Monday, October 11, 2010

Recent Read: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I finally got a copy of Mockingjay from the library, and I spent a whole day neglecting all my housework to read it. Why didn't I pre-order? Collins' trilogy has been a pretty unique experience for me. They are incredibly thrilling and captivating books, but a lot more violent and intense than most books that I like to read. I couldn't put the first two down though and enjoyed reading them, but I was pretty undecided as to whether I really liked them or if they're just addicting.

Now that I've finished Mockingjay, I'm still not sure exactly what I think. Thank you to all my friends who  bought Mockingjay and read it on the first day for not posting any spoilers!! Following their example, I'll try not to spoil it either, but I will give some of my opinions.

The Hunger Games series is young adult fiction that feels like a cross between science fiction/adventure/thriller/horror. What got me hooked in the first place is that the main character, Katniss, really reminds me of one of my best friends from high school--like really.

Here's a list of other things I liked about the Hunger Games series:
- The series are about Katniss put in really intense situations, not about intense situations that happen to have a girl in them. The way that Collins keeps focused on her character is really cool.
- Mockingjay felt less violent than the first two novels--or maybe I was just used to it? I felt like more was going on in Katniss's head instead of in "the arena."
- Throughout the series, Collins keeps bringing on the unexpected and the plot keeps moving really fast.
- They are a good length. A lot of recent YA fiction has become laboriously long. Collins keeps it clippy.
- So much of the story is about Katniss's feelings and what's going on inside her, but it's never dull. She explains herself and her feelings in just small thoughts and sentences at the same time that other things are happening so there's never a dull moment but constant character development.
- I was satisfied with the ending of the series. I like how the story is about how the world changes Katniss more than how she changes the world. I feel like that's pretty realistic.

Although I don't really have a clear opinion on these books, I did think of my answers to a series of questions that kind of describes how I feel about them.

Am I glad I read these books?
Yes. In the words of one of my friends, "I haven't been this gripped by a book since Harry Potter."

Would I read The Hunger Games series again?
Maybe. Certainly captivating, but not exactly the type of book I want to cuddle up with on a rainy day. I will be thinking about them for a lot time though, at least.

Would I recommend them to a friend?
Not sure. We'd have to talk about what they were getting into before they read them. Like I've said before, these books are a little out of character for me and the type of reading I usually like, but branching out was fun.

Would I give them to my kids?
Probably not. I'd want them to be pretty adult and choose to read them on their own. I wouldn't want to endorse the violence.

Do I want to see a movie adaptation?
Certainly not. Reading means that it's only as horrific and graphic as my imagination allows. I wouldn't want to be subject to the filmmakers special effects abilities.

1 comment:

Jen said...

I'm with you on the movie deal. I am more comfortable reading violence than seeing it, because my mushy imagination isn't as horrifying as the silver screen. I enjoyed the books as well as your comments at Segullah.