Monday, August 23, 2010

Ten Reasons Why I Could Wait to Read Mockingjay

Mockingjay, Schmockingjay.  Though I'm going to be forced to read the third book in Suzanne Collins' trilogy before the end of the month (my book group selected it as their book for early September discussion... I was overruled, or maybe I just gave in, I don't remember which) there are several reasons, ten in fact, that I was planning to wait until December-ish to read it.  I thought I'd share those with you today in anticipation of the release tomorrow.  Oh, and don't forget to check out the links below the post for some fun Mockingjay stuff.  These are the reasons I could wait, but I realize that you're not me, and I'm not trying to push these off as universal by any means:

1) I didn't ♥ THE HUNGER GAMES.  In fact, if you'll recall, I gave it a No Love rating citing that it was predictable, mathematically incorrect, and unoriginal.  So I wasn't excited for its sequels.  In fact, I'm sure I would have skipped CF if my friend hadn't insisted that I read it.

2) I didn't adore CATCHING FIRE.  Though I liked it a lot more than I liked THG, I was frustrated with characters' stupidity, it was still predictable, and the writing wasn't all that great.

3) A story in which the major conflict is whether or not the main character will die should not be told in first person.  That's a spoiler.

4)  The characters don't grab or engage me.  While Katniss is growing on me as a character, I hate whiny Peeta, and I feel like Gale is horribly underdeveloped.  I can't relate to them at all, and the sad part is that because of some personal experiences, I should be able to.  I've been accused of just not getting it, and that might be true.

5) My track record with ♥ing dystopian-themed books is abysmal.  I always think they're implausible and can't wrap my head around the reasons that the author says that society will devolve into whatever manic chaos they've depicted. This one especially.

6) I don't think these books deserve all of the attention they're getting.  Similar to the always-compared Twilight series, the reason these are popular is because of the passion behind the story, not its concrete plot, amazing characters, or stellar writing.  There are probably fifty series I'd recommend over this one.

7) My personality reads into this one a lot.  After discovering Twilight shortly after the first book came out, I couldn't wait until the next two arrived.  Breaking Dawn?  Sure.  I preordered it.  But it took me months to finish it.  Why?  HYPE.  THG as a series is over-hyped and after being so disappointed in book #1, I'm just waiting for it to let me down.

8) Let's face it.  To have a relevant outlook on YA today, you are forced to know about and read this series. If you don't, you're going to lose a very special relationship tool with everyone who reads YA.  I don't like feeling obligated to do/read something that I know going into I'm most likely not going to like.  That's what MJ is for me.

9) #FillionforHaymitch.  It's not gonna happen.  He ignored our pleas. So my heart hurts.  Nathan Fillion in the movie, playing Haymitch, may have been the only redemption for these books for me.  And that's sad.  *sigh*  (#FillionforHaymitch was a hashtag campaign that some of us launched on Twitter... he never even acknowledged us :o( )

10) If I waited to read it until December, I might have talked someone into telling me what happened instead of having to read the book.  Oh well.  Now I get to go to book group and sit on my side of the table while everyone else sits on the other side and I try to hold my ground.

So, those, my friends, are the ten reasons I could wait to read MOCKINGJAY.  But because I promised my copy to a friend as soon as it comes out, I will be forced to read it as soon as I get it, and then take it to her.  Oh the horrors.

For the record, I could probably point out 9 good things about THG series too, including the fact that they're reaching reluctant readers, they bring books into the news, they are a cautionary tale for those of us living in North America, the series makes a great family gift (which I have gifted a couple of times), and that they do have a great love triangle.(Team Gale! Peeta made the list of guys I wouldn't want my daughter to date)  But those things are just not enough to compel me to want to read it as soon as it launches - have to or not.

Update:  For those of you who just can't wait for tomorrow, here's a clip of Suzanne Collins reading the first chapter of MJ, just released by Scholastic today, and let me just say, as a hardcore Team Gale girl, I can only hope that the last part of this chapter is true!

Suzanne Collins pleads with fans to not spoil the third book.
Meet Suzanne tonight at the Books of Wonder launch party in NY.
Scholastic responds to Mockingjay Leak.
A Mockingjay Glossary.
Our Review of The Hunger Games
Our Review of Catching Fire
Me Reading The Hunger Games right next to North America's tallest waterfall.


Book Crazy Jenn said...

This is GREAT! I have not read any of them yet - partly, maybe because of the hype...I dont know, but right now the universe is spinning around them...AHHH I guess I will, sooner or later...

Anonymous said...

It may be in first person, but it's present tense-so anything could happen. She could still die.

I Heart Monster said...

@Anonymous - true... but what is the likelihood of that happening? It's still a spoiler. Who would take over as narrator? Would it switch to third-person omniscient? blah.

Anonymous said...

HeHe - you make some good points! I was excited for Mockingjay, but there's been so much *Peeta Hype* over the last few days that - to be completely honest - as another hardcore Team Gale supporter, I am not interested in finding out what happens if 99.99% of the world thinks Katniss is going to end up with Peeta, because can that many people be wrong??! :o I'm so fed up with Peeta, I feel like I've read the story already. I almost want to read that Goodreads spoiler to find out whether she picks Peeta or not, so I know whether the book will piss me off with more Peeta Peeta Peeta *bangs head on desk* ... am I the only one who thinks that Katniss would know by now whether she loves the guy or not?? She's been faking a relationship with him for months. I just feel that if she picks him, Gale might as well not have been written into the story because - like you said - he was majorly underdeveloped and just never stood a chance.

Erica said...

I love this post! I was not crazy about The Hunger Games - I hated Katniss and the writing. I liked CF a lot more, and while I will read Mockingjay - I'm not super excited about it. I was not crazy about the first chapter ending - Peeta was the part of the books that kept me reading.

Catherine (On The Nightstand) said...

3) A story in which the major conflict is whether or not the main character will die should not be told in first person. That's a spoiler.

Except in all the cases I and others have read where the main character does die during the middle of their narration? Middle of their sentence, even? Unlikely to happen, true, but not an impossibility. The story the narration tells is what makes it believable or not the MC dies - nothing I've read really suggests that will happen this time. The first person present is the least of my concerns when it comes to Katniss's fate in Mockingjay.

Khy said...

Yay I'm not the only one! Neither of these books dazzled me in any way and I'm a bit tired of hearing so much about them. Though I do get a good laugh when I see people freaking out when others get Mockingjay early.

Lawral the Librarian said...

Thank you for calling Peeta whiney! I've gotten some nasty looks, and even a bit of name calling, for calling him that myself.

I Heart Monster said...

@Catherine - I think since the major conflict all through the book is whether or not she'll die, and the fact that there are multiple books in the series, makes first person a poor choice. It was a spoiler for me. And note that I didn't say can't be written in first person. I said shouldn't be. :o) I've heard Collins quoted both as saying that she envisioned THG as a standalone and that she envisioned it as a series. If it were a stand alone, I'd not have as big of a problem with it.

@Erica - Oh No! We're at opposite ends of the Gale/Peeta debate!

@Khy - I wish I had gotten it early if only so that I wouldn't have to read it in such a time crunch, but yeah. It's pretty funny.

@Lawral - Hey, no prob. I've gotten the same looks and name calling, so we're good :o)

Lauren said...

I read this post with total fascination, since this trilogy is my absolute favourite series of books EVER. In a way, knowing that not everyone adores it makes me feel a little less predictable, which is good.

I guess I agree with you about the first person thing. Although it's possible Katniss could die and her story be picked up by another character / the book could end with her death, it's just so unlikely that you always feel 'safe' in that sense.

Beth F said...

This post just made me laugh. You go!