Forum

Share:
Notifications
Clear all

[Closed] Special Feature: Suzanne Collins  

Page 1 / 3
  RSS
ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

Suzanne Collins is the author of a couple of series for children/young adults.

The Underland Chronicles follow a boy named Gregor and his family after his youngest sister discovers an underground civilization down a hole in their laundry room wall. The story is set in New York City, and Collins has remarked that she was inspired by wondering what Alice in Wonderland would be like if Alice had lived in a city. The five book series begins with Gregor the Overlander, continues with Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane, Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods, and Gregor and the Marks of Secret, and concludes with Gregor and the Code of Claw. This series is aimed more toward children and young teens---the protagonist is 12---though it can be enjoyed by many older people.

The Hunger Games is the first book in the series of the same title. The Hunger Games is a story set in a futuristic, dystopian world and concerns a teenage girl, Katniss, who becomes a participant in her country's annual Hunger Games. The objective of the games: To be the last person left alive, at any and all costs, namely by killing all the other contestants. Catching Fire is the second book in the series and the third, and final, installment---Mockingjay---was just released a few weeks ago. This series is geared more toward older teenagers (the protagonist begins the series at the age of 16) and, due to the nature of the games, is rather violent, though not graphic.

General Notes:
1. General Forum Rules apply.
2. If you wish to suggest a topic for a Special Feature, please pm a Spare Oom Moderator.
3. Use spoiler boxes! This note especially involves any and all spoilers for Mockingjay, but anything potentially spoilerish to either series should be placed in spoiler boxes.

So, discuss away and have fun! :)

Some days you battle yourself and other monsters.
Some days you just make soup.

Posted : September 6, 2010 4:59 pm
Arwenel
(@arwenel)
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Hospitality Committee

No replies? Wow. Well, i'll make up for it with a huge post.

I was probably introduced to Suzanne Collins via Narniaweb, as i rarely read books i haven't heard of from someone/somewhere else. I enjoyed The Underland Chronicles a lot - i found the characters easy to root for, the story not too unrealistic, and just in general a good read.

I found out about The Hunger Games on Amazon, i think. The premise made me skeptical, as did the reviews mentioning all the violence. But for one reason or another, i picked up a copy from the library. I finished it the next day, and read the next one just as eagerly.

My dad bought Mockingjay just a few days after it came out. I was second in line to read it. I finished it in one day, and once everyone who wanted to had read it, i re-read the whole trilogy in three days.

After reading that, anyone surprised to learn Suzanne Collins is one of my most favorite authors? ;)

One of the things i like about her writing is how easily readable it is. I can read Jane Austen and Shakespeare and Dickens and enjoy it, but i like the more "modern" style as well. It pulled me in with each book.

I like her sense of humor, and the characters (it might be shorter to list the characters i didn't like than the ones i did - and those that i didn't like, i didn't like because of their nature, not her writing).

Another thing that stood out to me was the touches of realism, and how dark each series was without ever seeming bleak or utterly hopeless. In The Underland Chronicles, things don't magically get better for Gregor's family when

Spoiler
his dad gets back
, and things just get worse and worse for Katniss in The Hunger Games. That isn't the case in most books.

I'll end by noting that one other thing i like about the books is that my dad, my sister (two years younger), my brother (eight years younger) and i all like them. There aren't a whole lot of books that we could discuss together, and there's plenty of material for discussion in both series.

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. - Rabbi Tarfon

Posted : September 7, 2010 3:36 pm
Liberty Hoffman
(@liberty-hoffman)
NarniaWeb Master

yay! awesome thread!

I have read The Underland Chronicles numerous times and I love them!
I really need to read The Hunger Games.....I will get them out of the library as soon as I can! :D


NW sister - wild rose ~ NW big sis - ramagut
Born in the water
Take quick to the trees
I want all that You are

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADBC57vKfQ

Posted : September 8, 2010 11:05 am
Bookwyrm
(@bookwyrm)
NarniaWeb Guru

I was a big fan of the Underland Chronicles from the very beginning and pounced upon The Hunger Games as soon as my library got it in. For some reason it took me a year to read Catching Fire despite the fact that I bought it. I guess it wasn't such a bad thing though, since it meant I only had to wait a few weeks after finishing it to read Mockingjay.

I don't think I could choose between the two series when picking a favorite. I enjoy both for different reasons. I especially like the fact that Collins doesn't glamorize the effects war has on a person. I imagine that's due to the fact she comes from a military family. She doesn't shy away from reality even though she's writing sci-fi and fantasy.

