The Hunger Games Covers

I just (like half an hour ago) finished Mockingjay.  Reading that novel exhausted me in both good and bad ways.  I’m not here to do a review of the novel, though.  I’m here to do a review of the covers 🙂  I love them and how they’re similar yet different and represent the evolution of the series.  I will probably have spoilers for HG and CF, but not for Mj in this post.

First there’s The Hunger Games.  It starts off black, dark.  Katniss starts out in the coal district, which is small, doesn’t get much electricity, and is left in the dark about what’s happening in Panem.  When the Reapings happen there’s not much hope for the tributes from District 12.  It also introduces the mockingjay image.  We could think of this as the pin Madge gave her, but the book doesn’t mention an arrow in the pin.   So the arrow is there, the only weapon Katniss (who isn’t “the Mockingjay” yet) is really trained to use in these games.  And look at the way the bird is positioned.  Like it’s bowing.  Katniss is just a pawn in these games, subservient and going in, not yet on fire.

So next comes Catching Fire.  Obviously, you notice first that the cover is red.  The book, the mockingjay, are gaining heat.  The book makes use of the fire imagery, talking about Katniss as the “girl on fire,” and about the spark of revolution thanks to her actions in book 1.  Around the mockingjay on the cover, the glow gets even brighter, as if it is the source.  The circle split into 12 parts is nice imagery itself, both working with the actual Hunger Games, as well as a watch with a mockingjay on it, and the 12 districts of Panem.  The mockingjay, whose head is up, defiant this time, is not left with merely an arrow.  There’s the fire coming from it, but also the weapon of that twelve-piece circle.  For Katniss and the other tributes unite at times to defy the Capitol and Katniss uses the arena itself to defeat the Capitol in these games.  Other differences between this image and the first book’s comes from the mockingjay.  You can see more details of it, shading and outlining of the feathers.  Also it looks like it’s just starting to take flight, doesn’t it?

Finally we get to Mockingjay.  With each book, we’ve gotten lighter and lighter, and this cover evokes the color of the sky.  The mockingjay is still emitting even more light, though.  It’s just as hard to miss the other differences between this cover and the previous two.  The mockingjay has broken free of the circle it’s been enclosed in for the last two books.  It’s in full flight.  And you can see every detail on it.  Different colors of the feathers, the shading, the feathers on it’s body.  The mockingjay seems to be completely free.

Of course, you have to read the book to know if the cover makes good on that particular promise 😉

Currently on iPod: I’m Just a Girl by No Doubt

Lots of love,



3 thoughts on “The Hunger Games Covers

  1. I thought the color choice for Mockingjay was interesting. It’s my favorite cover of the three, though. (And the book totally exhausted me, too.)

  2. I love all your thoughts. and your covers are so different to the Australian ones. At first I didnt like the Australian Mockingjay cover as much – but I like it now having read it – it’s fiery and bold and mesmerising – I also like the light and hope in the US one though.

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