Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Published: August 2010
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 398
Copy Provided by: Library
Summary: Goodreads

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.

It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss.

The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.

*** There will be spoilers in my review. Do not read further if you haven't read Mockingjay ***

I just finished Mockingjay about an hour ago and I am still reeling from the read. Normally about now I would say WOW but I seem to use this quite frequently in my reviews so I think I'll refrain. Mockingjay was released at the end of August and I knew that I was one of the first on the list to read it when it came to the library so I held out. I received it Thursday and haven't had a large block of time to sit down and devour it. I will do my best to explain why I enjoyed this book without giving too much away.

Do you know the feeling of anticipation when you watch the latest installment of a big screen blockbuster movie? (Say Harry Potter or Twilight) The trailers end, the intro begins and if you're like me, your palms are sweaty, your mouth is dry (better take a sip of the humungous coke/popcorn combo you bought for 20 bucks). This is how I felt with Mockingjay. I actually paused for a minute to admire the cover and run my fingers along the spine, before I opened up the cover (creak) and slowly started to read. Normally I read at a fairly quick pace when I am confortable, have the time and am surrounded by silence. This time though, I wanted to savour every morsel Mockingjay had to offer....and there were many morsels to savour.

One thing I'd like to note is that it has been awhile since the second book was released - Catching Fire.  It may be a good idea to read Catching Fire before you jump into Mockingjay.  I do wish I had the foresight to have done this ahead of time but I was just so eager to jump in.  The first few chapters I had to seriously think about the characters and the roles they played in previous books.
Ms. Collins brilliantly wove this story together, each chapter in Mockingjay builds up until the last battle ensues. She works the tension and emotion beautifully so that before you know it, you're halfway through the book, holding your breath, trying to absorb every word as if the reality is unfolding before your very own eyes. The players have been marked from the beginning and their roles continue even after they disappear from Panem. Don't think you know what is going to happen. She mapped out the psychology of warfare and was honest in how raw and cruel humans can be to one another when it comes to battle. This series should not be read by a younger audience, I would recommend it to an older crowd. Expect people to die and expect detailed violence and gore. This is what makes it work - the brutality of war to and even amongst a younger, innocent age group.

I have to say, the turning point for me was when Gale leaves for the Capitol as the first to volunteer to rescue Peeta. I felt a lump in my throat as I read this.

My favourite quotes -

Pages 64-65
"You're still angry" (Gale)
"And you're still not sorry," I reply.
"I still stand by what I said. Do you want me to lie about it?" he asks.
"No, I want you to rethink it and come up with the right opinion," I tell him.

(That was so hilarious! It sounds like something I would say to my husband...)

Page 244-245
"He started arguing with himself like he was two people.  The guards had to take him away.  On the good side, no one seemed to notice I finished his stew." Johanna rubs her hand over her protruding belly.  I look at the layer of grime under her fingernails.  Wonder if the people in 7 ever bathe.
(Read in context, this might give you a giggle.)

Page 270
"Ally." Peeta says the word slowly, tasting it.  "Friend. Lover. Victor. Enemy. Fiancee. Target. Mutt. Neighbor. Hunter. Tribute. Ally.  I'll add it to the list of words I use to try to figure you out."...."The problem is, I can't tell what's real anymore, and what's made up."
There are three book series that stand out in my mind for story development and writing style. All three have captured my imagination and made me fall head-first into a new world, investing both the time and emotion to identify with the charcters and journey with them through thick and thin, wanting more every step of the way.

Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling
The Mortal Instruments - Cassandra Clare
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

One of the best series ever written and will be read again and again at my house. Real or not real?


1 comment:

  1. I just finished Mockingjay and just posted my review!

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