The book industry may be collapsing, but every so often, it snaps back to life with the release of a novel that has thousands of people lining up at bookstores at midnight to be the first ones to read it. And nine times out of ten, these fans are wearing costumes. The latest literary phenomenon is Suzanne Collins’s Mockingjay, the third and final installment in The Hunger Games trilogy, the best-selling YA series about a postapocalyptic North America in which teenagers are sent to an elaborate outdoor arena to fight each other to the death on national television. Late Monday night, salivating New York acolytes gravitated to two places: Around 500 flocked to Books of Wonder, where Collins herself would be reading and signing books (the owner supported her in her early days). Meanwhile, in Brooklyn, a smaller, more adult crowd gathered at the bookshop Word for cocktails. Both places found readers decked out in hunting bows (the heroine, Katniss, is a skilled archer) and “Team Gale” and “Team Peeta” T-shirts (for the two rivals for Katniss’ affections, because every good YA craze needs Teams). Vulture attended both parties to meet the fans and find out just why they were so hungry for Mockingjay.BEGIN SLIDESHOW
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