Friday, September 3, 2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Okay, I so I pre-ordered Mockingjay from Scholastic back in April. I could not wait to read it! Not only should I have pre-ordered it from Amazon instead, but I don't know if it was really worth pre-ordering!

Don't get me wrong... I absolutely LOVED The Hunger Games. I read that book and was absolutely amazed at the writing and how vivid it was. I felt like I was there with Katniss and experienced so much emotion as she entered the games. I think I read the book in record speed and could not wait to get my hands on Catching Fire.

When I started reading Catching Fire, maybe a few days had passed after finishing The Hunger Games. I was a little disappointed at how The Hunger Games ended with such an incredible ending that made you HAVE to read more, and then Catching Fire picked up and basically ignored the WOW ending of The Hunger Games.

I eventually found myself even more perplexed by Catching Fire and I was hooked yet again! I had started to love Catching Fire even more than The Hunger Games and when it ended I literally said, "OMG!!!" and couldn't wait for Mockingjay to come out in August.

So the decision to pre-order was a no-brainer. I got a nifty little Mockingjay pin (like the one Katniss wears in the book) and I was pleased that I could use my bonus points to pre-order it, AND it would be sent to my house instead of to my school. All seemed like a good deal until the 24th came and I still didn't have my book. Friends that pre-ordered through Amazon had theirs and were already reading the book before I had mine. I was very disappointed with Scholastic.

Never-the-less, my book finally arrived and I was able to dive right in. It was tough trying to read while having Gus (three months old), but I managed to give up some of my smut tv and DVR for some reading time.

My disappointment comes from being so anxious to read Mockingjay and find out what happened to all my favorite characters, only to have it start like Catching Fire. I don't, for the life of me, know why Suzanne Collins didn't pick up where Catching Fire left off. Once again, we fast-forwarded and then had to work backward with some retelling of what happened, instead of leading us through the action from the point that Catching Fire ended.

So that's my first issue with the book. My second BIG issue is that it was so violent. I'm okay with the mature content of the first two books, but this book was over the top with violence, gore, and unnecessary grossness. I was unhappy about that because I know there are kids in fifth and sixth grade that will be reading this, and unfortunately, if I had to give it a rating, I'd say PG-13.

The third issue I have is that I honestly didn't like the plot of this book. It was up and down and I just didn't like some of the things that happened-- it had already been done in the first or second book and I wanted to see something new, but instead it was more of the same, without even a twist. I also HATED how Peeta's character was changed through this last book.

Everyone used the "Team Gale or Team Peeta" slogan through the first and second books and it worked. In this book... it was just a sham. I have been Team Peeta all along, but I felt robbed of the fun that I experienced in the first two books. The relationships that Suzanne Collins worked so hard to establish in the first two books were basically ignored in this book. I felt like some really good things could have happened but didn't, and then there's the ending.

The ending of this book was horrible. Just absolutely 100% horrible. It just didn't have any zing left to it and it honestly felt like Suzanne Collins got sick of writing and just ended it. It reminded me of how my fourth graders would write these awesome beginnings, pretty interesting middles and then their stories would just immediately end. Except, Suzanne Collins writes a prologue that I think she wrote to try to please readers, but it fell SOOOO short.

I'd give this book three out of five frogs. It lacked a lot and didn't live up to the hype. It's sad that the first two books led readers on a wonderful adventure and made you hope for something amazing to happen and then you were just dropped off in the middle of no where in the third book. Very disappointing.

This book is not for anyone under 13 in my opinion. Parents, you better read it first if you're going to let your child read it. I know I said this about the first book... but I think the first book had some things that parents could talk to their kids about and it'd make for some great parent-child dialogue about war, and injustice. This one... just doesn't do that. It's a lot of extra violence thrown in for no reason.

Hoppy reading!