Friday, October 15, 2010

Not for the Faint of Heart

Or the clinically depressed. Or anyone under the age of 13, though even that may be a bit young.

Finally the library came through with my hold -- Mockingjay was mine for 2 weeks. Naturally, I put the laundry on hold, quit feeding the kids, gave my husband the cold shoulder, and read it cover to cover.

It's good. Very good. But it's dark. Very dark. I could give you a dozen spoilers, but I think the best thing to say about it is that it very accurately portrays the effects and after-effects of war -- even a necessary war such as Katniss is fighting. It does a fabulous job of showing how both sides manipulate people and information for their own ends. And a good, if depressing, job of showing the mental unraveling of those who make it through.

There's no storybook ending. There is survival, but those who manage this do so in profoundly damaged states -- both emotionally and physically. It's well done, but it pulls no punches. You're not going to read this book and come out of it feeling light and buoyant. Be aware that this one deals with themes of murder, torture, suicide, loss, abandonment and betrayal. You will come out of it sobered by the stark, unflinching portrait of war.

Because of its mature nature, I think this one should be for 13 and up, absolutely no younger. And I really have reservations about 13 year olds reading this, so in my house, everyone who wants to read it has to be in high school.

But don't miss it -- it's a brilliant, moving read.

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