Publisher: Scholastic Press
Reviewer: Melissa on August 27, 2010
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
As with the other novels in The Hunger Games trilogy, reading Mockingjay was one of the best few days I’d ever spent. To say that I devoured it would be an understatement as this was one of the fastest reads for me in a long time. If you’ve been a fan of this series so far, then you need to get your hands on this book – the sooner, the better!
Suzanne Collins‘ latest novel begins exactly one month after the conclusion of Catching Fire in the fiery ash of District 12, where Katniss explores the destruction of the only place she’s ever called home. Clearly, Katniss has survived the cruel and hunting Quarter Quell, and thankfully, Gale, her mother and Prim all made it out before the firebombs flattened District 12 and have been taken into the open arms of District 13. However, not all is well: Peeta has been captured by the Capitol and both Finnick and Katniss are suffering from severe cases of PTSD. Will she be able to break free from the hold of depression and her injuries to become the Mockingjay, the symbol of the revolution?
Mockingjay, the final installment in the bestselling trilogy has arrived, and it isn’t surprising to me that a book which is both the most anticipated book of the summer and the most talked about book of 2010 already has a little controversy associated with it. I’ve read a few different reviews since I completed the novel, and while many are overwhelmingly positive, there are a few sticking points with some long time fans. Any book that develops such a following is going to disappoint some, but personally, I think that Collins has gone beyond my expectations. Even when some aspects of the plot didn’t end up the way I was hoping they would, I was completely satisfied with the conclusion. For those who have criticisms of the novel, I would love to discuss it with you more fully, but I’d prefer not to have too many spoilers in this review.
One of the “issues” is that Katniss never outwardly or inwardly chooses things in a few instances. Personally, I think that Katniss has been avoiding some of these choices since the beginning of the series. If she were to make a definitive decision all of a sudden, then I wouldn’t have believed it, especially not when she hasn’t and won’t ever fully recover from the traumatic events of the last few years. She lives in the “after,” and for some people, there is no way to see beyond it. I commend Collins’ depiction of mental illness and strongly believe that she has given an accurate portrayal of the limitations that it imposes on Katniss. At the same time, however, I do believe that she was always moving toward one person in particular with only rare moments of back peddling to the other.
Personally, I can’t really even see any negatives here because Collins doesn’t shy away from presenting the dark underbelly of both sides of the war. While she has given ample criticism of the Capitol throughout the series, and President Snow certainly proves to be more cruel than we’ve ever seen him, Mockingjay suggests that readers can’t turn a blind eye on the “evil” that comprises the revolutionary forces, including those “holier than thou” members of District 13. Just as in any real revolution, the parties who begin it can be sucked into the race for power and control, even at the expense of the very people they were supposedly protecting. Just as the Games had the tendency to devalue both human life and derange the very humanity of the participants, one can’t help but question the humanity of those who would benefit most.
With a mixture of some of the sweetest and most harrowing moments of the entire trilogy, Mockingjay proves to be a brilliant conclusion to an already amazing series. Believe the hype – buy this book or order the Hunger Games box set because waiting for the next installment will be torturous. Kudos to Suzanne Collins!