I don’t put my life on hold for any book. For Mockingjay, the final installment of Suzanne Collins’ brilliant Hunger Games Trilogy, I’ll make an exception. That is, I cannot live my life until I finish this series! Words cannot express my level of fandom. A transcript of my daily conversations may read like this:
Friend: “The clouds are especially fluffy today.”
Me: “Yes. Yes. It certainly is…READ THE HUNGER GAMES!”
(Friend backs away, terrified).
In the hierarchy of excitement, Mockingjay ranks last. It lacks the sense of urgency and intensity of the first two books, but the stakes are still high and by now the characters are like family; you want things to go well for them, and when things go awry, your heart starts palpitating as if you’re riding an emotional roller coaster to the abyss.
Only a few books can get me this worked up. I spent the better part of my reading time stressed out over Katniss’ fate, particularly with regards to the love triangle. I promise I will not spoil, but let’s just say love triangles are very excruciating for all parties involved, and by that I mean ME. According to the conventions of storytelling, it’s very obvious who Katniss will choose. Throughout Mockingjay I was head cheerleader for Team Mumble Mumble but deep down I felt like Captain Jack Sparrow steering his sinking ship into harbor: it’s a lost cause but I will still keep my head held high. Toward the end, my first reaction to Katniss’ choice was “THIS IS BULLSHIT!” Then “Sigh. Okay. The other guy grew on me and the last scene was so sweet I had to read it three times. Maybe I’ll re-read the series with a new perspective.” I pray this is vague and non-spoiler-y. Of course, Mockingjay is not so much about love triangles as it is about the brutality of war and what it does to those involved. It is also about ZMOG moments. Adhering to the non-spoiler route, I’ll just say that one character crossed over to the dark side and it broke my heart! In short, this book left me an emotional wreck and ruined me for other books.
A brief word on casting. Summer Glau of Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles is my perfect Katniss. She’s already got an impressive list of dystopian film creds and she’s a walking contradiction of pretty/intelligent/athletic/graceful/vulnerable/tough. Chances are she’s too old to play Katniss but if they expect us to swallow Luke Perry as a teen in 90210, Summer as Katniss is not so far-fetched, right?