by Aimee Levitt
An advance review from the perfidious LA Times (publisher Scholastic had requested that no details of Mockingjay's plot be revealed before the book comes out) reports that this installment is as terrific as the two which came before.
Pudd'nhead Books in Webster Groves will be open past midnight so you can get your copy right away. (It'll be twenty percent off if you pre-order, and you can do that as late as 11:59 p.m.) As store owner Nikki Furrer put it in an e-mail to her customers, "A lot of you are just as crazy as we are, so when you asked if we were opening at midnight to hand out the books - on a school night! - we said WHY NOT?" She promises to keep the coffeepot on.
Other local bookstores promise to have plenty of copies of the book on hand when they open tomorrow morning, and all Borders locations will host Hunger Games fan-fests at 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 28.
For the uninitiated, the Hunger Games books are set in a dystopian future in which 24 teenagers are picked by lottery every year to compete in the eponymous Games, a fight, literally, to the death. (It's like a cross between Shirley Jackson's uber-creepy short story "The Lottery" and Survivor.) Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen takes her younger sister's place as a competitor in the Games and, in the process, discovers some disturbing truths about the society in which she lives -- well, truths even more disturbing than that its chief form of entertainment is watching 24 kids kill each other every year.
If you have other things to do tomorrow instead of learning how the whole story ends, cheer up. The weekend's only four days away.