Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (Rated: V)
Scholastic Press
ISBN: 978-0439023511
Published Aug 24, 2010
Hardcover, 400 pages

So this trilogy finally comes to an end. *sigh of relief* Yes, I found these books fascinating but what an emotional roller-coaster ride! I’ve had this book on my bookshelf since its release, but I hesitated reading it soon after I finished Catching Fire (Book 2). I had a feeling of what was to come. And I needed a break between the two books.

Catching Fire ends with the exposure of the brewing rebellion and the start of a war between the citizens of the Districts of Panem and The Capitol. It also ends on the note that Katniss has been used as a pawn as the Games extended to more than just what happened in the arenas. Mockingjay picks up from there and now the story unfolds in how the rebels will conquer The Capitol. It’s hard to write a review without including spoilers but I will try.

Katniss is the same, yet broken in this story. She suffers from post-traumatic stress, shock, and depression. This aspect of the story is realistic but perhaps not expected of the strong Katniss we meet in The Hunger Games (Book One). She never asked to be the Mockingjay but was thrust with this responsibility, and I think she does her best, considering her situation and circumstances. The most courageous thing she does is at the end of the story, and although there is a twist, I wasn’t surprised. It’s clear that in a war, everyone loses and both sides play dirty.

Contrary to many, I did like the ending. Some readers found it anti-climactic and I can certainly understand why. Others felt that Katniss doesn’t get to choose between Gale and Peeta, but that’s not true. As the book neared its end, I knew whom she would end up with just by her actions and words spoken with either one of them. Both Gale and Peeta represented two schools of thought on how to handle the war and Katniss was caught in-between. Collins does an amazing job in keeping both Gale and Peeta true to their characters throughout all three books. One of them knew subconsciously with whom Katniss could live the rest of her life and so he leaves. His agenda was different from Katniss’s. Collins did prepare the readers for this. But she also sidetracked us by what happened to Peeta. So we were kept guessing, but the clues were there.

As with the first two books, there is much violence and psychologically disturbing scenes. It’s not an easy trilogy to read. People you care about die and there is cold-blooded killing and gruesome deaths. I will definitely NOT watch the movie when it comes out. I strongly urge parents to read this trilogy before handing it to their teens. It’s thought-provoking but I would not recommend it for teens who are sensitive or who suffer from depression. The ending is bittersweet and hopeful but the lack of divine intervention only stresses the fact that mankind will botch any warlike effort to reform this world. Only God can do that. 

I will count this book toward the following challenges: TwentyEleven Challenge, YA Reading Challenge, and the Dystopian Challenge

Disclosure: Thanks to Nikole Kritikos from Scholastic Canada for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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  1. I haven't started this trilogy because I've seen it compared to Battle Royale which I didn't enjoy. My husband enjoyed this series, but like you, doesn't think it's for young readers.

  2. @Bermudaonion
    Yes, the concept is similar to Battle Royale. And I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels it's for an older audience.


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