Monday, September 27, 2010

Book Recommendation: MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins

Five words, six syllables: This. Book. Blew. Me. A-way. Enough said.

(Feel free to gush about MOCKINGJAY all you want in the comments. I only ask that you not mention any spoilers. That way, we won't ruin anything for the people who haven't read it yet.)

11 comments:

Nathalie said...

What can be said except what you've already pointed out? It was wonderful! I've read some posts where people think otherwise, but IMO, Suzanne Collins has written a trilogy that will quickly become a classic.

Colene Murphy said...

I'm SO glad you liked it! I'm tired of hearing why people DIDNT. It was amazing, whatever its faults, it was still amazing!

Molly Hall said...

Agreed. It's an amazing book. Imagine having to follow up after those first two? With all the hype? The pressure must have been enormous. But Suzanne Collins is a master. I loved taking the ride with Katniss through all three books.

Krista V. said...

Nathalie, I think the series has staying power, too. I reread the other two before I read this one because I wanted to get the story in perfect context, and I tell you, even though I've read THE HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE multiple times, they still sucked me right in.

Colene, I'd heard some of those negative rumblings, too, but honestly, I have no idea what they're talking about. Does Katniss react rather than act in MOCKINGJAY? Certainly. The whole point of the book - and the series - is that she's a piece in other people's games. But she also makes decisions and takes actions that are totally her own. No book is perfect, but MOCKINGJAY is pretty darn close:)

Molly, Katniss goes on quite a ride, doesn't she? And I agree that Ms. Collins handled the pressure admirably. MOCKINGJAY is a fitting end for the page-turning suspense and character relationships introduced in THE HUNGER GAMES.

Jenn Wilks said...

Gush all I want, but don't give away any spoilers??? That's a very tall order, I have to say.

I belong to two different book clubs - one meets on the first Wed of every month, and the other on the first Thurs. And this last month, both groups were reading Mockingjay, so I got to discuss it in depth two days in a row. (feel free to be jealous now) LOL

Anyway, there were several people in both groups who didn't like a lot of things about the book, including Katniss - arguments were that she's practically comatose through half the book, she's not strong, she doesn't even care about these two gorgeous guys who both want her, she's a broken shell, yadda, yadda.

Personally, I thought it was brilliant. How else are you gonna react to war, to your friends slaughtered around you, and to feel like so many deaths are your fault? I thought she was amazingly strong, given the circumstance! And I loved the ending - I thought it was just right. Anything more or less wouldn't have felt true.

There's more I wish I could say, but with the whole spoiler policy . . . (sigh) Let's just say I could rebuff every single thing any critic could deign to throw at me!

Although, I do have to take that back a little bit. I felt it was too violent at times, even more so than the other two. It was a little like watching two PG-13 movies, and then having the final one in the series be R. It wasn't too much for me, really, but I worry about that aspect of it as far as teen readers go. Still, I can handle violence and gore et al much better in a book than I can in a movie.

Sorry for rambling so long. Maybe that whole spoiler policy is a good thing - otherwise, I would have gone on much, much longer! LOL.

Krista V. said...

Jenn, you nailed Katniss's response. I'm pretty sure most of us wouldn't be doing too well if we'd been forced to do the things she'd been forced to do. I actually think Katniss would have come across as fake and author-manipulated if she had been stronger, so to speak.

I do agree that MOCKINGJAY was more violent than either THE HUNGER GAMES or CATCHING FIRE, so that's something people ought to take into account. Thankfully, I'm not very good at picturing blood and gore because I've never seen it in real life.

Oh, and I am jealous about that double dose of book club MOCKINGJAY-ness:)

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Krista, I just got my trilogy in the mail yesterday. I read the first two by borrowing library books, but I wanted to wait until Mockingjay came out and get the boxed set. So, thanks for your no-spoiler policy. I appreciate it! :)

Amy

Krista V. said...

You're welcome, Amy! Hope you like it. You'll have to e-mail me or something when you're finished so you can tell me what you think.

Alex said...

So then anyone asking if they should give this series a read would be given a "yes" then?

No I'm just looking to stir up some dust with that.

But has anyone read both The Hunger Games series and His Dark Materials trilogy. How would one compare the two?

lotusgirl said...

What more can I say? Great conclusion to a marvelous series.

Krista V. said...

Alex, yep, I highly recommend the series. And I actually have read both (assuming I'm remembering correctly and the His Dark Materials trilogy starts with THE GOLDEN COMPASS). Honestly, though, I don't think The Hunger Games and His Dark Materials have a lot in common. That said, here's how I'd break it down in a few major categories:

His Dark Materials is a richly layered fantasy world, so as for world building, I'd definitely give the check to Pullman. As for characters I personally cared more about, the check goes to Collins. There were more subplots in the His Dark Materials series, so that story felt more epic, more in the vein of The Lord of the Rings trilogy (although I thought Collins did a great job balancing an intimate storyline with a more global one). For me, the writing itself was a draw, although I think most people would prefer one over the other. (Collins used more of that stream-of-consciousness teenage voice (although it wasn't as stream-of-consciousness-y as, say, Meg Rosoff's HOW I LIVE NOW), whereas Pullman used a more traditional narrative style.)

All of that would make it sound like I preferred Pullman's series, but I actually liked Collins's better. It's probably because I weight characterization over other story elements at about a hundred to one, and her characters were the ones that I related to, that made me laugh when they laughed and hurt when they hurt.

Ditto, lotusgirl:)