Thursday, December 30, 2010
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
I grew impatient with waiting for the 130 people in front of me on the library request list to get through Mockingjay, so I purchased it to read over the holiday. I am one of those people who rarely reads a complete series. I'm usually over it by the end of book two and wander off to read something else. But, Ms. Collins did such an incredible job with The Hunger Games, that I had to pursue Catching Fire. Then that book ended with such a cliff-hanger that I felt compelled to pursue Mockingjay. Now, I know ending book two with a cliff-hanger caused quite a frenzy for the final book, but I also felt it was a cheap trick and I was disappointed and frustrated. Still, it worked, I went for book three.
Mockingjay is broken down into three parts. I found the first part flat and boring. I know it's difficult to jump right back into the story while also getting the readers up to speed, but I was used to Ms. Collins' high suspense style so that made the slow beginning a little harder to take. Part two gets a little better. Part three feels like it actually connects to the first two books. (part I and II do not.) I could see the mechanics of this book as the author tried to turn the plot. That wasn't apparent in the first two stories. Plus, I felt she wasn't being true to some of the characters as they were set up in the first two stories (specifically Katniss - in terms of appearance and Gale - in terms of everything.) I understood the Gale part to drive the story to its conclusion, but the Katniss part seemed random revisionist history and I didn't understand why it was done. (Okay, that won't make sense unless you've read the book and I'm trying hard not to spoil things for anyone.) Yes, characters in stories should be allowed to change / grow, but it was all referenced as having always been this way rather than having been a gradual coming about.
So, my conclusion is that I enjoyed the last third of Mockingjay. That part felt satisfying. The first two parts are a little clunky. But, if you are a fan of the series, then you'll definitely want to see the end.
If someone as talented as Ms. Collins has difficulty writing the third book of a trilogy, I wonder what success I'll have? (vague reference to activities percolating in my career as a writer) A difficult thing to pull off.
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I totally agree with you that the third part of the book is definitely the most riveting of the three.ReplyDelete
Not sure how you found my blog! Thanks for commenting! I just bought your book on my Nook!! Can't wait to read it!ReplyDelete
I was just googling around to see what other bloggers thought of Mockingjay and your blog was the first to come up. I enjoyed what you wrote so I thought I'd leave a comment. Thank you very much for buying my book. It's for eleven year old girls, but also for grown-up girls. ;O) I hope you get a kick out of it!ReplyDelete
No problem! I teach 6th graders, so I am always looking for new books to put in their hands! I'd love if you would follow my blog. That way once I finish it you can catch the review, which I am sure will be awesome, already loving it!!!ReplyDelete
I read it two weeks ago and it was awesome, the third part is definetely the best one, but I really liked the whole book, it was a good final book. Nice review.ReplyDelete
I read all three of the books back to back, and I really feel that Mockingjay is the weakest of the three. That's not to say it's bad, but she's in well-covered territory with this one (scrappy rebels take down the big, bad government) and I think that makes it feel a little less fresh. Granted, her ultimate point is an interesting one, and I did like the last 1/3rd as well, but it's a shame that the final volume is also the weakest in the series. I'm definitely not a Twilight fan, but isn't that a common criticism of that series as well?ReplyDelete
You must have really gotten sucked in reading them back to back. A friend pointed out that her point is really just Animal Farm - Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss. - War is bad. Weird how we still have two running at the moment, but no one is taking much notice anymore. How are you, Tim?ReplyDelete
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That's it exactly. Her point isn't all that original, and I think she'd readily admit it. What sets the series apart is that at least in the first two books, she makes that point in a highly gripping and unusual way. However, by taking Katniss out of the Games in the third, it becomes like many of the other books and films covering the same subject. It's not bad, it's just not as great as the first two volumes.ReplyDelete
(Also, sorry to remove my previous post. It was the exact same as this one, but was full of typos...a surefire way of driving us editors insane!)
I HATE when I post and then see typos - which I do frequently - and you have probably noticed having been my editor. ;O)ReplyDelete
Yeah, she set the bar very high with that first book. Hard to beat or even match that.
130 people ahead of you on the library request list!! I would have gone out and bought the book too! :)ReplyDelete
Great review! It was really thought out. I agree that the beginning of Mockingjay was definitely hard too get into at first, as was the other books in her series. This was my favorite out of the three, and even though Mockingjay was very dark and sinister at times, I felt that was needed for the story.
There was a Borders Hunger Games Fan Fest and I went. It was pretty cool with fun trivia, and swag. I won a signed bookplate signed by Suzanne Collins! That was really cool! I reviewed it on my blog, and I would love for you to check it out!
There was a Hunger Games Fan Fest? Neat! I will definitely check out your review.ReplyDelete