Posted : September 8, 2010 5:53 pm
Arwenel
(@arwenel)
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Hospitality Committee

Anyone else find it ironic that they're making The Hunger Games into a movie?

I read somewhere that casting was supposed to start around now. I don't come up with my own ideas of ideal actors for roles in movie adaptions, but what about other people?

Directors, too, since one hasn't been picked yet.

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. - Rabbi Tarfon

Posted : September 10, 2010 6:56 pm
Liberty Hoffman
(@liberty-hoffman)
NarniaWeb Master

I am 5th on hold for The Hunger Games at my library. ack!

meanwhile:
I guess what really drew me to The Underland Chronicles was how personal and real life the characters are. I just love how I can relate to something in almost every one of the characters, even the bats sometimes! :)
and I love Boots :) need I say more? :)


NW sister - wild rose ~ NW big sis - ramagut
Born in the water
Take quick to the trees
I want all that You are

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADBC57vKfQ

Posted : September 11, 2010 6:37 am
ValiantArcher
(@valiantarcher)
BC Head and G&B Mod Moderator

I first heard of Suzanne Collins through NW. I remember hearing Jo talk to someone about the Underland Chronicles once on the Books thread a while back, and I think it piqued my interest a bit. I didn't actually pick up the books till last January, though, and I'm afraid I can't quite remember what made me pick them up. All I do know was that I was hooked and---for some reason---read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire when I was about halfway through the other series, rather than waiting till I was done with it first. :ymblushing: ;))

Arwenel, I definitely think THG is darker than TUC, but you're right---that was one thing that impressed me about TUC. TUC was darker than what I'd normally think of for the genre, but it wasn't all depressing, either. I've got notes down in my reading record that it has "gravity" to it. That's what I came up with after I read it, but I'm still not sure if that's the right way to describe it. ;))
I have yet to get any of my family to read the books. :(( But, on the upside, I recommended TUC to my youngest sister, and one of my other sisters has expressed interest in THG. :D
I do find it a bit ironic that they're making The Hunger Games into a film, but I find all the interviews the actors will have to do for the film slightly more ironic. /:)
Also, since you've read Mockingjay, what did you (and anyone else who wants to weigh in) think about [spoiler=]Gale, the parachute bombs, and Prim's death? Kantiss obviously leaves a lot of the blame on Coin's doorstep, but she mentions that she can't separate the bomb from Gale. Do you think it was fair of her to do that? Also, she doesn't seem to blame Beetee for the bomb---is that fair, too?[/spoiler] I have some thoughts on the matter, but I'm curious to see what you think. ;)) In addition, in the Books thread, if I remember right, you mentioned reading some complaints about Katniss elsewhere. What were people complaining about exactly? :-

Booky, I'm not positive I could say which series was my favourite, either. I'd definitely need to reread both of them before I could make any such judgment. ;))

Liberty, are you also in the queue for Catching Fire and Mockingjay? Or are you just going to read the first one and see how it goes from there, rather than trying to have them all out at one time?
And, oh, yes, I love Boots! And, Tick and Temp. :) Ripred is another character I like. *coughs* I obviously need to reread the series, as I looked at my records and can't remember one the characters who I'd marked down liking. :P

Currently, every single copy of The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay is checked out of both the public and the university libraries (for some reason, though, they don't have the last book yet). Very good for the series, very bad for me wanting to reread it! ;))
And, yes, Jo, I am kicking myself yet again for not buying the first book last Feb at the booksale. :P (There was a lovely hardcover copy of The Hunger Games complete with dustjacket for 2 or 3 dollars at a booksale last year, and I didn't buy it because I hadn't read the series yet, though it was very tempting, partially because I'd really liked what Collins books I'd read by then. I got back from the booksale and was telling Jo what I had bought and I mentioned the book; she very rightly scolded me and told me that I shouldn't've passed it up. :ymblushing: A couple weeks later, I read the book and have been kicking myself ever since then. ;)))

Some days you battle yourself and other monsters.
Some days you just make soup.

Posted : September 11, 2010 12:31 pm
Arwenel
(@arwenel)
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Hospitality Committee

@ValiantArcher -

THG is definitely darker than TUC.

Re: spoiler

Spoiler
I wouldn't say she did or didn't blame Beetee - she doesn't mention him much after the fact. As for blaming Gale ... i don't know. To lose one's sister in such a way, after all that had already happened would affect the way one saw everything.

