Mockingjay

Mockingjay

By Suzanne Collins

Scholastic Press

ISBN: 978-0-439-02351-1

4 stars

I didn’t think I would be reviewing this book this soon.  When I put it on hold at the library, I was 48th in line and wasn’t expecting to even read this book before next year.  I was surprised when my hold came in much earlier than expected.  I also surprised myself by showing a tad bit of restraint by waiting until I finished my current read before starting this one.

When this book came out, I read all the reviews, even the ones with spoilers because I like spoilers.  I read the last few pages of this book before I was 20 pages in and knew how it ended which made reading the book much easier for me.  If I can’t figure out where something is going, I read ahead, but if I know even basically how it will end, I will stick to the process of turning each page in order.  I wanted to be able to read this book without being annoyed at not knowing so I took a few liberties at the beginning.  So what did I actually think of this book?

In the interest of not giving too much away and providing spoilers (I know not everyone loves them as much as I do.), I’m going to do a very brief overview and then move onto my thoughts.  With books in a series, I always find it hard not to give too much away since so much of the story depends on the endings of the previous books.

Katniss Everdeen, survivor of two Hunger Games, is now the symbol of the revolution against the Capitol.  She’s hurt physically and mentally and barely surviving day-to-day let alone a revolution.  Reluctantly, she agrees to become the Mockingjay for the revolution as long as she gets a few things: they rescue Peeta and the other Hunger Games participants that can be found, grant them immunity, and she gets to kill President Snow.

Great parts of this book left me annoyed and some of it left me underwhelmed.  The tension that built up in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire felt lost here much the same way Katniss was.  I wanted more than bombing raids and body counts and I wanted less of Katniss being in a daze hiding in closets afraid of the world beyond the walls she doesn’t even feel safe behind.  Once again, the story is told by Katniss but when she’s too busy twirling the bracelet that labels her mentally unstable to tell it to you, it suffers.  And, yes, the Team Gale/Team Peeta thing…I was so annoyed by this whole love triangle thing.  Kiss Gale one day, kiss Peeta the next day.  It was awkward and annoying and in the end she basically waited it out until one of them made the decision for her.  She became incapable of making any decisions or understanding her own feelings.

Now, that last paragraph doesn’t mean I didn’t like the book because I did.  The politics of the revolution are interesting, they have to be as the story pretty much runs on them, and seeing some of the old characters return was a nice touch.  It also moves fast, really fast.  It was an emotional ride and once it had you, kept you there wondering what would happen next.  I can’t in anyway say it was a bad read.  I was riveted to this book and thought about it for days after so obviously it had some affect on me.  Katniss is meant to infuriate and annoy and she played the role perfectly here.  Being the last book in the trilogy though, I think I was hoping for more, unfortunately I don’t really know what that more is.

If you’ve read the previous books in this series, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, you’ll most likely not want to miss this one.

 

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Catching Fire

Catching Fire

Catching Fire

By Suzanne Collins

Scholastic Press

ISBN: 978-0-439-02349-8

4.25 stars

Catching Fire is the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. My review of The Hunger Games is here. I’ve tried to avoid spoilers but if you really don’t want to know anything, you may want to stop reading now.

Katniss and Peeta are back home after winning the Hunger Games attempting to live normal lives. Instead, they spend their days and nights coping with the aftermath of the Games and the affect their actions, in and out of the arena, have on their loved ones. Katniss and Peeta are supposed to be in love and they do their best to pretend in public but her feelings are a jumbled mess and she’s not sure what she feels for Peeta. Her friend Gale is back in the picture and she doesn’t know what to do with him or her feelings for him either.

Talk of rebellion is all around and Katniss constantly wonders if her actions in the arena were the cause. When she and Peeta embark on their Victory Tour of the districts, they end up causing more trouble, some unknowingly and some intentionally. Now Katniss needs to prove to the Capitol that her actions mean nothing before everything comes back to haunt her.

I preferred death match in the area to inciting rebellion. I’m not sure what they says about me but even though I liked The Hunger Games better, I found Catching Fire just as addicting. Some parts of Catching Fire felt like a re-hash of The Hunger Games to some degree since certain events take place all over again. Katniss is still trying to decide between Peeta and Gale. Frankly, I’m almost as frustrated as she is with the choice. She is still sullen, self-centered, and annoying as ever (I must point out though that it works for her and is not the turnoff you think it will be.) and you have to wonder why anyone would love her. Yet, they do.

Catching Fire is a really fast read and really entertaining. It’s brain candy at it’s ultimate with all the addicting qualities you want out of it. It’s just as violent as the first and ends in the same appallingly annoying way: end of book two. Now I have to wait until August to find out what happens next.

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

By Suzanne Collins

Scholastic Press

ISBN: 978-0-439-02348-1

4.5 stars

In Panem, a dystopian North America racked by years of war, the Capitol is once again choosing tributes, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18, to compete in the Hunger Games. The Games are a way for the Capitol to keep the 12 surrounding districts in line and remind the residents of the Capitol’s power over them. Katniss Everdeen and her younger sister Prim are both eligible to become tributes. When Prim’s name is chosen, Katniss steps forward and volunteers to take her place. Katniss and the other tribute, Peeta, are then sent off to the Capitol to prepare for the competition.

Having spent most of her life close to death, Katniss knows how to survive but it will take every last bit of courage she can dredge up to make it out of the competition alive. Having to make choices she never thought she would have to about survival, love, and humanity in the process.

This book is like crack. Stick with me here people, I mean this in a good way. This book is so incredibly addicting that you don’t want to put it down and when you finally do, you realize that you’ve actually finished the book and there are no words left and that was the reason why you stopped reading. The final words in this book are: end of book one. What?! I wasn’t ready for it to end and I wanted more. But, no, I was left hanging.

I heard so much about this book and it’s been on my radar but I never got around to picking it up. As soon as I finished The Hunger Games, I quickly put Catching Fire, the second book in the series, on hold at the library. By quickly, I mean as soon as I finished reading I sat down at the computer and logged into the library to add it to my que. It’s been a long time since I’ve been left wondering this much about what would happen to two characters. Katniss and Peeta become so fascinating and you need to know everything, and of course, does she or doesn’t she love him is the big question. And, no, I won’t tell you. I don’t know either.

Yes, this is a violent book but knowing the book is about war and the absolute zero value the Capitol places on the residents of the districts and, especially children, you come to an understanding at the beginning of this story. It’s a hard story about survival and what people will do in those last few moments and I liked the dark edge. It gave you a reason to cheer Katniss and Peeta on. It’s exciting and hooks you right at the start. I’m sorry I waited so long to read this series. Thankfully book 3 will be out in August. Hey Lady! Whatca Readin’? posted the name and cover of the next book recently, Mockingjay. If you want to read her post, click here.  It will be released on August 24, 2010.