Marry, Date or Dump: Katniss, Artemis, and Susan Pevensie

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After last week ranking some male archers from literature, I thought it would be interesting to give you the option of three female archers from fiction and mythology. These are three of my favorite characters, and I’m interested to see what arguments you have for marrying, dating, or dumping Katniss Everdeen, Artemis, and Susan Pevensie. I’m still figuring out what I would want to do … maybe marry all of them and live on a commune somewhere? Let me know your choices in the comments!  Continue reading

Marry, Date or Dump: Tris, Katniss, and Cassia

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After reading Allegiant last week, I guess I’m still in a dystopian state of mind. Which, frankly, is a pretty scary place to be. This week I’m giving you three heroines from dystopian trilogies: Tris from Divergent, Katniss from Hunger Games, and Cassie from Matched. Let me know in the comments who you would marry, who you would date, and who you would dump. I’m still deciding on this one myself, so I’m excited to read your opinions.  Continue reading

Guest Post: We’ve Come a Long Way

This guest post comes from L. Marie, an aspiring fantasy writer for teenagers and children. Check out her fabulous blog at www.lmarie7b.wordpress.com and read this post. Thank you L. Marie for joining us at Hardcovers & Heroines! 

032bWith the advent of Man of Steel, I returned to an old DC comic book series from the 1970s featuring intrepid TV reporter, Lois Lane. It bears the tagline “Superman’s Girl Friend.” My niece took this photo of the cover of a comic book in my possession. Upon glancing at the cover, she asked: “This is about her [Lois], yet she needs to be rescued?”

Sadly, yes. Though Lois showed courage as she pursued her news stories, she needed Superman’s help when she wound up in over her head. And for some reason, she wound up hit in the head by the bad guys more often than Nancy Drew ever did! But that was back in the day, right? Things have changed, right? Uh, not entirely. Having seen Man of Steel, I realize ****SPOILERS**** some aspects haven’t really changed. Lois still has to be rescued. ****END SPOILERS**** At least Superman is way hot. Continue reading

Mockingjay: A Review with Spoilers

Mockingjay, the third and final book in Suzanne CollinsHunger Games trilogy, in my experience is the most controversial in the series.  People that I’ve talked to feel no indifference, they love it or hate it. I loved it. I’m embarrassed to actually say this, but reading the book felt very deep to me.  And although I usually try to keep spoilers out of these reviews, I didn’t know how to analyze the book with out giving some of the major plot points away.

The political commentary that is hinted at in Hunger Games, and brought to light in Catching Fire is on steroids in this book. As Katniss learns to take her place in the rebel District 13, the reader learns that just because the Capitol is bad doesn’t mean that the rebels are good.

In a series where control is a looming theme, District 13 with their stringent rules, tattooed schedules, and strict regulation of food intake is almost more controlling than the capital. The role of celebrity culture and propaganda comes center stage, as Katniss reluctantly embraces her place as the face of the rebellion. There is also a strong theme of ends justifying means. In district 2 should they eliminate the population hiding in the mountain? Does the victory against the capital justify the purposeful loss of Prim?

What is strange, and I think effective, about the books is that while these serious themes are on steroids so are the traditional YA elements. The love triangle is more present in this book than the other two. Katniss is shown as more selfish than ever. Leading to the next question, does what she’s been through justify her selfish behavior.

I read in the NYT review that the book, like the capital, uses the things we are attached to against us. This seemed pretty spot on for me. Peeta remained by largest connection to the book. Although his torture and its aftereffects broke my heart, it made their love story more interesting, equal, and further invested me in it. “Real or not real?” was definitely my favorite narrative device used.

The end of the book left me with a lot of questions. Namely, why did Katniss and Haymitch vote yes at the end and did Katniss plan to assassinate Coin? I also felt like the epilogue could have been a little longer. After 3 books of nonstop tragedy, a few more pages of happy were definitely in order.

For further reading and reviews:

The Hunger Games Film: Faithful Retelling of the Book

I literally just got home from watching “The Hunger Games.” If you are wondering how and why it took me so long, I was waiting for a cousin to come into town so we could go together. I guess blood does run thicker than water, which you will get visual proof of in the film. Believe me their is plenty of running blood. But that shouldn’t shock anyone who’s read the books. But where the films succeeds is that it transcends the violence and the characterization that the story is just “kids killing other kids.”

My initial thoughts were that I was glad the movie didn’t succumb to the temptation to function as an action movie. I thought every character correlated to my view of them in the book, except for Prim who wasn’t pretty enough (I’m sure the actress is beautiful, but they made her look plain.) I completely disagreed with the new york times review which wanted a better performance from Jennifer Lawrence and more intensity in the film.  I view both as impossible. I cannot imagine a more intense experience or a more perfect portrayal of Katniss. I also thought is was completely inappropriate for Manohla Dargis to suggest that the curvy Lawrence wasn’t thin enough for the role. It was cloaked in the guise of saying she didn’t look hungry enough, but I think it had more to do with unfortunate status quo views on beauty and hollywood.

The movie closely follows the book, by Suzanne Collins. In fact, in my group of four we only noticed one incongruity. While the book relies on Katniss’ constant internal assessments, the movie used the reality tv format to explain these things. Which I thought was a smart and effective choice. The best two things were that the movie embraced the idea of show don’t tell. In particular, Rue, Haymitch, Peeta, and even the stoically faced Katniss’ emotions were clear on the actor’s faces. The lack of exposition, only made the complex range of feelings, plot twists, and emotional connections more powerful.

My second favorite aspect of the movie, was that it made me realize things about the book I hadn’t considered. I saw a tendency of Katniss to transfer her love to whoever needs her most immediately. The capital representing the dangers of a concentration of wealth clicked in the scenes from the capital. The idea that Peeta is the first person to try and take care of Katniss, is something else I hadn’t considered. This only deepened my crush on the character.

As I wrote before, this movie was intense. There is very little humor to break the tension. My cousin cried literally from beginning to end. I almost couldn’t talk about it afterwards when we went to lunch (which is unusual for me). It is intense, but really really good. It has already set records in ticket sales, and with good reason. I think if you liked the books you will be happy with this retelling and excited for the next installment. I know I am.