Tag Archives: Suzanne Collins

WWW Wednesday, 1-July-2020

1 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: One chapter a day of Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides is still my goal but it’s not happening as I planned. I’m getting about two a week, so I’m still moving through just a bit slower. The narrative is covering Ervin’s return to the sport and I’m enjoying this journey a lot.
I’m back to reading The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. My buddy and discussed Part 1 and we’re on to Part 2. I’ll probably zip through this soon so we can meet and talk again. I’m really loving Mandel’s plot here.
I’ll probably wrap up These Women by Ivy Pochoda today, I’m so close to finishing it! This is a really dark book but I’m making a lot of connections to current cultural issues and it’s been fascinating to hear the stories from the women who are so often overlooked.

Recently finished: I stayed up way too late Saturday night to finish The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins. My swim the next morning was a bit of a struggle. I enjoyed it well enough, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending and it left a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. I’m glad I read it, but I probably won’t reread it any time soon. I posted my review yesterday if you want to read more of my thoughts. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I’ll grab my copy of How to Speak Midwestern by Edward McClelland as soon as I finish the second section of Mandel. It shouldn’t take more than a day or two.
I’ll start another book club pick on audio soon. We’re reading The Book Women of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. I don’t know anything about this one but I’ve felt that books about books haven’t been going well for me lately so I’m a bit weary. Fingers crossed.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins (4/5)

30 Jun

Of course, I couldn’t wait to go back to Panem. I adored the original trilogy and remember staying in bed until 2PM one day to read as much as I could from this series before returning to the real world. This one had me staying up well past when I needed to be asleep. It was a rough swim the next morning but I think it was worth it.

Cover image via Amazon

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (Hunger Games #0) by Suzanne Collins

Summary from Amazon:

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

With the length of this book, I was really unsure what to expect. At over 500 pages, it’s much longer than the other Hunger Games novels. Early in the Hunger Games, the memories of the war would be much rawer and the capital hadn’t recovered yet. I wasn’t ready for the image of President Snow that we get. He’s poor and floundering, taking every chance he can. I didn’t like him, but I didn’t want to. A few times, I felt bad for him. This did add a dimension to Snow’s character, but I’m not sure what it added to the original stories.

The characters seemed pretty grounded in reality to me. It’s hard to know how people would act in such a dystopian world, but their actions seemed warranted and logical. I’ll talk about this more later, but Snow’s change at the end seemed off to me. Other than that, I loved the Grandma’am and Tigris and Sejanus and Ma. They were a wonderful cast of characters, each unique and loveable in different ways.

Sejanus was my favorite and looking at other reviews, I might be alone here. He had a very complicated past and alliances and I thought he was fascinating. No one feels bad for the rich boy normally, but this is an extreme case. Sejanus is told to deny his identity and is forced into a new world where no one accepts him. He’s desperate to fit in and but is too true to himself to succumb to peer pressure. It makes him crack and it’s almost heartbreaking to watch. He puts Snow in a difficult place in the end and I’m not sure what I would have done if I were Snow, to be honest.

I related most to Lucy Gray and I’m trying to figure out why. I think I see her relationship with Snow as him taking advantage of her and I think most women have felt taken advantage of by a man at some point. Not to the same degree, of course. She was in a dangerous situation and counted on him to ger her out and when he did, she felt grateful to a point where she stopped looking out for herself again. She put her trust in him completely and was taken advantage of. I liked not having a solid idea of what happened to her in the end. It’s almost better that way. I’m usually one for concrete endings, but this one was perfect for me.

Suzanne Collins
Image via IMDb

Part I was my favorite, seeing Coriolanus mentor Lucy Gray and become more involved in the games was interesting. I was rewatching the movies as I read and had fun making parallels between how tributes were treated in the 74th games and the 10th. The things that were new had been developed and improved for the 74th games. I think the change from Capitol students to past winners makes sense for the mentors. Those who have been in the area understand how different it is and can give advice better. The Capitol students aren’t invested in the same way.

Spoiler alert so skip to the next paragraph if you want to avoid it. The ending really bothered me. The book rushed through the end in my opinion and after 500 pages, I didn’t think there was a need to rush. Coriolanus was driven by greed and power for a lot of the book, but he was still compassionate. It wasn’t until the very end where he lost his compassion. He turned Sejanus in to save himself. Even that was to save himself from execution. But it devolved quickly into killing Lucy Gray for a chance of a comfortable life. I thought that was a big step to take. It was page 498 when he started contemplating this. I felt a little cheated that the first 498 pages were building to a moment that went so quickly.

