Monday, February 28, 2011

Book Review: The Girl Who Was On Fire ed. by Leah Wilson

My inner nerd was thrilled to read THE GIRL WHO WAS ON FIRE, a book of essays by YA authors that discuss THE HUNGER GAMES series in thoughtful detail. Reading the book gave me great ammo to use against anyone who dares say that the series isn’t deep enough – that it isn’t really literature but merely throwaway entertainment.

In one of my favorite essays, “Your Heart Is a Weapon the Size of Your Fist: Love as a Political Act in the Hunger Games”, Author Mary Borsellino compares themes in HG to George Orwell’s 1984 and shows how love was able to conquer hate in Katniss’ case where it did not for Winston. How’s that for deep?

But the essays on topics that range from PTSD to reality vs unreality to the science behind the books are not merely intellectually engaging, they are also fun to read. Sarah Rees Brennan, Jennifer Lynn Barnes and others bring the same relatable voice and humor that they do in their fiction offerings.

I’m not going to give THE GIRL WHO WAS ON FIRE a Zombie Chicken rating since it is secondary dystopian lit, but I will say, if you are A HUNGER GAMES fan, you need this book in your collection.

THE GIRL WHO WAS ON FIRE will come out in April 2011.  Find out more about it at the publisher's website.

20 comments:

ComaCalm said...

I hate to say this but I hate these cash in books. The Hunger Games is amazing though!

Lenore said...

CC - I didn't get the feeling this was a cash in book at all. A cash in book seems like it would be more frivolous. These are critical essays, not just musings on who is cuter, Peeta or Gale.

Trisha said...

I am a huge fan of essay collections about books. I like engaging with the book in a new way. Thanks for the heads up about this one!

Zibilee said...

This sounds interesting to me. I recently read The Hunger Games series, and would be interested in some critical discussion on the books, as I feel like there was so much there to talk about. I am going to have to look for this one soon.

Rabid Fox said...

Interesting. I guess I'm going to have to make it a point to read The Hunger Games this year. Saw a fan-made clip of a movie adaptation--about 10-15 minutes long--and it looked very enticing.

bibliophile brouhaha said...

HUGE HG fan! My inner geek is rejoicing that there is a market for this book - thanks so much for sharing!

-Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

Reading Rachel said...

Ok, funny story. So, when I saw your post with the book cover on my dashboard reading list my initial reaction was "What the heck? That's a blatant rip-off of The Hunger Games!" I was pretty ticked off until I read further and realized that it was about THG and not ripping it off. Whoops.

Anyways, now that I'm done being silly and mad, I am totally going to go seek this out. Thanks for bringing it's existence to my attention.

Rachel- Endless Reading

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm sitting here thinking back, wondering if I ever called the HG trilogy shallow. I don't think so, but it might do me some good to get some positive support for that damn third book, which felt PAINFUL to finish.

Jamie said...

This sounds amazing! The Hunger Games is pretty epic and worthy of critical essays. I saw Suzanne speak at the National Book Fest and it was even more evident how much deeper this book was than some dystopian YA book.

I'll be checking this one out for sure!

Natalie (Mindful Musings) said...

I put this one on my pre-order wishlist a few weeks ago, and I was absolutely ecstatic to see a review of it on your blog! Glad to see that you enjoyed it!

Mrs. DeRaps said...

Oh, how I want to read this...I am wondering if they is anything useful in this collection to add to my teaching of this book?? I'll probably be finished teaching this unit by the time it's over, but there's always next year!

bermudaonion said...

This probably isn't for me, since I haven't read The Hunger Games yet.

Julia :) said...

I CAN'T WAIT TILL THIS COMES OUT!!!! Mostly because I'm a huge Hunger Games fan. Good to know that the essays are engaging! :)

thereadingdate said...

Ooh I haven't heard of this one! Love the Hunger Games and am really curious to read this book. Will check it out in April. Thanks for sharing your review!

Kailana said...

I am looking for an essay collection. Hopefully the library will buy this book because I am curious now. I did like the series, but not as much as other people did...

Andrea said...

I'm a huge HG fan and didn't even know an essay anthology book was coming out, thanks for putting this on my radar! Glad to see you recommend it, I'll be on the lookout for it.

Peaceful Reader said...

I want to read this. I thought the HG series was deep so it'd be nice to read some like-minded intelligent essays. Thanks for the heads-up.

A Backwards Story said...

Just looking at the title made me think of The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson, but then the cover was all, "Duh, Katniss!" I read essays regarding Percy Jackson once and will read this as well. Thanks for telling us about it :)

Carrie K. said...

I was sent an ARC of this one for review - as a lover of both HG and essays, I was hoping it would live up to my expectations. I plan to start soon, but so nice to read that you felt it was a worthy read.

Jennifer said...

I absolutely love the idea of this book! It is great to see literature that you love discussed! My boyfriend's parents just became huge Hunger Games fans and I'm thinking that this might be a great gift to read them when they make their way through the trilogy.