Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins - Tragic, Captivating, Exceptional

“Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true. Here is the place where I love you."

When I started the Hunger Games series last year I was hesitant to say the least. When I read the synopsis it scared me. I don't like gratuitous violence and too dark of images can sometimes overtake me and I spend my nights dreaming and fretting over what I'm reading. Elie Weisel's Night gave me nightmares for weeks during my Holocaust Literature class in college. When I was in a creative writing course my sophomore year of college, Stephen King's Nightshift had me a wreck for days. I was tempted several times to put Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay in the freezer (Right Pinky?).

I must say no matter how many times I shuddered and cringed at the words on the pages from Suzanne Collins, I was glad to have been given the chance to read them. Collins creates a terrifying world full of hate and blood, but also self-reliance, hope, and passion. You hurt so much for Katniss through all three books. I'll try not to spoil anything for those of you still reading, but in the beginning you are torn between feeling total anger and hatred for the Capitol, fear for Katniss, sorry for Peeta and Gale, to wanting to throttle them both, then you want to throttle Katniss and Haymitch, and then you are back to fretting and wavering between teams. I started out as Team Katnip. :) For the longest time... I still remain on her side.

There are a few scenes in Mockingjay that are difficult to swallow. Being also on Team Cinna, Team Haymitch, Team Gale, Teem Peeta, Team Finnick, and Team Buttercup strongly through the books, my heart was torn up several times through out. In the end, you want nothing more than to hold each of them and give them everything. Suzanne had difficult choices to make and I am proud of her for not taking the "failboat" approach and HEAing this entire story. It would not have done them justice. This quote: "At the moment, the choice would be simple. I can survive just fine without either of them" by our young heroine Katniss Everdeen made my heart swell. We all want the Happily, Happily for our darlings... every heroine who has stood beneath the tree pledging to never go hungry deserves her cake and to eat it yes?

Katniss is no hero because of her happily ever after with the perfect boy, the hunter or the baker. She is our hero because she finds herself in ruins and brushes herself off with some help from Madge and Haymitch and others, but her growth, her strength, her completeness within herself, that is where we find our hero. Her heartbreak is numerous and unbearable, but she rises again and again.

She is Katniss Everdeen, she is 16 years old, she is a tribute in the Hunger Games.
She is our hero.

We have several characters, while they are not main characters, protagonists, or heroes, they pull at your heartstrings over and over. This one scene resonated with me and nearly had me in tears: "It's meant to be pretty," whispers Octavia, and I can see the tears threatening to spill over her lashes.
Posy considers this and says matter-of-factly, "I think you'd be pretty in any color."
The tiniest of smiles forms on Octavia's lips. "Thank you."

Through these books you find yourself falling in love and having your heart broken repeatedly, yet you keep reading. You are captivated and held captive by the words that spear your heart over and over. If you are like me, you find yourself in tears in an Olive Garden then get into a rousing book debate with your friend who made you finish at the table and a waitress. It grabs everyone who reads it by the throat and the heart and does not let go til the end. I only wish that Collins had given us more in the end. I know it was sweet and to-the-point, but I so wished we could've been given more. I can't say what without spoiling it, but when you finish reading Mockingjay, you'll know what I'm talking about.

As the cliche says, "It's better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all." This rings so true within the bloody, battle-worn pages of Hunger Games, it pushes you to the limits through the flames of Catching Fire, and burns like embers along the wings of Mockingjay.

Below are just some of the fan art
that I couldn't fit in that I found while
I was looking for the above quotes.
I couldn't leave them out. These people are so talented!

This is the teaser trailer for the Hunger Games movie that Suzanne Collins is thank goodness writing the screenplay for and is being funded by Lionsgate. If you've not read the first book, do not click. Warning it is graphic and it will break your heart.

1 comment:

  1. You gave me chills while reading this review!!!
    Well done!!
    I love these books :D