Like most elementary/YA librarians, I was eagerly waiting for the final book of the Hunger Games trilogy to be published. While I was a manageable #49 on the waiting list at my public library, my good friend and former co-worker at BPL, Gordon, kindly loaned me his copy before he even read it himself. I wasn't too sure what to expect, because I liked the first book in the series more than the second book, but I was completely satisfied with Mockingjay. There was just the right blend of suspense, romance, and action.
If you haven't read this series yet, you should give it a try. I resisted reading Hunger Games for years (literally) because I do not generally read sci-fi and I am not a fan of dystopias. But I do like to read what the students are reading, and one of my best readers at Yates told me that I had to read it and promised that I would love it, and he was right. I wasn't hooked at first (it seemed to be a rip off of The Long Walk, an early Stephen King story), but I did like the strong female main character, Katniss. Katniss volunteers to fight to the death in her country's televised survival competition. Katniss is tough, but so are the other teens in the competition. She forms a bond with another competitor (or tribute, as they are called), Peeta, but can't stop thinking about her hunky best friend, Gale. So between the action and romance, there is something for just about everyone.
While I opted not to buy this series for the library (the main characters are 16 years old and there is plenty of gory violence), I would recommend this book to teachers who are looking for some good YA reading and have met their vampire quota. And yes, there is a movie in the works (Dakota Fanning is rumored to be playing Katniss), but hopefully the movie will be true to Suzanne Collins's story. But if you request it at the public library, be prepared to wait! But it will be worth it...I promise.