Monday, August 30, 2010

spoiler alert!

I finished reading Mockingjay last night.

[I'd like to preface the this post with this rant.]

I think I was looking for something other than what these books turned out to be. I was looking for an adventure story and, while there was plenty of adventure along the way, in the end it was more about who Katniss ended up with than what happened to the people she was fighting for. It was almost like reading Twilight dressed up and sold as Harry Potter. If it weren't for all the dying going on I'd feel cheated.

Or maybe I just hoped too hard and tricked myself into thinking that the Hunger Games wouldn't be another girl-loves-guy-but-then-this-other-guy-comes-along-and-it-takes-three-books-for-her-to-really-decide series. I was hoping the love story would end up as an incidental aspect of the plot, not the ending point of the final book.

[End rant.]

Despite this particular setback, it's obvious that I had to enjoy this series to have made it to the last book and read it in a matter of days (as much as I love reading, I'm really slow at it).

I feel like most 'real' sci-fi authors use a dystopian setting as social commentary -- which can be annoying. However, Suzanne Collins manages to create a post-apocalyptic world whose commentary is more subtle than overbearing.

I was always surprised by the deaths of certain characters -- characters you'd think the author would keep alive for the sake of continuity. Like Cinna for example. Or Finnick, you feel like he should've made it out alive to share in the triumph over the Capitol. These unexpected deaths add a sense of reality to the series.

If it's not too morbid of me to say so, the constant death is what makes these books meaningful and sets them apart from other young adult fiction (that I've read anyway).

But I feel like the author should've played up the death aspect even more. I always love it when books explore the nature of death (HP7 did a great job of that). I would've loved for the author to develop some kind of philosophy around death instead of leaving it an incidental although integral part of the story.

I think there are few books that I read and like that I would recommend to just anyone -- but The Hunger Games series just might have something for everyone.

Update 5/19/2011: Looking back, I think there are fewer people I would recommend this to due to how the series ended.


  1. i just finished mockingjay. i agree with everything you said about the series in general. catching fire is still my favorite out of the three and although i cried through the last chapter of mockingjay (i am a girl okay) it's left me feeling empty and confused. i think i just expected more out of it. overall a great series though and definitely finds it's place being better than twilight but never will come close to HP.

  2. Myke, you always have this way of making me think of things a little bit differently. I found myself arguing and agreeing as I read your post. But then when I would think about things you've said I would make me see things more in your perspective. To give you a little info, I read all 3 books in 6 days, finishing MockingJay today... with that being said, I feel like I didn't have as many expectations as those of you that may have waited a year to read this book. For example, when I finished my mom goes didn't you think this, and I was like ummmm nope not at all, I've heard so many negative comments about the third book not being what people expected, but in all honesty, it was a blood bathe with twist and turns, not knowing who to trust and at the end she had to choose between two lovers, although, I can't say I'm surprised with her choice and I kind of like the way that the author led into it.
    Overall I think the author did a good job at keeping me on my toes and really showed how blessed we are to have our freedom. And I totally agree with you, it has a little bit of fun for all sorts of readers :)