The first line of the description on the back says it all: “Ambition will fuel him.” Snow’s ambition outshines everything else he does. He can’t love because his ambition is too high. He can’t have friends. He can’t be human. This is the reason I felt a little bit bad for him. But I remembered who he became and that he tossed his own cousin aside (Tigris!) for image’s sake later in life. After his fear inside the area, he continued to send children to their deaths there. Ambition killed his humanity.

Writer’s Takeaway: I think this fell into the dangerous trap many prequels stumble upon: the need to explain everything. We didn’t need to know the origin of mentors or gifts or interviews or the Flickerman family. A lot of the book was spent explaining Mutts when it should have been focused on Snow and his origin. Instead of cramming so much character development into the last twenty pages, it could have been spread out. The game’s development wasn’t what was interesting about this book but it became the focus. I’ve heard this criticism of many of the Star Wars spin-offs and it stuck out to me a lot here.

Enjoyable and engaging but not a great ending. Four out of Five Stars.

This book fulfilled the ‘Future’ time period for the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Related Posts:
Book Review: THE BALLAD OF SONGBIRDS AND SNAKES by Suzanne Collins | Katherine Valdez
Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes By: Suzanne Collins | Bookcave
Book Review- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins | Reading Between the Pages
Book Review- The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins | Nightmares, Day Dreams, and Imagined Conversations
some thoughts on ‘the ballad of songbirds and snakes’ | coffee, classics, and craziness

WWW Wednesday, 24-June-2020

24 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I keep trying to read one chapter of Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides every day but I’m often failing. I’m still reading some, though, so I’ll continue moving through this one. I’m over halfway so far but this will probably be here another few weeks.
My buddy and I are meeting to talk about the first section of The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel tomorrow. I sped through Part I and I’m looking forward to moving deeper into it. There’s a lot to unpack with these characters and I think we’ll have a lot to talk about with the book, too.
I started The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins! Finally. I want to rewatch the movies for the original trilogy now. I’m not sure I have the time to re-read them. And Jennifer Lawrence does such a great job that the movies are a joy. This might move off of here quickly, I’m picking it up at every opportunity.
I started a new audiobook for my book club. We’re reading These Women by Ivy Pochoda. I’m not sure what to expect from this one. All I know is that it’s a mystery and I’m in the mood for one right now, so bring it on!

Recently finished: I sped through Semper Fidelis by Ruth Downie and wrapped it up Saturday morning. I posted my review yesterday so you can see my full thoughts there. This one wasn’t my favorite of the series, but I liked it and will continue reading the series. It looks like there are currently eight so I still have some time before I catch up. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

I posted my review of Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich last Thursday. This book was very mediocre for me. There were a few helpful nuggets, but for the most part it fell a bit flat in my eyes. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I think it will be time for a little non-fiction soon. I have a signed copy of How to Speak Midwestern by Edward McClelland on my shelf and I’m probably running out of quarantine time to get through my signed books. I heard McClelland speak at the library a few years ago. My language degree got me really interested in dialect and this seems like a fascinating look at my own accent and dialect. I’m excited to dig in.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 17-June-2020

17 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m in love with Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides. The style jumps between Ervin’s memories and sports journalist Constantine Markides’ narration of his swimming career. Now that I’m swimming again, this is pumping me up and I’m ready to get back to racing.
A lot of new books for the list this week! I began a new audiobook, Semper Fidelis by Ruth Downie. This is the fifth book in the Medicus Investigation series. I lent the first three to my mother at the beginning of COVID and she’s loving them as well. I recommend this series a lot, it’s well deserved.
I began my Buddy Read of The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. We split the book into four sections and this first one is the longest. I should wrap it up very soon and be able to move on to another book until my buddy is ready to meet and we can move forward.

Recently finished: I was able to push through and finish Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich over the weekend. I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. I’d hoped it would inspire me to write but I found it geared toward short stories more than toward novels and that didn’t help me. I’ll have a full review up tomorrow.
I finished the audiobook of Stories of Elders by Veronica Kirin and was able to post a review yesterday. It was really fun hearing Kirin read her own story, especially knowing her and having heard her speak about this project. I’ve done an email interview with her and will be posting that next week so stay tuned for even more!

