Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay is the final book in the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. There’s no way I can write about it without revealing at least SOME spoilers, so if you haven’t read it yet, as with my review of Catching Fire, go read it and then come back and read this. It’ll only take you like a day.

With the districts in full rebellion, Katniss is rescued from the arena and brought to District 13—which had not actually been destroyed by the Capitol during the Dark Days. They are now planning to overthrow the Capitol, and some of the districts have already succeeded in throwing off Capitol control. However, the fight isn’t even close to over, and everyone is depending on Katniss to be the face of the rebellion—to be the rebels’ Mockingjay. Can she put aside her anger and distrust long enough to become the rallying point the districts so desperately need?

I’ve already aired my beefs with Suzanne Collins’ writing style, so here is not the place to do it. Here is where I talk about her incredible ability to tell a story.

One very apt word for Collins’ storytelling is relentless. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, it does—tenfold. The attacks, the deaths, the firebombing of the hospital in District 8, the complete decimation of District 12 (although that happened in Catching Fire, technically)…just heart-wrenching. Destroying the Nut, the mountain where Capitol sympathizers were hiding, in District 2. It was truly relentless, just one heartbreak after another. But it was so. good.

I don’t know how most people feel about the end of the book—that is, Katniss ending up with Peeta—but I’m glad it ends up the way it does. It felt right to me, especially considering all the trauma they went through together. But it also felt a little selfish, because it ends with Katniss saying she ended up with who she needed to end up with. I can’t decide if I like her “look out for Number 1” policy or not, but it got her through two rounds in the arena plus a war, so I guess it works out, huh?

I think what devastated me the most—what probably devastated most people the most—was Prim’s death. I figured something like that would have to happen, much like Fred dying in Harry Potter, but that didn’t make it any less shocking. The parachutes dropping, half of them exploding, the medical personnel rushing forward to help—and then the rest of the parachutes dropping, killing Prim—that was the worst. The absolute worst. And that Katniss saw it happen…I just can’t imagine. All of the gross stuff Stephen King writes, and even the scene where Fred dies in Harry Potter, can’t compare to the pain I felt reading this scene.

Like I’ve already said, you should just go out and read these books. Borrow them if you don’t want to buy them, but I’m very tempted to steal my coworker’s cousin’s books because I want to read them again. And again. And I think you will too.

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10 thoughts on “Mockingjay – Suzanne Collins

  1. Oh my gosh Bridget I read all of these books at the beginning of the summer and they are soooo good. I made my mom read them and she kept freaking out and updating me every time something happened haha so she loved them too!

  2. You know, I just read all three of The Hunger Games books and I can honestly say the only one I really, really liked was the first one. The other two felt… unnecessary I suppose is the best word. I was totally hooked to the first book (to the point where I couldn’t put it down), but the last two didn’t engage me at all.

    • I do think the first one was the best, no question. And though the other two might be a little superfluous (maybe she should have quit while she was ahead?), I had to read them because I was so hooked on the story. I kind of just wish they were all one volume so I wouldn’t have had to wait like six months in between reading the first and reading the second and third…dividing them up made her more money, sure, but it would have felt a lot more cohesive to me if it was just one book.

  3. My husband bought these books and loved them. He suggested I read them, so I bravely started on the first one (I do like some action, but struggle a bit – maybe a lot – with suspense).

    I was pregnant at the time and decided to begin reading when I was supervising a high school class doing a test. I got to the end of the second chapter (? the bit where her little sister gets picked as the contestant) and I BURST into tears in the MIDDLE of the silent class!! (I blame it all on the hormones!)

    I haven’t been able to pick up the book since… maybe one day I will! 🙂

    • Oh no!!! I do agree that it’s a very emotional series but I don’t know how you could have put it down! Although hormones make people do nutty things so I guess it makes sense. And if you’re not a suspense person, this probably isn’t the best series for you because it’s built pretty much entirely on suspense. But I thought it was great. If you do pick it up again, I guess just make sure it’s not when you’re pregnant! 🙂

  4. i just read the second installment. i really think collins is a contradictive writer: while she can not write worth a dime, her character descriptions are utter crap, she does not now how to communicate emotion or have a sense of how to convey suspense, her storytelling and inventiveness salvage her books. I want to read but i don’t want to read.. its annoying.

    • The writing does bother me. But I think she writes decent character descriptions. I mean, I feel like I know exactly what Katniss or Peeta or Gale would do in almost any given situation. And to me, that’s what a good character description is about: feeling like you know the characters.

      And boy, does she have an imagination…

  5. Just found your blog and LOVE it!! May steal your 30 days idea . . .anyway, while I LOVED these books, I have to admit I liked Mockingjay the least. Frustrating is the word that comes to mind. Prim, of all people, should not have died. District 13 felt like a mere step down from the controlling power of the Capitol (Capital? can’t remember), and Katniss seemed much more moody. I also hated the situation with Peeta . . . but he eventually came around. One thing that I loved was at the end when she killed the lady (read these a few months back so names are blurry) – the one who’d been the leader of District 13 and wanted to have another Hunger Games. Great review!

  6. Yeah, President Coin! That was a good part. And I agree that Mockingjay felt a little bit like a let down, but I sort of thought of the books as one continuous story, so it’s more like a story with a bad ending for me rather than a not so good third book.

    Glad you like my blog!

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