I am restarting this series on my Blog. It’s about the various books throughout my life that have started or reinforced my love of reading. I wanted to revisit the various books on my ‘reading journey’, discuss my memories of them, why I think they spoke to me at that specific time of my life and then re-read them and give you my thoughts. Its basically an excuse to get a bit nostalgic and read some old favourites.
My Reading Journey
Like most reading started with my parents reading me bedtime stories. I was very lucky to have parents that valued stories and would set aside time to read to us. My mum would read my sister and I books from all different authors such as Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Dick King Smith’s Sheep Pig. My Dad prefers the classics and would tell his own versions of 1001 Arabian nights and Homer’s Odyssey acting scenes out with our playmobile figures. So a love of reading was inevitable.
Like most, however, school put me off of reading, I was chastised for reading ahead or not reading the “right books” so my reading slowed. I found that my love of reading would reappear periodically and I would dive into books and series with great fervour only for it to be quashed later on usually due to school enforced reading. This occurs time and time again. I have these groups of memories of particular books and then a dry spell. Between school and undergrad, my undergrad and my Masters, my Masters and my PhD, I had periods where I stopped reading for fun and focused on school. Therefore, I have a whole collection of books that rekindled my love of reading at each of those stages. It is this that has lead to this series where I am going back to the various memories and picking those books back up to show them some appreciation for keeping me reading. I don’t plan on reading them in any particular order just picking up a book where I feel drawn towards reading and then writing about it.
The First book I covered was Sandi Toksvig’s (Yes, host of QI and ex-host of the Bake off ) Tales from the Norse’s Mouth.
This time I am re-reding the hunger games series. It has had a rescent resugernce in populatry and I thought this is the perfect time to pick them back up again. You can read what I thought about re-reading The Hunger games HERE and Catching Fire HERE
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #3
"If we burn you burn with us" Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But she’s still not safe. A revolution is unfolding, and everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans — everyone except Katniss. And yet she must play the most vital part in the final battle. Katniss must become their Mockingjay — the symbol of rebellion — no matter what the personal cost.
I remember not really linking this book when I last read the series over a decade ago. Though I remember reacting quite emotionally to the very end of the book. The last few scences changed how I felt about a few of the characters, particularly Gale. I also remember Peeta really really goes through it in this one. I have distinct memeories of just not feeling satisfied with how the series ended. I wasn’t annoyed just dis-satisfied with the way it all winds up.
My Thoughts now … (This will contain spoilers)
Yeah this definately isn’t my favourite of the trilogy. I think because it lacks a lot of the action. I find the first 3/4 of the book kind of boring. It’s mostly Katness feeling sorry for herself and not a lot of movement. Despite there being some action scenes I just didn’t feel as invested in them. I am not very interested in Gale as a character and he just kind of rubs me up the wrong way in this book. I never really understood why he was elevated to a role of power apart from his association with Katness.
First I completely forgot that The Hanging Tree song came from this series. My Gym plays a cover version of it all the time and I only just put two and two together when I read that section of the book. Its a very haunting song and it made me kind of wish it played a much bigger role in the book. The way Collins sets it up, both with Katness singing it and riddling out its meaning, and Peeta remembering Katness’ father signing it that it was meant to play a bigger role and I am wondering if a lot of significance around it got cut in the drafts.
I really felt for Peeta’s predicament. I thought twisting Peeta’s narrative in this one was a really interesting decision. He was so loving and sweet in books 1 and 2 so to twist that and make him scary and vengeful is such an interesting twist for his character. I think having Katness having to face loosing him so many times in this book got a little repeatative though.
Prim’s death just devistates me every time. The realisation that it was down to Gale’s invention and that he doesn’t seem sorry or remorseful about it is even more hurtful. I was never team Gale, either on my first reading or my re-read. I always prefered Peeta, but Gale just comes off worse in this book than any other. He becomes a very narrow minded character which is dissapointing.
What hit me by suprise is Prim’s death hit me twice on this read through. Once when she actually dies and then at the very end, when Katness returns to the Victor’s Village in District 12 and Buttercup evenually shows up, having made his way all the way from 13 alone seeking out Prim, and how he mews at Katness, Katness explaining Prim is gone and how they put aside their mutual hatred for their grief, Buttercup guarding Katness as she sleeps. That hit me soo so hard.
Overall i really did enjoy re-reading this book and this series, book 1 remains my favourite of the series.