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