Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Perfect chemistry was the perfect book to combat my post-Mockingjay depression. Often I find it hard to relate to characters who make terrible life decisions like going gangs or doing drugs, but Elkeles does a masterful job of creating complex and dynamic protagonists. The novel blends harsh realities with a happily ever after romance to find equilibrium. And it definitely teaches the reader about thermal chemistry: its hot. Was that joke too nerdy?
Young adult fiction is full of optimism—passionate romances, bright and shining happiness, fairy tale ever-afters. Perhaps this is the reason adults are drawn to reading this genre, it renews our belief in the humanity, karma, love; it inspires with its insistence that good triumph over evil. The third book of The Hunger Games Series, Mockingjay, is a rare book in this genre of lightheartedness and imagination. It is rare because the book succeeds in taking from the reader as well as giving.
Fire is catching! If we burn, you burn with us.
The story is beyond smart, beyond brilliant. Genius maybe. The suffering, the struggle, the fear is real. It’s messy, destructive, emotional and gripping. As a reader you are a rebel, you are of District 12, you are in this with Katniss. Wars are not and never have been won with kindness; they do not leave you with rainbows and laughter. Nor is the reader left either of these (though the end is a happy one of sorts—and the one I hoped for).
Mockingjay in no small way, rips away the facade that human beings are essentially good; it strips us of our belief in unselfish acts; it forces us to question what is true, what is false, what is right and what is wrong. The Hunger Games series has demanded its readers look at themselves and the world around them in a critical way. Are you a pawn or a player? What is the difference? While in the end it may have erased the facade that there can be pure happiness or a perfect ending, it gave me eyes to see myself, the world and humanity anew in the harsh light of reality but with the ever persistent presence of hope.
With that I give Mockingjay and the entire Hunger Games series an overall: A++
And may the games be ever in your favor.