, so is the girl on fire another hunger games book? or is it just a bunch of reviews and comments from other authors? if they did make another h.g. book, it should b about the different tributes that no one knew much about.(:

    • Megan says:

      it’s reveiws about the book that answers questions people have. I read a few pages on amazon.com… actually pretty funny.

  28. JiChi says:

    My favorite character from the series would have to be Cinna. He has this sort of quiet strength and sense of reality that I adore and he’s incredibly important to Katniss’ success outside of the Games themselves. Also, his acts of defiance are just glorious dramatic in such a creative way.

  29. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads
    says:

    You know that a book/trilogy has made it when there are books being written about it!

    Don’t enter me into the draw, as I am not eligible! Just wanted to comment. (Can you tell I am catching up on my feeds?)

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  32. katniss everdeen says:

    well,i’m currently reading the mockingjay(last book of the series) and i’m really excited as to what will happen in the end…it’s really good and exciting but i can say apart from katniss my fave character is peeta..he’s just so sweet and funny and i can see he really loves katniss..i hope they’d be together in the end..:)

    • Megan says:

      I’m not going to tell you anything that happened, but I hatd the end because of who Katniss chooses to love and what the other person did… without saying goodbye, might I add… I am also mad about who just had to go and die in the end, and that Katniss was HAPPY that the person she didn’t choose to marry left, again, without a goodbye.

      This is the same Megan that posted below and liked Rue, but I also like Gale, because he’s nice and cute and awesome…. even though he didn’t say goodbye…

      I also like Finnick!! Oh, Finnick… I miss you…

  33. Megan says:

    My favorite character: Rue, because she was sweet and helpless and strong.

    Do you know if there is a public library near Philadelphia, PA that offers this book??

  34. Kelly says:

    I absolutely loved The Hunger Games! I finished the trilogy in two and a half weeks, which was kind of a record for me (I read really slow). I can’t quite pick one favorite character so I picked two; Finnick and Katniss. At first, I thought Finnick was a stuck-up jerk who thought he could get any girl he wanted but as the story went on I realized he wasn’t at all who I had thought he was, and he’s just so hilarious! I liked Katniss because she’s so much like me and I could just relate to her a lot. I can’t stop thinking about The Hunger Games. I have read the last chapter of Mockingjay five times (it’s my favorite chapter out of the book). No book competes with this trilogy… ever. These books are just plain amazing. There’s no doubt, I’m definitely going to be re-reading this trilogy!

  35. Grace says:

    Haymitch, because he was an element of humor in a sad world. Made me crack a smile no matter how bad it got. Drunkards make me giggle. In books & in movies (aka Zombieland which is one of my favorite movies to laugh at, where Woody Harrelson is drinking a lot.. just like he will as Haymitch in the hunger games). ๐Ÿ˜›

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  37. Bella says:

    i loved all the books!!!. I just finished Mockingjay an hour ago. I LOVED IT!!! But i have to say the first book is my favorite because it really got my hooked on the series. Please write more books!! My favorite characters besides Katniss is Peeta, Cinna, and Madge. I like Peeta because he did everything and anything he could to save Katniss. Even when things took a turn for the worst he was always there for Katniss. I also liked Cinna because he stood up to everyone in a special way which wasn’t even part of his job. One of my other favorite characters was Madge. She was a forgotten about character but she made Katniss the mockingjay by giving her the pin. Besides Cinna she made her name something else to remember her by. Again I just want to say i love these books and i’m excited to read the girl who was on fire!!!

  38. Tra-Mi says:

    My favorite character is Finnick. He kind of disgusted me at first with his unnecessary flirting before the chariot ride, but my heart went out to him after he saved Peeta’s life twice. I adored the fragile state he was in when he was obsessing over Annie’s well-being. I loved it most when he switched from his deliriously mental state to his old flirty, seductive self in Mockingjay.

  39. Sophie says:

    This series is amazing! The minute I picked up the first one from the book store shelf, I was reading it all the way to the parking lot. I was just about done with it by the time I got home! My favorite character is hands-down Finnick. He is amazing!

  40. Kimberly says:

    My favorite character would have to be Peeta, because even though Gale was kind to Katniss, I just felt that Peeta was always nice to her and he comforted her. So that’s my reason. ๐Ÿ˜€

  41. Radz says:

    I’ll have to say that my favourite character is Peeta, Haymitch and Finnick (even though I find all of them very interesting and sweet). I love Peeta because he is just so selfless and agrees to maintain a good relationship with Gale even though he knows that Gale is in love with Katniss, whereas Gale doesn’t seem so nice to Peeta. Haymitch is hilarious and Funnick is just overwhelming ๐Ÿ™‚ Amazing trilogy!

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  43. Lilly says:

    I LOVE the hunger games it is my favourite book. I really like Katniss and Peeta but my favourite character would have to be Finnick because when he is first introduced he seems like a selfish ladies man but when you get to know him he turns out to be a selfess romantic.

  44. Catnip says:

    I am in love with the Hunger Games and with all my heart want to see the movie. I became attached to many characters personally, something I noticed when most of them died. ๐Ÿ™ But if I had to choose my favorite character it would be Peeta, as so many others have said. Peeta was just that one of a kind person who will be there for you even if you broke him apart like Katniss had in the first book. His devotion to Katniss was absolutely charming and when he got hijacked i almost broke apart, team peeta ftw!

  45. .Danmark says:

    This really helped me think of how our society relates to that of the hunger games whilst helping me understand and see certain things in the book better. I actually went back in the book to say oh i didnt see that before (in the 500 times i have read the hunger games).

  46. K Duval Murphy says:

    Rue remains memorable in my mind. Katniss’ interaction with her was quite literally short-lived, but Rue briefly gifted her with companionship and at least one means to survive โ€“ Rue’s socks served as hand warmers.

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  48. Juli says:

    My favourite character is definitely Johanna, i love her rebellious attitude and how she could do anything to see snow dead. i also like her comments and shes such a cool character. I also love Peeta with my heart and i wish he was mine xD Haymitch and Finnick are also awesome. The hunger games trilogy is the best trilogy ever! its literally my life.