March 16, 2012

Mockingjay March: Guest Post - Michelle at Book Briefs

Today for Mockingjay March I'm pleased to welcome the lovely Michelle from Book Briefs!
Book Briefs
The Arenas

Thank you so much for allowing me to be here today Benji!

The first time I read The Hunger Games was such a magical experience for me. I still remember it. That feeling that you just couldn’t stop turning pages, but at the same time you wanted to slow down so it wouldn’t end. 

When you have a world as rich, complex and deliciously detailed as Panem, there are tons of things to talk about. But one of the things that immediately stood out and fascinated me the most were the arenas. They are so well thought out and detailed. On one hand, they are horrifying, but on the other hand they are captivating! It is a controlled environment, but it is also a living, breathing 25th competitor. And honestly, I think it is the fiercest competitor of all. To survive, you have to be able to understand and play the arenas. And figuring this out while I was reading the book, was so cool for me! Sometimes, I would read to see what the characters would do, and sometimes I found myself reading to see what the arena would hold next for them. It is such an integral part of the Hunger Games books. 

My favorite arena was from Catching Fire. (Book 2) That is where I was really impressed with how well thought out a piece of landscape could be. When we learned that It was a giant clock, I was so impressed! How clever is that?? The arena in the first book intrigued me as well, but I saw it as more of a typical wooded landscape with a few twists up its’ sleeve. But no one could say that about the finely tuned arena in Catching Fire. That arena was a work of art. When I read the book for a second time, I focused most of my attention on the description of the arenas. The first time around I was so focused on Katniss and how she was reacting to everything, but the second reading I paid close attention to how big of a role the arenas played! And they are huge! I loved the idea of the arena being on a timer, so to speak. If you figured it out, you could really use that information to your advantage. The tributes were able to time all of the weather conditions and other hazards. 

Honestly I thought the arenas were so brilliant that I was surprised that the government in Panem could come up with them. I guess they had inspiration strike between one of their many gorging sessions. The arenas took on their own life force for me, and they kind of became another competitor in my mind. I think if you are looking to re-read the Hunger Games trilogy, you should pay particular attention to the way the arenas are described and how they are made to almost react to the competitors. Each of the tributes not only have to look out for the other 23, but they also have to learn the lay of the land. I believe that If you don’t “know” the arena you are destined to die in the hunger games. 

What do you think of the arenas? Which is your favorite? What do you like/dislike about them? I would love to hear your opinions in the comments below.

Thanks for the awesome guest post Michelle! 


  1. Thanks so much for having me here today and for allowing me to be a part of such an awesome event :) You rock!

  2. I actually haven't read the books yet, so I don't have a favorite arena. but I can't wait for the movie. I hope it will be as good as the books.

  3. My favorite arena? Michelle, I'm with you, my favorite was the one mentioned in Catching Fire. When they finally had that "AHA!" moment with island/ocean (I really didn't understand that part when I read) being a clock? Pure genius :)

  4. I loved the first one! I think it had to do with meeting all the characters in the first book, first time we saw their world. It was awesome!

  5. seriously, the idea of making arena looking like a clock (and a functioning one, not to mention) is just incredible! i was like "OMG IZ DIS REAL?!" when i learned about the whole landscape. it just blew me away tbh. i mean, how could suzanne collins came up with such a brilliant concept (of the arenas and everything) so imaginative o.o

  6. cant wait to read this book, nice review, really want to read this book before seeing the movie ;)

  7. I agree, Catching Fire was my favorite arena. The Hunger Games arena was great too, it introduced the whole idea, but the Catching Fire arena took it to a whole new level.

  8. I agree with you about the arenas. Catching Fire arena was better than Hunger Games. More clever , more dangerously, everything was more.....

  9. I loved the arenas myself. The deadly and thrilling atmosphere created by such a well-timed setting, made for a gripping read. I was initially surprised and fascinated in Catching Fire when the tributes were released into the water and they had to swim to land. That was totally unexpected for me. I can't swim, so it was also a very scary thought for me. I can't wait to see how the arenas are depicted in the movies:)

    Sarah Bibi Setar

  10. My favourite arena is the one in Catching Fire. I thought it was amazing with the clock and that they had to swim in the beginning.

  11. This is the one aspect that I kept getting blown away by while reading the books. I think Suzanne Collins does an amazing job of world building within the series. Without this aspect, the books wouldn't be nearly as engrossing.

    Awesome guest post!

  12. I also loved the clock arena in Catching Fire! I thought it was so clever!!


Thank you for the comment, I love and appreciate each and every one! As of March 2012, The Non Reluctant Reader is an awards-free zone. I'm honored to be considered, but do not currently have the time to pass the award on. Comments are the best award I can receive though! If the comment requires a reply, please be sure to check back for one. If it is a feature/meme leave a link to your post and I will stop by and comment if I get the chance!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Under the Dappled Shadows kit by Lorie Davison