Sadly, this is going to be a purty short review, since I don’t want to give away any spoilers. But if you’ve already read the book, meet me in the comments section. We’ll talk more about MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins there.
Better Than the First Two? Good golly, yes. Seriously J.K. Rowling could learn a thing or two here about how to wrap up a series without going overlong. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my few quibbles with the second book were so thoroughly resolved, that I felt silly for voicing them in the first place. Collins really puts her love triangle in perspective to what’s happening, and I felt that by the end of the book I understood Katniss even better than she understood herself. Also, if you’re listening to the audiobook, Collin’s author note is worth the extra few minutes. Her inspirational source material for the story made me both gasp and nod my head, because of course that was the inspiration. Why hadn’t I thought of that before?
Writing Lessons Learned
Three books is sometimes better than seven. As a huge fan of Stephen King’s multi-volume DARK TOWER series, I think there might be something to be said for keeping a series limited to three books as opposed to seven — especially when action is involved. I felt fully present for MOCKINGJAY with none of the exhaustion that comes from having spent too long with a story. Also three is a charming number writing-wise. It feels just right, like the author was going somewhere from the start as opposed to trying to find or milk the story over the course of several books. Stephen King is good at taking readers along on his journey to find the story — most other authors are not. I say stick to three books for any given story.
Have a big piece of irony. I think that Collin’s book, as opposed to the HARRY POTTER series, will eventually be taught in schools. I think this because her writing is clean and neat and inspires great discussion questions. I also think this because there is a hugely ironic moment that is pulled off so well, I can see students discussing it in essay questions for years to come. It also reminded me that sometime the most interesting answer to a main story question is “No.”
What Should I Read Next? I, like most other HUNGER GAMES enthusiasts, got very caught up in the series and ended up reading all three books back to back. The only problem with doing something like this is that you feel terrible when it’s done, forlorn, like you’ve lost a best friend. It’s very much like a break up. And much like a break-up, perhaps the best course of action is to have a quick and dirty fling with some other random book that is nothing like the one you just read — in my case a paranormal romance novel . Then after this palate cleanser of sorts, you can go in search of another deep and meaningful book. But I’d be interested to see what other people chose to read after finishing the HUNGER GAMES series. Let me know in the comments.
Click onthe pic to purchase at Amazon.