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Mockingjay (Hunger Games Series #3)

Mockingjay (Hunger Games Series #3) - Suzanne  Collins This is a book that not only holds up on a second reading, but also absolutely deserves a reread.The week before Mockingjay was released in 2010, I called around to different bookstores trying to find one that was having a midnight release. When all ten chain and indie stores said they weren't having one, I called back from a private number and, with an Eliza Doolittle meets Mary Poppins accent, asked if they were willing to sell me a copy one day in advance if I paid double. I know, I have zero book shame. But fear not, Scholastic. They wouldn't. I even went to Ralphs at midnight because I heard some supermarkets released Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows early. No luck there either. That's how I ended up in front of Borders at 9:45 am saying, "Open, open, open."I spent the next few hours in a reading frenzy. I had to switch locations every couple chapters because I looked like this:Unsurprisingly, it's easy to miss nuance and development when you're sobbing.Not only that, but by the time Mockingjay came out, I had to know how everything ended. Peeta or Gale? Districts or Capitol?? Life or death?! The only thing I thought while reading was, Okay, how is this going to affect the ending?Rereading it now, minus the frenzied anticipation and expectation, I could really appreciate the story Suzanne Collins crafted. I could see the character development and why choices were made and really process what was going on instead of just inhaling it. Something that surprised me: I really disliked Gale. I loved him the first time around and, more than that, I understood him. He wants to fight. War, to him, is the only answer and as such, there will be some unfortunate but necessary casualties. Katniss, on the other hand, can put faces and names to so many casualties already, too many by her own hand. There is no desire for it. Last weekend, I attended a going away party for my friend's younger brother, someone I've known since he was in elementary school. At some point this month, he'll be sent to Afghanistan. War, for me, suddenly has a very familiar face -- one that I'll always see as a little kid. Gale's attitude, his enthusiasm, now seems almost thoughtless. Or is it the necessary mentality of a soldier? The great thing about this book is that it keeps you thinking and even debating with yourself.For a book that I had such expectation for, Mockingjay delivered. Of course I wanted more of certain characters and storylines (Finnick!), but the characters and the story gave all that they could give. If it's possible to feel fictional characters' blood, sweat, and tears, then you'll feel them with this book. The second reading just confirms that The Hunger Games stands alone as my favorite series.This review appears on Young Adult Anonymous.