It’s epic in the way that makes you feel different, like you’ve aged, and ti...moreCopied from my blog review, located here.
It’s epic in the way that makes you feel different, like you’ve aged, and tired, like you’ve trekked down a single road with no end in sight, and accomplished, like it’s made a ripple in you, affected you in some way. It makes you feel.
I came out of it not exactly crying, but kind of heaving a bit. The urge to cry was there, though. I just couldn’t make any tears come about. It hit me in a way that’s never happened before, like a huge emotional blow but not hugely emotional.
In The Hunger Games, Mrs. Collins creates a world we’re all captivated by, populated with characters we either love or hate, it doesn’t matter, so long as it’s clear that we clearly care.
In Catching Fire, she keeps us on our toes, pulls the rug from under us, and ends in a high note.
In Mockingjay, she recreates that world. She gives us more access to it. She spares no gruesome detail, makes not one thing neat, cuts no corners. She reshapes the characters, making them deeper and messier and more human. She breaks our heart, tugs at the strings of our imagination, makes it impossible for this world to not come alive.
She’s pushed the boundaries yet again here, and I am sure this will be hailed as one of the best series YA has to offer.
Mockingjay feels different from the other two. I’m immensely pleased with it, and yet it was not at all what I was expecting. I was expecting something a little more…straightforward. Not that the previous two are straightforward in a linear way (not so), but they’re usually more earnest. This one’s careful, calculating. More mature in a way. Nothing’s light, nothing is inconsequential.
It also demanded my attention in a different way. I wasn’t reading for the action in and of itself, although that’s always a great motivator and there was plenty of that; I was reading because it was impossible not to. As I said on my Twitter, I love this, but not in a squealy and fangirly way. In a deeper way.
I’m not sure if I’ve said anything here, anything that entices anyone to read, as if there are many people at least in the blogging community who haven’t read it yet, but…there’s really not much to say. It’s useless trying to sell someone this book with an enticing summary because if you’ve come this far in the series, you’ll want to know what happens, and if you haven’t, you really should.
It is a GREAT read. It is a MONUMENTAL read. This is an example of how a novel can have a great ending without selling out, or making things too bright, or being stale to not cause waves. It’s an incredible example of an author whose imagination and whose work exceed her grasp. Who creates something so…wondrous.
Really, I’m in awe. This is a fucking powerful piece of work. Unexpected, breathtaking, hilarious, heart-wrenching, all the while graceful. Sometimes you get lucky to come across something like this.
Well, well, VERY well done, Mrs. Collins. And thank you, for a time well-spent, in a world I will be sure to revisit and, as much as I want to keep it to myself, will end up giving one-way tickets to, to anyone I can get to. Once in...never out. ;)
Scholastic is begging people not to give spoilers, and that wouldn't be my review style anyway, so if you're looking for what happens, you won't find...moreScholastic is begging people not to give spoilers, and that wouldn't be my review style anyway, so if you're looking for what happens, you won't find it here.
Much like the first book, you get hooked pretty much instantly. I was getting a bit restless, however, by page 100 or so because the stellar plotting from the first book just wasn't as prominent. Make no mistake, stuff happens on every page, but it wasn't like the first one where each chapter ended in a cliffhanger and you quite literally could NOT put it down even for a bathroom break.
And then. Page 173 happened and in what I think is the biggest plot twist we've seen yet in the series. (And we've seen many. I'm telling ya, y'all, if you don't sit up and go like, "WHAT? Suzanne Collins, you're a GENIUS" when you get to that page, I'll eat my foot.)
So anyway, any doubts I may have had were completely erased by that point. It's not that I hated everything leading up to it - I quite liked it, in fact - but it just seemed to lack the...spark and immediacy found in The Hunger Games, if you know what I mean.
It hasn't. I think I still like the first book better because that's usually the way things go, but this is a very close contender. As for 'sophomore slumps' or 'doomed sequels' or any such stereotypes, this one breaks 'em. It is GOOD, y'all.
