September 21, 2010
I’ve been anxiously waiting for the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins for the better part of a year, as I’m sure many of you out there (teens and adults alike) have as well. It officially came out on August 24th, and on Thursday, I got it in at the library. Sweet deal! I couldn’t have been more excited.
For those not familiar with the Hunger Games trilogy, here is a brief synopsis: It is the bleak future. North America as we know it has been destroyed, and replaced by a single nation known as Panem, which is divided into 12 districts. To maintain control of the people and discourage rebellion, the harsh Capitol has the annual Hunger Games, a brutal televised fight to the death. Each district must send one teenage boy and one teenage girl to participate. All but the winner will be killed in the elaborately staged spectacle; and the whole country will be watching each moment. When 16 year old Katniss’s gentle sister Prim is drawn, she knows what she must do and volunteers to take her place. Just like that, she and the male pledge from her district, Peeta, are whisked away to fight in the Hunger Games, beginning an epic struggle for survival and freedom. I know the premise sounds violent and terrible, but please trust me; this is a wonderful series, among the absolute best books I’ve read in a very long time. Collins does a great job of keeping graphic descriptions to a minimum; and artfully balances an action-packed plot, compelling and very realistic characters, and thought provoking (and very relevant!) themes.
So, back to Mockingjay… Like the first two books in the series (The Hunger Games and Catching Fire), I tore through Mockingjay to find out what would become of Katniss, Peeta, Gale, Prim, and all of the other inhabitants of Panem; now on the verge of revolution. I was so engrossed that I ignored dinner, my boyfriend, dishes, my cats, tooth brushing, and bedtime to finish it in one sitting. I don’t want to give anything away, so I won’t go into detail about the plot. But if you liked the first two books, I think you will like Mockingjay. It’s just as thrilling, moving, intriguing, fascinating, etc., as the first two novels, and nicely ties up all of the loose ends of the plot (although not exactly happily). I warn you, the wait list at MCPL is long (nearly a thousand last time I checked!); but I definitely recommend getting your hands on a copy of Mockingjay, even if it means waiting awhile. While you wait, it can’t hurt to re-read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire to refresh yourself on all of the details of the plot (especially if it’s been awhile), or check out some other similar dystopian teen series in MCPL’s collection such as The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld (amazing!), The Chaos Walking series by Patrick Ness, or the Books of Ember series by Jeanne Duprau.
Lee's Summit Branch
Tags: book review