Wednesday, December 22, 2010

REVIEW: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

by Suzanne Collins

NOTE! If you have not read The Hunger Games or Catching Fire, this will reveal spoilers for the first books!

With her home destroyed and Peeta missing, Katniss wakes up to find herself a resident of the fabled District 13. Unfortunately, the district isn't all its cracked up to be, and Katniss finds herself feeling more trapped than ever. Not to mention that those who escaped with her seem to be slowly losing their minds while she's being forced into the role of Mockingjay.

Character Likability:
Katniss: Have I mentioned my love for the character, Katniss? I love this girl. She's strong, she marches to her own drum, she learns from her mistakes, she fights for what she believes in, she gets broken, as any real person would in her situation... but she allows herself to be mended.  In this book, Katniss grows and learns yet again. She's beginning to see the bigger plan, she's beginning to understand that some things never end, no matter how hard you fight... she's pushed to, and past, the point of breaking, and yet, she persists in trying to reach her goal. She is an amazing character... and what makes her so amazing is that she does all of these amazing things... and remains believable. She is filled with just as much questioning and doubt as any of us.
Peeta: Absent for a good portion of the book... and then returned... Peeta breaks my heart in this book... and then in pure Peeta fashion, he mends it again.
Haymitch: During this book, you're left wondering what, exactly, Haymitch's motives are.
Cinna: Despite not physically being in the book, Cinna is still a very motivating character. His Mockingjay outfit is a major reason Katniss takes up the mantle.
Prim and her Mother: Used, once again, mainly as motivators for Katniss... Prim is given slightly more voice, and acts more as a support for her sister, while the mother still remains mainly out of the picture.
President Snow: Pulling out all the stops in his wicked handbook, President Snow outdoes himself in the evil department.
Finnick: Watching Finnick with Annie is almost heartbreaking, and hearing his story IS heartbreaking. I was glad I got to hear what he had to say. It really drove home the need for this system to be destroyed.
Briggs: The quiet military man from District 13... he turns out to be possibly one of the truest friends Katniss ever has.
President Coin: The president of District 13, she's cold, calculating and not to be trusted.

Quality of Writing:
Easy, quick flow. Engaging and un-put-downable. (oh yeah, I'm making up words now)

Bittersweet, believable.

District 12 has been destroyed, most of the people Katniss knew, dead. She, along with a few others, including her family and Gale, have been whisked off to District 13 to live underground. At this point, Katniss is starting to lose it. People she loved dearly are dead, most notably, Cinna, her designer from the Hunger Games. Peeta is in the hands of the Capitol and all Katniss can do is imagine the worst. Then, the video interviews with Peeta begin, and he's telling people to stop the rebellion... and Katniss knows she still has to save him... now from District 13 as well, who sees him as a traitor... and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
This plot really delves into the political motivations and the extent to which those in power will try to retain it. It's harsh, cruel and believable... which makes it all the more terrifying. The plot of this book is deep, twisted and worthy of more than just a casual read. The ideas being presented here really beg for, and deserve some deep thought on the part of the reader.

Believability of World:
The most believable yet. It really points out that it's often hard to tell the difference between good and evil.

Overall Grade: A


  1. Excellent review! I, too, thought this book was harrowing and real - hard to read, but a definitive closure to the previous novels. :)

  2. I was actually very disappointed with this book. It seemed like all Katniss did was try to find new places to hide. After the amazing journey the first two books took me on, I was expecting more than what Mockingjay offered.

  3. See, I disagree. Yes, Katniss did spend some time hiding (literally)... but first she did it because she was mentally breaking... Peeta was being tortured, there was nothing she could do, and her life was truly out of her own control. Yet, even though she was stealing moments for herself, she still stood up enough to support those that needed her (especially Finnick) and she still struck out to stand up for those who weren't even there, and in some cases, those she didn't even like very much... she didn't hide from her duties, and she didn't hide from protecting those she loved.

    Then later on, she was hiding for a very practical reason.

    For me, Mockingjay offered a bittersweet ending... but a realistic one. It wasn't all happy shiny, and I really appreciated that... because in a story like this, horrible things *would* happen to characters you love.

    Not only that... but it made Katniss really examine what was going on around her. It made her have to realize things like there is no such thing as "safe" and there are always compromises to be made.

    So, yeah, there was Katniss trying to find places to hide... but honestly... wouldn't you be trying to find places to hide in her situation? I would have snapped completely by then... and even though she was trying to hide... she never really could.

  4. Fabulous review! I absolutely adore this series and I have to say that I was more than satisfied with the way Collins wrapped things up.