And you're getting no more out of me for now. Enjoy!(less)
One of the biggest reasons I loved this book isn’t because every chapter literally ended with a sentence that made you want to keep reading or because...moreOne of the biggest reasons I loved this book isn’t because every chapter literally ended with a sentence that made you want to keep reading or because of the romance (which is usually what wins me over, I must say). Rather, it’s how deep of a level it reaches. I just finished it, so naturally there hasn’t been enough time for reflection, but in these few moments, my stream of thought is going spastic. The book jacket wasn’t lying—there’s mystery, adventure, romance, suspense, all of that in here. And yet the substance of the novel surpasses just these box-office-hit qualities (which is all I can compare those four adjectives to).
The world building was fantastic. While it’s quite a different land than current North America, Panem had some disturbing parallels relating to the society, especially of its higher class (the lower-number districts and the Capitol). The fixation with the sappy romance, the fact the games were more like a deadlier reality show of nowadays than anything else, the frivolousness... It was quite unnerving. So clever. Only adds another layer to this story.
Not many books have kept me on the edge of my seat. This plot is brilliant. Truth be told, I’m not the biggest fan of thrillers and am fine with books that employ the “girl-next-door” dynamics to its plot—quiet, but charming and accessible. Well, needless to say, this book is anything but quiet. But it is bewitching.
You know what? I’ll stop. There’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. Plus I could stay here all night. I wasn’t kidding when I said my mind is going spastic with all the directions this book gives it to think things out.
Not recommending it to everyone though. Some really hate violence. Some really hate dystopia. I’d still give it a shot if you’re one of those people, but I wouldn’t specifically recommend it to you. Everyone else? Knock yourselves out. This is one of the ultimate must-reads right in front of you.
Madapple isn’t for everyone. Beyond the gripping mystery setup, there’s also a lot of references to religious texts, botany, languages, and mythology,...moreMadapple isn’t for everyone. Beyond the gripping mystery setup, there’s also a lot of references to religious texts, botany, languages, and mythology, and unless the reader is interested in those topics, the whole book may go right over their heads. Moreover, there are certain themes herein some consider wrong, amoral, sinful. It’s not a light read, nor should it be treated as such.
Personally, everything in the above paragraph makes the book even more appealing to me.
The book begins with a prologue of sorts set in 1987 where it’s determined a woman, Maren Hellig, is pregnant, though she has no recollection of ever being with a man. Next is a courtroom scene set in 2007, in which the defendant, Aslaug Datter (daughter in Danish), is being tried for the deaths of her mother, aunt and cousin. Next we go back to 2003, to Aslaug and Maren picking some plants (jimsonweed, among others, which is also known as madapple) from the woods near their isolated home. The book is told in alternating chapters, between the past and perceived present, and it’s not until the very last page is flipped the reader can conclude the magnitude of this unnerving tale.
Pushing the insanely genius plot aside, the next thing that struck me speechless about this novel is Meldrum’s prose. She keeps the reader on the edge, and yet she controls your entire spectrum of emotions as you read, and also of how much you perceived with each scene. The book is gripping not because of the plot, but because the reader has to read all the way through to figure said plot out. The characters, while for the most part unlikable, are magnetic, attracting your interest whether you want to read about them or not. Their development is unusual, yet effective. It is truly, immensely hard to believe this is Christina Meldrum’s first novel, judging by the masterful way in which she handles this novel’s writing, pace, plot, characters, voice—in short, this novel’s being.
Madapple is by far one of the most unorthodox YA books I’ve read to date. It forces all I’ve read out of the water. It’s original. It takes a whole different approach to young adult fiction. It’s thought-provoking. It may disgust some people. It may appal others. Hell, it may even bore some. But to tell you the truth, very rarely has a book struck me the way this one did.
Where the young adult genre has dimmed in content over the recent years, Madapple sparkles brilliantly for readers looking to be challenged. Similar to the hunger with which the reader moves through Madapple, is the anticipation they will feel for Christina Meldrum’s next offering.