Friday, June 10, 2011

Review: The Girl Who Was on Fire

Ever since I perfected the “look Ma, no hands” trick on the elliptical, I’ve gotten a lot of my reading done at the gym. Today, I slipped a book into my bag—The Girl Who Was on Fire, a collection of essays by various YA authors on The Hunger Games trilogy—looking for something light I could engage with at will. I wanted something with no story to pull me along, something I could put down when I heard a good song. It was only after I realized I’d been on the elliptical for 55 straight minutes (my legs: “You crazy broad, put the book down!”), I knew I’d gotten more than I bargained for.

Each essay (it’d be a shame to single out only one or two) was so insightful—examining the three books as a whole, outlining influences/inspirations, teasing out issues, and illuminating relevance. Their authors drew some really lovely connections, reaffirming my love for the series and my admiration of Suzanne Collins’ skill, even to the point of mitigating my disappointment in Mockingjay. (I think I read that book more as a fan than a reviewer, which is a testament to its greatness anyway. I do want to reread it when I’m in less of a rush.)

Casual fans of the series (are there any?) will find their appreciation deepen after reading these layered, well-considered thoughts. Less-casual fans will undoubtedly adore this penetrating stare into the characters, story, and world burned into their memories. As a less-casual fan, I enthusiastically recommend The Girl Who Was on Fire. I may be sore tomorrow, but it was so worth it.


  1. ooh, this is the perfect way to get back into the books without re-reading them (I always have to have a good long period of time usually between my rereads so it's almost like I'm rereading them again). Great review!!

  2. Thank you. :)

    ...Yes! The exception was HP7. I think I only waited a week or two to reread. Hermoine's handbag is still one of funniest things ever.

  3. See, I just figure, if I can do the elliptical without using my hands, that means I need to increase the resistance! Which keeps me from reading at the gym.

  4. I'm a cardio girl who's in for the long haul...Stay on the elliptical for an hour or so, then run for another half before walking it off. So, you see, I need to get absorbed in books or good music. :)