Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
Mockingjay - Collins Suzanne Had I reviewed Suzanne Collins' Mockingjay when I first read it, I'd probably have given it four, if not five, stars. However, having had more time to process the book (and having discussed it with my daughter, who's firmly ensconced in the intended age range for readers, I've come to the conclusion that I was very meh on the book.By Mockingjay, we as readers are completely involved in the lives of Katniss, Peeta, and Gale. We know from reading about the series that Mockingjay was going to be the end of the series. We'd hopefully know who Katniss would choose: Peeta or Gale. We'd know what would happen to the obscene government, the characters we'd met and fallen in love with (or hate with, as the case may be) in the past two novels ... we'd have answers.Collins delivers on all of the above, as promised, but it's the execution that falls short. Katniss has become the symbolic leader of a rebellion against the government after her rescue, and now must help them, even if they want her in name only, to overthrow President Snow. Katniss soon discovers she's not the kind of girl who can just show up for the cameras, and throws herself into the fight, but Collins throws in a brainwashed Peeta (programmed to kill Kaniss), a cardboard-flat Gale (whose caricature here really leaves Katniss no choice at all unless she wants this lifeless character we can't really recognize), several completely senseless deaths designed to shock and sadden the reader, and a healthy dose of really detailed violence.While the initial rebellion is paced well, the last quarter of the book or so moves far too fast to tie up the loose ends, and you sense that the book could have been one (if not more) books long to fully tell the story. When even my 11-year-old said "the book was kind of slow, and then at the end, it went way too fast," you know there are pacing issues. I'd love to have seen what Mockingjay might have been had Collins allowed it to go past the third book and really delve into the last part of the story. As it is, both the mama and the kid here were let down by a really good book we'd expected to be magnificent after the other two.

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