Book 3: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Author: Suzanne Collins
Page Count: About 400
Genre: Young adult/dystopia
Warning: This review contains spoilers for all three books in the Hunger Games trilogy. Read at your own risk!
Summary: The final book in the Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay follows Katniss as she discovers more about the rebellion that has been building in District 13. Will she do as they ask and serve as the face of the rebellion? And what risks are there associated with being their beloved Mockingjay?
Just as a precaution, I’m warning any readers again that this review will contain spoilers for this book. You have been warned.
This was definitely the most intense book of the trilogy. It had the sort of ending I was hoping for, and once I started reading I couldn’t stop. My sister finally finished this book around 11 this morning, and I have done little else today but read and drink coffee. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I’m not sure how much of it was due to Collins’ brilliant narrative and how much was due to my natural distrust of people, but I found myself unable to look away. I didn’t trust anyone in the novel apart from Katniss, and there were even some moments in it when I found myself doubting her, as well. The moment, for instance, when she votes to send the children of the Capitol to a final Hunger Games, I almost lost any respect I might have had for her. My only remaining hope for the book was that that would end up being a ruse to get Coin to trust her. When it turned out that that was exactly what she was going, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief again.
My sister said that this book terrified her. I wouldn’t go that far. I can’t say I wasn’t scared for the characters, but it didn’t terrify me like it did her. I also didn’t find myself crying nearly as often as I thought I would have after my sister’s assessment of it. I think I was too tense to cry for most of it, though there were definitely some parts that had me in tears. One of those moments was the ending, which I don’t understand since that was almost the exact ending I was hoping for.
I think my main problem with this novel, with this entire series, really, was that it was a bit anticlimactic. I still think it’s the best series I’ve read in a really long time, and I can’t deny that it’s filled my thoughts and dreams for the last week and a half. That said, I didn’t find myself enjoying the ending as much as I thought I would. There are quite a few times in this book (and in Cathing Fire) where Katniss blacks out or is sedated and then wakes up to find that all the exciting events have passed, and we get a recap of what happened instead of seeing it for ourselves. For instance, in the previous book we see Katniss shoot at the force field and then everything fades to black and she wakes up and has to have them explain to her what happened. In this book, she’s several feet in front of Snow’s mansion, about to go in, when her sister is killed and everything once again fades to black. When she wakes, we learn that the rebels took the Capitol, that they captured Snow, and that Coin is now in charge of the country. We are also told that Peeta and Gale are injured but alive. This should be one of the most exciting moments of the book, but it’s sort of brushed aside – much like the aftermath of Coin’s death. Katniss is confined to a room and then Haymitch shows up and says, “Oh, this guy testified on your behalf and you can go home and your mother and Gale aren’t coming with you.”
I still love this series, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who asked. That said, I couldn’t help but a feel a bit disappointed that so many important events happened off-camera. Those are the limits with using first person, I guess. Since I can’t deny that Katniss was a great narrator and that Collins made a good decision when she chose to tell the story exclusively from Katniss’s point of view, I guess I can’t really complain too much. Since she ends up with Peea (finally – although, really, I think he deserves better) I have to say that I like this book the best of the trilogy, though I think I might actually have preferred the first one. Still, excellent series. I both eagerly await and fear the upcoming release of the first movie.