Monday, September 27, 2010

YA Book Club: MOCKINGJAY

My YA book club met last week (not over margaritas this time-bummer!).
*So Leah's trying to hide, Laura's eyes are closed and Lisa and Scott pretended to be texting outside of the picture. So I'm sorry for the fuzzy picture--some were not cooperating with me. :D

Anyway, we're all HUGE fans of the HUNGER GAMES series and knew we had to read and discuss MOCKINGJAY asap!

So I'm finally going to have the big M discussion!

*SPOILER ALERT*

If you haven't read or finished MOCKINGJAY (and intend to), do not read beyond this point. We all agreed that Suzanne Collins was a BRILLIANT writer and her series is one to be treasured.

We also agreed that the third book was dark (for obvious reasons--they were at war), and that a lot of characters were just... broken. Including Katniss and Peeta.

There were differing opinions about the ending, which makes it a compelling series to read and discuss.

Some thought the ending was perfect and as it should have been. Key points being:

*Katniss was bound to be with Peeta (there was no real triangle).

*Gale was really a secondary character and was taken away a lot in MOCKINGJAY.

*Katniss and Gale were too alike (survivors), and therefore she really needed someone like Peeta.

*Prim's death was climatic, considering the book began with Katniss standing up for her in the games. If Gale died it would have been too "storybook romance".

*The book showed that war was ugly and imperfect and power can go way wrong.

Some opposing views(especially by moi'):

*MOCKINGJAY felt anti-climatic.

* The ending seemed rushed (post Coin's death, which I knew would happen) and tacked on.

*I wanted the ending to be bigger. Maybe one of the main characters needed to die (no I'm not out for blood)--Katniss or Peeta or Gale or Haymitch.

*I didn't care deeply for Prim by the third book (like I did for other characters) and therefore wasn't as moved as I'd hoped to be by her death.

Questions We Posed:

1.What exactly does Panem look like (we consulted the map that went with the book) and if it was so spread out, why weren't there other rebel groups or factions?

2. What about the issue of race in the series? How possible was it that all of those in the post-apocalyptic Seam had gray eyes and olive skin, except the more wealthy (Peeta's family, the mayor) that were blond haired, blue-eyed.

3. Should Katniss have ended up alone?

4. Maybe Katniss should have gotten together with Haymitch since he knew her "so well"--yes we burst out laughing.

5. Why did District 13 resemble the Capital by the end? Did it signify that all those in power are evil (it was depressing)?

5. Will Peeta ever really remember the feelings he had for Katniss (also depressing)?

So there you have it!

Having said all that, I would highly recommend this series and will cherish each one of the books on my shelf. This series is a keeper!

17 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

I'm almost done with Catching Fire, so I didn't actually read this. But I love the picture! You guys are such dorks (but I wish I had such a cool reading group). You Ohio people are so lucky!

Adam Heine said...

Those are interesting opposing views. I don't even disagree with them :-)

My wife and I were totally expecting one point of the triangle to get killed. We both kinda hoped it would be Katniss -- not because we didn't like her, but because she was just too messed up for those boys to be happy with her ;-)

Lisa and Laura said...

I heart book club. That is all.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I know what you mean about Prim. I was always team Gale, but I'm glad how it ended. Maybe because I wasn't so invested in him this time. But then again, I was always on the fence with the guys. Gale won my heart just I have a thing for dark-haired guys. ;)

Peeta was right for her in the end. They were both broken. I could go on, but I won't. ;)

Laura Pauling said...

I agree with all your comments! I did feel MJay was anticlimactic. So, yes, a brilliant writer, wonderful series...but I probably won't read it again.

Theresa Milstein said...

I agree about Prim.

This was the only book where I got to know Gale. And I wasn't impressed.

The part with Prim dying seemed contrived. How Katniss became at the end was disappointing. How could she actually approve the games? There was no Harry Potter Book 7 moment. I was a bit disappointed.

But I did like what they did with Peeta. He like Katniss too much. She needed to earn love.

But their coming together was way too glossed over.

Maddy said...

So jealous that you're part of an active book club! Everytime I've tried to start one up in the past, it never makes it beyond the first book :o/

Meredith said...

Always so sad when a series ends, but I thought this one was well done. I found the end especially depressing, though, and I agree about Prim: I just didn't know her that well in this book, not enough to be so affected by her death. Your book club sounds so fun!

Sandy Shin said...

I've only got MOCKINGJAY this weekend, so I've rolled over the post. But I'll come back to it once I'm done reading! :)

Stephanie Faris said...

You guys all read YA books? You can find other adults who like to read YA? I feel so alone in my love for them!

Melissa said...

oh.... I want a book club. Sigh. I need to move, everyone here sucks. (Not really but when it comes to literature/reading/writing they do, terribly). I know what you mean though, by wanting one of the main characters to die. I felt that way too. And it ISN't cause I'm crazy. It's because it's a war and you can't expect every one to make it through all that time with all that bloodshed.

I never liked Prim so I didn't really care. ANd I did feel it was anticlimatic. The first is my favorite and, unfortunately, I don't feel like the other two lived up to it.

Pamela said...

It took everything I had in me to scroll to the bottom of your post to comment. I'm coming into the homestretch. I'm trying to read it slowly and savor every sentence. Every word. I'll be back once I finish! I just started part three and when Peeta stepped off the train, my jaw dropped to the floor!

JEM said...

I love your points! I feel the same way as you about everything. I have nothing to add, which makes me sad. And apparently rhyming.

Lourie said...

Next time don't let them know you are going to take the picture. Just sneak up on them ;) haha.

Jen Daiker said...

I skipped everything once you mentioned spoilers. I really need to pick them up and start reading, but my TBR pile seems to be uncontrollable!!

Love the picture though! I want a fun book club, crit group, writers face to face *googling now*

Little Ms J said...

I think Prim's death was smart (starting with Katniss taking her place, ending with her death), but I also think that the characters weren't as important to me in MJ. I was a little disappointed in the ending, but I couldn't put my finger on why. I knew Gale was out of the pic when he started getting all vengeful. I also knew they needed to be broken. I just can't get why I don't like it.....

Oh well.

Pamela said...

I just finished....

I have to first say that by the time I go to chapter 25 where it leads off "Real or Not Real"... I kept thinking that eventually, "Not Real" would make an appearance and things would take a turn. But that never happened.

I kept thinking Gale would turn on Katniss and it would end up that he was in on "it" all along...

I agree that one of the main characters should have died, everyone else died. My bet was on Katniss, whom I adore, but still. It would have made sense.

However, in the end, I'm thoroughly satisfied. Overfilled even. Rushed? Absolutely. The final book could have went on and on and I wouldn't have minded. I loved this series and will encourage my kids to read them!

I look forward to the movies, although, it'll probably be all wrong....