Saturday, February 11, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: The Girl Who Was On Fire (Movie Edition)

Last year I reviewed the first edition of THE GIRL WHO WAS ON FIRE, a book of essays about THE HUNGER GAMES. Smart Pop Books has released a second edition just in time for the movie's release that contains three additional essays and a eBook booster pack (to come after the movie's release) containing contributors' reactions to the movie. (How that all works is explained on the publisher's website).

I enjoyed the original book of essays since it allowed me to get my nerd on and it helped me develop academic arguments about why the series is so kick-ass.

Of the three new essays, I was especially fascinated by Diana Peterfreund's essay on game theory and Brent Hartinger's criticism/defense of MOCKINGJAY. (The third essay, by Jackson Pearson, is about Gale, and Gale is just not interesting to me. At all.)

In HUNGER GAME THEORY, Peterfreund discusses the basics of game theory and how Katniss was able to change the game the capitol was playing in the book.  She also gives examples of the use (or lack thereof) of game theory in HARRY POTTER and ENDER'S GAME. It gives me more great ammo to use when people try to tell me that HUNGER GAMES didn't have great world building.

In DID THE THIRD BOOK SUCK?, Hartinger admits he wasn't a fan of the third installment and gives his reasons why (remarkably similar to my own) - but he also argues the other side to give a fair and balanced view.  He has a provocative hypothesis: those who loved MOCKINGJAY are cynics and those who didn't are not.  I don't consider myself a cynic and MOCKINGJAY was by far my least favorite of the series - so he's right in my case.  But does it hold true for everyone? Now that's a study I'd like to see.

These essays are highly worth reading for HUNGER GAMES fans, especially with these new essays and the promise of movie reactions to come.

I have two copies to giveaway today! To enter, fill out this form by Feb 17, 2012 at 11:59 pm CST. Books provided and shipped by the publisher. Open internationally.  May the odds be ever in your favor.

See index of all dystopian reviews on Presenting Lenore

FTC disclosure:  I was sent the three new essays for review by the publisher.

15 comments:

Agnieszka Nashi said...

This sounds interesting, especially Hunger Games in comparison to Harry Potter and Ender's game (which I'm reading right now, so it's all even more fascinating).

Can't wait to read those essays. Thanks for the international giveaway!

And ha, Gale. I can't even "pick" which side I'm on, I'm just not into Gale nor Peeta. But if I had to, I'd definitely pick Peeta, not Gale? Hm. I don't know. Can I pick Cinna? ;)

Word Lily said...

Hmm, interesting theory! I did enjoy Mockingjay, and yeah, I'm probably a cynic.

Katie DeKoster said...

Gasp! I had no idea that these essays even existed! How fantastic!!! Thank you for the chance to win :)

candice said...

I have always gone back and forth whether to buy this or not. On the third book, I like how it started and the majority of the action. But the ending, it just left me a little underwhelmed. I won't turn my back on it, but it could have been more.

Zibilee said...

I have been wanting to read this one since first hearing about it. There is so much in these books to discuss and dissect, and I think it would be interesting to see what the authors have to say about some of the things that I have a little trouble interpreting or understanding. Fantastic giveaway today! I will be looking for this one!

Emy Shin said...

I'd like to get this just for Hartinger's essay. I didn't enjoy MOCKINGJAY as I did the first two books -- and that might be due to the non-cynic part of me. But I am a partial cynic, and from that perspective, I can understand perfectly why events unfolded the way they did.

Amy said...

I don't feel like I'm a cynic and I loved Mockingjay ha ha but maybe I have truly been a cynic all along!

Amy S. said...

I would love to read this book. I have read several books of essays and theories about Harry Potter. The HP ones are fun still because so many of the theories proved to be right, and others wrong. This was when we were still waiting for each HP book of course. Thanks for the giveaway!

Bookish in a Box said...

I haven't read the 2nd and 3rd books of The Hunger Games yet, but I'm fascinated by the inclusion of Harry Potter and Ender's Game game theory. I'd read it just for that.

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danya said...

Thanks for the giveaway! It would indeed be interesting to see if there's a correlation between self-identified cynicism and reaction to Mockingjay.

Melanie said...

This sounds fascinating! I've been meaning to get a copy of the original book for awhile, but now that this one's available, looks like I'll be skipping straight to it.

Mockingjay was my least favorite book of the trilogy as well. Although I liked the way the love triangle ended, I didn't like the feelings it left me with about the love triangle. Haha, I don't think that makes much sense, but that's as far as I can go without getting into spoilers.

Evie said...

Mockingjay is really not my favorite book but maybe I need to read it one more time. And I like Gale because he's her best friend.

Vivien said...

I'm so irritated that they released a second edition. I read the first. But either way, I'll have to read the new content!

Leah Wilson said...

Vivien: I'm responding super late, but you can get *just* the new content in e-book form, at least, here: http://www.amazon.com/The-Girl-Who-Fire-ebook/dp/B0070XQRVQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331645155&sr=8-1. (I get irritated at new editions with new content when I've bought the first one, too!)