So I finished Mockingjay, the last installment of the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, at 1:00 am this morning...and I am devastated! Dont worry, I'm not going to spoil it for anyone who hasn't read it yet. I won't do that here, just say what I learned from the books.
I am devastated for many reasons, the foremost reason being that I enjoyed reading the three books so much that I can't believe the experience is over. Suzanne is a masterful writer, and has taught me many things:
I learned that a present tense narrative is effective at keeping the reader involved in the moment.
I learned that the way she approached violence and war was profound. I felt like I was opened up to a reality I had never even considered. There are countries and communitites around the world, this very minute, who are suject to tyranny, starvation, and a literal fight for survival. I am grateful for the land of freedom in which I live, despite its flaws. But am even more acutely aware of how quickly that all could change.
I learned about love and loss, courage and loyalty, and that it is oftentimes the smallest among us who can teach and lead the way. Go Katniss. She surely changed her world. She changed my world. When I sit down to eat an In and Out Burger, a huge bowl of peaches, or a piece of chocolate cake...I am reminded how blessed I am.
Finally, I learned that unexpected twists are a good thing. Suzanne Collins is amazing at throwing huge curve balls that continually made me put the book down and either laught out loud, cheer like a lunatic (husband already thinks I'm crazy, so nothing new there), or hold my head in my hands about to bawl like a baby.
Everyone needs to read these books. They are fantastic (despite the controversy over the ending)...but even that should make you want to read them:)