I posted my review of The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits by Emma Donoghue last Thursday. Our book club met and I posted my book club reflection on Monday. It seems this collection has been taking over the blog this week!

Reading Next: I’m so close to starting The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins! It’s been here longer than I’d like but it will be what I escape to between sections of my Buddy Read so it’s coming soon!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 10-June-2020

10 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m making a push to finish Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich this week. I don’t think it will be too much of a problem; it should be on my ‘recently finished’ list next week. The only issue is that it hasn’t really inspired me to do any additional writing. Oh well, it was worth a try.
I needed a new ebook and found out I could give myself both the books I wanted to pick up next if I tried Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin as an ebook. I know it will be a slower read but I also see myself motivated to keep moving forward with it, so maybe it won’t take as long as other ebooks have.
I started a new audiobook that I’m really excited about. Stories of Elders by Veronica Kirin is one I’ve been wanting to read for a while and have been putting off. I know Kirin personally and am good friends with her brother. I heard her speak a while back about this book and I’m sorry I put it off as long as I did. She narrates the audiobook herself which is always fun.

Recently finished: I wrapped up The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits by Emma Donoghue just in time for our book club meeting on Monday. I’m not a huge fan of short stories so I’m sure that affected my rating of it. I gave it Three out of Five Stars. I’ll have a review up tomorrow.
I also finished It’s All Relative by A.J. Jacobs on audio. I adored hearing the story in Jacobs voice through the audiobook. I’m not sure what project he has coming up next but I’m guessing that it will make for a great book that I’ll love to read. I posted a review yesterday and I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

I posted my review for The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai on Monday. This was a great read and I’m so glad I was talked into buying a copy by the signage at the story. It was a beautiful story. I gave it Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I can’t wait to pick up The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins as my next physical book. It’s time for some YA dystopian binging and this is the perfect book for it. I hope to have started it by next week.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

WWW Wednesday, 3-June-2020

3 Jun

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’ll eventually finish Fiction Writer’s Workshop by Josip Novakovich but it hasn’t been a priority for me this week. I’m pushing to get through my ebook before the book club meeting so I’ve given that more attention. Unfortunately, this one is easy to put down when I want to so it’s gotten a bit of rest this week.
I keep moving forward with The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits by Emma Donoghue but I’m not sold on short story collections, especially for book club discussions. Some of these have been more interesting than others and I’m moving slowly through them. I hope I finish in time for our meeting!
I was able to start It’s All Relative by A.J. Jacobs and I’m loving it already. It’s great to have Jacobs read the audio because I’m getting a lot more out of his humor hearing it right from his mouth.

Recently finished: I was able to wrap up The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai on Friday and just loved this book. I was put off by the length at first but I never wanted it to end. Yale was an amazing character and I adored following him through the story. I look forward to reviewing this one early next week so I can share what I loved about it. Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I think I’ll need a physical book next and I’m torn between two. I just got my copy of the newly released The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins and part of me wants to dive in immediately. Another part of me is calling for patience. The next book on my shelf is also one I’m excited about, Elegy of an Olympian by Anthony Ervin. I’ve been wanting to read this one for a long time, too, and it seems silly to skip past it now when I really need some sports-centric motivation. Anyone have a suggestion?


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Some of the links on this post may be affiliate links. Taking on a World of Words is a participant in affiliate programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to products. If you purchase a product or service through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but Sam will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated.

‘Mockingjay Part II’ Movie- All the action I wanted in Part I

10 Dec
Image via IMDb.

Image via IMDb.

I’ve been waiting for this movie for five years. I read ‘The Hunger Games’ around Thanksgiving 2010 when my husband introduced me to it. Soon after, I read the sequels and was pained that I had to wait a year for the movie. I’ve been to the midnight release of all four movies (and by ‘midnight’ I mean 8 PM because they do that for YA movies, look it up). So you might say I was a little excited for the final movie. I re-read Mockingjay this past summer to prepare myself for what was coming and to allow me to pick out the changes the writers made because of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death. In the end, I was not disappointed.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Tigris. I wasn’t sure how well they could look a human cat look like both a human and a cat, but they did really well. She was only human enough to be believable.

