Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (SPOILERS!)

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.

Since I returned from New Orleans, I've been avoiding the interwebz for the most part. Mostly because I did not have a copy of Mockingjay yet and did not want to accidentally stumble upon spoilers. So, while I waited for Mockingjay to arrive, I re-read both Hunger Games and Catching Fire. The day I finished Catching Fire my copy of Mockingjay arrived, it was fate, no? Ok, it was UPS, but whatever. Anyway the following review will be ripe with spoilers so it will be hidden in order to protect those who do not want spoilers. I figure I'd better hide the whole thing because I doubt I could contain spoilers to one small section. So, to read my review, highlight away.

I think we all had theories about what would happen in Mockingjay. Who would live, who would die, who Katniss would end up with, if anyone. But one of the reasons I love this series and Suzanne Collins is her ability to surprise readers. Well, she surprised me at least. I never dreamed she would have the Capitol essentially brainwash Peeta into a Katniss killing machine. Nor that her relationship with Gale would come to such a tragic end.

I've always been Team Katniss, not necessarily overly concerned with which boy she ended up with, but if I'm totally honest, I was always a Peeta fan. I understand some of the arguments Team Gale had however, personally I thought that when Katniss took Prim's place in the Reaping, her life was irrevocably changed and any future she MIGHT have had with Gale was lost.

I have to say that with each book felt so sorry for Katniss. In the Hunger Games she was a pawn in the Capitol's game, in Catching Fire she was manipulated and used by the Rebels, and again in Mockingjay both the Capitol and the Rebellion were jerking her around. I loved when she killed President Coin. I had a very bad feeling about her from the minute District 13's utilitarian, regimented system was described. The Districts would have been trading in one totalitarian ruler for another. I was glad Katniss killed her even if it meant not getting to directly kill President Snow.

I have to say that, on the whole, The Hunger Games series is one of my all time favorite YA series. I love that Katniss is such a strong heroine. She had to make difficult choices and often her decisions weren't the most popular but she did what she thought was right and she fought till the bitter end. She is one badass chick. If you all haven't read them, I would highly recommend both of Kristen Cashore's books that also feature some seriously kick ass heroines in Graceling and Fire. Katniss, Katsa, and Fire are some of my all time favorite YA heroines!

Mockingjay was, like the previous books, filled with action, anger, pain, sadness, self discovery and self sacrifice, love, hate, revenge and, ultimately, a bittersweet ending. After I finished it, I sat on my couch staring off into space trying to work out my feelings. I was happy, sad, and angry. At the Capitol, the Rebels, Gale, Peeta, Katniss. Mockingjay was a wild ride but after consideration, I loved every minute of it!

Since I've finally read it and reviewed it I'm off to engage in discussion and debate with others! I can't wait to see what others thought!



  1. That wasn't too spoilerish! My thoughts were all over the place with this book. This was such a great series, and I'm glad it didn't drag on forever. I'm going to have to read the author you recommended!

  2. I never know what people are going to consider spoiled so I err on the side of caution!

    Yes, I'm glad it was a trilogy and Collins didn't try to milk it for all it's worth!

    Yes, you'll have to give Cashore a try I LOVE her books. Graceling was definitely my favorite. I read it and HG close together and sometimes got Katniss mixed up with Graceling's heroine, Katsa! You'll have to let me know what you think if you read it!

    I actually didn't read any reviews or discussions before writing my review, now I kinda want to write another adressing some of the themes/ideas/etc. while reading other discussions/reviews.

    It was definitely an emotional read!!!

  3. Excellent review! So many people hated Mockingjay, and I think it's because they were expecting a happily-ever-after. Personally, I think it was meant to show the barest and purest form of hope :)

    Brilliant review!

  4. @Melissa, thanks! I can see where people expecting a HEA would be pissed. But I NEVER exepected that from that series and am frankly kind of baffled. This series, at it's heart is about war (not romance), and there's not much happiness to come from war.

    I think Collins did a great job of depicting the horrors of war in all forms. I think she stayed true to all the characters and really thought she did a fantastic job of ending the trilogy!

  5. Guess what? I just started The Hunger Games! LOL. I'm glad you enjoyed this book. I've seen so-so reviews around blogland that have made me wonder if I'd want to read book #2 and #3. I guess that I should finish book #1 first :)

    What did you think of the epilogue?

  6. @nath, Ohhh I think you're going to like it! It is one of my all time fav series! You know, I kind of liked the epilogue. I didn't care for some recent ones I read in Simone Elkeles' books, they were way to corney and I felt took away from the book. I didn't feel that way with this epilouge. I thought it was more like the epilouge in the last Harry Potter book. Also, I kinda like getting a little glimpse into the character's future lives!

    Looking forward to your toughts on Hunger Games. It's still my favorite book in the series!

  7. I totally skipped reading your review and all the comments, because I have yet to read it! I didn't even buy it yet! EEeeep!

    I'll come back when I do...

  8. I loved it too: I just finished it and am still working through my feelings about it on my blog. I'll link to the posts I have written about it below.

    But meanwhile - I can't say how excited I am to see you mention Kristen Cashore, whom I ADORE. Much as I love Hunger Games, Graceling and Fire are even better, and manage a more nuanced treatment of questions of violence, beauty, and what it means to be a heroine of both YA and romance. Just... flawless.

    OK: Mockingjay posts -




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