Friday, August 27, 2010

Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay is the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy, so if you have not yet read the first two books, this book won't mean as much to you. I highly recommend them both, so go begin there, so I don't spoil anything for you.

I should start off by saying that I couldn't put it down. Suzanne does a fine job, once again, of creating a suspenseful story with plot twists that keep you guessing. Katniss is now in the hands of the rebellion (and in the company of Gale, once again), having been rescued at the very end of the previous book. Peeta is now a captive of President Snow in the Capital. The ultimate question is how the rebellion will go about its war business, where will Katniss the Mockingjay fit into their plan and what about PEETA, for Pete's sake?

I think this might be kind of spoilerish down here, so don't keep reading if that will bother you....



Having finished it hours ago and mulling over it a bit, I'm finding myself less satisfied than I was when I was about half way through. Katniss spends so much of the book being...not herself. Being depressed. Being injured and drugged. Hiding away from those who need her. I recognize that maybe this is Collins' way of portraying one's reactions to the horrors of war (oh, and there are horrors, let me tell you) but I think that by removing Katniss's consciousness from us so often, Katniss felt removed and distant. By the end, she wasn't resonating with me as much as she had in the other two books. I think in my head I kept wanting to tell her to "wake up and join us!!" I wanted her to step up into that hero role that was so wonderfully created for her - and in some ways, she did. There are some very satisfying and intense scenes where I really enjoyed seeing Katniss do what she does best: think on her feet and do right without doing it because it's "right." But it seemed like as soon as she made any kind of effort, she sank back down into oblivion again.

As a politically charged book about revolutions and the costs of war, I think it clearly illustrates that no matter what side wins or looses - in war, we all loose. I'd say it's probably the most violent book I've read that could be considered "young adult," but while I nearly had a tear once during one particularly horrific scene, it was never actually shed, which surprised me. Maybe the climax felt like too much and yet not quite enough at the same time. At any rate, I'd still recommend the trilogy but with the caveat that the last book probably won't be what you think.

book 24 of the 2010 Young Adult Challenge

5 comments:

Tricia said...

I've heard others say they cried, but I had the same sticky tear as you. :)

Melissa said...

Russell had the same problem with Katniss that you did: she spent entirely too much of the book drugged. I didn't mind that so much, but I'm with you on the end, though I like the way you put it. It did feel like too much and not enough at the same time.

Gerbera Daisy Mom said...

I stopped after book one. Just didn't appeal to me

morninglight mama said...

You know, Betsey left me a comment on my post and brought up PTSD-- definitely something to consider when thinking about how Katniss appeared removed and distant. With all the hell she went through-- and is still going through in this one, even outside of the arena-- it's certainly one legitimate lens to look through...

Personally, I was satisfied with the ending. I think there's so much more that could be written-- how they're now part of the group trying to build a democracy! (The part where Plutarch says something about the ancestors making a democracy work and then Katniss thinks that they didn't do such a great job, since they left the earth in ruins and chaos-- that part gave me a jolt!)

I'm just sad it's over. I so very much enjoyed looking forward to this book and finally getting to read it. (Scott's reading it now, and I'm re-reading it behind him- catching up to his bookmark whenever he puts it down!) :)

Jenni said...

I didn't read your review until now because I was reading and trying to mull over my own thoughts on the book. It was so intense!! I really liked it, but really felt more nauseated than emotional at the end. I like it's realness and unpredictability. Seriously who could have foreseen Peeta trying to kill Katniss?? Who?? It was crazy! I wish we could get together and discuss it - it is one of those books that I so want to sit down and talk with people about!!

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