Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mockingjay | by: Suzanne Collins

This review, despite the hype behind the book, contains no spoilers, but perhaps a few slight ones from the previous books of the trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire) will. (This is so difficult to write about without spoiling, and I don't like the way it sounds, so anyone who didn't want spoilers better be happy even though it's written in an odd way!)

Sparks have turned into flames. Katniss Everdeen and her fellow tribute, Peeta, have been the face of a rebellion against the Capitol. Now, the rebels are gaining power, and Katniss is beginning to accept her role. Emotions tear at her constantly with this new turn in events, despite her strength, because she's human. But she is also the Mockingjay, the face of hope in the revolution.

Thank you so much for this spectacular reading experience, Suzanne Collins.

Suzanne Collins has created a masterpiece, yet again. But I must say, that sometimes I am angry with her. The revolution was not peaceful because it's a revolution. Tragic things happen because that's the way life is. So why am I angry? Because I cared way too much, and it's all Suzanne's fault, with her beautiful writing and fearlessness in creating the plot, and those characters! Katniss, Finnick, Peeta, Gale, Prim, Haymitch. How was I supposed to not love them?

Of course, her writing is immaculate all through Mockingjay, and the plot remained just as action packed as the other two novels. But Katniss has so many emotions in this one, and all were displayed clearly. I felt everything she did. Fear, sorrow, worry, love. Reading this book almost hurt, because I hurt when Katniss hurt. She is a strong heroine and always will be, and I don't believe that she broke in this novel, as other reviews I read mentioned.

One character that was introduced in Catching Fire I never liked until reading Mockingjay: Finnick. Behind what you originally see in him lies so much that it broke my heart. I loved him, and I loved seeing his relationship with Annie. That's all I'm going to say about him, but the bottom line is that he's so... great. And everything that Peeta had to go through made me feel horrible, as it did Katniss.

I'm happy with the ending. I just wish that it wasn't so shadowed by everything that happened in the past, all of the depressing moods and thoughts from two pages before the epilogue were still piercing my heart. (Why did so many have to die?) I didn't want this long-awaited happy ending spoiled by the horrific events that took place. However, I am overjoyed that she and *I'm not going to spoil it* end up having a beautiful life together. I always suspected that in the end, she would be with him, but I also loved the other character that she could've loved. Well, until he made me very angry at the end. Well, she picked my favorite, so I'm ecstatic. Obviously, Katniss' love interests are not the main focus of the novel, but I have to admit that I've been itching to see how this ends. Want to know exactly why I'm happy with this character? Read the novel. You will not regret it.

The last few pages of the novel, I bawled. Many tissues were needed. It ended up being so happy and sad all at the same time, and I couldn't take it. It was too much for my emotional equilibrium to stay stable. Never have I cried so much over a book, with the only exception of Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. That book and Mockingjay made me a completely insane, crying mess. But I guess Mockingjay had the strongest effect, since I cried even though my dad was in the room (thinking that his daughter has lost it), and I basically cried myself to sleep. Had nightmares about only the sad parts, only that the book was just ended with those, no happiness. I'm even losing control of my tears as I write this.

Although I already thought about this in the past, Mockingjay helped me decide that I can't see the film adaptations of this trilogy. It means too much to me. Even if one thing isn't the way I imagined it, it could be ruined. This is the first time I read a book without wanting to see the movie. I need my personal vision of it, and nothing else.

I will give Mockingjay the same rating that I've given all of The Hunger Games books, despite that each individual book is so important to me, made me realize so much, and feel so much raw emotion. All are worthy of infinate stars.

5/5 Stars

Collins, Suzanne. Mockingjay
New York: Scholastic Press

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Catching Fire | by: Suzanne Collins

I fell into a deep infatuation with Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games at the end of last summer, and have been craving Catching Fire ever since!

Katniss has survived the Hunger Games along with Peeta, so anyone would assume that the nightmare of her life is over. But just as she begins the required tour to all of the districts in honor of winning the Games, she discovers that since both she and Peeta survived the Hunger Games, the Capitol is angry. For they have started a rebellion against it, without even realizing it. And the only way to prove their innocence in sparking it is to deny the rightness in what could finally overthrow the dictatorship of the Capitol.

Suzanne Collins really knows how to write a sequal. Wow.

If you're going to sit on the couch for hours reading Catching Fire, don't worry about leading a sedentary lifestyle, because this book will give you a cardiovascular workout. I had to stop reading for a couple of minutes, because I thought my heart was going to beat itself out of my chest. I'm not so sure if this is because of the twists and turns embedded througout the plot, or the consistent high-level action. Either way, I was totally blown away.

Catching Fire has the same great qualities as the first of the tirology, The Hunger Games. The writing is still superior and urgent, though maybe the sentences were too choppy for my comfort at times (probably to stress such urgency, so I'm greatful that this has a purpose), and Katniss is still a marvelous character. She's so strong and selfless that she puts today's typical sense of humanity to shame. And then there's Peeta... oh, the ever-loving and caring Peeta...

Speaking of which, despite the centeral focus of this novel is the action and revolution, we still have hints of a love triangle between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta. Just hints. It's not like a Edward-Bella-Jacob type of thing. Part of Katniss' problem is that she loves them both to death, but not in a particularly romantic way. If anything, it's the way we as humans should all love each other. Honestly, I love both Gale and Peeta. A lot of times I favor Peeta, but whenever I read about Gale, I understand why Katniss will never stop caring about him. Then again, I find it hard to believe Katniss will ever stop caring about anybody: Her mother, Prim, Gale, Peeta, Haymitch, District 12. Despite she is protective and a strong hunter, Katniss, the greatest heroine I've ever read about, loves with all of her being.

Still, the Capitol, that wretched disgrace of a government, stunned me the most. What they do is unbelievable. Punishments are torturous, food is scarce, and the president is the core of it all. He, okay the whole government, is cruel in every extent. Do any of them care? No. I was in awe the entire time. I was teary-eyed because of this, and I am now giving endless thanks that my country isn't run like this. That my government isn't so brutal.

Throughout this compelling read, I was a complete mess because I didn't want to leave this book alone for a minute. This trilogy is an addiction like no other, heed the warning. I can never stop thinking about it! Catching Fire is the perfect sequal to The Hunger Games, and I can't wait to see what happens next in Mockingjay!

5/5 Stars

Collins, Suzanne. Catching Fire
New York: Scholastic Press