Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

(I am hiding under a rock and typing this, I’m fairly certain to incur the wrath of the raft of Mockingjay fans out there in the blogisphere, lets hope none of them read this.)

Mockingjay is the third volume in the Hunger Games trilogy.  It has been eagerly awaited by teenagers and readers of young adult fiction and is ‘hot right now’ in New Zealand having only been out since early last month.  I was so excited to get my hands on a copy which one of the darling boys donated to the library after he had knocked it off in a night!  So, with his glowing recommendations and having read a few of the online reviews I was majorly keen to get stuck into it.

I was really disappointed, the book felt disjointed and slightly disconnected from what I remembered from the second book which I’d read earlier this year – see The Book Page – and which I really liked.  Our heroine Katniss Everdeen has been rescued and is rebuilding her strength and mental health after all the trials of the Hunger Games in the two previous books.  She has reconnected with her childhood friend Gale and her family.  She is being nursed back to health within District 13.  The descriptions of 13 are great, the action underground is really gripping, the explorations of new hunting equipment is cool, but I felt that the story faltered with a lot going on but no real threads being bought together until about half way through the book when finally I got hooked in and drawn into the story.

Suzanne Collins is a writer for film by trade and this book almost had the feel of something that would be taking place on a screen rather than a story with all the thinking and breathing parts and the internal stuff going on.  I think for me it was the relationships that weren’t quite right, the characters just didn’t connect with each other anymore.  I thought it was particularly the case with Katniss and her sister and with Gale. I felt that Katniss’s sympathy had been dredged out of her, which I suppose it understandable given the horrific things that have happened to her, but I wanted more of what made her real to me.

There are some great scenes, especially towards the end of the book – the action underground is great, and I was satisfied with the ending but for me this book just didn’t quite hit the mark.  I think the movie of these books which is due out in 2013 is going to be fabulous and I am really looking forward to that.

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