Discussing Mockingjay at book club

Before The Movie: Mockingjay Book Club

November 17, 2014 by Michelle

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Lions Gate. I received a book, products, and a promotional item to thank me for participating.
Book cover of Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I’ll be honest. I missed The Hunger Games when the series swept through back when the books were first published. Somehow, I simply never picked them up to read them. This winter, I saw Catching Fire with a friend in the theaters, and I fell in love. Of course, there was a lot I didn’t get having not seen the first movie or read any of the books. I prompted rented Hunger Games and then went to see Catching Fire with another friend the following weekend. And I got it. I’ve been waiting for Mockingjay to come out ever since, and it is now just days away.

Since then, I’ve read all three books, and I have to say the movies make so.much.more.sense now. While we’re counting down the movie release, it’s the perfect time to host a Mockingjay book club. Fortunately, I have several friends who are as anxious to see the movie as I am – and over the course of the evening, we made plans to go see it in the “fancy” theater where we can reserve our own seats.

In an effort to keep in the spirit of the Hunger Games and the “privation” now that they’re living in District 13, I had fun creating a Mockingjay inspired menu. For this book club, I made my roasted butternut squash soup, homemade bread, my kale salad, and classic brownies. The brownies may not have passed muster in District 13, but they were a perfect hit Friday night!

Mockingjay Book Club menu

It was interesting to see what we all got out of the books – and what we remembered reading and what we’d forgotten. I was fascinated that so many of us couldn’t remember who Katniss ended up with in the end. There aren’t many (good) books where the hero and heroine couple is forgotten. In this series, the romance just wasn’t the central feature, we all agreed. It sort of makes sense that we focused on remembering so much else in the book but let that portion of it fade from our memories – and I won’t spoil it for you here, either. You’ll just have to go see the movie.

Enjoying Mockingjay chat

Another aspect we all agreed on was that the movies were very different from the books. There is a lot you have to cut from a book to make a movie, and I agree with a lot of the cuts, but some things I wish had been included. Leaving out the mayor and his daughter and their relationship to Katniss? I get that. Eliminating the importance of The Hub? That I get (although the fire now makes so much more sense in the second movie). They were subplots that could go.

My text ringtone? That I didn’t truly get until I read the books though. And yes, my text ringtone is the mockingjay call. I heard the call – and saw the fingers to the lips and air – but I didn’t get the significance of it. I wish Roo’s explanation of her time in the fields and how they communicated had been shared in the movie because it would have make far more sense to me. And that’s just one quick example.

Pointing out inconsistencies with Mockingjay

Another friend pointed out that the movies made Katniss into a different person. In the books, she’s fairly harsh and judgmental and chooses to remove herself from situations and ignore them. In the movie, however, she is shown in a much more sympathetic light. She appears more innocent and happy to be led along the path, so long as her family loyalties aren’t compromised. While I wished that the movies had kept more of her original spirit, others in the book club liked the movie version of Katniss better.

Discussing Mockingjay at book club

Coming up on the third movie, the big question is what will make it into the movie and what will be cut – and how will they portray so many of the scenes we’ve created in our heads. We tried to make a list of the parts of the movie that we thought could be cut out and didn’t come up with many. The scene where the group hides under the cat lady’s store? Probably. Katniss shooting the innocent woman? Debatable. Instead, we’ll have to wait to find out, and we cannot wait to do so, even if we won’t see any bright colors on Effie this time around.

What are you most looking forward to in Mockingjay? And ohhhh we still have to wait until March for Part 2. The suspense will be tough to take. Even having read (and discussed) the books.


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