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Mockingjay: 06/09/19

Mockingjay

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins reminds me of the day I went out to lunch with some friends. At the time we were all relatively new book bloggers and all of them (save for me) were diehard YA fans. I was still relatively new to the concept of there being an entire industry just for publishing to teens (I am just old enough that YA wasn't the thing it is now when I was a teen).

Earlier in the week the last of the Hunger Games books had come out and they had all read through it and were fired up to talk about it as we waited in line. Meanwhile, I had just purchased The Hunger Games because it was on sale and everyone was still talking about it. In the course of the day I ended up hearing the entire plot of the trilogy hotly debated.

Nine years later, when I finally have gotten around to finishing the series, I can say that nothing really came a surprise. However, even if I hadn't overheard the plot, I still wouldn't have been surprised. Even about who dies and who gets turned.

The central tenant to this series has been how advertising and public image are the corner stones of propaganda. It's set against a dystopian society, built on the remnants of the United States. Here we see that even when Katniss is working for the rebels, she is still put through the same high fashion treatment — having to still star in propaganda pieces. Image is everything.

Like so many dystopian stories, the trilogy suffers from problems of scale. Despite Katniss traveling from district to district, there's never a good sense of how big each district is. When speaking of them in the abstract, they seem huge. When traveling through them, they are small enough to fit the needs of the plot.

Looking back at the experience of reading the trilogy, I'm glad that I took the time to at least know what it's about. Did I ever get caught up in the excitement of the thing like so many readers did? No.

Three stars

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