Monday, August 23, 2010

Review - Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Summary: (via Goodreads)--Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Review: (NO SPOILERS): I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of this a few days ago (thank you to the seriously awesome person who graced me with it!) and I've been sitting on edge because there is no one to discuss it with. 

I'll patiently wait.

I don't want to spoil anything so I'll keep it short and sweet but hopefully eloquent (crosses fingers)--

It would have been very easy to cater to the arguments of Team Peeta vs. Team Gale. To base this story on this triangle and forget the more prominent issues of rebellion, differences in socio-economic status, the need of independence. Hey, it's the last book, you know? Why not? It's going to sell regardless.
But here's why Suzanne Collins is so kick-ass (sorry Mom and others...): she stays true and makes this story about a girl/woman who is not only striving for the independence of a group of people but is trying to find it 
for herself.

The reason Hunger Games is such a successful series is because Suzanne Collins makes it easy to relate to. She touches on the priviliges or lack of privileges granted to each class. She strives to show a people fighting for the right to not have to fight anymore. The war, the hunger, the various economic climates are all issues that we are dealing with now as adults.

Oh, right. This is a young adult book....which makes it even sweeter because she also gives young girls a stong, independent protagonist. We don't have a girl spending hundreds and hundreds of pages bemoaning which love she's going to choose. We have a girl who, for three books, almost 1200 pages, who is carrying the weight of an astronomical amount of people on her shoulder and she fights to protect those people and herself, acknowledging that she's strong enough to do this. To quote Mockingjay:

I can survive just fine without either one of them.

This is the type of example I think adolescent girls need. I won't go on a tirade but to show a girl who shows up to take care of business, to kick ass and take names? It's rare in books these days. Even when it happens, it's not necessarily done so well, so kudos to Collins for this also.

She stays true to Katniss in this book. She stays true to the story. It moves quickly providing a fast-paced and energetic read. My roommate will tell you that I cried. I even laughed out loud once or twice. I'm still, in the middle of this review, going back to re-read parts that moved me.  Even while completing this trilogy, she provides new discoveries, fosters new relationships--but don't doesn't leave you wondering what happens. If you're like me, you're left thinking that the end of this series is perfect. It's perfect, regardless of any choices with which you agree or disagree (AHEM. Gale vs. Peeta). It's honest and you can't complain.

I still feel like I'm not giving this last book (ARRRGH! It's hard to without spoiling anything.) it's due but thank you, Suzanne Collins, for providing an incredible trilogy.

Now will some of you hurry up and finish it so I have someone to discuss it with???

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