The greatly anticipated final book in the New York Times bestselling Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss Everdeen. The final book in The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins will have hearts racing, pages turning, and everyone talking about one of the biggest and most talked-about books and authors in recent publishing history.
The ending of Catching Fire was so shocking and unexpected that it actually made me NOT want to read Mockingjay, just to show the series who was the boss. So when I actually DID read Mockingjay, I was prepared for basically anything. And a good thing I was prepared, too, because Mockingjay is almost a completely different book from the rest of the series.
One of my favorite things about Mockingjayis that it continues the theme of what happens when you stick teenagers in life-or-death situations, mess with their heads so much that they go insane, and then threaten them with the annihalation of everything they love if they don’t do what you say. What happens is NOT GOOD; what happens is the teenager gets PTSD and starts blacking out and drinks themselves to an early grave and lots of other horrible things. And sometimes they also manage to get it together enough to bring down an evil empire (and the emperor-in-waiting, too!).
The switch in focus from physical survival to mental survival (if you will) is abrupt, and I think it changes the tone of the series as a whole. There’s a lot more political stuff, too, and more insight into how people who rule dystopian societies think. Those things are nice to have in a dystopian series, especially since it kept Mockingjay from having just another repeat of THG/CF’s plotline, but I wish it had been spread out more throughout ALL the books, not just shoved into one big lump in Mockingjay.
Plus, there isn’t a whole lot of action in Mockingjay. Like I said, I liked that the focus wasn’t necessarily on the physical survival aspect (in the first half of the book, anyway), but not having that in there DID slow the book way down. It’s especially evident after reading the first two books, which are action-packed, immediately before this one. The last half has got all the action you could want, but it was almost too late after wading through the slog that was the first half.
On the whole, I liked Mockingjay. I liked that it depicted (mostly) realisticly what happens to people after going through something like the Hunger Games. I liked that Peeta and Katniss’ relationship sort of…evened itself out. I also liked that, though people died (people that I didn’t want to die), the ending of them and the dystopian society they lived in wasn’t the end of EVERYTHING. People lived on afterwards, maybe a bit more dented than they were beforehand, but still willing to LIVE.
And I think I just really like endings that aren’t necessarily “and they lived happily ever after.” I much more appreciate ones that are “and they (mostly) lived (pretty) happily (for a while) after, with help from their loved ones and time.” It’s less annoyingly cheerful, and since the Hunger Games trilogy is anything but cheerful, I think it’s a good ending overall.
Mockingjay isn’t my favorite Hunger Games book, and in fact I think I rated it the lowest of all three. But as a whole, I really like the Hunger Games trilogy, and if that trilogy didn’t have Mockingjay I’d like it a lot less. Yeah, it’s uneven in tone and there’s some weird writing and Katniss isn’t the best narrator you could have. But! It’s still a fun series to read, and I’m happy I finally read it.
Read: March 31-April 1, 2012