Tuesday, November 16, 2010


8,889 / 50,000 words

I get it now.

The Hunger Games: Book 1Back at the end of summer there was all this hype, particularly on YA writer blogs, about Mockingjay coming out.  At the time I'd never heard of it.  I knew it was a YA dystopia triology so I requested the first book, Hunger Games, from the local library and waited for it to become available.  

I liked Hunger Games -- it was great.  Well done, and if I ever taught it I think that it would make for a fascinating discussion about the role of reality television in our lives as well as in the novel and how people behave on reality television not just the behavior of watching it.  But when I was done, I didn't feel the need to rush out and get Catching Fire, the second book.

So, a couple weeks ago, Catching Fire shows up as my library request and I go and pick it up.  It sits on my stack of books for a while.  I'm hesitant to read it because -- spoiler alert -- I'd read a blurb for Mockingjay and I knew that Katniss goes back into the Hunger Games for a second time.  I was like really?  Really? You're gonna do that twice?  Isn't that like ... writing the same novel again?  But I finally read it and yes, Katniss goes back into the Hunger Games arena, but the circumstances are different enough from the first trip that it's really intriguing and does feel like "the same novel as last time."

So I started reading Catching Fire at 10:00 PM on Saturday and I finished it at 6:30 AM.  But hey, it was a Saturday and I could do that.  Except now I really wanted to get my hands on Mockingjay.  Really, really, REALLY wanted to get my hands on it.

That's when I got it, when I finally understood all the hype around the release of the third book.

So -- no longer willing to wait on the library for a copy -- I called my friend who'd offered to loan me the trilogy and got Mockingjay from her that very afternoon.  I started reading at 6:00 PM on Sunday and finished at 3:30 AM.  Which I really shouldn't have done because it was a Sunday and I had stuff I should have been doing.

Oh and I pretty much bawled my eyes out from 1:00 until 3:00 AM.  Sheesh.  And for the whole next day I could make myself cry just thinking about it.  Yeah.  Damn.  I was invested.

Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games)But the thought that still nags at me is the epilog of Mockingjay -- and I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying this -- where Suzanne Collins focuses on the notion of "how will we ever tell our children about what we did and the way the world was?"  The scary feeling in that sentiment is that the children are somehow being intentionally kept oblivious of the way the world used to be.  Maybe I'm the only one to get that feeling.  Maybe it's in question only because of the relatively young age of the "future generation" at the time of the statement.  

It's almost like the question of the first book is "What are we willing to do to survive?" the second "What can we do to change the world?" and the third is "How can we live with what we've done?"  Considering how much time Katniss spends passed out, sedated, hiding, etc., it's reasonable to say that she spends the bulk of the third novel's timeline attempting to cope.  So maybe then it's not so odd that the epilog is "How can we ever tell our children?"

Highly Recommended