The traps in the city. I wasn’t sure how well this would translate visually. The book was vague enough that I thought most people had a slightly different idea how the black goo would look, but it looked how I thought it would if nothing else. It was a great scene. Though, side note, I thought Messalla was the one to die in the goo, not Mitchell. Does anyone else remember?

Cracking the nut. This was one of my favorite sequences in the book and I’m glad none of it was lost in the movie. I loved the visual of it. There’s nothing more for me to say, I loved it.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Replacing Plutarch and Katniss’s conversation with a letter. This was one of two times I noticed that Hoffman wasn’t in the second half of the movie. I think they explained it away well and I was okay with the change. It also gave Haymitch and Katniss more time together which was appropriate.

No military training. I really disliked this part of the book, so I was fine with her sneaking to the capital to join the fight. All of the training was boring and I thought it slowed down the plot a lot.

MockingjayThings That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Johanna’s struggles. Okay, so maybe I just lied. The only interesting part about the military training was seeing how much Johanna struggled to be sober and continue training. Knowing that Collins is writing about PTSD, this stands out a lot more to me and I thought this part was important, but maybe not as kid friendly as the writers wanted the film to be.

Snow dies laughing. I thought this was the most ironic part of the whole book, but it was left out. She literally killed them both with one shot, but we don’t see that. I wish it had been left in as I’m assuming it was filmed and cut. How could you not put that in as a writer?

Things That Changed Too Much

Having Prim talk to Peeta. I don’t even remember the name of the character that went in to speak with him in the book, but the idea was that she wouldn’t remind him of Katniss at all. Sending in Prim instead? How could that not remind him of Katniss? Send in a random actress, make her day, and play her off as that character. Would that really have been so hard?

Katniss and Peeta having children young. She was so strongly against this in the book. She did not want kids to grow up in the world she lived in and fought Peeta over children before having them reluctantly. I understand it’s easier to change that so she has children at a young age for a movie’s purposes (don’t want to have bad aging like in HP) but I thought the change was too much.

Haymitch and Effie. Really? Did I forget that happened or was that added? Really?

Reader, I’m dying to know what you think. What did you think of the Mockingjay Part II movie? Do you think it was a good ending to the series?

Until next time, write on.

Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (4/5)

17 Aug

I’ve talked with a lot of Readers about deciding to re-read Mockingjay before the final movie release. I read these books originally in December 2013 so, to be honest, most of Mockingjay 1 was a surprise to me. While it’s nice for a movie to surprise you, I’m also curious what had to be added or cut because of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death. And the only way I could know that definitively was to re-read the book. I think the movie will still surprise me. So when it was time for another audiobook, this was the logical choice.

Mockingjay

Cover image via Goodreads

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Summary from Goodreads:

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans–except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay–no matter what the personal cost.

Well, I remembered more than I thought I did. I remembered who died and how the book ended, which were the biggest spoilers. But I’d forgotten a lot of the smaller details. Plutarch is very different in the book from how Hoffman portrays him, but most of the other characterizations are spot on. It’s hard to react to a book I’m re-reading so this review might be a bit short.

I’d forgotten how much of the book focused on Katniss’s PTSD. Especially the later part of the book which will be in the next movie, after the war. I’m not sure how they’ll make that part into a movie. It might involve a lot of montages and ‘passage of time’ shots. I think it’s very realistic for Katniss to go through such an ordeal. Especially because of the inspiration behind Collins’ book, I’m glad she included it.

I love Peeta’s character. He’s my favorite in the whole series, but what he does in this book is great. He purposefully puts himself in harm’s way to keep others from being hurt. I can’t think of anything more noble and heroic. I love the fight he has with his ‘hijacking’ to come back around to Katniss and how he’s not exactly the same. He’s a very dynamic character and gives me someone to root for.

Suzanne Collins Picture via Wikipedia

Suzanne Collins
Picture via Wikipedia

My favorite scene is when the rebels are trying to ‘crack the egg’ in District 2. I think this will make a great scene because it’s very visual but also very emotional for Katniss. It’s a big turning point for her and shapes how she participates in the war. I’m really excited for it in the film.

