Posts Tagged ‘Suzanne Collins’

The Hunger Games (film)

The Hunger Games (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay, I said I was going to review the books listed under my “Books for Brats” post, so I decided to start with MOCKINGJAY since THE HUNGER GAMES movie opens this week! Like most fans of the series, I can’t wait! 🙂

That said, of all the books, I think MOCKINGJAY was probably my favorite (or a very close second after the first book)…which is interesting, since it appears to be the least praised by fans and some of the reviews on Amazon are downright scathing.

So why did I like it? I think it has a lot to do with coming from an Army brat perspective.

MOCKINGJAY is a war story, and wars are messy, ugly things, no matter if the cause is just or not. In this final installment, the story is about so much more than Katniss or any one character…and it certainly is a lot bigger than a teenage love triangle. Beloved characters are lost, and others will never be the same.

How like…war.

Some reviewers called MOCKINGJAY “hopeless” and “absurd.” I think many who were displeased with the final book wanted a fairy tale story with a neat happily ever after ending. But wherever there is violence, death, and oppression, sometimes the best one can ask for is a let’s see if we can put the pieces back together ending. That’s real hope—“the thing with feathers that perches in the soul,” as Emily Dickinson says. It is as enduring as the Mockingjay and not easily silenced.

Suzanne Collins surely knew the nature of this tattered hope, being an Air Force brat and the daughter of a Vietnam vet. The brutal realism is what I loved about the last book—as depressing as it was at times—because it told a truth more meaningful than Gale vs. Peeta. MOCKINGJAY culminates the message of the first Hunger Games book in a powerful way: when we substitute reality-TV gladiators for real people, we numb ourselves to the ways violence affects those who must take part in it. Just ask the thousands of U.S. troops “coming home to a country that doesn’t know them.”

Thankfully, Collins stuck to her guns and gave us real characters, even when the masses were screaming for panem et circenses.

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Top 5 books for older military brats (15+) and adults (in no particular order). Stay tuned for reviews!

Mockingjay

1) Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

2) The Yokota Officer’s Club by Sarah Bird

3) Red Sky at Morning by Richard Bradford

4) Durable Goods by Elizabeth Berg

5) The Great Santini by Pat Conroy

 

The big news in the realm of YA-book-turned-teen-movie was the recent release of the new Twilight movie, which raked in $283.5 million over the weekend.  If, like me, you are not one of the millions of twi-fans bursting with delight at the thought of Bella and Edward walking down the aisle, the trailer for another popular YA series–the most important of the last decade, imho–also debuted this week:

I had my reservations about this book being turned into a movie, but based on the trailer, I’m excited! In addition to a kick-a*$ heroine, The Hunger Games is a story with strong characters and powerful themes. Not only does the author create a terrifying world ruled by a gluttonous, reality TV entertainment-driven,  government–the Capitol–THG deals with the brutal reality of violence, the fight for freedom in a totalitarian system, and the lasting effects of war.

It was not at all surprising to learn that Suzanne Collins, the author of ths hit trilogy,  is a military brat.

Collins’s father, who served in Vietnam, was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force and a professor of military history at West Point.  In a New York Times article–“Suzanne Collins’s War Stories for Kids”–Collins shares her thoughts on dealing with the absence of a deployed parent.

“If your parent is deployed and you are that young, you spend the whole time wondering where they are and waiting for them to come home. As time passes and the absence is longer and longer, you become more and more concerned — but you don’t really have the words to express your concern. There’s only this continued absence.”

I’m curious to hear the thoughts of other military brat fans of The Hunger Games. What is it about the story that impacted you the most? Do you think the movie will live up to the book?