Next week, this summer’s biggest book release,Mockingjay, the final installment of The Hunger Games trilogy will arrive.

Are you prepared?’  I’m pretty excited.’  Click through and I’ll tell you all about it.

As you probably know, The Hunger Games is a dystopian thiller that takes place in a future where the annual main event is a televised battle in a deadly arena between teen tributes. Two are selected from each of twelve districts. ‘ The last one left alive is the winner. ‘ Our protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, has by deceit and luck now survived two of these games, and has become, more by virtue of her uncompromising nature more than any plan, a symbol of revolution.
Also, there is a love triangle. ‘ Katniss has won the hearts of Peeta, her fellow tribute, who she pretended to be in love with for publicity that saved their lives, and Gale, her childhood friend and fellow survivalist who has always been there for her. ‘ She has demonstrated affection for both of them, but are her feelings for either of them love?

The duel to the death situation, teens against teens, in my mind bears a striking parallel to Battle Royale ( click this link and read the customer reviews), but Collins cites Greek mythology as her inspiration. Specifically the story of the minotaur and the labyrinth, in which young tributes were sent into the maze once a year, most likely to be devoured.

Teens (and fantasy fans) love a good dystopia. ‘ There have been some good articles about it recently.’  Dystopian fiction being popular with teens is hardly a surprise.’  Protagonists struggling with impossible odds and coming into opposition with their worlds makes for a great catharsis for readers to enjoy. The best ones start out dark, get even darker and end hopeful. ‘ The scarier it gets the better the catharsis. ‘ Dystopias are also, ‘ to varying degrees of obviousness, a metaphor for the struggle of growing up. ‘ Teens may not seek out such metaphors deliberately, but I think they probably find themselves connecting with them.

For Katniss and company, who SPOILER! found out at the end of the second book, Catching Fire, that their home, District 12 had been destroyed, things can really only go up from here. Or can they? Any hints about the plot have been locked down tight. Suzanne Collins’ recent SLJ interview, was thoroughly and amusingly spoiler free, but it did leave us with a more concrete understanding of her symbolism and plenty of room for speculation.

For my personal speculating, I’ve decided to judge the book by its cover. The shining halo of light around the titular bird seems to be breaking through a circle on a backdrop of light blue. This contrasts with the black and red encircled birds on the first two books, and makes me feel like something good has got to come of the rebellion. Will Katniss make it out alive? It’s not a given, but I do have a sense that by the end of this book, its world will be changed for the better.

The Hunger Games, the first book, is on a local school’s summer reading list, which means our ten or so copies are rarely checked in. I animatedly describe how catchy and action packed it is, and that the third book is coming out soon, ‘ as I place holds for each new patron who asks about it. This week I enjoyed seeing Mockingjay’s picture scroll by on the new books widget on our library’s website, but I’m wondering if I ought to order a few more copies. ‘ Especially since I am planning to take one home myself the moment it arrives.

Even If you’re not busy wondering if Katniss will choose Peeta or Gale or if any of them will survive to see a better world, you are probably preparing for patron demand. ‘ Have you pre-ordered several copies? Is your hold list a mile long? ‘ How do you prepare for the arrival of an “event” book such as this?

4 Thoughts on “In Anticipation of Mockingjay

  1. Rachel on August 16, 2010 at 2:38 pm said:

    In my library I’m #13 on a hold list of 62, and we’ve ordered 15 copies. I can’t wait!

  2. Might I say…I’m REALLY excited about this book. I heard so many good things about the series, that I had to check it out. WIthin four days I read the first two books – they’re really quite good (and seriously addictive). I love how strong Katniss is as a character. I have to agree, though, that I think the book WILL have a positive ending, with the destruction of the Capital (given the light blue cover). I know at my library, the wait list is about 7,000 people. (Okay, really it’s just about 50, but still.)

    Team Peeta!

  3. 357 holds at my library. And about 100 copies on order. It’s going to be a longish wait for people towards the end of the list!

  4. SarahW on August 22, 2010 at 6:06 pm said:

    I’m pretty excited for this one, I’m 10 of around 200 holds at our library, but I think a lot of people towards the end are still waiting to get their copies of the first two, each with waitlists of 60 or so.

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