In the event you do not want to be spoiled, just know this. I loved it. Now, stop reading this review and go read the book!
HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!!!
I finished Mockingjay (The Final Book of The Hunger Games) a few days ago but needed to take some time to think about it before blogging. I think I am ready now!
I loved Mockingjay. I know a lot of bloggers and readers were unhappy with the direction that Collins took the book in, I thought it was sheer perfection. When we last left Katniss, she was the face of the revolution. But what many readers seemed to forget was that she was chosen as the face of the revolution. It wasn’t a choice she made independently. I have always loved Katniss but I never saw her as a perfect hero. She is flawed. She is human. She breaks and tries to heal. She makes mistakes. (I’m pretty sure Peeta and Gale can tell you all about those mistakes).
In Mockingjay, we meet Katniss in District 13. For the first two books we have imagined District 13 as this utopia, a community that fled the Capital and and has been able to live secret, joyful lives. You know, the kind full of butterflies and rainbows. Guess what? Turns out District 13 is no utopia! While they aren’t the Capital, they are terrible in their own way. And they have plans for Katniss- she will be their spokeswoman and the inspiration to the rebels. They have plans to film promotional footage of her and air it in all the districts. But it turns out that this is just more reality television. She is scripted, she isn’t in real combat, and she hates it. But when she does get pulled into the war, things aren’t as clear as they once seemed.
I’m not going to bother summarizing the rest of the book. Just know that Mockingjay is different from the rest of the series. There is not clear-cut good vs. bad here. The lines are blurred and there is a lot grey area. It’s difficult to figure out what side anyone is on; it’s difficult to figure out what side YOU, the reader are on! While the first two books felt very character-driven, Mockingjay is driven solely by something else. Character, setting, plot all rolled into one. It’s war that drives everything. And Mockingjay is real war. People die. Good people die, for senseless reasons. Because we view the events through Katniss’s eyes, the book is rushed at some points. At other times, we miss things because she is injured or drugged (in the hospital). It is confusing and overwhelming. But I felt like I was right there with Katniss.
For those of you who want a happy ending you aren’t getting that here. But what war ends with happiness? Like real life, the war just ends. And Katniss is broken. Her family is broken. We know she begins to heal, because there is an epilogue. Unlike many other people, I enjoyed the epilogue. I think it gives us just enough information. We see that Katniss has grown up, that she is living her life and moving on. But she still bears the scars of what happened to her. She will never be the same person she was when she stepped up and took Prim’s place in the games.
Like I said, I LOVED the book. I though Collins did a fantastic job and took Mockingjay in a direction that many people did not expect. Because of this, she has some unhappy readers. But I am a fan for life.
Thoughts? Questions? Comments? I want to talk about this one! Comment!
My favorite quote? p. 379
“Are you preparing for another war, Plutarch?” I ask.
“Oh, not now. Now we’re in that sweet period where everyone agrees that our recent horrors should never be repeated,” he says. “But collective thinking is usually short-lived. We’re fickle, stupid beings with poor memories and a great gift for self destruction. Although who knows? Maybe this will be it, Katniss.”
What a scathing look at humanity. Yet sadly true when you look at world history.
*purchased by me