Saturday, August 28, 2010

Suzanne Collins "Mockingjay"

I'm going to try hard not to give away anything about Mockingjay but I'm assuming you've read the first two books so be forewarned (spoiler alert).

In case you haven't read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, what are you waiting for?! It's a dystopian story about a young girl whose sent to represent her district in the annual Hunger Games where 24 teenagers battle to the death in the arena.

When I read The Hunger Games I was struck by the skill with which the book handled so many different ambiguities. Does she "love" Peeta or Gale, what does "love" mean as it applies to each of them? Where are the moral lines between survival and retaining your humanity? While we condemn the Capitol viewers for their interest in the Hunger Games, isn't the pace and violence and uncertainty one of the things that keeps the reader reading this book? Not only is the book brilliant but it's riveting and you can't help but fall in love with the characters making it readable on many different levels.

Catching Fire was terrific but I think most noteworthy for being, really, a very decent middle book. That's not easy to do either.

Mockingjay completely lives up to this entire series. The brilliance of the first book lies in what it didn't resolve. I worried that in a third book, where you certainly expect things to be resolved, there was no way to not be disappointed. Ms. Collins, I'm impressed. The book effectively and logically ties up a lot of issues, but dives even deeper into war and how one retains one's humanity under impossible circumstances. Wow.

And no. Not gonna tell you which boy. But I will say, both live and so in the end, she does have to choose. :)

Young Adult dystopian novel 2010: 18 of 5 decapitating lizard mutts.