Book Reviews: Mockingjay

Saturday, September 4, 2010

by Suzanne Collins

My Mockingjay review... aka I finally get to join the discussion. For the record I did pre-order this book from Amazon and was looking forward to reading it when it came out. Then I waited... and waited and finally received it on Thursday (9-2-10), a week and a half after it came out. I'm a bit frustrated, but anyway, on to the review. I'm going to attempt to avoid all spoilers. If you're surprised that people die in this book you're probably reading the wrong series.

The book isn't perfect, no book is, but I kinda loved that. War is messy, love is messy and I was glad there was no easy ending. Katniss was so completely broken by everything she had been through that it would have been silly for Collins to reduce the series to a shallow love triangle, so I'm thrilled she didn't. Instead, that triangle became a moot point by the end. Katniss ends up with the one who she needs to be with after everything unfolds. I wasn't shocked, but I wasn't expecting it either. To be honest I never thought too much about the love aspect to begin with. To me, it was fitting that the focus of the story was on all of the people she lost during the series, instead of who she decides she loves more.

The book is heartbreaking. So many characters that we love are killed, but that's war. That's the grim reality that Katniss has to deal with everyday. Sometimes it's hard to remember that Katniss is both a girl and someone who has been repeatedly broken, both psychically and psychologically. This book gave me more of an opportunity to see that pain because she wasn't in the midst of staying alive in every scene. She's really happier when she is in those situations, because she understands how to deal with them better than the stillness. When she's not fighting she's flooded with all the pain she's experienced.

In the end I felt like it was a fitting conclusion to the trilogy and I'm glad I read it. It's not my favorite book of the series, but I think it gave the whole trilogy more depth and gravitas than the other two books. It took the horror that Katniss faced during the Hunger Games and spread it throughout all of the Districts, explaining the importance of the rebellion to anyone who had yet to realize it.

Just like many other readers, I had a few things I wished would have been handled a bit differently. Some of the deaths felt too sudden and abrupt, but then again, that's how war truly is. You don't always get a glorious death moment. In the end there was more good than bad and I'm firmly in the camp of liking the whole series.

"'It costs your life,' says Caesar. 'Oh no. It costs a lot more than your life. To murder innocent people?' says Peeta. 'It costs everything you are.'"

"All around the dining hall, you can feel the rejuvenating effect that a good meal can bring on. The way it can make people kinder, funnier, more optimistic, and remind them it's not a mistake to go on living."

"We are fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and  a great gift for self-destruction."  


Tasha said...

I don't count myself as a fan of this series, although I have read the first two books and think the premise is fantastic. I thought the jabberjays were pretty interesting. Do they show up in the third book?

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

The jabberjays were referred to, but they didn't actually return in the third book. They were a fascinating creation though. I think any threat is scarier when it attacks psychologically and not just psychically.

Amanda said...

Oh that's awful that Amazon took so long to send it to you! Ugh. :(

I'm still trying to decide of this one or the first one is my favorite. I didn't really like Catching Fire, but now rereading it after reading Mockingjay, I'm liking it better than I did either time before.

Anonymous said...

I just finished Mockingjay and came over here to read the review I knew you had written a few months ago. Wow. What a heavy read. I definitely wish some things were handled differently, or certain outcomes could have been reached by different means. But, I'm happy with the ending and now only await the certain demise of the series through the machine that is Hollywood. "May the odds be ever in your favor!"