Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (NO SPOILERS!)

This novel...

THIS. NOVEL.

Is…epic.

It’s epic in the way that makes you feel different, like you’ve aged, and tired, like you’ve trekked down a single road with no end in sight, and accomplished, like it’s made a ripple in you, affected you in some way. It makes you feel.

I came out of it not exactly crying, but kind of heaving a bit. The urge to cry was there, though. I just couldn’t make any tears come about. It hit me in a way that’s never happened before, like a huge emotional blow but not hugely emotional.

In The Hunger Games, Mrs. Collins creates a world we’re all captivated by, populated with characters we either love or hate, it doesn’t matter, so long as it’s clear that we clearly care.

In Catching Fire, she keeps us on our toes, pulls the rug from under us, and ends in a high note.

In Mockingjay, she recreates that world. She gives us more access to it. She spares no gruesome detail, makes not one thing neat, cuts no corners. She reshapes the characters, making them deeper and messier and more human. She breaks our heart, tugs at the strings of our imagination, makes it impossible for this world to not come alive.

She’s pushed the boundaries yet again here, and I am sure this will be hailed as one of the best series YA has to offer.

Mockingjay feels different from the other two. I’m immensely pleased with it, and yet it was not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting something a little more…straightforward. Not that the previous two are straightforward in a linear way (not so), but they’re usually more earnest. This one’s careful, calculating. More mature in a way. Nothing’s light, nothing is inconsequential.

It also demanded my attention in a different way. I wasn’t reading for the action in and of itself, although that’s always a great motivator and there was plenty of that; I was reading because it was impossible not to. As I said on my Twitter, I love this, but not in a squealy and fangirly way. In a deeper way.

I’m not sure if I’ve said anything here, anything that entices anyone to read, as if there are many people at least in the blogging community who haven’t read it yet, but…there’s really not much to say. It’s useless trying to sell someone this book with an enticing summary because if you’ve come this far in the series, you’ll want to know what happens, and if you haven’t, you really should.

It is a GREAT read. It is a MONUMENTAL read. This is an example of how a novel can have a great ending without selling out, or making things too bright, or being stale to not cause waves. It’s an incredible example of an author whose imagination and whose work exceed her grasp. Who creates something so…wondrous.

Really, I’m in awe. This is a fucking powerful piece of work. Unexpected, breathtaking, hilarious, heart-wrenching, all the while graceful. Sometimes you get lucky to come across something like this.

Well, well, VERY well done, Mrs. Collins. And thank you, for a time well-spent, in a world I will be sure to revisit and, as much as I want to keep it to myself, will end up giving one-way tickets to, to anyone I can get to. Once in...never out. ;)

A. Easy. Five stars. 10 out of 10.

Scholastic | 400 pages | August 24th, 2010 | GoodReads | IndieBound | Amazon

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully written, and I totally agree!!

Anonymous said...

This series is one of the greatest works of literary achievement in the history of mankind. HANDS DOWN. And probably *THE* #1 best young adult series EVER, Harry Potter being the #1 CHILDREN's series. OH MY FUCKING GOD. WOAH WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!! DOES THIS BOOK BLOW ME AWAY! THIS SERIES! SUZANNE COLLINS!!! And I never type like that or say that about a book. *WOW* HOLY SHIT.

Lori said...

I completely agree! It wasn't what I was expecting at all but it played out flawlessly. Great review!

Amy said...

Totally agree. Not what I was expecting, so much better.

Simply_Megan said...

I don't have to book yet but I CANNOT wait to read it. I know I'm going to cry but I don't care. Steph, you've made me even more impatient. I think I'm buying it tomorrow so it's cool. I want to read THG and CF again first but idk if I can with IT sitting right next to me. We'll see what happens.

Alexa Young said...

I just finished part one last night...moving on to part two now. But you are so right. This is a series like no other. It's breathtaking and almost seems to have more layers than life itself. I feel like I'm fifteen and reading LORD OF THE FLIES again...but it resonates on levels that one never did for me.

Lenore said...

I think I might have overhyped it a bit to myself. I really did enjoy it, but it was not without its' flaws. My review is up now, if you're interested.

Anonymous said...

I respectfully disagree. This series isn't worthy of all that hype. When reading it I feel some déjà vu and it's predictable. Nice review though.

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