And even if Gale had not designed the actual bomb that killed Prim, he had been willing to do that to other people's sisters, brothers, parents, children, etc. In Katniss' place, having experienced firsthand what such an act would do to someone, i don't think i'd be able to separate him from it either.

As for other people's complaints, i can only comment generally - i don't usually read negative reviews of things i like - but it seems to me they objected to

Spoiler
Katniss running around, hiding and crying for so much of the book. I thought it very realistic - she had only fought and killed in the earlier books because it was kill or be killed, but now with her family (relatively) safe in District Thirteen, why is she going to involve herself willingly in more violence and death? She's only seventeen, for pity's sake, and she's been through more than anyone should reasonably expect of someone that age.

I bought the first two in Wal-Mart some time ago. A very good decision, i think. :D I have the complete Underland Chronicles as well; mostly through an on-line book swap site.

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. - Rabbi Tarfon

Posted : September 11, 2010 4:48 pm
Bookwyrm
(@bookwyrm)
NarniaWeb Guru

Mockingjay:

Spoiler
I feel no sympathy for Gale. Maybe Katniss was being a bit unfair singling him out to blame for the bomb that killed Prim, but he did design them knowing full well that they would be used to kill civilians. And I never really liked him to begin with. He spent the whole trilogy being angry and bloodthirsty.

Posted : September 11, 2010 8:07 pm
Liberty Hoffman
(@liberty-hoffman)
NarniaWeb Master

I am in the middle of re-reading The Underland Chronicles.....I am re-reading Gregor and the Marks Of Secret right now! :D love these books!


NW sister - wild rose ~ NW big sis - ramagut
Born in the water
Take quick to the trees
I want all that You are

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADBC57vKfQ

Posted : September 14, 2010 11:16 am
johobbit
(@jo)
SO mod; WC captain Moderator

Briefly, I thoroughly enjoy Suzanne Collins' writing, whether in younger The Underland Chronicles or the older The Hunger Games trilogy—tight, exciting storytelling, whose key characters one grows attached to. I'm about halfway through Mockingjay now and really wonder how Collins is going to wrap it up. (If anyone meaningful dies, I'm not sure I'll know how to handle that. :P *avoids the Spoiler boxes above*)

But what I came on to post, specifically, is this article. I found the link whilst reading another piece on the struggling MGM in relation to The Hobbit films. I really hope they choose unknowns for Katniss, Gale, and Peeta!

7,237 posts from Forum 1.0

Posted : September 15, 2010 7:45 am
Arwenel
(@arwenel)
A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy? Hospitality Committee

Looked up Gary Ross on IMDb ... saw only a few snatches of "Seabiscuit", so i have no idea what he's like as a director. Of course, i know very little about directors in general.

I think good quality unknowns would probably be the best choice for the lead characters, but i wouldn't mind a few better-known actors/actresses in some of the other roles.

On a different trajectory, i noticed the other day that in The Underland Chronicles, the main villain - the Bane - is a white rat, and one of the leading scumbags in The Hunger Games trilogy is President Snow. I just found that interesting.

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it. - Rabbi Tarfon

Posted : September 15, 2010 5:20 pm
PrincessMia241
(@princessmia241)
NarniaWeb Nut

ValiantLucy suggested Hunger Games to me, but I never did read it :( I put it on hold at the library, and I'm number #30! I'll be waiting a while....

avy by narniagirl90

Posted : September 17, 2010 7:35 am
Liberty Hoffman
(@liberty-hoffman)
NarniaWeb Master

^^ #30? yikes! and I thought that being #5 was bad..... :( that's no fun......

my mom is reading The Underland Chronicles for the first time and we were talking about book 4 "Gregor and the Marks Of Secret" and she was saying that

Spoiler
the part with the mice being ruled by the rats and then driven out and killed is quite a bit like Hitler and the Nazi overtaking of Germany and all the Jews getting killed in concentration camps.....

I think it does seem rather like that! what do ya'll think?


NW sister - wild rose ~ NW big sis - ramagut
Born in the water
Take quick to the trees
I want all that You are

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EADBC57vKfQ

Posted : September 17, 2010 11:15 am
PrincessMia241
(@princessmia241)
NarniaWeb Nut

So I just spent all afternoon reading The Hunger Games online :P Loved it! I would love to see a movie of it, if it was done right. The contrasts are so brilliant.

avy by narniagirl90

Posted : September 17, 2010 11:54 am
Page 1 / 3
Share: