Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I thought creating a story darker than the first two books in The Hunger Games trilogy was not possible. Obviously I was wrong. Mockingjay is dark, twisted, and raw. I promise not to give away too much, but you should know that your heart will hurt and your eyes will tear. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t almost throw the book across the room. Don’t take that the wrong way... Mockingjay is an amazing book. It’s exciting and fast- paced, but the storyline is also excruciatingly painful.

Katniss’s life is full of hurt as she adjusts to life without District Twelve. She also has to fight through her guilt over being rescued while Peeta was left to the Capitol’s devices. The plot and setting whirl around Katniss in a way so vastly different from the first two books that it was quite a shock. I compare it to Harry Potter in that the reader spends six books at Hogwarts and then spends the seventh romping over the countryside, and in The Hunger Games, the reader spends two books in District Twelve and the Games and is then thrust headlong into District 13. At first, the change seemed to affect the whole tone of the book. It just didn’t feel like The Hunger Games. However, I quickly warmed up to it, and I enjoyed getting to know certain characters better, as well as meeting some new ones. The reader gets some fascinating, albeit sad, glances into the pasts of important characters such as Katniss and Finnick. As I mentioned above, this book has some tear-jerking moments. Some deaths left me deeply sad and disbelieving. Many characters died, but that’s what happens during war. Therefore, I can hold no grudge against Suzanne Collins for simply trying to portray war accurately. The author also shows us that life, love, and war are not black and white. Everything has shades of gray and sometimes danger hides behind a mask of salvation.

After hanging on through all the ups and downs of this book, my mind was at first left in numb shock. So much went wrong, so much went right, so much just went. As always, Katniss perfectly conveys the emotions of someone in such arduous circumstances. She brings every scene to life. I continue to admire her ingenuity and ability to think on her feet. The other characters are multi-facetted and weave a web of intrigue that enhances the story.

I’m not going to give away the ending, but I want to warn you that it’s bittersweet.

1 comment:

  1. I've never been able to immerse myself in The Hunger Games books, but this review really has me reconsidering...

    Also, I've passed along an award to you, here: http://thegrammariansreviews.blogspot.com/2010/08/one-lovely-blog-award-grammar-bit-3.html.

    Sorry if it's a repeat!