Suzanne Collins Headlines Books of Wonder’s Mockingjay Party

By Maryann Yin Comment

Image124.jpgLast night proved that books can still bring a crowd. More than 300 people gathered in New York City’s Books of Wonder for the Mockingjay midnight madness party–concluding with a visit from the author.

The Hunger Games trilogy has catapulted Suzanne Collins to rock star status. We asked a bookstore clerk, “Was the store this crowded the whole time tonight?” They replied: “The line was already several feet out the door when I started my shift at 6:30 pm.” The event was scheduled for 8:00pm, but clearly Hunger Games readers like to get the party started early.

People of all ages gathered to be entertained by jugglers, a tarot card reader, face painting, and trivia games as the clock ticked down to midnight. Some fans were seen sitting quietly against the wall re-reading Hunger Games or Catching Fire. Some showed their devotion to the Hunger Games by dressing up in costume. One particularly creative fan wore a bridal gown with black, red, and orange feather boas trimming the bottom to evoke flames (pictured).

By 9:55 pm, all Mockingjay fans were finally inside the store. The store raffled prizes, including three hand-signed 1st-edition copies of Catching Fire. “Who should Katniss end up with?” was asked of one 11-year old girl who won a copy. Her response: “I don’t know. I don’t care. It’s her decision.” The crowd roared with approval at her response.

By 11:28 pm, the worst of the wait was over. Collins’ editor David Levithan introduced the author, telling the crowd: “This is the world premiere of Suzanne reading this book.”

At 11:35 pm, Collins walked into the room. She first read from the second book, Catching Fire. She explained: “A lot of you are going to be surprised when you hear me read. I do so in an Appalachian accent.” Then came Mockingjay. You could hear a pin drop as Collins read from part one.

At 12:00 am, it was finally time for Mockingjay to be delivered to the eager crowd. Retrieving your pre-ordered copy was an assembly line process. You gave a purple ticket to get the actual book and then you immediately submitted a yellow ticket to line you up for getting your book stamped. The books were stamped because Collins had injured her hand and was rendered unable to sign.

After the reading, this GalleyCat correspondent asked Levithan: “What was it like editing Mockingjay?” He replied: “It was awesome. But, it forced me to keep a lot of secrets, which I’m really bad at.”

The secrets are now out in hardcover. Fans, share your thoughts: Was Mockingjay a satisfying ending to the Hunger Games trilogy?