Sunday, August 29, 2010
Author: Suzanne Collins
Reading Level: Young Adult
Location: YA Collins
This review contains no spoilers for Mockingjay but may contain details from the two previous books in the Hunger Games series. If you have not yet read The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, skip ahead to The Bottom Line.
Mockingjay picks up about one month after the events of Catching Fire. With her home destroyed, Katniss resides in District 13 with the few refugees that survived the Capitol's bombing of District 12. President Coin and the rest of the leaders of District 13 are managing the rebellion and need Katniss to be their Mockingjay, the symbol and hope of the rebellion. Unfortunately, the physical and emotional damage Katniss suffered in the arena coupled with her guilt over the fate of Peeta has left her emotionally unstable and unwilling to be used as a pawn for yet another cause, however noble. As the rebellion takes hold in more districts and her fellow citizens fight and die brutal deaths in massive numbers, will Katniss give them the strength they need to continue their struggle? Or will she retreat from the spotlight, unwilling to be the cause of more death and destruction?
I find it difficult to discuss this book, not only for fear of giving away any of the major spoilers, but also because reading this book was so emotionally draining. While the first two books set up the country of Panem, its controlling government and the brutality of the games, Mockingjay introduces the reader to the horrors of war and the atrocities both sides, of any war, are willing to commit. Make no mistake, the blood runs freely in Mockingjay. Even the characters that are spared remain forever altered by the experience. The book has a lot of action and many characters die making it impossible to put down but difficult to read at times.
I've heard a few complaints about Katniss in this book but I thought her character was written perfectly. I got frustrated with her at times, but her actions are consistent and understandable in the face of all the ruthless brutality she encounters. The other characters, both from the first two books, and the new ones introduced in this installment, added a lot of interest to the story. I enjoyed seeing how their stories all played out, even if I was upset about some of their fates. I particularly loved getting a different perspective on Finnick and Prim; I just fell in love with both of them in this book.
The Bottom Line: This was a great ending to a unique and amazing series! Even though Mockingjay was extremely bloody and depressingly sad it was a magnificent ending to the series. I think fans will love it! If you have not yet read the Hunger Games trilogy, it is truly one of the best for both teens and adults, so give it a try!