Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Scholastic, 390 pages
“My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.”
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss’s family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans — except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss’s willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels’ Mockingjay — no matter what the personal cost.
Suzanne Collins’ Mockingjay was probably the most anticipated release of 2010. Tens of thousands of fans all over the world eagerly awaited the conclusion of the bestselling Hunger Games series, a wait made that much more breathless after the cliffhanger ending of Catching Fire. The hype that surrounded this release was almost as if an eighth Harry Potter book had been released, with blog tours, interviews, predictions, midnight release parties and book launches happening across the world as the August 24 release date approached.
I was one of those excited fans. I remember feeling anxious as the week of the release arrived, exchanging predictions with other fans and jointly planning “Mockingjay Leaves” (the book release was on a weekday). I squealed with delight when I saw that the Kindle edition was available the day before the hardcover was released here, downloading the sample and devouring it so I could have an idea how the end would begin. When I finally received my copy I reserved the next few days to reading only Mockingjay.
“There is no District 12.” These were Gale’s last words in Catching Fire, which left readers wondering what exactly happened to Katniss’ home town. Mockingjay opens with Katniss staring at the ashes of her district, a month after she has been taken out of the arena and had been living in District 13. The rebellion against the Capitol has begun, but cannot go full scale because it’s missing one last ingredient: they need Katniss to be the Mockingjay, the symbol of the movement. Katniss, reluctant at first, eventually agrees. She finds herself smack in the center of a dangerous power play between her enemies and her so-called “allies,” most especially District 13’s President Coin. While she tries to fulfill her role as the Mockingjay, Katniss starts to question the motivations of the people around her – and her own motives as well – finding herself a pawn in a web of manipulation that could cost her life and the lives of the people she cares for.
Mockingjay takes its cue from its predecessors and comes out as another adrenaline pumping read. Collins’ writing is captivating from the start, sucking the readers deep into the even bleaker world that Panem has become, fleshing out the mysterious District 13. Mockingjay’s pacing leaves readers breathless at the end of each chapter as the author dishes out one cliffhanger after another. LA Times compared the action scenes to “a battlefield akin to Iraq” – even the innocent aren’t spared from the carnage and the brutality of war. Click here to read the rest of the review.
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This is a pretty late review, but better late than never. It’s pretty formal since I wrote it for The POC, so more opinions/comments and such right after the cut. Spoiler warning!
- My bets on who would die: Haymitch, Gale and probably Prim. I was only 1/3 right. I loved it when Haymitch went out and his quip about Katniss’ headset made me chuckle. Overall, I liked his performance in the book.
- I liked that there was more Gale time in the book, and I really liked his character development.
- Boggs! And Finnick! :(
- I loved the scenes as Katniss and her troop went through Capitol and faced all sorts of traps. What I didn’t really understand, though, was what Boggs meant when he said “Trust no one.” Perhaps my memory is just fuzzy, but I felt that it wasn’t truly explained and it was left to the readers to understand what Katniss’ thought process was after and why she did the things she did. That being said, that made the ending feeling kind of rushed, thus making the ending feeling a bit confusing. So confusing that I had to re-read the last few chapters again.
- I am really not for any team, but I am still partial to the best friend. That was the main reason why the ending didn’t sit well with me. Gale has been with Katniss all throughout the years and yet she can forget about him just like that. Maybe it was growing as the war was going on, but it just made me kind of sad, since best friends are important people to me. I don’t think he and Katniss would make a very good couple in the end, though, but I wished there was more of him in her life after everything else has happened.
I liked this book, but I don’t think I really loved it. It’s brave of Collins to write a book that isn’t what everyone expected. Like what I said in my review above, this book is the one where you should let go of your expectations, because it would totally blow you away. Although I wished there were more things in the ending that would happen the way I wanted it, I’m okay with how it ended. I still love the trilogy as a whole; I just don’t think Mockingjay is my favorite book among all of them.
But still, great job, Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games is truly an unforgettable series. :)
2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 73 out of 100 for 2010
My copy: Hardcover, from National Bookstore
Cover & Blurb: Goodreads