Tuesday, March 27, 2012

REVIEW: Katniss the Cattail

Title: Katniss the Cattail
Author: Valerie Estelle Frankel
Source: Received from author for review
Grade: B-/A

Synopsis from Amazon:
Who was Cinna? What do the hawthorn and primrose symbolize? Or President Snow’s roses and Peeta’s bread? What about Katniss’s last name? Bringing details from myths, herbal guides, military histories, and the classics, English professor and award-winning pop culture author Valerie Estelle Frankel sheds light on the deeper meanings behind Panem’s heroes and villains in this hottest of YA trilogies. In her series, Collins not only weaves a heroic tale of deep complexity but harnesses the power of Shakespeare and Rome to retell an ancient epic of betrayal, violence, and glory on the stage of an apocalyptic future. The perfect treat for fans of all ages. Everything Hunger Games, packed into one volume. From Alma Coin to Wiress you’ll learn about • Why roses are a flower of death • How eighteen of the characters are used in Shakespeare’s plays • Katniss’s nickname Catnip • The meaning of “The Hanging Tree” • Peeta’s pearl and Katniss’s salvation • Effie the saint and Finnick the Irish hero

Katniss the Cattail is an encyclopedia and guide on names and symbols in The Hunger Games trilogy. Frankel goes through each character's name in great detail and what things influenced the naming and personality of the character. It also goes through the many symbols in the books, such as bread, Snow's roses, and dandelions and what they each represent. Frankel is very detailed with her explanations and touch on various influences from Shakespere to The Wizard of Oz. The majority of the characters are inspired by Shakespeare, which Frankel explains in her book. My favorite section of the book was Frankel's descriptions of the symbols. I learned that nightlock was not a real berry and that Prim's nickname duck, alludes to her being very resourceful. I also liked that Frankel uses many quotes from the three books and other sources to back up her descriptions.

I gave this book two different grades. I gave it a B- for those that are not super fans of The Hunger Games. It was interesting to read, but I can see how non-fans would not enjoy the book. It was very well researched and it was obvious that Frankel had taken a lot of time and effort to write this book. I gave the book an A for Hunger Games fan. This is a must read for those who are obsessed with the trilogy. It gives the reader a new perspective on the characters and the symbols throughout the books. If you have read the trilogy cover to cover, have seen the movie, and are still looking for something to feed your Hunger Games soul, then this is the perfect book for you!

Happy Reading!

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