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the island of conclusions

Damn you, Suzanne Collins

the island of conclusions

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Damn you, Suzanne Collins

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Also on my road trip I finished listening to Catching Fire (very well read, like the first, by Carolyn McCormack).

Herewith follows a recap of my reactions:



1. Phew. We've gotten that silly games stuff out of the way; now we can get on to a interesting account of a poor community trying to survive under an oppressive regime.

2. Oh no, not Survivor All-Stars! Saw that one coming a mile away, but still. Here we go again.

3. Damn you, Suzanne Collins! I hate books organized around games (I might have mentioned this once or twice) but you've sucked me into this anyway, even despite the ersatz Lost fog monster shit. *shakes fist* You are a genuis with the characters, lady, I give in.

nb: I will say that all the "using the master's tools to take down the master's house" stuff around the victors' manipulation of Capital media was much more interesting this time around.

4. And yes, despite finding none of the "shocking twists" particularly surprising* (Katniss's obtuseness around the thing with the watch was particularly annoying) my heart was in my mouth for all the characters right up til the end.

*this is apparently a function of me being old and jaded and having read far too many books. My son tells me they were all genuine shockers to him, and that he actually had to put down the book for a while when the second game thing was announced.



Onto the third! (and for once I don't want to be spoiled!)
  • so just out of curiosity, before you move on to Mockingjay, what did you think of Finnick and Johanna?
    • oh, I quite liked Johanna! I think one of my favorite moments of the book was when she took off her dress in the elevator -- I liked that she was able to be an ally without being remotely "nice."

      (the moment when Katniss couldn't figure out why Johanna was digging into her arm was another eye roller for me, though).

      I also liked Finnick (see above re: Collins and her genius for character). I liked him better when he was an awesomely competent guy who slept around than when he got more "relatable" if you know what I mean.

      I thought about your comments to my last post a lot when I was listening to it, especially about how the second two books were darker. There were things in this book I wasn't sure my ten-year-old would understand/should understand--like that very brief, very pragmatic discussion of prostitution in District 12. I appreciated the nod towards realism in that instance.

      But I also liked Collins's discretion about/ avoidance of the issue of whether Katniss and Peeta have sex (I assume there's much debate about this in Hunger Games fandom?). I liked that different levels of readers could make their own assumptions.

      //very long response!
      • I love the contrast between the treatment of Johanna's and Finnick's nudity.

        For Johanna, it's her choice, her rejection of the costume her stylists forces on her. When she wrestles in the nude it's all about her strength, her self control.

        Yet with Finnick, when he's practically nude on their tour during the opening of the Games, it's something that's forced on him. He's being shown off as a piece of meat and ogled for everyone else's pleasure.

        It's a nice twist and reversal on the usual gender roles.
        • That's a great point!

          And Johanna is a great foil for Katniss because she's totally willing to use her nudity/body to fuck with people--as a weapon (like she does on the elevator, and presumably to throw people off when she wrestling---and she's supposed to have won her games the first time by playing on people's assumptions about her, right?), whereas Katniss is always (endearingly) two steps behind when it comes to knowing the effect she has on people through her appearance or her actions.

          And you're right about Finnick--it's nice to see the role of slutty naked person as something a man has to deal with.

          I'm glad you encouraged me to keep reading the books!
  • Heh, I was also like *MASSIVE EYEROLL* when I got to the games, AGAIN. I'm glad they didn't take them all the way to completion this time.
    • IKR? And at least it was pretty clear it was going to go that way (how did you know? asked my son; and I explained Chekhov's dictum: if a story about a force field is introduced in the first fifty pages of a book, and stuck in your face again as a topic twenty pages later, then...)

      But in this one I was more willing to believe that Collins was actually interested in what resistance could look like in a society arguably even more media saturated than ours--and she introduced a bunch of characters who are better at it than Katniss. I still hate games, though!
      • My biggest issue with a lot of Hunger Games fanfic, and esp. the crossovers, aka Fusions, is that so many of them seem to be stuck on the Games portion of the story, which to me is one of the least interesting parts of the trilogy.

        It's why I stick to Ao3 for decent HG fics, the ration on ff.net of good versus bad fics is just way too small.
        • well, you know I agree with you about the games vs. the other parts of the books!

          I expect I have to finish all the books to enjoy the fic (and I'm not sure at this point I want to read porn even about canon pairings), but I'll have to get some recs from you after I finish Mockingjay.
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