Slow Endings

Fans shouldn’t be so focused on endings. The Hunger Games series–like most quality books–has been about much more than simply uncovering some central secret. It’s been about characters, cliffhangers, and a cautionary message about entertainment and obedience. If all a work has is an M. Night Shyamalan “Sixth Sense”-like twist, then it doesn’t have much. That’s why people aren’t clamoring for “The Seventh Sense.”

It’s better to enjoy a book as you’re reading it, rather than to be focused on tearing through pages to see how it all winds up.

That’s from this WSJ columnist who is taking his time with Mockingjay.  I agree. Always a fast reader there are books I charge through and others are books that cause me to slow down, say series finales.  With Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Snicket’s The End, and Larsson’s The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the further along I got the slower I read.

Like many others I began Mockingjay yesterday morning expecting to be done the same day.  I stopped at points to do other things and returned to it in the evening, going slower and slower. And then I got to a point (page 298 to be exact) where something stopped me — I had a feeling if I finished it then that I’d not be able to sleep.  So I put it aside and did go to sleep, but woke up repeatedly all night with very strange nightmarish dreams.  I’m planning to go hear Suzanne Collins this afternoon so will finish the book before then, but I’m still in no rush.

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13 Comments

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13 responses to “Slow Endings

  1. I always mean to take my time, but the same quality that sucked me into the series in the first place sucks me into the final book and before I know it, the last page is turned.

    • I stayed up until 12:30 am reading Mockingjay – I couldn’t put it down! You were exactly right, no I could not go to sleep afterwards. My mind wouldn’t shut off. The more I think about the plot and the characters, the deeper it seems to get.

  2. I am reading this at the moment but I am planning to finish it only during the weekend otherwise I would end up skipping work again!

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  4. Alyssa

    I read ‘Mockingjay’ in two days. I really tried to read it slow but somehow I ended up reading till 1 am and 200 pages into the book. Then in homeroom, I read 30 more. I finished the rest when I got home. The thing is, the quality and pace keep you from realizing exactly how much you’re reading.
    The ending was bittersweet and the only thing that bothers me is how Katniss is sent back to D12. But the rest of the book, the most important parts of it and insignificant parts had me tearing up or keeping me up at night with nightmares. It was truly the best way to end such an amazing series.

    • Alyssa,

      You say you finished it in homeroom so are you by chance a middle school or high school student? I ask only because when I read some of the responses on fan site I wonder if younger YA readers were disliking it more than older adult ones.

  5. Eri

    Hi! I bought the book in the daytime and started and had to stop–but I couldn’t sleep anyway. I finished it the next day and then began the rereading of the parts that just jumped back into my mind.
    Another less-than-restful night followed.
    And then I had to start rereading Hunger Games & Catching Fire!

    But I agree with you. It’s better to read more slowly.

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  7. Letting go of Katniss Everdeen as well as Lizbeth Salander felt like I’d lost a couple of “got your back” friends. I’m sure we’ll see more of these tough heroines (tough with heart for Katniss) and I can’t wait to encounter them in YA fiction. Could I create one myself? That’s the question. . .

  8. Amber Chappell

    You could always do what I did and devour it as quickly as possible then turn back to the first page and begin again….much slower! The first reading was awesome, the second even better.

  9. I’ve always been (I think) a fairly slow reader, so it took me forever to finish this! I did have some weird dreams, I think, processing it that night.

  10. AlHiggins

    Yes, It is entirely possible. Trudging through the countless flahbacks to the same 2 or 3 occurences that have no real actual connection to anything currently going on besides the fact that they made Katniss whine a bunch back when they happened too. That’s what makes the books readable in 10 page sprints, maximum. Reading then entire thing in a day, wallowing in Katniss’ self pity, having her realize the “Surpise” twists 50 pages after it was obvious that events would turn that direction, would bore the daylights out of me. The overreaching story is quite extraordinary, but I cannot fathom why someone would care to read about how Katniss was made over by her make-up team while she ponders the same things over and over and over, never coming to a real conclusion because she is too clueless. Why didn’t I care who Katniss ended up with, Gale or Peeta? Because I can’t see why either of them liked her in the first place. 12 must have had some pretty slim pickings.

  11. It is better to have a little bit of surprise in reading the book. Sometimes suspense reading is much better.

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