MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins
My Recommended Age Group: Young Adult to Adult
Released: August 24, 2010
Other work: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire
Conclusions - good or bad? Typically, I hate conclusions. For me, the conclusion to a series either comes in two forms. The first is an odd combination of story elements designed to answer most of the reader's remaining questions about the series. The second type of conclusion that I usually come across is good in and of itself but leaves me feeling depressed because the series is actually over.
MOCKINGJAY was an unfortunate combination of both.
I suppose that in many ways that's a good thing. The series was great and I really didn't want to leave it. I want to continue to follow the characters and see what happens in the world. At the same time, the weirdness level of MOCKINGJAY went a bit beyond the first two books and although it was a fabulous storyline, it did leave me feeling a bit out of whack (kind of like Stephenie Meyer's Breaking Dawn).
The overall message here is probably that MOCKINGJAY was a great conclusion, answered many (but not all) of our questions and left the brain with something to ponder over. It added substance to the series, which isn't always the easiest thing to do three books in, much less at the conclusion of a story.
One of my favorite aspects of MOCKINGJAY, and the series as a whole, was the realistic progression of emotions portrayed by the characters. I'm sure we've all come across a book or series where we say, "Hmmm, okay. Not totally believable but I'll buy it because I like the story." Collins could have easily made this trilogy only ho-hum by not truly investing in her character's emotions. Instead, the time and effort she put into that aspect of the stories really shows. With the trials and tribulations the characters have to face, one automatically assumes that certain emotions and changes in personality will take place. Collins does not disappoint and gives us a fairly realistic picture of what the characters are undergoing mentally. To me, that's what takes this series above and beyond most that I have read.
If you're looking for a book, or series, with fabulous action, emotional sequences, great dialogue and characters to fall in love with, The Hunger Games is definitely worth a try. Blood pounding and gut wrenching, these books leave you breathless and yet desperately searching for more (as my trek across state lines looking for the next book in the series proves).