Monday, September 6, 2010
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (spoiler free)
Food to eat while reading: District 12 Beef Brisket
What a wild ride this series is. To be honest, I am actually relieved to be done with it. Now don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the ride. But the emotional rollercoaster was so swift and stomach-dropping that I am happy to be on solid ground again.
Read the synopsis here
What I liked:
There were so many surprises and twists that I couldn't put the book down. Katniss is so unpredictable that I never know what is going to happen.
Collins is a master at painting the silence behind the words. When she describes what Katniss is experiencing, I feel like my heart is going to explode. It is even more poetic than poetry. Here is an example from page 349:
"Dead, but not allowed to die. Alive, but as good as dead. So alone that anyone, anything no matter how loathsome would be welcome. But when I finally have a visitor, it's sweet. Morphling. Coursing through my veins, easing the pain, lightening my body so that is rises back toward the air and rest again on the foam."
The author knows when to show and when to tell. She leaves out or summarizes the unnecessary and I am relieved to read only what is important to Katniss.
Katniss is given freedom by the author to do and say what she wants to. This makes for an interesting and impulsive story.
The ending was hard for me to swallow at first. But the more I think about it, the more fitting it becomes. Collins wove the ending so tightly, that up until the last page I didn't know how things would turn out. Yet, when I think back to the last few chapters, I can see the obvious winding down.
I was so very happy to see Katniss through to the end, if only to give her character some peace. She went through so much irony and unfair agony that I was comforted to see her settled.
The themes of war & peace, and the cycle of human society are classic. Collins drives them home with Katniss, a character so poignant and heartrending who isnpires us to make a difference in our own circle of influence.
What I was unsure of:
The violence and death. I know they are a part of war and defending oneself. But with Katniss, there seemed to be a disconnect from humanity along the way. The casualties who got in her way were bothersome to me, not to mention the innocent sufferers of the war, the children .
I think Katniss could have survived without either Gale or Peeta. I know that some would argue that she is the ultimate strong female character, but I think a woman can be strong and still want to have a husband and a home.
Mockingjay is a satisfying conclusion to an emotional and gripping trilogy that will steal the hearts of both teens and adults.
Purchase: Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)
Genre: YA, distopian
Publisher: Hardcover, 390 pages, August 24th 2010 by Scholastic Press
Where I got the book: Amazon