Mockingjay by: Suzanne Collins

Book: Mockingjay
Author:Suzanne Collins
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher:Scholastic Press
Date Published: August, 2010

Summary:

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. Powerful and haunting, this thrilling final installment of Suzanne Collins’s groundbreaking The Hunger Games trilogy promises to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

Why I read this Book:

WARNING: This book review contains spoilers.  I figure its long past the date of release and therefore can post a review complete with spoilers.

The final installment of the most anticipated book of the year.  There was no way I was missing this.  Also I totally loved the first two books.

Reaction/Review:

When I finished Mockingjay I was a bit confused as per what to say about it.   I guess the best words are: I understand.

I didn’t know what the author could do with one book to tie up an entire rebellion successfully.  The shadows we see in the beginning about Coin and District 13, are brought to full light at the end. District 13 seamed to me even more controlling then the Capital.  So my question was why would we leave ruling the nation to them? Why are we fighting for this throughout the whole book if what they are isn’t really any better than the capital? Don’t worry, it kind of works out in the end.

Katniss is the turning point but the rebellion is about everyone.  The ending gets muddied a little with us sitting out on the conclusions of the political nature of the book.  But we really are following Katniss and what she goes through is really true.  I’m not going to lie and say I enjoyed Katniss story in this book, but I understand it and appreciate that the author dealt with the issue at hand.  No one who gets put into an arena Gladiator style is going to come out without some serious mental scars. It was hard reading about how broken Katniss is, but it was the story that needed to be told.

I have to admit I was team Gale.  I really thought that his strength would be what Katniss needed.  I liked their previous relationship and wanted to see that explored.  But from the moment that she steps into that arena she is never going to be the same. She is never going to come back and be the same girl that left.  And she left Gale behind.  He did not go through the Hunger Games.  He does not carry the same baggage and scars.  He doesn’t understand, can’t understand what it is that she is going through.  And so when she needs him, he pushes her away because he only wants a whole Katniss.  Well news check baby she’s broken, and she needs someone who understand this and also understand that what she becomes afterwards will not be perfect and will carry those scars.  I don’t think Gale can deal with those scars in a way that would lead to a healthy lasting relationship.

Gale’s fight in the rebellion is ruled by hatred and a righteousness.  And the more I get to see of him in this last book the more I understand how truly wrong he is for her.  The way the author words it in the last chapter on the last page is perfect.  At the end of this they are both too different to go back, and they can’t go forward with the ground that is between them, the only solution is apart.

Peeta.  The man who I thought was weak is strong in that same way that I thought that he was weak.  I thought the devotion pathetic, as I am the type of girl who likes a little chase.  Those fools who fall at my feet are easy prey. Peeta fell at Katniss feet and I just thought it was like shooting fish in a barrel.  Except his devotion is his strength. He understands what Katniss needs.  It really hurt to see Peeta as broken as he was.  I kind of feel that he is more broken than Katniss, but his recovery was sooner, which didn’t really make sense.  But since we are not in his head, we can’t really say for sure.  I think what we see is more of him learning how to hold onto life rather than a recovery. What is real, what is not real?

While it was painful to read, I also really appreciate that Peeta no longer sees Katniss with rose tinted glasses.  That he now sees how selfish she can be.  That he is seeing the real her.  And that even knowing that, in the end still choses to help save her. Truly knowing a person, and loving them anyways, and accepting them for all of who they are, not demanding that they change, really is true love and true strength.  Peeta most definitely demonstrates this.

Prim dies, and it pushes Katniss out of the way and allows for Katniss survival but mental instability.  Katniss votes yes to the hunger games, so that Coin doesn’t suspect.  And Katniss rights the wrongs we saw all the way at the beginning of this book regarding Coin and District 13.

Was Katniess ever really suited to be the leader of the rebellion, NO.  Was she the turning point, absolutely.  Was she the face of it giving hope, yes, but out of manipulation more than choice.  Was she human throughout the story, absolutely.  And that is what I appreciated most about this last book.  It was human.  It wasn’t a perfect Gale, it wasn’t a perfect Peeta and it most definitely was not a perfect Katniss. All brokenly flawed and human.

As you can tell I read my stories for characters.

Final Thoughts:

To be honest this book was dark.  I did not laugh or smile.  I felt deep down sad. But it was the story that had to be told.  Was the ending a bit clunky, in execution yes.  Was it the ending that was needed, absolutely yes.

Rating: 9/10 but only because the ending was clunky or else it would have been a perfect 10.  It is not a squee with happy excitement 9, but this book has earned it with being realistic and human.  Some may complain that they want their heroines to be more than human, but human is what makes us relate.

P.S.

The victors suffer from PTSD.  If you have ever had any exposure to this you will understand this book better.  If you have not, you will be frustrated at Katniss and want her to just get over it and be the super hero who pulled out the berries.  A close family member has PTSD, and I know that it is not something that ever goes away, that they learn how to cope, but those fears will always be there.  It is not something you just get over.  And I can honestly say that I’m glad the author did not brush over this and try to sweep it under the carpet.  It was tough to read, and some won’t understand, but it was necessary, because it is real.

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3 thoughts on “Mockingjay by: Suzanne Collins

  1. I understand your review but I disagree. I just finished the book last night and I too have been mulling it over in my head how I feel.

    “The shadows we see in the beginning about Coin and District 13, are brought to full light at the end. District 13 seamed to me even more controlling then the Capital. So my question was why would we leave ruling the nation to them? Why are we fighting for this throughout the whole book if what they are isn’t really any better than the capital?”

    District 13 may have been strict but they were not in the same league as the Capital. District 13 was strict because they had very limited resources, lived underground and for the last 75 years had to figure out a way to survive.

    Nowhere and nothing is perfect however the Capital wasn’t really strict. They were slave masters to the people of the Districts. They did not live under the same rules they put the people of the Districts under. They looked at the people of the Districts as workers and entertainment. District 13 didn’t. I saw the implication of what you said in the book but I don’t buy it. The Capital was way worse.

    Regardless of how Coin was, they were setting up a Republic, she could have still been voted out, a government of the people would still have been set up.

    I don’t think Coin (a military leader during war) is a good fit for a new Republic but they are not the same.

    “Gale’s fight in the rebellion is ruled by hatred and a righteousness.” I agree with this. I was disappointed in what Katniss’s fight in the rebellion was ruled by. I really don’t know. I really saw her as really selfish. It was so much about her, “people I killed, people I love are dying, etc, etc, etc).

    If it wasn’t all about her she would see the Capital killed the people of District 12, etc. What did she think? They have been killing people for over 75 years and instilling fear in the people of Panem.

    I agree, the story was excellent and well done. Great Review!

  2. I love the different take you have in regards to District 13 and the Capital. I can’t say that I 100% agree, but it definately brings it to a new light.

    It would have been interesting to see if Katniss had not killed Coin, how Coin would have gone about ruling the population and if it would have been a true democracy?

    Thanks for your insightful comments.

  3. I felt the same way you did about a lot of the book, however I did not give it 9/10. I felt it was pretty average. It just wasn’t as intense as it once was and Katniss was beyond repair. I think we all liked the book(s) because she was this strong individual — but then she just suddenly wasn’t. It was hard to take.

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