Monday, January 24, 2011

A Book Review: Mockingjay

Title: Mockingjay
Author: Suzanne Collins
Genre: Dystopian (YA)
Length: 398

Quality Rating: 8
Content Rating: PG-13

Read First: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire *

When I was pulling books out of my shelf to write all the reviews I've meant to write since Christmas, I realized I had not written a review of Mockingjay, despite the fact it is the finale of The Hunger Games series, the conclusion to the only book I've ever given a Perfect 10 on this blog. How could I forgot this book? How could I have overlooked it? Well there are two very good reasons for that.
  1. School started, and when school starts all other aspects of my life suffer.
  2. It wasn't amazing.
Not amazing? You might be incredulous at that. How can the finale of The Hunger Games be not amazing? Well, part of it was that The Hunger Games (book one, not the series) was amazing. Nothing could really live up to that. It's sort of like comparing A Wind in the Door to A Wrinkle in Time. A Wind in the Door is good, but after A Wrinkle in Time, it just seems less. However, it was more than just comparing it to a legend that made this finale seem less. The Hunger Games was a very focused book. It was about Katniss and her experience. And that worked. It was amazing. However, since all these books are in first person, it is still just about Katniss in the finale. But somehow it didn't feel like Katniss's perspective could cover the true depth of what was happening. At times, I felt confused. I wasn't sure what was happening, and didn't realize a character had died until pages later. The ending was beautiful and poignant, but somehow this finale was a disappointment. I want finales to be better than the first book. A series should build up to the climax of that last book, in a Battle of Hogwarts scale of epic-ness. Instead sometimes the last book doesn't hit the mark, and a final book can make or break the series. I won't say Mockingjay broke the series and will still highly recommend these books to everyone. However, after The Hunger Games, it was a little disappointing.
Mockingjay gets the same PG-13 rating as the rest of the series for lots and lots of violence. If you could handle the first two books, you can handle this one. Though be prepared for deaths that mean something to you. I'm not just talking random kids in the arena. We're talking Fred Weasley type deaths. People you care about. (But clearly not Fred Weasley, as he died way before the events of The Hunger Games.)

*So I realized that I should include this "Read First" section in my reviews, because it might be hard to tell sometimes when a book isn't the first book in a series. I don't want someone to accidentally pick up Mockingjay and be incredibly confused because they didn't read The Hunger Games. So in future book reviews, I'll include this section that lists the books that should be read before the book we're reviewing. And I'll list them in the order they should be read. I'll also link it to previous reviews. Hopefully this will minimize confusion.

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