I thought Johanna’s character fell short of her full potential. She was very pivotal in Katniss’s training time but fell away soon after. I think it would have been a lot stronger to have Johanna in the fight with them at the end. I wanted to see more of Johanna because she was a favorite of mine.

My audiobook was narrated by Carolyn McCormick. I thought it was okay, but nothing special. I guess it bothered me that she pronounced Panem PANem instead of panEM which is what I always thought and how the film did it. I was okay with her Hanging Tree song though it sounded a bit too happy. Her voice was a little flat to me during high-tension moments and that was the biggest disappointment. But I wasn’t too distracted by her voice to be taken out of the book, so it was good enough.

Collins has said that the whole series is about war and young people fighting in a war. The final book takes that to a very different reality than the previous two. The first two books are a simulation that’s dangerous to those watching while the war is dangerous to everyone near it. I thought Collins brought the realities of war to the forefront and didn’t skip over any of the ugly parts. It was a very real book and for those of us who haven’t been in combat, I hope it’s a realistic look at what our countrymen might be battling once they come home.

Writer’s Takeaway: Collins wasn’t afraid to be controversial. She was writing about her feelings on the US War in Iraq and her comparison is thinly veiled. She’s not attacking individual players (at least I didn’t read it that way), but she’s criticizing the whole system. While the fist book is a thrilling and quick read, the second one has a more serious tone and the final book hits you over the head with it. Well played, Collins. Well played.

Great book, god pacing, and interesting characters. Four out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Re-read: “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins | SDAVREADS
Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins | Writer’s Resource Blog

WWW Wednesday, 5-August-2015

5 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Hold HandsCurrently reading:  I almost hit the middle of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. So close. I might have to return it soon so I’m hoping I can renew it without losing it this time.
Oh hold with I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. Stand by in case I lose Cloud Atlas.
Half way with The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. I’m liking it, but still not 100% bought into the main character. You would think with such a long book I would be by now, but no such luck.
I’m on a mission to finish The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. The action was really slow to start and now that I’m over half way, I can finally see where this is going. I hope it picks up a bit more and I can get on with it.
I started a new eAudio: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. It’s his first YA and it’s not the kind of YA I’m used it. It’s very ‘raw,’ which makes sense coming from an author who normally writes for adults. I’m liking it so far. Bohjalian’s daughter narrates the audio. She’s a trained actress and does a great job.

MockingjayRecently finished: Two! Two whole books, both audio. The first is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. It was nice to refresh this one in my mind. I remembered the major actions, but not the details. It’s going to be hard to wait for November to get here! I also finished Andy Weir. This book was really great. I highly recommend it for sci-fi or adventure fans. The narrator has a strong voice so it’s great for any writers struggling with that as well.

One book review up for you all to enjoy as well, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. I really liked this one and hope you all do, too.

WidowReading Next: I got the copy of A Widow for One Year by John Irving last week, but unfortunately that’s got to wait. First I need to read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls for a book club. I hope I can get to these soon!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 29-July-2015

29 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


MartianCurrently reading:  I’m on to the next section of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I liked the last section, about Luisa, a lot so I hope this one doesn’t let me down.
No progress with. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. Stand by.
Good progress with Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I keep imagining this as a movie and it’s going to be awesome. I’m so excited for November.
Better progress on The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer than I expected. I’m around disk ten now so I’m almost halfway done. I’m getting annoyed by all the french road names. It’s reminding me of a Stieg Larsson book.
Slow start with The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. The week has been a bit hectic and I haven’t had time to read much. I’m hoping this changes.
Just to make the list of books I’m reading longer, I’m still not done with The Martian by Andy Weir. My husband and I are going to trade it back and forth for our commutes until it’s finished. I hope I can get through it soon, I’m really enjoying it.

Recently finished: Um…. yeah. Nothing this week. I haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like with physical therapy. It will be over soon, though. Then I want to hit the books hard.

However, two book reviews! Beat that! One is for Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (2/5) and the other for Harry, A History by Melissa Anneli (4/5). Check them out and let me know what you think.

CastleReading Next: While I’ve been waiting forever for A Widow for One Year by John Irving, it’s going to be put on hold. I’ve got to get to another book club selection, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This has been on my TBR for a while and since we were discussing new selections, I came ready with some I’ve been wanting to read and snuck them onto the list. Winning!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!